HubSpot: what is it and how does the inbound marketing platform work?

HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that we use every day in our work and love in all its forms: here at Cepar, we really do agree.

However, what we have learned from listening to the different marketers we talk to every day is that not everyone understands what HubSpot and automation processes are and what they are for.

No problem: we are here to explain it and try to describe it in detail with a series of notes and references to useful articles to help you understand the advantages of one of the best digital marketing platforms.

What is HubSpot?

Let’s start by saying that HubSpot is a company that has developed and made a digital service designed for Automation available in Software As a Service mode, which includes CRM, CMS Hub, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub e Operations Hub.

CRM (acronym for Customer Relationship Management) is the cornerstone of the automation platform, a truly user-friendly system for managing company contact information and developing the relationship between customer and company to improve productivity, time savings and quality of the business relationship.

HubSpot CRM organises and brings together all the information relating to your contacts and their companies in a single section. It allows you to enter notes, appointments, tasks, meetings, explore your interaction history and communicate with your contacts.

HubSpot CRM allows you to easily store data in customisable sections, assign it to a team member, keep track of the date the lead was created and the date of its last actions. Customisable and specific lists can be created to segment the audience according to real interests.

Furthermore, with HubSpot CRM, you can create GDPR compliant forms to collect data and generate leads, receive notifications every time a lead opens an email, clicks on a link or downloads an important document. The platform also allows you to create chatbots, which can be used to qualify leads, book meetings and provide answers to common customer service questions, and for those involved in sales, it is possible to make Pipeline Sales simple in order to see which stage of the buying process the contact is at and to manage the entire sales funnel. In short, it’s an all-in-one platform that allows all this and much more.

The Inbound model

Finding customers  and being found by customers: a difference that is decisive for entire business models and processes. HubSpot,HubSpot has built its entire structure on Inbound, a data-driven marketing approach that aims to attract visitors to its website and convert them into customers. How?

HubSpot has introduced several tools that can drive traffic to the website and intervene throughout the Buyer’s Journey. One of these is SEO and the management of all content, including links, relating to pillar pages. Content and automation then come into play, achieved through advertising and retargeting, marketing workflows and sales sequences.

Inbound marketing is about  being found by a customer at the exact moment they need the service or product we offer.. It means creating contacts with automated systems, converting them into customers by getting to know them and drawing up essential profiles to retain them.

Be found. How? Knowing the Customer Journey

The process that leads a customer to make a purchase can be very long and must respect the Customer Journey, the path that turns prospects into satisfied and knowledgeable customers. Knowing and tracing the path towards a purchase is a very important operation, capable of generating a significant competitive advantage: knowing the behaviour and interests of customers allows you to anticipate needs and responses.

HubSpot’s CRM is strategic at this stage because it allows each contact to be classified according to the Customer Journey and rationalise contact management, reduce time and facilitate internal communication with the sales department.


Only B2B or also B2C?

In the context in which businesses are called to operate, Inbound Marketing, together with the adoption of Automation software such as HubSpot, becomes a choice that can increase the overall number of leads and customers.

Several marketers only associate this model with B2B markets because of the content-based structure. However, when we look at the many success stories of retail companies that have chosen HubSpot, it is immediately apparent that the Inbound Marketing software can be used successfully by both Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) companies.

In both markets, HubSpot is an important asset for the coordination of marketing strategy, in particular in the process of generating qualified leads, a key objective for both companies targeting the end consumer and those targeting other businesses.

This digital communication strategy, combined with the marketing and sales tools included in the HubSpot platform, allows each company to optimise its commercial efforts. Integration with CRM is fundamental as it offers the possibility to analyse the contacts’ responses to different communication actions, to record their digital behaviour in dashboards and reports and to make informed marketing choices. All these interactions can then be used to automate response processes (Workflow/Sequence) and keep both users of companies selling complex B2B services and those interacting with B2C companies’ e-Commerce engaged.

HubSpot for e-Commerce

HubSpot can therefore also be a useful solution for e-Commerce marketing.

CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, Operations Hub and CMS Hub represent a complete digital ecosystem. With HubSpot you can manage every aspect of your relationship with leads and customers and improve the quality of their interactions with all the tools the platform provides. This is what HubSpot has called flywheel, an extremely dynamic model that, metaphorically speaking, encompasses the entire evolution of the business relationship, from the first contact to the momentum of the most satisfied customers becoming referrals for new leads (in practice, the good old word of mouth).

