"HubSpot is damn expensive."
I hear that all the time.
Not just from prospective buyers, but also from the larger part of the inbound marketing ecosystem.
This view has not changed much since the time Inbound Mantra became a HubSpot Partner in 2014.
This market view on HubSpot pricing has become strong enough to impact even the HubSpot management team's view. In all my conversations at various levels within the HubSpot management, this topic on 'HubSpot Pricing' almost always pops up.
Market View on HubSpot Pricing
The market's view on HubSpot pricing is as under:
- SMB Focus - HubSpot promotes itself as an SMB focused marketing and sales software. That does not mean that it has to be cheap. But because of the focus on SMB it is implied that HubSpot would be affordable. This tends to surprise prospective users who use 'price' as a lever to calculate HubSpot Pricing ROI.
- Affordability Chasm - When you compare HubSpot pricing with its closest competition, the price difference is material. Plus successful products like MailChimp are expanding their scope to service more marketing and sales functions, virtually offering a marketing automation system for free.
- FREE HubSpot - There is also a FREE HubSpot that can give marketing and sales functions of small teams, many wings. Two Inbound Mantra accounts have taken advantage of FREE HubSpot and there seems no hurry to upgrade to the commercial version yet.
This 'HubSpot is expensive' view is more pronounced in India. While that may be true, but this sentiment echoes in other markets too including Europe, US and South East Asia.
I had a chance to discuss India's view on HubSpot pricing during my recent visit to the HubSpot Singapore office.
HubSpot's view on Pricing
I was at the HubSpot office in Singapore over the new year (2018). Every HubSpot office, it seems, has character. (Boston is the only other I have been to).
It was a Wednesday when I visited the Singapore office. Do you know what was special that day?
Waffles. It was Waffle Wednesday.
HubSpot offices have a 'coolness' quotient.
An overly stocked pantry with generous amounts of sunshine. Not to mention the Beer Tap that always obeys your Fresh Beer command. Neat office layout with loads of space. Smart workstations converted into Mini Homes by the team members.
I was comfortable in no time.
I was seated in a rectangular conference room with four neatly laid out chairs, a whiteboard, and a small projection system. I had no particular agenda. I just wanted to say 'Hello'. I was not surprised though when the conversation quickly veered to HubSpot pricing issues, in the context of India.
"Raj, it seems to us that the current HubSpot pricing is a challenge in India."
"What makes you say so?" I ask back.
"India accounts for a significant number of enquiries, but we hit a dead end when compared with other solutions that exist in the market. HubSpot cannot compete on price with the other marketing automation software vendors."
"I understand. I don't think pricing is an issue in India. Inbound Mantra's view is very different when it comes to HubSpot pricing," I aver.
"We would like to know Inbound Mantra's view.
"And I share with the HubSpot team our view on pricing.
Inbound Mantra View - HubSpot Pricing ROI
It is paramount that HubSpot agencies and HubSpot included, commit to making a case for HubSpot Pricing ROI. It is the only way to deliver and sustain value.
Not everybody is a 'prospective' HubSpot customer. It is pointless to target a business and force / cajole / trick them into buying HubSpot. Please understand, the SaaS nature of HubSpot requires that each 'new' customer renews year-after-year. Just a one-time sale will not cut.
Therefore, our commitment in all deals is to find a 'HubSpot Pricing ROI' case with every HubSpot implementation. Inbound Mantra will never recommend HubSpot if there is no case for ROI. Thus, our endeavor always is to find prospective buyers who will see ROI in HubSpot.
It definitely increases our effort in calculating customer acquisition costs (CAC), lifetime value of a customer (LTV) and then running a spreadsheet for many scenarios. But, it is worth the toil.
Anything for a Happy HubSpot Customer.