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What to expect from the HubSpot CRM platform

HubSpot CRM is a free platform aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses that offers both basic and enhanced CRM tools to customer relations teams.

HubSpot CRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform aimed at helping small- and medium-sized businesses manage their customer and sales data. The platform provides basic CRM tools as well as enhanced features for customer lifecycle information, data enrichment, social CRM functions and integration with several additional HubSpot services.

HubSpot CRM is a software as a service product designed to work on today's popular Web browsers. There are no licenses for HubSpot CRM because it is offered as a free service available to an unlimited number of users per organization. HubSpot CRM's free availability and capacity for an unlimited number of users are two of its most unique features and both help separate HubSpot CRM from other licensed platforms that offer similar core CRM tools and capabilities.

Another feature of the platform is its integration with HubSpot's Sidekick browser extension. The Sidekick extension links users' Web browsers and email inboxes directly to HubSpot CRM, eliminating the need to enter or search for data and messages between different software programs. It also allows users to access basic customer details stored on HubSpot CRM directly from services such as Gmail, Google Apps and Microsoft Outlook for Windows.

HubSpot CRM also integrates with HubSpot's paid Sidekick for Business cloud service. This software provides users with CRM tools for uploading and tracking sales content, live presentations, email analytics and offers the ability to place calls from directly within HubSpot CRM. Sidekick for Business costs $50 per user, per month.

The platform also allows users to create and store up to five customizable email templates that can be used directly in HubSpot CRM or accessed from a third-party inbox using the Sidekick extension. This gives users the freedom to use whatever platform they're most comfortable with.

To help keep customer relations personnel up to speed with customer data, HubSpot CRM features Contact Timeline, which provides a rolling record of every interaction between the customer and the user's organization. Users can send contacts emails and calendar invites directly from the tool, as well as update recent customer activity.

One of the platform's most distinctive features involves its data enrichment capability.

One of the platform's most distinctive features involves its data enrichment capability. Each time a new contact or company is added to a user's HubSpot CRM database, HubSpot automatically fills in basic company details using its rolling database of more than 16 million companies. As a user's database becomes more established, HubSpot CRM can automatically provide users with recent, relevant news stories on the companies found in their databases. This gives customer relation personnel additional data, as well as a potentially easy way to begin a new conversation with a contact after periods of no communication.

In addition to pulling in company information, HubSpot CRM also automatically imports social media data on contacts added to users' contact databases. This includes images and social media profiles. HubSpot offers enhanced social CRM capabilities in its Marketing Platform product.

HubSpot CRM also offers an open API to allow users to integrate the platform with other services they use as well as hundreds of other services through the use of Zapier, which HubSpot CRM users have free access to.

The platform is available directly from HubSpot's website. HubSpot offers email-based technical support for users. Users of the company's paid Marketing Platform have access to 24/7 phone support as well.

Next Steps

Learn how to improve customer engagement with the proper CRM tools

CRM platforms should be for customer relationships, not transactions

Understanding and mastering multichannel CRM

This was last published in September 2015

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