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Episode 259: HubSpot CRM Suite Professional teardown

Episode 259: HubSpot CRM Suite Professional teardown

Welcome to HubShots Episode 259: HubSpot CRM Suite Professional teardown

This edition we dive into:

  • Learning from HubSpot’s pricing models
  • HubSpot CRM Suite Professional
  • What it includes
  • Who it’s for
  • When you should upgrade
  • Interesting upgrade examples

You can listen to this episode of the show here.


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Recorded: Monday 06 September 2021 | Published: Friday 10 September 2021

Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week

Have you ever struggled with your company’s pricing models?

I’m pretty sure it’s not just me.

One way to learn how to improve pricing and packaging of products/services is to analyse how successful companies do it.

So, if you’re reading this and already have your HubSpot Hub licensing in place, you could be tempted to dismiss this episode as not particularly relevant. I hear you. After all, you’re not likely to change your setup based on a few points in a podcast...

But perhaps there’s some details here that will help you with your own business’ pricing model?

If there’s any company we can learn from when it comes to bundling and pricing, it’s HubSpot. The thought they’ve put into their pricing over the years is quite impressive (even if there are a few oddities in there - we’ll get to marketing contact pricing later in the show).

Approach this with a learner’s mindset - what can we learn and implement into our own ‘bundling’ of offerings?

Understanding Pricing Triggers

I like to analyse pricing tiers in terms of:

  • Irritation based upgrade triggers
  • Company growth triggers

Irritation triggers are things like running out of active lists to use, or pages you can create, based on your current tier. I really dislike these types of artificial limitations.

Company growth triggers on the other hand are related to functionality that your company has grown into e.g. things like A/B testing, personalisation, separate brands, process automation etc. They represent a natural step in your company’s growth. Typically they aren’t features that a smaller company has the appetite or bandwidth to use just yet.

I’m happy to see that most of the upgrade triggers in HubSpot tiers are the second kind - the company growth triggers.

At the risk of oversimplification, here’s how I see the natural steps between tiers:


  • has the basics in an all in one package

Pro has a focus on:

  • Automation
  • Testing and personalisation

Enterprise has a focus on:

  • Customisable security
  • Which includes content and feature partitioning
  • Growth into multiple brands (domains and business units)

An Unpopular Opinion

I do have some niggles however - Single Sign On (SSO) being one. SSO is one of those ‘features’ that admittedly is mostly only used by larger corporates, but should be available (IMO) to every company - because it provides better security. And better security should be a default ‘feature’ of every product and tier. Eg I think SSO should be available in the Free tier. I know I’m in the minority here - after all it’s in the Enterprise tier for most SaaS products. I’d love to see HubSpot change the game here and make it available in Free (eg in the same way that 2FA is).

A Final Note - HubSpot Pricing is Continually Changing

Important to note that HubSpot is continuously adapting their pricing models. These could be based on global events (eg the pandemic instigated the CRM Suite Starter pricing), product updates (Eg a new Hub such as Operations Hub) and feature updates (Eg brand domains being split into brand units and domains).

With that all said, let’s get started digging into CRM Suite Professional and Enterprise...

Understanding CRM Suite Professional and Enterprise Bundles

HubSpot has ‘bundles’ that allow you to bundle together Hubs and save.

They also have pre-configured bundles called ‘suites’.

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

Shot 2: CRM Suite Professional Overview

So what is included in HubSpot CRM Professional Bundle:

  • Marketing Hub Professional (2,000 marketing contacts)
  • Sales Hub Professional - 5 paid users
  • Service Hub Professional - 5 paid users
  • CMS Hub Professional
  • Operations Hub Professional

With CRM Suite Professional, each additional 5000 contacts is $375 per month (this is the AU pricing), so about AUD $75 per 1000 contacts and getting cheaper based on the tier of marketing contacts.

Once you get near 57,000 contacts you are better off upgrading to Enterprise anyway.

Shot 3: Who is HubSpot CRM Suite Professional For?

There’s a number of companies that CRM Suite Professional is ideal for.

As we noted in Shot 1, there’s some key features that will entice you to upgrade to Pro:

  • Automation (marketing, service and sales automation)
  • Testing (A/B testing, personalisation, smart content)

Which applies to the following company characteristics:

  • Growing businesses
  • Wanting more robust reporting for management and teams
  • Wanting the ability to test marketing emails, pages CTAs etc along with applying personalization
  • looking to simplify their current marketing & sales stack
  • looking to take advantage of automation to gain efficiency and grow rather than adding headcount
  • Companies with a 3+ person sales teams
  • Companies with a 3+ person customer service teams

Most likely they’ve been using HubSpot Starter and are looking to grow their processes automation to the next stage.

Interesting Upgrade Trigger Example

  • I want a single source of truth for my data
    • Using HubSpot to integrate multiple other tools (eg one of Ian’s clients had 15 separate Active Campaign instances that they connected into HubSpot in order to do overarching reporting)
  • I want to manage multiple businesses
  • I have a large number of contacts

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

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

As noted in Shot 1, there’s some high level triggers including security customisation (including access to assets), custom objects and brand expansion.

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

Upgrade to Marketing Enterprise

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

  • Partitioning
  • Field-level permissions
  • Email send frequency cap
  • Custom objects
  • Adaptive testing
  • Predictive lead scoring
  • Multi-touch revenue attribution
  • Behavioral event triggers and reporting
  • Able to add Ads add-on

Upgrade to Sales Enterprise

  • Single sign-on
  • Advanced permissions
  • Sales analytics
  • Additional calculated fields
  • Playbooks
  • Conversation intelligence
  • Trigger Sequences from workflows
  • Predictive lead scoring
  • Conversation intelligence
  • Goals
  • Playbooks

Upgrade to Service Enterprise

Upgrade to Operations Enterprise

  • Not here yet!  But we are sure that something is in the pipeline!

Upgrade to CMS Enterprise

  • Additional business units
  • Additional domains
  • Adding Adaptive testing
  • Custom objects
  • Memberships
  • Web apps
  • Multi-domain traffic reporting

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: Most Common Integrations

When businesses get to this level we see the request to often:

  • Have SMS functionality. We often use Sakari or Message Media
  • Close the loop with calling.  We often use Cradle
  • Generate multi page quotes with signatures. We often use PandaDoc
  • Salesforce & Microsoft Dynamics

Shot 6: Quote of the Week

“Leaders: When you learn something, turn around and pass it on to others. A learner builds a reservoir of learning, but a leader builds a reservoir of learning and then becomes a river of learning to others.”

From the  #MaxwellPodcast with @jmarkcole and @tracimorrow - How To Become A Life-Long Learner.

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.

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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