This energy can also be developed in e-Commerce marketing in order to tell people about their products (and the needs they satisfy) and promote them, improve dialogue with customers at every stage of their customer journey and provide after-sales service.

Guida HubSpot flywheel

(source: HubSpot)

The ability to collect and measure digital behaviour data is the first aspect that can improve the performance of a company selling online. It is the data, in fact, that indicate which initiatives to pursue and which to discontinue, that suggest experiments and define new strategies, and that inspire the application of innovative tactics with those that are more tried and tested and effective.

SEO, blogging, social and adv – tools that e-commerce marketers often use independently from the contact database (and sometimes from each other) – are present in the Marketing Hub and can be used in synergy to develop new business relationships.

Reports and dashboards are populated with navigation and conversion information: with this data, corrective measures can be applied to reduce friction, improve the product documentation that supports a purchase and identify areas to build on or improve.

In addition, all the Sales Hub package tools are available: customer, sales pipeline, automation of responses for Deal management… HubSpot is fully integrated with Shopify and can also be linked to Magento 2.0, WooCommerce and BigCommerce, all thanks to the Unific application, which can also be found in the HubSpot e-Commerce integration section. In addition, HubSpot provides the e-Commerce Bridge, an API that manages most of the data synchronisation processes with most e-Commerce platforms.

But is HubSpot only for large companies?

Another myth that needs to be dispelled, in addition to the one related to markets, is that CRM and Marketing Automation are the prerogative of large, structured companies.

This is also a mistaken belief: CRM is a useful software for any company, even the smallest ones or start-ups. Obviously, a small company needs simpler functions than a larger team does. But HubSpot is not only an intuitive and reliable CRM, it also has a pricing model that makes it usable in any business context.

Contact management, email and call tracking, notes, tasks, landing pages: small companies and start-ups need a streamlined and immediate working system; HubSpot is one of the most interesting platforms in this respect because it provides all the functions a small company needs. For SMEs who only want to try out a few marketing and sales services and who have no budget, HubSpot has created a free version of its software. For startups, HubSpot has come up with a contractual plan with a 90% discount on the first year of use and a 50% discount for the second year, applicable to all versions of the software.

Small businesses can also easily access HubSpot Starter, a package designed for companies that want to get their business off the ground without exposing themselves to a large investment. HubSpot is in fact a flexible and scalable tool: compatible with the natural growth of the company, it allows additional functionality to be added at any time at a proportionate price.

HubSpot, free forever

We have written about this in several of our articles and it is a question we are frequently asked: “So HubSpot is really free?“.

The answer is: yes, HubSpot has a free version (free forever) that offers some of the most effective and interesting marketing, sales and service tools and integrates them seamlessly with each other.

Many automation software platforms have a pricing model that follows the evolution of available versions (and additional functionalities) but none have a free proposal that integrates all three dimensions (sales, marketing and technical support).

In addition to CRM and the possibility of registering up to a million contacts (and therefore all their data) with HubSpot free version, you have tools such as Meetings to set up a link connected to your calendar, which can easily be shared via email, web links, etc., or the Documents function, with which you can store up to 5 files that can then be used in emails and all customer communications. These features are also available in the free version.


HubSpot Meetings Link

(source: HubSpot)

HubSpot free also offers the possibility of having a sales pipeline and a support pipeline, alowing you to track the progress of negotiations or tickets; it makes tasks available to keep track of all the activities open and to be managed using reminders: phone calls, to-do lists and emails.

HubSpot’s free CRM provides dashboards for marketing, sales and technical support reports, as well as giving you the ability to run Google or social advertising campaigns (up to two profiles) and synchronise interactions with your entire database, enabling you to better understand your purchasing processes.

You can create pre-established email templates (up to a maximum of 5) and you can link your mailbox to HubSpot, thanks to Gmail and Outlook integration; this allows you to see in real time when the contact opens sent e-mails and thus track every e-mail conversation in the database.

Forms are one of the most interesting features: they allow the collection of qualifying data that can be associated with contacts, which is crucial for automation and all subsequent marketing actions. But that is not enough. There are Conversational Marketing tools (chatflow and live chat), contact lists, prospecting tools and support ticket management.

