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That said, its project management features are limited, so I’d only consider HubSpot if you intend to bundle several of its services together. And while its free plan is generous, adding advanced features can get pricey.
A Full-Featured CRM With Basic Project Management Tools
Can a CRM software like HubSpot do double duty for project management? I tested HubSpot over several weeks to find out.
The company’s ever-expanding suite of software tries to address the needs of various teams, including sales, marketing, customer service, content management, and more. It brings together everything you need to collaborate with colleagues and clients, and to deliver high-quality projects on time.
In addition, one of HubSpot’s most attractive features is its user-friendly interface, which makes it super easy to set up your account, upload data, and create tasks, forms, reports, and dashboards.
Well-designed mobile apps are a big plus too. They help increase productivity by keeping your team on top of tasks, to-dos, meetings, and reminders on the go.
But at the same time, the sheer range of plans and options can be intimidating. That’s why it’s best to start with the free plan, which gives you a taste of what HubSpot can do for your company. You can always upgrade to add more advanced features.
After a deep dive into its plans and features, I’ve laid out the pros and cons in this review to help you decide on the right plan.
Plenty of Features but Some Project Management Tools Are Missing
You can use HubSpot’s CRM and management software to oversee sales team pipelines, manage marketing campaigns, and create and track content management performance. Every plan comes with the features you need to manage contacts, upload and share documents, assign tasks, and more. Automatic data upload and sync keep everything under one roof and accessible to all.
It’s a beginner friendly platform that ensures your team can quickly grasp and use all the built-in tools. You can access demos, knowledgebase articles, free webinars, and even the HubSpot Learning Academy from your home dashboard.
When you upgrade to a higher tier plan, the Projects tool lets you create projects, tasks, and subtasks, assign them to team members, and set start and due dates, just like any project management software. Let’s take a closer look.
Quick Note. HubSpot is a complete CRM tool with some project management features. If you’re looking for a more focused tool, you might want to check out our list of the best project management software in 2023.
If you work in content management, you can use templates to create website pages, pop-ups, and banners. There are six content form templates on the free plan and many more when you upgrade.
As with all HubSpot features, the quality and range of templates increase along with your plan tier. This isn’t necessarily bad if you have the budget for it, but can be a significant drawback for smaller teams.
HubSpot lets you create and assign tasks, add notes, and set start and due dates to keep your team organized. A task can be attached to a specific marketing or sales campaign.
If you enable notifications in your account, you’ll get an email when a task is created and assigned to you.
Assigned tasks show up in daily, upcoming, or overdue to-do lists. You can also view a list of all assigned tasks for a team in the marketing queue.
The Projects Tool Adds More Advanced Features
To use HubSpot’s projects tool, you have to upgrade to a professional or enterprise plan. The tool lets you plan your team’s campaigns and tasks and organize them all in one convenient location so everyone can view and keep on top of their assignments.
To create a project using a prebuilt template, bring up Projects in your account, click on the Use Templates tab and enter a project name and description. You can also add notes, create tasks/subtasks, and assign the project to yourself or a team member.
You can view all your team’s projects in the Calendar view at any time. You can also click on the All Projects tab to bring up one comprehensive list. Unfortunately, you can’t view workflows in Kanban boards or Gantt Charts.
Sales and Marketing Pipelines
HubSpot’s pipelines give you a visual picture of your team’s performance. Pipelines make it easy to get a quick overview of where leads and customers are in the sales funnel. They also allow you to evaluate marketing campaigns and retarget to ensure success.
Add Functionality With the App Marketplace
HubSpot’s App Marketplace is stocked with hundreds of apps, sorted into dozens of categories, making them easy to filter and search.
You can filter apps by price, business focus, and desired feature, like communication, customer service, financial or productivity tools. Popular apps include Slack, Facebook Ads, Google Calendar, and MailChimp. More than 300 are free.
There are special categories for compatible HubSpot apps and certified apps. While every app in the marketplace has been tested, certified applications have undergone deeper review by HubSpot’s developers.
