Tell Me What To Do or How To Do It – Not Both.

by | Oct 22, 2019 | CRM Comparisons | 0 comments

The Customer Journey and software

Recently I spent an afternoon discussing the differences between Hubspot and Salesforce with a friend who is the CMO of a large product company.  His background with elite boutique marketing made Hubspot a natural fit for him.  My friend is a master at defining the “Customer Journey” and wants a single software solution to facilitate this seamless experience.  His company’s current Salesforce setup has recently improved, but it remains insufficient to support his vision.  Even more problematic, marketing and sales had never utilized Salesforce despite it being the intended tool provided by management. The non-use by marketing and sales combined with the “not-quite” there state for customer service has left much of the company with a sour taste for Salesforce.  My friend started  exploring Hubspot as a potential end to end replacement.
As a CRM strategist, my goal is to understand a company’s customer journey and apply processes and systems that aid the execution of that experience.  Though the Marketing and Sales Hub were being adopted by my friend’s company the entire Customer Journey required a service tool that integrated product inventory tracking and replacement parts. Hubspot’s Service Hub would be inadequate for the Success side of the Customer Journey.   It is hard to find a tool that is all things, and this left my friend discouraged.

The paradigm difference between Salesforce and Hubspot (and most other CRMs)

Whether you are in the Salesforce or Hubspot camp, you are most likely passionate about the tool that works for you.  Salesforce and Hubspot grow from two different paradigms, embodied in the old adage “You can tell me what to do or how to do it – but not both”.   Salesforce is a – tell me what to do – software tool, and Hubspot is a “tell me how to do it” software tool.
To say that Salesforce is a CRM is incredibly misleading.  Salesforce was built to be a platform where creative developers and strategists could design and implement custom solutions.  The intent was to provide a company wanting a very custom solution a first class ecosystem to build in. The platform provides scalable servers, code execution tools, a robust customizable database and a base CRM framework.  The company could to tell the strategist what it needed … ie, “tell me what to do” and get amazing results for a fraction of what real custom development would require in both costs and knowledge.  This works well for companies with resources.  They get an industry proven platform, boundaries for their strategist to work with in, but the sky is really the limit.
Whereas Salesforce’s extensibility is a boon to resource rich companies, it can be debilitating for business owners limited by resources and technical acumen.  Enter the “we will tell you how to do it” CRM!  Hubspot is born out of a well articulated Customer Journey philosophy.  It embraces and promotes its philosophy through tutorials and certifications on its website. Hubspot has essentially codified its Customer Journey philosophy in its product. The philosophy is baked into the software’s design, techniques, processes and workflows.  For many business owners, being told what to do is a godsend.  Sure, fields can be added to basic record types, and automations can be defined to enhance existing processes, but the Customer Journey is essentially the same.  With Hubspot, you are getting CRM software with a well defined Customer Journey, not a platform where you build your own.

Tools are meant to support philosophies, not the other way around

So what is my friend to do and which CRM is right?  The best CRM is the one that get’s used.  Hubspot is invigorating a sales and marketing department with workflows that match my friend’s evangelizing.  His enthusiasm for the philosophy inspires everyone to buy in, thus utilizing the software and giving the customer a much improved Marketing & Sales experience.  Where does that leave the Success portion if there is to be two disparate systems?  That is where challenges exist.  Still, properly evangelized philosophies paired with a little ingenuity can create marvelous things.