In short, even in the free version, HubSpot offers a set of tools of enormous commercial value for marketing, sales and service that enable small businesses to grow quickly and achieve their goals.

HubSpot: all-in-one, multi-layered software

From the free version and beyond, HubSpot provides access to a comprehensive set of tools aimed at five different work areas – Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub and Operations Hub. The commercial offer develops progressively; from the free version to the more expensive one: Free, Starter, Professional and Enterprise.

Marketing Hub brings together tools for the optimised management of all the content that makes up a company’s marketing strategy: templates for emails, the blog, automation with Workflows…

The first paid plan is the Starter package, which, in addition to the free services and CRM, offers an email marketing portal with the possibility of using contact lists filtered using user data. The most substantial upgrade in terms of quantity comes with the Professional package: while the Starter HubSpot Suite focuses on email marketing, the Professional version turns towards content and automation.

With the Enterprise package, the HubSpot Suite dedicated to marketing is at its full potential.

Alignment with sales teams is done with Sales Hub, which provides the ability to create Deals and Sales Pipelines, integrate Gmail and Outlook for tracking and notifications, and have templates for personal emails.

By upgrading to the HubSpot Suite Starter package, you can set up automatic email sequencing actions aimed at hitting the target audience interested in your offer. If you buy the Professional package, you get access to Workflows (up to 300) and can manage user groups according to different parameters, define team roles and steps in the sales funnel, catalogue products and track sales data.

Contact and sales management reaches its full potential with the Enterprise package. A lead score is automatically assigned to each user and phone calls handled with HubSpot are automatically transcribed.

For user support, HubSpot provides a dedicated Customer Service Hub. Even in the free version, you can find the Conversation Inbox, which collects all communication channels related to a single customer. The main services of Email Marketing are also available in the free version, as well as the possibility of using templates for editing documents. In order to customise ticket and contact reports, as well as managing telephone support and feedback, you must upgrade to the Professional version. You can also automate the customer service process by grouping issues and setting up automatic responses or managing them together by the dedicated team.

The Enterprise package includes Playbook, Calculated properties, Single sign-on and Goals services.

Making processes smooth and providing the right tools for the operations team is therefore a must for companies aiming to grow more and more.

Operations Hub, offers a unified toolset that synchronises all apps, clarifies customer data and automates business processes in a single platform, even in the free version. The app and data integration offered by the Operations Hub stands out from other solutions because it provides two-way synchronisation (of historical and real time data) of all the information present, keeping the databases always synchronised and updated over time.

The Hub CMS boasts a range of features that, collectively, allow you to build (or migrate) your own website on the HubSpot platform, build web pages aligned with your entire strategy, increase traffic and lead conversion through SEO, Conversational Bots, Forms, Lists, Blogs, Landing Pages, smart content, A/B testing and much more. Unlike the other HubSpot hubs, the CMS is available in the Starter, Professional and Enterprise versions, thus leaving out the initial free version: a choice dictated by the quality of the services offered.

Companies looking to activate more than one Suite can access the HubSpot CRM Suite package which includes Sales, Marketing, Service, CMS and Operations Hub at a discount of 25% on the total cost.

If something is missing in HubSpot, you can add it

The potential of HubSpot and the inbound tools the platform makes available are vast: an enormous availability of data and sales levers that allow action to be taken in every area of marketing, sales and customer service.

With the digital evolution which has been taking place over the last few years, many software companies have also come up with innovations. Very specific and vertical digital applications that manage to solve some marketing complexities in an extraordinary way. HubSpot has observed and welcomed this availability of new tools by enabling its customers to easily integrate the plug-ins into the platform and use the resulting information to activate software functionality.

HubSpot Connect

(source: HubSpot)

Therefore, in the HubSpot Connect section, you can find all third-party software that can be integrated with the platform.

Marketing plug-ins make it possible to integrate software designed to carry out surveys (Survey Monkey, Typeform, etc.) and thus create new contacts on the basis of responses, segment the interests of contacts and build response workflows, to name but a few examples.

Integration with the most commonly used e-mail applications is built-in: Gmail, Outlook, Outlook 365 can be used with the same tools that HubSpot provides for sending emails and documents.

There are also integrations for the management of gift cards, which automate the incentive management process and simplify all aspects of this marketing strategy, integrations for the coordination of events (e.g. Eventbrite) that allow the collection of names and subscriptions for meetings by registering them in the CRM, integrations for URL shortening and rewriting services and the creation of landing pages.

