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10 min read

Pipedrive vs. HubSpot: Which CRM is right for you? [2023]

By Miguel Rebelo · December 6, 2022
Hero image with the Pipedrive and HubSpot logos

Business is built on solid relationships. And while soft skills lift a respectable part of the weight, how and when you interact with your customers can be the difference between closed won or closed lost. A good CRM will help you keep track of every touchpoint, every client need, and every deal moving through the pipeline.

HubSpot and Pipedrive are two of the most popular CRM platforms. I've used HubSpot a bit in the past, and I've tested Pipedrive multiple times for freelance projects. I dove back into each app, and here I'll compare Pipedrive and HubSpot to help you understand their feature sets—and which will fit your organization like a glove. 

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Pipedrive vs. HubSpot at a glance

The gist of the matter is that HubSpot is a huge all-in-one app with a CRM at its core, while Pipedrive focuses on the tools that sales teams need to succeed.



CRM and sales features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Specializes in empowering sales teams with features that fit daily challenges

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Powerful sales features, but not as specialized by comparison


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Integrates with a little over 300 apps and Zapier

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Integrates with hundreds of apps and Zapier; offers bi-directional sync


⭐⭐⭐⭐ No free plan, but includes powerful features with a competitive price tag

⭐⭐⭐ Generous free forever plan available, but pricing is confusing and steep as you scale


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Easy-to-understand analytics all in one place

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Deep analytics in dashboards scattered through the app's sections


⭐⭐⭐ LeadBooster, Projects, Web Visitors, Campaigns, and Smart Docs as paid add-ons

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Full range of marketing, customer service, content management, and operations features 

HubSpot offers tools for marketing, customer service, content management, operations, and sales

When you take a look at everything HubSpot can do, it's easy to be impressed. With solid CRM features as a base, it adds more possibilities to leverage your contacts database in terms of marketing, customer service, content management, and operations. The platform is so deep that I have to break it into subtopics to even give you a general idea of what it can do.

CRM and sales. In addition to everything standard in contact management and deal tracking, HubSpot includes its own meeting scheduler à la Calendly and a section to create your sales playbooks.

Marketing. There's email marketing—both regular and automated campaigns—with easy visual builders to let you customize templates. Connect your social media and analytics accounts to post directly from HubSpot and see how your ads are performing. You even can run and track entire marketing campaigns from the platform, letting you attribute sales and data to each of them, improving your visibility over your efforts.

A marketing campaign in HubSpot
HubSpot helps you manage marketing campaigns by keeping all assets, tasks, and analytics in the same place.

Website builder and content management. When you click to create a new website, you get a simple list of all the tasks you have to do to get it running. Once you complete that list, you'll have a beautiful website with a blog on a custom domain. Then, you can add new posts directly from HubSpot, optimize SEO, and create landing pages for special offers.

Writing a blog post directly inside HubSpot
Write and post to your blog directly inside HubSpot.

Customer service. Customers having trouble? Create a customer portal where they can engage with your support team. Is there a hot issue affecting lots of people? Set up a knowledge base article to answer all the pressing questions without overwhelming your reps. At the end of the interaction, send out a feedback survey to see how you can improve.

Building a knowledge base in HubSpot
HubSpot helps you build a knowledge base to answer recurrent customer support questions.

The HubSpot product teams seem to be constantly asking themselves "what can we build into the platform to empower our users?" The answers to that question keep expanding the feature set, making it seem more and more like an all-in-one tool. If you and your team are suffering from tool fatigue—that feeling of having to use 14 tabs on 10 different apps to get things done—then HubSpot is in your corner.

Pipedrive does more than CRM/sales, but not quite to the level of HubSpot. Here are some of the add-ons available on Pipedrive:

  • LeadBooster adds live chat and chatbots to your website, while also introducing prospecting and other lead generation features.

  • Web Visitors identifies who's browsing your website and which company they belong to. Once you have that data, your sales team can spark a conversation from a warmer starting point.

  • Campaigns introduces email marketing features to Pipedrive.

  • Smart Docs helps you with quotes, automated document generation, and eSignatures.

  • Projects adds project management features to the platform (it's not advertised on the pricing page yet, but it's available in the app).

It's a strong, respectable list. Still, HubSpot has deeper functionality in each of the feature sets in covers.

