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HubSpot CRM Review

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When you talk of the most popular CRMs for business, HubSpot CRM is among the top software out there. Sure, some people may tell you the joy they have using an excel sheet to store customer information, but once they get acquainted with HubSpot, it opens up a whole new world.

Its free CRM functionalities can help both small and big businesses remain in touch with their customers and store important information necessary to provide customized services to them. It does that and a whole lot more that we shall see below. But first things first.

What is HubSpot CRM?

This is a free platform (with already over 100,000 customers) within the HubSpot ecosystem that offers users the tools to bond with their customers while improving revenue channels. The different features of this platform enable users to communicate with clients, store and retrieve personal details of customers as well as carry out different sales and marketing tasks in a seamless process.

Imagine being able to retrieve every communication between a sales rep and a client from the first time they made contact with your business. Not just that, it will even list the items they purchased and what quantity. You can go further and research their social media interactions. And the icing on the cake for many marketers is the ability to automate marketing tasks.

You can now connect Windward Hub to the HubSpot CRM to start generating documents automatically. Learn more about this integration here.

HubSpot CRM Features

The developers of HubSpot must have taken time to understand what different segments of users would wish to accomplish in their interactions with customers. This is why HubSpot CRM features are designed with various roles in mind. These include Customer Service, Sales, Marketing as well as Management.

HubSpot CRM Customer Care Features

  • Ticketing for more organized customer assistance.
  • Live chat to enable instant interaction and assistance.
  • Organized team emails that store all team interactions in one place.
  • Email templates for standardized customer communication and efficiency.
  • Ticket reports to help evaluate and improve performance.

Sales CRM Features for HubSpot

  • Stores 1 million company contacts and records.
  • Lead management with email notification, pipeline management, and company insights.
  • Communication tracker that provides notification when a lead opens an email, downloads a document, or clicks a link.
  • Email integration to manage all your email accounts on a single screen.
  • Customized dashboard for one-stop view of the sales pipeline.  
  • Call recording for sales calls and emails.
  • Task scheduling and automated email responses.
  • Prospect tracking and live chat.
  • Automated contact revival for cold leads.

CRM Marketing Features in HubSpot

  • Predesigned email templates to manage the customer journey.
  • Email marketing tools with automated features.
  • Live chatbot to manage interactions with site visitors.
  • Updated metrics for email marketing campaigns which include open and click-through rates.
  • Ad management tools.
  • Forms to help gather more data and establish leads.

HubSpot CRM Management Features

  • Over 200 free integrations.
  • Company insights as well as reporting tools to provide important metrics needed to make decisions.
  • Ability to connect existing software to third-party tools.

HubSpot CRM Integrations

Many businesses that have existing software are pleased by HubSpot CRM integration which offers over 200 integrations. This is part of their App Partner Program which they continuously expand to ensure more apps can be integrated with their platform.

Despite the many tools that exist within the HubSpot ecosystem, it still allows users to integrate with similar third-party apps. for example, although it has its own email marketing tools, it will still integrate smoothly with MailChimp and other similar email marketing apps. this makes it easy for businesses that are already used to a particular software but would like to enjoy a particular feature on HubSpot CRM.

A user can avail any of the following integrations and more:

  • Ecommerce integrations to automate processes like handling abandoned carts.
  • Social media integrations to schedule and automate posts to different social media platforms.
  • Email integrations that link conversations with customers on other email accounts to the HubSpot
  • Calling integrations to allow users to make conference calls within HubSpot.

With more integrations being added, users can discover many more apps that they can integrate with the CRM. Users will also enjoy the user interface which clearly indicates what apps have been integrated and it is easy to check on the progress of tasks being performed.

If you choose to automate certain actions, you still remain in the loop about what’s going on and how much has been accomplished.

HubSpot CRM Pricing

If you are impressed by the features and what you can accomplish with HubSpot, then hearing that HubSpot CRM pricing is absolutely free, will be exciting news. While they provide other products that you may have to pay for, the CRM comes with a free plan that will offer you the features you have already read about.

However, you may enjoy using the CRM so much that you decide you may want to have access to other products. Since it is quite an exhaustive platform, you can be sure that there is a lot you can gain from trying out the plans. A summary of them is here.

HubSpot offers 4 plans. These are free, starter, professional, and enterprise. These plans have separate pricing for the 5 main Hubs which are: CRM Hub, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and Growth Suite.

CRM Hub: This is completely free and allows unlimited users with 1 million contacts.

Marketing Hub: The free plan offers Forms, Team emails, 2000 emails a month, and basic chat. The Starter plan is $50 a month, Professional costs $890, and Enterprise is $3,200 per month.

Sales Hub: It has a Free plan that gives access to tracking 200 emails a month and 15 mins calls. The Starter plan is at $50, while Professional costs $50 and enterprise costs $1200.

Service Hub:  The Free plan has a number of tools but access is limited for example a user is grunted just one meeting link per month. The Starter plan is $50/month, Professional is $400/month and Enterprise costs $1200/month.

HubSpot CRM Review

HubSpot CRM has had a comfortable ride to fame as a result of its parent product HubSpot. Note that the two are different products although they are part of the same company. However, when you take into consideration the features that this CRM provides, you realize that it genuinely is worth the hype.

Almost every HubSpot CRM review will mention the fact that the majority of features are available free. However, there are limitations to what you can accomplish with an entirely free tier and so it is advisable to also consider the paid plans.

HubSpot is not without competitors, there are both CRMs as well as apps that may provide similar features like chat apps, email marketing tools, and contact management tools. Salesforce and Zoho CRM are among the competitors that get frequently compared to HubSpot’s CRM. It particularly makes headway when it comes to features, but HubSpot beats most of the competition with its user interface that is easy to find your way around and its “freemium” offer.

The CRM has a major appeal to small as well as medium enterprises because it provides free features that many other alternatives charge for. It supports a growing business since it allows them to immediately begin performing professional customer relationship management and not have to worry about paying for them. As a business grows, it can then add more features that they can afford and may be needed at that point.

Pros of HubSpot CRM

  • It provides an intuitive user interface that makes it easy for beginners to get up and running.
  • The free version gives users substantial features that they would have had to pay for with other alternatives.
  • Offers a wide range of integrations especially for email management.
  • It is continuously growing its list of integrations.
  • Email lists can be segmented for targeted email campaigns.
  • It makes inbound sales easy.
  • It has useful analytics that help when determining improvements to be made in customer interactions.

Cons

  • Premium features come at a substantial cost.
  • Users need to be careful when filling forms because sometimes it can merge contacts causing confusion.

Final Word

HubSpot CRM is unique in its provision of free tools to keep in touch with your customers. With an intuitive interface and smooth integrations, it is no surprise that many of the users who review it, rate it up there with some of its paid alternatives. A business that is looking for a starter CRM with powerful features and the ability to grow with it can depend on HubSpot. It also supports automation of different CRM tasks which will improve efficiency within the organization and the customers will be impressed by the service that they will be accorded.

If you’ve just discovered us, we’re excited. Try Windward Hub for free and take it for a spin. Start automating contracts, agreements, quotes, proposals and more in just a few clicks starting today.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Written by:_
Genesis Abel

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