For data analysis, HubSpot provides integration with very advanced data analysis and reporting platforms such as DataBox and tools for recording user interactions (e.g. Hotjar). For integration with video communication tools, the list of integrated platforms covers almost all the leading software on the market: Wistia, Vidyard, Zoom, GoToWebinar, ClickMeeting etc.

Of course, integration with the automation software par excellence, Zapier, and with e-Commerce shouldn’t be forgotten: integration with Shopify is complete, but there are also dedicated integration tools for other platforms.

There is also integration with Conversational Marketing software, interactive document creation and even with other CRMs such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, but this list is not exhaustive and there are many software already integrated and being added to.

Email Marketing: one of HubSpot’s strengths

When talking about software integration and comparisons, we mustn’t overlook one of the most important aspects of communication: Email Marketing.

The evolution of email marketing involves continuous updating of the design, style, tone of voice and above all the possibility of creating automated email communications. Adequate software is needed, there is no compromise.

And since we’re talking about HubSpot, it’s worth mentioning that an important part of the marketing actions that the platform provides are based on emails ,so it’s only logical that this tool is already available in the free version (in reduced mode) and is fully available starting with the Starter version. But we have already made comparisons with other software and talked about plug-ins to integrate different platforms, so it is only natural to compare HubSpot with one of the best email marketing platforms: Mailchimp.

Let’s be clear: these are two extraordinary pieces of software but they have – to a great extent – different objectives.

Mailchimp is a platform that has been able to introduce several functionalities that have enriched and given value to the software’s main mission: sending emails.

HubSpot is an automation platform, one of the features of which is undoubtedly Email Marketing, especially when used in combination with all the other tools available (CRM, social management, Workflow, CMS, Customer Service and Sales Automation, to name but a few). But it wasn’t just created as an email marketing tool.

One thing is certain: giving up is out of the question. Digitising processes is the only sensible choice a company can and must make.

Both software platforms allow you to send emails quickly and intuitively and to create email marketing campaigns structured around complex multi-parameter inclusion or exclusion lists. They have predefined templates, which are very easy to use, especially for those unfamiliar with coding and design.

Mailchimp and HubSpot also use email marketing data to activate social media campaigns. HubSpot, allows you to plan all your social media activities for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube using blog articles and valuable content to automate the process of generating organic posts.

Both tools provide access to the creation of landing pages and forms, but HubSpot goes one step further with the integration of data into CRM.

Speaking of automation, Mailchimp has an automation system that allows e-mails to be sent based on database user interactions. Leaving an e-Commerce shopping cart, celebrating a personal event, such as a birthday, or downloading a document are valid triggers for sending the next email.

At HubSpot, Workflows involve every aspect of marketing strategy and tactics.

HubSpot Marketing Automation

HubSpot is an automation software for all marketing, sales and service activities, which builds its success on the Inbound model, one of the most effective ways to build a long-term relationship with your customers.

It is worth clarifying that, as far as marketing is concerned, automation platforms are tools of great digital acceleration as they were created to increase the operational efficiency of marketing campaigns: they help to provide a dynamic approach to the management of complex tasks across different business functions and contribute to the planned execution of structured tasks and the collection of customer data.

An automation platform is able to gather all tools together in one place. Platforms like HubSpot are easy to use and the tools available to engage prospects are numerous: blog and content creation, email, social, forms and CTAs, landing pages, lead scoring, A/B testing, campaign tracking etc.

An automation software platform that integrates all marketing activities while also collecting a lot of performance data. Reporting tools can then provide in-depth insight into each campaign and help you understand how users respond to each initiative.

All this makes multichannel marketing very fluid, especially if content production activities are carried out in advance and then scheduled for publication. The predictable result is the increased productivity of marketing and sales, now aligned with each other, the reduction of costs for initiative management and the focus on the more strategic aspects of the business.

And still on the topic of automation, HubSpot or Salesforce?

With its proposal and excellent value for money, HubSpot proves to be a winning solution for small and medium-sized companies. However, when it comes to large companies, doubt arises around comparison with platforms designed and built for complex projects such as Salesforce, for example.

So, it is fair to ask what the best proposition is in this software market: HubSpot and Salesforce are top-notch choices, especially since they are constantly evolving in terms of tools and analysis of the data collected.

