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Episode 257: HubSpot CRM Suite Starter - What, Why and Who it's for

Episode 257: HubSpot CRM Suite Starter - What, Why and Who it's for

Welcome to HubShots Episode 257: CRM Suite Starter

This edition we dive into:

  • HubSpot CRM Suite Starter
  • What it includes
  • Who it’s for
  • When you should upgrade
  • How it fits into your company’s technology stack

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Recorded: Monday 16 August 2021 | Published: Friday 20 August 2021

Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week

Understanding CRM Suite Starter

HubSpot has ‘bundles’ that allow you to bundle together Hubs and save. They also have pre-configured ‘suite’ bundles.

One of those pre-configured suites is the CRM Suite Starter.

This episode we chat about:

  • What’s included in HubSpot CRM Suite Starter
  • Who it’s ideal for
  • When you’d upgrade to CRM Suite Pro or any of the Pro Hubs
  • How it fits into your overall marketing tech stack

Correction: RSS Email (Blog Emails) in CMS Starter

A quick correction (I think) to our episode last week about CMS Hub Starter - in that episode I mentioned that I didn’t think RSS emails were included. Turns out they are! Apologies for the mistake, but yay for the added functionality. Note: they are referred to as blog emails.

Shot 2: CRM Suite Starter Overview

So what is included in HubSpot CRM Starter Bundle:

  • Marketing Hub Starter (1,000 marketing contacts)
  • Sales Hub Starter - 2 paid users
  • Service Hub Starter - 2 paid users
  • CMS Hub Starter
  • Operations Hub Starter
  • Inexpensive contacts

Note: all the screenshots below show AU pricing:

One of the main reasons to choose CRM Suite Starter over Marketing Hub Starter is the price of contacts:

With CRM Suite Starter, each additional 1000 contacts is $15 per month (this is the AU pricing) compared to $67 with Marketing Starter (ie a factor of 4X) cheaper.

This is why we advise against Marketing Hub Starter, and instead recommend CRM Suite Starter.

Note: there is a difference in the renewal term - with Marketing Hub Starter you can select a monthly renewal (ie fine to cancel after a month), however with CRM Suite Starter you are locked into an annual renewal (ie can’t cancel after a month). This may be a consideration for someone new to HubSpot and just checking it out - however if you’ve been using the Free tools for a while and like them, then choosing the CRM Suiter Starter as your first upgrade is a no brainer in my opinion.

Some Unexpected Features that are Included

Brand Kit

There’s a nice brand kit feature included - for managing your default logos, colours and themes:


Deals can include Quotes. And bonus, Quotes allow connection to Stripe to collect payments.

Note: you don’t get product libraries (that’s part of Pro)

Slack Integration

You can connect HubSpot to your Slack channels for notifications.

Deal and Service Simple Automation

Deals include simple automation for sending internal email notifications when deals stages change:

Some Frustrations

  • You are limited to connecting 2 ad accounts, and you can’t purchase the Ads add-on - which is kinda weird (there’s an opportunity for HubSpot to offer the Ads limit increase on Starter)

Shot 3: Who is HubSpot CRM Suite Starter For?

There’s a few segments that CRM Suite Starter is ideal for.

  • Small businesses
  • Companies looking to simplify their current marketing stack
  • Companies looking to quickly spin up a site with basic marketing features
  • Companies with a 1-2 person sales team
  • Companies with a 1-2 person customer service team

Most likely they’ve been trying HubSpot Free and are looking to grow their processes to the next stage, but aren’t yet in the market for the Pro tiers or full automation.

Shot 4: When would you upgrade to CRM Suite Pro?

So you’re using CRM Suite Starter and loving it. What are the trigger points for considering an upgrade to Pro versions of any of the Hubs?

Here’s the key upgrade paths we’re seeing:

Upgrade to Marketing Pro

The most common move from Marketing Starter to Marketing Pro is due to:

  • Adding sophisticated automation to the implementation
  • Adding social management in an integrated way (as opposed to using 3rd party tools)
  • Adding more reporting granularity and dashboards
  • Adding A/B testing and smart content to landing pages
  • Adding campaigns
  • Add CTAs with testing of variations
  • Adding SEO Audits
  • Able to add Ads add-on

Upgrade to Sales Pro

  • Adding sales process automation
  • Adding lead rotation
  • Adding mandatory fields on data collection
  • Shared task queues
  • Sequences
  • eSignatures in Quotes
  • Forecasting
  • ABM tools
  • Sales analytics

Upgrade to Service Pro

  • Adding automation to service ticket processes
  • Adding a knowledge base
  • Adding an easy way to collect feedback through different types of surveys, like support and NPS

Upgrade to CMS Pro

  • Removing the 15 page limit
  • Adding A/B testing
  • Adding personalisation
  • Adding smart content
  • Adding content staging

Common across All

  • Phone support
  • Adding Teams
  • Calculated properties
  • Additional dashboards and reports
  • Analytics Views (in reports)
  • Record customization
  • Salesforce integration
  • Video hosting

Shot 5: The CRM Suite Family

CRM Suite Starter fits into the usual Starter -> Pro -> Enterprise track of product tiers.

From CRM Suite Starter you can upgrade to Pro or Enterprise.

The Suite bundles are a good way to save when you use a number of the Hubs. However, be aware that the jump to Pro sets the per contact pricing back to $75AUD per thousand:

But then jumping to Enterprise, brings the pricing back to the $15 AUD per thousand pricing:

This is a little puzzling to me, and I suspect in future HubSpot might bring the Pro Suite contact pricing more inline with the Starter and Enterprise pricing.

Shot 6: Our current Marketing Tech Stack for small businesses

For small businesses this is our current stack:

  • HubSpot CRM Suite Starter, which includes:
    • HubSpot Marketing Starter
    • HubSpot CMS Starter
    • HubSpot Sales Starter
    • HubSpot Service Starter
    • HubSpot Operation Starter
    • Inexpensive costs per 1000 contacts
  • MailerLite (for email automation emails)
    • Use Operations Hub Starter to do the syncing between HubSpot and MailerLite
  • Agorapulse (for social management)

This is an update to our previous stack (which you can review in episode 138).

Shot 7: Follow Us on the Socials

Connect with HubShots here:

Connect with Ian Jacob on LinkedIn and Craig Bailey on LinkedIn 

HubShots, the podcast for marketing managers and sales professionals who use HubSpot, hosted by Ian Jacob from Search & Be Found and Craig Bailey from XEN Systems and XEN Solar.

HubShots is produced by Christopher Mottram from Podcastily.

Please share this with colleagues - it helps us improve and reach more marketers.

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