In love with HubSpot’s CRM but looking for more project management functionality? You can integrate a low-cost, certified solution, like the PSOhub app. Or choose an app for a popular platform like monday.com or Teamwork, though integrating these solutions isn’t cheap.
Ease of use
A Beginner Friendly Platform With Built-In Help Options
HubSpot has set out to make its software easy to use, even if you don’t have any technical expertise or prior experience with CRM or project management services. The user-friendly interfaceand featuresare easy to understand.
You will also appreciate the drag-and-drop editor, which makes it easy to work with forms, emails, website pages, and other templates.
Getting Started with HubSpot
When you sign up for a free HubSpot plan, you’ll receive a welcome email with links to a video and a series of step-by-step visual demos that introduce you to all the built-in tools and walk you through the process of setting up your account.
The top navigation bar has links to all your tools, so you just have to click to bring up pull-down menus. On the right side is the settings icon, the “bell” icon for notifications, and your profile, which links to your account.
Advanced settings let you configure notifications and choose a default homepage that opens when you launch HubSpot. There are 12 different options. For example, you can set your home dashboard to open with tasks, dashboards, your activity feed, or inbox.
You start with the free plan when you sign up for a HubSpot trial. The built-in demos introduce you to the software’s capabilities and make setting up an account quick.
To set up your first project, click on the links in the top navigation bar to launch the how-to-setup demos for each of the Hubs.
If you’re ever stuck on a setting or tool, there’s also a built-in help option. You can always click on the split blue Chat/Help button in the lower right corner to start a chat, contact the community, or search the knowledgebase.
Automatic Data Upload and Sync
An essential first step for marketing, sales, and customer service teams is uploading all your data stored on other platforms. HubSpot uses app integrations to put an end to tedious manual uploading and simplifies the process of getting all your team’s data in one convenient location.
For example, you can integrate an app like Google Contacts, MailChimp, Square, or Zendesk (there are 24 in total) and let HubSpot’s data sync get to work.
HubSpot uploads all historical data and then continuously syncs so your databases are always up to date. If you’ve used a CRM before, this tool may sell you on HubSpot – it makes things so much easier.
Multiple Ways for Teams To Coordinate and Connect
Every Hub and plan tier includes essential collaboration software for internal and external communication.
You can also communicate with your team through @mentions, comments, internal conversations, and emails. Marketing teams can collaborate on campaigns using an integrated marketing calendar and in-app commenting.
HubSpot lets you create shared inboxes for emails/chats with clients and customers. When you create an inbox, you can share it with an entire team to keep everyone in the loop or limit access to one or more specific users.
Chatflows offer a customized chat experience for your website/Facebook page visitors. All it takes is a few steps: customize your message, set chat hours and a response time, and preview it on desktop, tablet, or mobile before you finalize.
You can create a simple welcome message to greet visitors and direct them to your live team or build bots to help qualify leads or support customers.
Team Dashboard & Communication
HubSpot dashboards help you gain insights into the success of individual campaigns and learn where to focus your efforts to improve productivity.
Dashboards also help sales teams get an overview of sales prospects, the status of deals, in-process and completed deals by rep, and forecasted and actual revenue.
For better analysis, you can filter data for one or more dashboard reports to a specific date range, team, or pipeline. Depending on your plan, a dashboard can include as many as 50 individual reports.
A team email box is one of the dozens of timesaving HubSpot tools. You can set up a shared team inbox to review, reply, and manage ongoing email and chat conversations with customers and clients.
Simply navigate to the settings panel to create a team inbox, name it, and choose who has access. You can connect a shared inbox to your business email, Facebook Messenger account, or chat channel.
Once your team inbox is set up, advanced settings allow you to manage resources by having incoming emails and chats automatically assigned to one or more specific team members.
With the free plan, you get one free shared inbox. Upgrade to create multiple shared inboxes for different teams and departments.