Pardot is a solution acquired by Salesforce and can therefore rely on one of the best CRM software in the world; it is a complete automation platform and is very ROI oriented for marketing campaigns. It gives companies the ability to examine their customers’ behaviour at every stage of the buying process, so that sales and marketing teams can work together and focus on the most interesting leads.

HubSpot is an all-in-one tool described in detail in our blog and in the following paragraphs.

Pardot’s interface allows you to organise and manage leads by segmenting contacts into lists and provides advanced lead management, lead generation and nurturing tools.

With Pardot, you can group leads into homogeneously based on their response to active marketing campaigns, build automation workflows and have advanced qualification tools. The platform notifies marketers of each interaction and measures the return on investment for each campaign; content can be edited and updated dynamically for each audience.

HubSpot also brings together many tools dedicated to customer retention and helps companies to strengthen their digital presence, convert traffic into leads and develop customer audiences. It allows you to manage B2B and B2C customers in segments, has several lead nurturing levers that allow you to send follow up emails based on specific digital behaviours and can report any interaction of leads to sales.

Pardot gives you the ability to view a detailed summary of website interactions, allowing you to structure very precise marketing campaigns via Salesforce CRM, create landing pages, email marketing campaigns, custom forms and social media management. Tools that are also present in HubSpot, with a greater focus on inbound marketing.

Both platforms have advanced analysis and reporting tools and constant interaction with the advanced Salesforce and HubSpot CRM functionalities.

These are therefore two very high-performance platforms, different in some configurations but both very powerful and full of automation tools that must be validated by the marketing and sales teams before the final choice is made.

Who to communicate to: the Buyer Persona

Once a technological choice of platform has been made, it is essential to decide who to communicate with. Defining Buyer Personas is an important activity that every company has to do to give a human dimension to its audiences and connect every initiative to people’s deepest needs and desires.

Most companies have little to no idea of the identity of their customers. Very few companies use research and data collection tools for the definition of their Buyer Persona and the analysis of interactions with their market. HubSpot provides various tools for classifying and measuring reactions.

The Buyer Persona is the fictitious representation of the typical buyer of a company’s products or services, created on the basis of information gathered from ongoing market research and the analysis of data that can be collected at all moments of customer contact.

Knowing how to represent one’s own Buyer Persona means characterising one’s own potential customer on the basis of purchasing needs, behaviours and beliefs, elements of work and social influence.

The construction of a Buyer Persona must include demographic data to characterise it, which can be entered into HubSpot, and psychographic data that can aid in understanding the preferences of the target audience.

Psychographic information is the result of a qualitative survey and is of enormous value with respect to the most common identifying traits of the person and the market in which they work. It is those contextual and psychological aspects that determine or influence your purchasing behaviour.

The sum of this information allows us to analyse the behaviour of the subject under investigation in context and the communication or interaction channels they use most often.

In this way, it is possible to determine with sufficient precision which budgets to allocate to specific advertising tools (Ads and social advertising campaigns, for example) and when to intercept demand, directing it towards the most used touchpoints. One of the most important is the blog.

Content for the public: all about the blog

Blogs have always been a form of communication that generates traffic and qualifies the main message of a website, helping to feed email marketing and social media with valuable content published automatically: a significant time and energy saver for marketers in every company.

The Blog tool is the tool that HubSpot has designed for content editors, a constantly evolving tool (also because it is one of the main and most important tools on the platform) that gives you the opportunity to produce optimised conten thanks to SEO and layout tips, and therefore perfect for generating traffic to your site.

The blog section ‘Composer’ gives suggestions for titles, text, images and videso, and allows you to set the author, campaign, theme tags, alt text, custom URL and meta description. All this within pre-formatted – and above all mobile responsive – templates that do not require particularly long design times. The addition of images is also supported by the partnership between HubSpot and Shutterstock. Easy and immediate.


HubSpot Blog editor

(source: HubSpot)

The interaction with the articles, and consequently compliance with a preset reading path, is entrusted to call-to-action buttons that can be built into the platform and which record each click, associating it with a contact registered in the CRM. Behind the CTAs, HubSpot links the landing pages to allow the download of dedicated content.

The readership of each published blog post is measured by reports that show views, contacts generated by a given post, average time spent on the page. When a reader, interested in the content of the article, fills in one of the forms on the page to download a lead magnet (e.g. an e-book), HubSpot records their details in the CRM.