Pipedrive specializes in empowering sales teams

Any software company can build a CRM—that doesn't mean that any CRM will solve your specific challenges. Pipedrive positions itself as being an app created by salespeople, for salespeople, prioritizing little details that go a long way in simplifying your 9 to 5.

The sales pipeline is very intuitive. The layout is clean, without messy buttons and controls, helping salespeople focus on their work. That doesn't mean you can't tweak settings—you can add other pipelines, customize stages, set probabilities and rotting rules—but those are out of the way.

Pipedrive's sales pipeline
Pipedrive's sales pipeline provides great visibility on the tasks and the status of each deal.

Instead of packing a lot of information into each deal card, you have the name, assignee, value, and a dynamic icon that lets you know the current state of the deal: Are there activities scheduled? If yes, are they in the future? Overdue? With just a glance at the screen, you can tell where things stand without having to click to see more.

Adding new contacts is quick with a simple form. If you're adding a duplicate, Pipedrive notifies you to help keep your database clean. And when you open the contact page, the color contrast helps you see positive and negative information with much more clarity. You can also keep track of the contact timeline, showing a visual graph of calls, deals, and emails you've exchanged with each person. It all gives you a good sense of whether it's time to give space or invest more in the relationship.

The devil is in the details, and that's where Pipedrive really shines. All these little things may seem insignificant alone, but added together, they help things run smoother, with less distraction and fewer mistakes.

Now, don't get me wrong, HubSpot is also solid as far as supporting sales teams goes. It's a top-tier CRM platform. But, by comparison, the sales pipeline isn't as intuitive, and the muted color scheme of the user interface, despite being easy on the eyes, lacks some sharpness when popping out the most critical information at a glance. The contact page is detailed and complete, but it feels a little cluttered by comparison, too.

HubSpot's sales pipeline
HubSpot's sales pipeline gives an overview of deal assignee, activity, and priority at a glance.

If you value an app that gets what you're doing with great attention to detail, then Pipedrive is the choice.

HubSpot has wider integration and automation options

For a platform with so many features, it makes sense that HubSpot would want to help users automate tasks to save time and reduce errors. HubSpot integrates natively with over 800 apps, and even has its own Operations Hub: a place where you can connect apps bi-directionally, so any data generated both on HubSpot and out is updated everywhere, keeping it true wherever it is.

Operations Hub is also the first step to leveraging business intelligence (BI) features. By plugging your databases and analytics into BI platforms, you'll gain deep insights into how to improve internal processes, engage with customers, and develop new products or services. HubSpot already offers some BI features, but will happily integrate with any enterprise-grade platform you have in mind.

In the unlikely case you don't find your apps on HubSpot's integration list, you can use Zapier to bring it to the fold. For example, you can add new Facebook Lead Ads leads as a HubSpot form submission, or even bring your Google Contacts into HubSpot.

Copy new lead responses from Facebook Lead Ads to a HubSpot form

Copy new lead responses from Facebook Lead Ads to a HubSpot form
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • HubSpot logo
Facebook Lead Ads + HubSpot

There are two main ways to set up an automation in HubSpot. The first one is with sequences. You can set up a sequence of touchpoints across channels, so you can deliver the exact customer experience you want at scale. For example, you can set up a combination of automated emails, calls, and sales team notifications to onboard new customers.

The other way to automate is with workflows. This method comes with a learning curve, but you'll be amazed by what you can do when you reach the top. There are straightforward things you can set up, such as when a prospect fills out a form on your website, they get a series of emails and a call is scheduled with your sales team. Other advanced automations include qualifying your contacts based on annual revenue and adding that information as a tag on the company contact card. That can help your sales team understand the scope and scale of the deals they'll offer in the future.

HubSpot's automations

You can set up everything in a visual builder, adding triggers, actions, and conditionals as you need. It's also possible to add actions based on connected apps, which further plays into HubSpot's integration advantage.

Pipedrive has a respectable library of integrations—a little over 300—but it can't compete with HubSpot. But that doesn't mean you're cut off from the rest of the ecosystem: you can connect Pipedrive to Zapier and, for example, send messages in Slack for new deals or send emails when new deals are added to a stage in Pipedrive.

As for automation, Pipedrive packs quite a punch. Workflows are hidden in the three-dot icon on the left-side menu. You can start from one of 41 templates divided by categories—moving deals by stage, sending emails, or adding products to deals, to name a few—and set them up in a few clicks.

Pipedrive's automations
Pipedrive lets you set up your own automations with its intuitive visual builder, but it's not as powerful as HubSpot.