You can upload files to share with your team, clients, and customers. HubSpot lets you upload PDF, Powerpoint, and Word documents as well as video and audio files from your computer or integrated Google, Dropbox, or Box account.
Your plan determines the number of files you can upload. It’s just five with the free plan and 5,000 on professional tier plans.
HubSpot doesn’t limit file storage for uploaded files but recommends that you restrict each file to no more than 1GB. If a file is bigger than 1GB, it can create issues when you upload it.
Teammates can quickly view upcoming daily tasks in the task queue, assign tasks on the go, and view real-time sales leaderboards.
HubSpot’s mobile apps also give every member of your team one-tap access to documents and let you add notes and follow-ups to contacts and activities.
Mobile access helps your team increase productivity by keeping on top of tasks, to-dos, and reminders.
Chat, Email, and Phone Support, Plus Free Webinars and Classes
HubSpot offers customer support via chat, email, phone, or Twitter. Phone support is available in English, but chat, callback, and email are also available in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
If you’re on the free plan, you can get help from the HubSpot community, search the knowledgebase, watch webinars and demos, and sign up for free courses. You can also chat with a bot or a sales rep and speak with sales by phone, but not customer/technical support.
As soon as you upgrade to a Starter plan, your support options expand to include live chat and email with HubSpot’s support reps. Upgrade to a Professional or Enterprise plan, and HubSpot adds phone support and one-on-one technical support with an expert.
Whichever support option you choose, the response is fast and helpful. In my experience, it takes 20 minutes or less to get an answer.
The sales reps go out of their way to help, typically including email links to respond to your questions.
That said, I did sometimes get vague answers or links that took me to a dead-end. This, and the lack of support on the free plan takes HubSpot down a notch.
From Free to Pricey and Not Much In Between
It’s easy to be confused by HubSpot’s plans, tiers, features, and pricing because there are so many options to choose from. Here’s what I Iearned: you have to pay more (much more) for advanced features.
HubSpot has a free plan, which includes most of the basic tools, or Hubs, but is really most suitable for individuals or very small teams (there’s a max of two paid seats).
The five individual Hubs are designed for different niches: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, CMS, and Operations. Each Hub has three plan tiers: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise.
Each tier adds additional tools, and usage ceilings rise. HubSpot’spricing is based on things like the number of paid users on your plan, how many contacts and files you can upload, shared inboxes you can create, and emails you can send.
For example, you can upload 5 documents and create 3 dashboards on the free plan, up to 10 dashboards on a Starter marketing plan, and 30 on a Professional plan.
As you move up the plan tiers, you also add extra features, like the Projects tool, project templates, calendar view, additional reports, and analytics data.
You can subscribe to a single Hub or mix and match one or more Hubs to get the tools you need. Your cost can range from $45.00 per month for a starter Marketing Hub plan to more than 100 times that amount.
HubSpot’s CRM Suite bundles all the Hubs into an expensive package, but is absolutely worth it if you intend to use all the available tools.
One of the most appealing things about HubSpot is thefree plan’s overall functionality. But it will only get you so far.Ultimately, HubSpot is more of a CRM than a project management software. If you’re looking for a top-notch CRM for your sales, marketing, or service team that has some basic project management tools, it pays to check out HubSpot.But there are far better solutions for team collaboration and project management. For instance, you might want to look at a full-featured project management option like monday.com,which also has a free plan and CRM tools.
HubSpot has a free plan, but it’s only suitable for individuals and small teams. To benefit from its CRM and productivity tools you really have to pay for a professional plan. That’s when advanced features kick in.
How secure is HubSpot?
HubSpot complies with industry standards for encryption, monitoring, and other cloud security protocols. Even if you work with sensitive data in the healthcare, financial, and legal sectors, you can be confident your data is secure.When you set up an account, you can also enable two-factor authentication for individual users for added security.
Dawn is a freelance writer and editor specializing in developing strategic content for businesses. A lover of philosophy and the arts, she brainstorms with cultural educators to ensure all students have access to enriching learning opportunities.