All the platform’s value is activated from this very moment: through the contact form, it will always be possible to monitor the history of the actions carried out and the pages visited by the prospect concerned, in order to define the most effective subsequent actions of the marketing strategy.

Hold on: HubSpot or WordPress? Which is better?

Before HubSpot and all-in-one software, the digital environment was always controlled by technically unconnected marketing operations which were carefully assembled by marketing managers and their teams. Software for email marketing, contact database, small automations for organising events, management of one or two social pages.

Therefore, over the years, WordPress, a software for building and administering websites, has made its way to the forefront of the market: a sophisticated and user-friendly system with an almost infinite number of plug-ins.

But in a period of progressive digitisation, the overall number of CMSs has also increased significantly. Some platforms have proven to be very good, while others have failed to provide a sufficient level of security and ease of implementation for companies that need structure and commercial strength.

In 2013, HubSpot released its CMS, a system that stands out for the fact that it is perfectly integrated with all the automation tools of the platform (A/B testing, forms, landing pages, blogs and call to action, SEO, Workflow etc.), allowing you to build customised paths and experiences for each individual user. This aspect gives HubSpot CMS a very strong connotation and enables it to achieve unexpected results.

HubSpot CMS

(source: HubSpot)

The evolution introduced by HubSpot opens up a great deal of integration of tools but does not affect the role of WordPress as a tool for creating websites and blogs. It has always been a perfect tool for companies and professionals with limited budgets and needs and for those looking for a high level of customisation.

However, when a company needs to structure all or most of its digital marketing and communication processes, starting with the website, it is worth researching and becoming aware of the enormous growth potential of a complete and powerful platform such as HubSpot, which now also finds enormous value in the potential of its CMS, an alternative to WordPress.

HubSpot Sales: incredible functionality for sales people

Every Customer Relationship system (CRM) is designed and built to become the common workspace of marketers and sales people. A digital area for the storage and management of every relationship with customers, leads and prospects.

An excellent CRM, however, is able to make available not only master data but all relevant information in order to have a customer-centric approach and always know what commercial action to take.

That’s why the most important functions of a CRM are those that put a salesperson in the position to manage their day-to-day life easily and quickly, to be more and more productive: a tool which they can trust completely.

HubSpot Sales is a hub dedicated to sales, which aligns perfectly with the work of marketers and makes it possible to develop dialogue with each customer, from the first meeting, throughout the entire sales negotiation, right up to post-sales.

Let’s face it: without a CRM, and the data that populate it, automation wouldn’t be possible.

The availability of data that a CRM can provide gives you the possibility to read beyond the simple information of each contact: the most active and involved names among those acquired as a result of a marketing campaign or an event, those who respond best to the company website content, those most likely to respond to emails or phone calls.

However, HubSpot Sales does not stop there. It has dynamic features that allow salespeople to focus only on the contacts that prove to be ready to buy. Among these, there are the read receipts of sent emails, a function most appreciated by sales writers. With the HubSpot plug-in for Gmail and Outlook, this function can also be used with everyday tools.

Sales people send marketing and sales documents. HubSpot’s shared document archiving function is therefore useful. But that’s not all: email templates save a lot of time and can be customised; meeting links change the way people are invited to meetings. The customer checks an availability calendar and chooses the time that suits them best. With Sequences, it is possible to create email automations, which are sent according to predefined responses and conditions. Productive and comfortable. Then we have video e-mails: an amazing innovation which allows you to send video messages in exactly the same way as they have been written up to now.

Sales managers will appreciate Deal and Quote management even more. The ability to set up sales pipelines and see up-to-date forecasts.

HubSpot Sales, with its Free, Starter, Professional and Enterprise tiers, works as a lead intelligence tool to increase productivity and improve closure rates for sales teams; from the simplest needs, such as automating a few repetitive tasks, to the most complex, such as focusing on strategies that produce the best results.

Setting up the sales pipeline with HubSpot

The sales pipeline is a visual representation of the different business opportunities open at different stages of the sales process. It gives a summary view of open deals in order to understand what actions are needed to advance an opportunity to the final stage, the sale. Pipeline management is one of the most critical aspects for the success of any team. If it is set up in the right way, it can improve results and profits.

