How to Budget for HubSpot: A Realistic Approach

Posted by Josh Paul on Aug 26, 2019 7:23:00 AM
Josh Paul

Several times a week, I speak to business leaders who ask me if HubSpot is the right fit for their company. 

Since I’m known for helping companies grow using HubSpot, you might think that I recommend HubSpot to every CEO I encounter.

What might surprise you is that every month, the score is pretty much even.

For about half of the companies that come to me, HubSpot is the best platform to help them increase leads and sales. I point the other fifty percent in a different direction. 

In the following post, I’ll outline how to budget for HubSpot so that your organization thrives with its use and avoids being hamstrung from the beginning.

Video: How Should You Plan For The Cost Of Using HubSpot To Grow Leads And Sales

Let’s Be Honest. The Price Of HubSpot Is Relatively Expensive.

The initial hurdle that most of these companies struggle with is HubSpot’s cost. 

HubSpot Pricing

Budgeting for HubSpot costs

Many people want to use HubSpot to grow their business, but they find the cost to be a significant eye opener. 

These companies KNOW that HubSpot is one of the top sales and marketing platforms on the planet, but they need to be sure that they will get a measurable return from their investment.

Comparing HubSpot To Other Marketing And Sales Software

First, let’s evaluate how you look at HubSpot. 

If you view it as a point solution like Wistia or MailChimp, you are going to experience major sticker shock. 

If you are using it as a place to store contacts, a landing page creation tool, social media software, blogging platform, or mass email platform, then you will likely perceive HubSpot as incredibly expensive.

Instead, look at HubSpot as the foundation that you will build your company’s growth plan on. It is the system that will allow you to automate everything, from lead generation and conversions, to your sales process and customer satisfaction machine. 

You can use HubSpot for the entire customer lifecycle, including turning customers into advocates in your market. This means that you can run all of your marketing, sales, and customer-related automation from one place.

If you are looking for a simpler one-off tool (i.e. an email marketing tool), but you aren’t yet ready to implement a comprehensive growth plan, HubSpot may not be the right fit for you. You’ll just be frustrated with your results. 

Success with HubSpot requires a serious and tangible commitment to your company’s growth.

Keep in mind that it is not simply a marketing platform or a service platform; it is an end-to-end growth system, which will require planning and investment. 

Understanding the role HubSpot plays in reaching your growth goals will help you shift your company’s current mindset if your colleagues are stuck thinking that you should get separate services at the cheapest price possible. 

Using a platform that pulls your marketing, sales, and post-sale customer data from a single system will make your company highly efficient. It lets you create campaigns, segmentation, and reports that you can’t get when you have data in multiple different systems (even if they are integrated). 

How To Budget For HubSpot So You Get The Most From Your Investment

Once you have determined that Hubspot is the right growth platform for your company, let’s outline the three areas to allocate resources in your Hubspot budget. 

how to budget for hubspot (infographic)

Budgeting For HubSpot Software

Budgeting for HubSpot software is not as easy as budgeting for smaller software platforms. 

There are three core software modules inside HubSpot:

HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot Marketing Hub includes lead generations, driving traffic, converting traffic into leads, and nurturing those leads.

HubSpot Sales Hub

This is your CRM and your sales tools, including the system you will build around the HubSpot functionality that will help your salespeople turn leads into paying customers.

HubSpot Service Hub

This includes your knowledge base, customer satisfaction surveys, and ticketing system.

You also need to budget for HubSpot add-ons, like the dashboard and reporting tools or the ads add-on. 

HubSpot software pricing

The Secret To HubSpot Customers' Success 

While the three core modules can be purchased and operated separately, when used together, all of these software modules pull from the same database. This interconnection means:

  • Your marketing team can run campaigns to existing customers based on customer service data. 
  • Your sales team has more meaningful conversation with leads because they see all of the marketing interactions.
  • Your customer success team has the complete picture when onboarding a new client.

Your company might not need all three HubSpot software platforms at this time. However, when planning your budget, it is important to take into consideration what your company needs now, and what your company will need as it grows.

Budgeting For HubSpot Services (People)

You need people to develop and run your system, as well as solve problems and make adjustments to reach your goals. 

When you are planning your people budget, plan for two types of needs:

  • Expertise to plan and implement your marketing and sales system.
  • Capacity to run your system day-to-day.

Expertise is needed for developing your system and adjusting it as your company evolves. HubSpot is very deceptively easy to use out-of-the-box. However, it does not automatically fit your business. 

A HubSpot expert can build your growth system using HubSpot’s data structure, toolset, and automation features, while customizing it to fit your business’s specific needs. Otherwise, your data becomes jumbled very quickly and both marketers and salespeople become frustrated. 

When this happens, you are not getting the full value of the system you are paying for. It is costly both in time and money to untangle your system and reset it correctly for your business.

Many companies fall into this trap of not utilizing the system properly in the beginning, then giving up on it because they think it is not worth the cost. 

You could hire experienced internal staff to set up HubSpot for your business, or you can hire experts from the HubSpot community.

The capacity side is similar. If you need someone to help you develop useful content for your market, run paid ads, or optimize your website to generate more traffic, you can do it in-house, or you can hire someone outside to do it.

Budgeting Third-Party Tools That Integrate With HubSpot

HubSpot used to be an all-in-one platform, but things have since changed. There are currently over 10,000 marketing and sales tools on the market. Realizing that no platform can do it call, HubSpot now acts as a nerve center for your growth strategy, but makes it easy to incorporate other third-party tools. 

You will also need to budget for these. These tools could include SurveyMonkey, Zoom, Zapier, PandaDocs, Lucky Orange, DataBox, Seventh Sense, and more.

budgeting for hubspot

It is important to incorporate key tools to help your business, or you will be limiting the results you get from your HubSpot investment. 

HubSpot integrates with hundreds of other software platforms. The average HubSpot customer is integrated with 6-10 third-party software products. You need to plan for an initial set of essential tools (like webinar software), and then you can add more as your business grows.

HubSpot Costs And Budget Takeaway

Before you spend time mapping out your plan for using HubSpot to grow and evaluating how much it is going to cost, take a good look in the mirror.

HubSpot is no silver bullet. It still takes a lot of work, focus, and ongoing optimization. 

If your business is not ready for this level of effort and commitment, that is completely fine. However, don’t buy HubSpot if you are expecting the purchase of the software alone to move the needle for you. 

If you are ready to deploy an end-to-end growth system at your company, plan your HubSpot budget using three buckets:

  1. HubSpot Software
  2. People
  3. Third-Party Tools

This approach helps set honest expectations inside your company for what it takes to increase leads and sales using HubSpot.

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Topics: HubSpot, Inbound Marketing, Marketing And Sales Budgets