When creating from scratch, the interface is similar HubSpot's, letting you add triggers, actions, and delays. In addition to actions happening inside Pipedrive, you can trigger actions in Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, and Asana right from the interface, but I couldn't find a way to do the same for other integrations. While the builder is solid, it still lacks some functionality and polish when compared with HubSpot.

Pipedrive's dashboards, reports, and analytics are more accessible

Both apps are very powerful in terms of analytics, but Pipedrive has an edge: there, everything is easier to access, slightly easier to digest, and more affordable.

Behold Pipedrive's simple dashboard page. 

Pipedrive dashboard

Each statistic is contained within its own card. Click on a card to look deeper into that data, edit the filters, or move the card up or down on the dashboard. If you want another angle, create a new dashboard, and set up new cards just as you want them. The new dashboard will be saved, so you can switch views with a single click.

You can set goals and track them on this page, too: set sales targets by time period or individually for each person working in your team. There's a list of pre-made reports to help you look at the data easily and quickly. You can build your own reports as well, and they'll be saved, ready to generate when you need them.

HubSpot has a different approach. There are local dashboards for each of its hubs—Marketing, Sales, Service, and so on—and a centralized section for everything, letting you create new dashboards from templates. HubSpot has its own Analytics section, letting you take a deep look into service or content analytics, for example. It's impressive, for sure, but it's challenging to create a smooth user experience for such a wide feature set. 

HubSpot analytics
HubSpot brings deep analytics, letting you look deep into your data on the platform.

In the end, I prefer Pipedrive to HubSpot for analytics, as it requires slightly less setup to get started, and the overall experience is more intuitive.

Another aspect of accessibility is pricing, which I'll discuss in-depth in a bit but will also leave the note here: to unlock all the reporting in HubSpot, you need to invest a lot more than in Pipedrive to get the same depth of data. If budget isn't an issue, then it's not a problem.

HubSpot has a free plan, but Pipedrive is much more affordable on paid tiers

Free forever: that's HubSpot's promise. Unlimited contacts—up to a technical limitation of 15 million—to let your sales team approach and create deals for everyone. And the free plan isn't limited to the CRM either—you can access a lite plan of all the features I've outlined above.

This free plan is great for cash-strapped organizations, unicorns in the making, and brave solopreneurs alike. It keeps your business organized for no cost, and when you start closing some deals, you can subscribe to each feature set to expand the possibilities.

Pipedrive doesn't have a free plan, but the pricing is much more competitive, especially if you're just looking for something specialized in sales.

When you subscribe to Pipedrive's lowest paid plan—Essential, for $14.90 per user per month—you get all the CRM features (except for automation), some integrations, and advanced analytics, without contact limits. The highest plan—Enterprise, at $99 per user per month—unlocks everything the platform has to offer. If you want any of the add-ons for lead gen or website tracking, those are billed separately, so you can turn them on or off as you need. The pricing page is straightforward, and it's easy to choose which plan is the best for you.

As for HubSpot, you'll need to invest some time in understanding how pricing works. And then you still won't understand. Here's the gist:

  • HubSpot has five Hubs: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, CMS, and Operations

  • Each of these Hubs has its own price tag, along with tiers and limitations

  • Or you can build your own bundle, choosing which Hubs you want to pay for and which to leave out

As an example: if you decide to go with the CRM Starter bundle, it starts at $50 per month. It comes with unlimited users, so if you have a lot of people on your sales team, the crowd won't hurt your wallet. But if you need to expand your marketing contacts pool or access advanced analytics, the intermediate Professional tier starts at a whopping $1,780 per month.

The fact that you can build your own bundle is a plus, as you can tailor the pricing to your exact needs. Just keep in mind that there's a one-time setup fee for the Professional and Enterprise plans, ranging between $750 and $3,000.

These prices are prohibitive for most small and some medium-sized businesses, and I suspect it'd leave those of you in larger operations scratching your heads as well. Pipedrive is more affordable, offering a strong set of features at a lower price point.

HubSpot vs. Pipedrive: Which should you choose?

You should go with Pipedrive if:

  • You need a tool specialized for sales

  • You value easy-to-understand analytics

  • You want a paid solution that's gentler on your wallet

You should go with HubSpot if:

  • You want to leverage automation and integrations heavily

  • You're just starting out and need a generous free plan

  • You value having a range of features in marketing, customer service, and content management in addition to those of a CRM

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'