The Pipeline is neither the sales funnel nor the forecast, even though these three terms are often associated with an unambiguous meaning. The Sales Pipeline in fact refers to open negotiations (Deal), and includes every opportunity that a salesperson is handling. The sales forecast, on the other hand, is an estimate of the opportunities that might close in a given period of time.

HubSpot Pipeline di vendita

(source: HubSpot)

After all, sales are the lifeblood of any business and their size and development cannot be neglected. Having a Sales Management system in place is therefore crucial in terms of measuring and growing this area of the business and the product of their work.

The most modern CRM systems allow you to view the number of open deals, the status and quality of each opportunity, the distribution of deals for each salesperson and a visual representation of the pipeline, even on the move.

Above all, these computer systems help overcome the frustration that comes with complex worksheets and manual updates, which limit salespeople much more than one might expect.

The Sales Pipeline can also bring to light problems that might affect the final outcome of the sales team’s performance. For example, looking at the Pipeline might highlight slowdowns at a specific stage of one or more negotiations. This might mean that delays in responding to leads have occurred, that the communication process has broken down for reasons to be investigated, or that a model of exchange with the potential customer needs to be refined.

OK, I want HubSpot. But how much does it cost?

How much does HubSpot cost? This is a fair question to ask after analysing the compatibility of the software functions with one’s own needs. With five hubs and four distinct price levels, the cost of HubSpot can change significantly depending on the tools you want to access, which are activated according to a progressive model.

Inoltre, HubSpot, come già citato in precedenza, ha anche un piano di ingresso completamente gratuito.

In addition, HubSpot, as mentioned above, also has a completely free entry plan.

Often, after having experienced the usefulness of the CRM available in the free version, you feel the urge to upgrade the functions in use and to try out new ones. This is why paid upgrades are available in three service levels (Starter, Professional and Enterprise), with a starting cost of around €21/month and the possibility of saving 20% if you buy a plan with annual billing, for each type of Hub: Marketing, Sales, Service, CMS and Operations. The cost increases as you move from one level to the next.


Let’s be clear: the Marketing, Sales, Service, CMS and Operations hubs are not separate platforms in terms of functionality. They coordinate with each other to provide information according to a customer-centric model, but can be purchased separately or as a single solution (CRM Suite).

Reviewing everything covered in this and other blog articles on HubSpot, Marketing Hub brings together all the most effective marketing tools for Awareness and Lead Generation, to be orchestrated to reach, profile and engage future customers.

The Sales Hub fits into the progression of sales actions and complements the Marketing Hub to not only prompt sales managers when leads interact with the company website and product content, but also to coordinate Account Based Marketing activities (a recently available function).

The Service Hub, provides all the support and customer service tools needed to respond to all kinds of problems and improve the efficiency and quality of customer relations.

The Operations Hub guarantees total optimisation of business processes: integration, cleaning and synchronisation of the database in an increasingly easy way, synchronisation of data between HubSpot and all major online platforms, automation of business processes with the possibility of making recursive procedures programmable.

Finally, the CMS Hub provides all the tools you need to create and optimise your website. The advantage? A 360° integration with Marketing, Sales, Service and Operations hubs.


What are companies’ behavioural scenarios and how do they approach the world of Marketing Automation? Very often companies choose to access the HubSpot ecosystem by purchasing the Marketing Hub Starter version, which is a great solution right out of the box for those teams that don’t use any digital tools or just a few disconnected tools. The potential of HubSpot, however, comes when you access automation (from the Professional version) and start aligning marketing and sales, also choosing the paid version of the other Hubs.

Also for Sales, Service, Operations and CMS Hub, it is common to start with a lower cost version (Starter) and then grow proportionally towards the Professional and Enterprise versions.

According to the HubSpot licensing model, the Marketing Hub version puts no limits on the number of users who can access the platform. This is not the case for Sales and Service: in these cases, the licences to be paid for are calculated based on the number of registered users (pay-per-seat model).

peaking of pricing, HubSpot has provided a pricing page where you can dynamically calculate the cost of the platform based on the Hub, the number of contacts (and therefore emails to be sent), the users, the tier selected and the add-ons to be added.

In addition, licensing versions are available that bundle several suites together. Again, CRM Suite (the name given to the version) is available in Starter, Professional and Enterprise tiers.  If you choose the CRM Suite, you also get a 25% discount on the total cost of the five Hubs.