What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot's Software

Mackenzie | April 01, 2022 | HubSpot

If you're at all interested in inbound marketing, you've probably heard of HubSpot. They're a leader in the digital marketing industry, and their blogs, videos, and certification courses are pretty popular. While you might know who HubSpot, the company, is, it's a little harder to know what HubSpot, the software, is and does.

There's a lot of industry jargon thrown around, and to be fair, HubSpot is a huge platform; it's hard to outline all of its capabilities in just one sentence. Since we use it every day, we thought we'd take a shot at breaking down what HubSpot is for you.

Here's our plain English guide to getting started with HubSpot: what HubSpot is, how it works, and what tools and benefits it can offer you. 

Use this menu to jump to the sections most important to you, or read right through!

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What is HubSpot?

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.

Okay, but in English?



HubSpot is a software platform designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.

HubSpot's Background

To understand how HubSpot works, it's helpful to know just a little about where HubSpot, the company, came from. It started back in 2005 as a resource for marketers.

Back then, they offered tools and resources that helped companies get started with inbound marketing.

We won't go too far into inbound marketing, but feel free to check out our complete guide to inbound marketing if you want to know more.

What Does HubSpot Do?

HubSpot works to help companies market better.

To do this, they've developed one cloud-based platform where all of a company's digital marketing efforts could be housed.

Everything from hosting your website to blogging, social media posting, email marketing, and more, were combined on one single platform that can be accessed from anywhere.

That way, every marketer in a company can use HubSpot's tools to nurture qualified leads until they are ready to pass on to the sales team. When a lead is ready to convert, they're easily passed onto the sales team for a simple, seamless experience that helps companies turn warm leads into happy customers.

But that's just the beginning of the HubSpot software.

Now, years down the line, HubSpot offers that original software in the form of a complete CRM, which includes specific software and tools for sales, marketing, service, and operations teams, PLUS an epic content management system (the HubSpot CMS).

Today, all of those tools integrate together seamlessly to help you company grow. 

If you're thinking that still sounds like kind of a lot, you'd be right. That's why we're going to unpack every HubSpot Hub here, starting with a quick overview of the CRM itself:

Welcome To The HubSpot CRM

The HubSpot CRM is what started it all. This customer relationship management software provides a platform where companies can organize, automate, and keep track of every interaction and activity that happens within a company.

In the beginning, HubSpot developed its CRM primarily as a marketing software.

It offered a way for marketers to organize all of the leads they were talking to, nurture them according to their buyer persona and unique pain points, and then pass them seamlessly onto the sales team.

Today, the HubSpot CRM offers those same original features — the platform is just significantly more robust. Instead of functioning primarily to support the marketing team, HubSpot's existing CRM is used to facilitate a true RevOps strategy

If you're looking for a way to tie every company action and activity into revenue, HubSpot will get you there, no questions asked. 

HubSpot's CRM can be used as a launchpad for all other marketing, sales, and service tools.

  • The CRM stores every company contact and lead.
  • It integrates completely with the HubSpot CMS — think WordPress, but better.
  • Each department can access leads through one shared portal.
  • With marketing, sales, service, and operations hubs, there are tailored tools available to each team to improve operations, customer experience, and most importantly — revenue.

Some of the benefits the CRM provides for us and our clients include:

Whole-Team Visibility
Your entire team has access to your company's CRM. No limit. That means that anyone, from interns to C-suite leaders, can log in to see exactly where your leads are coming from, where they're going, and how your efforts are getting them there. 

Lead & Contact Conversation Tracking
Any conversation or interaction your team has with a lead, prospect, or customer is tracked. Your sales team never has to wonder when service has followed up with a new client. New sales reps gain instant access to how veteran employees close, and so much more. 

Live Chat & Chatbot Workflows
Your website is already working for you 24/7. Let it engage and nurture leads for you now, too. Live chat and chatbots make it easy for you to set up contact points, even when your team is out of the office.

Sales Deal Pipeline
Streamline your sales process with a defined pipeline. Never wonder where a prospect is in their buying journey. A visual, easy-to-use deal pipeline saves sales reps hours of manual entry and research. Plus, implement automation specific to each stage of the deal pipeline. 

Customer Satisfaction Surveys
In today's digital era, anyone can get anything from anywhere. Why will they choose you? Because you provide superior service. Make sure you're hitting the mark with excellent service by asking your clients what they think, and how you can improve. 

A Superior CMS
The HubSpot CMS might just be one of the biggest and best improvements the company has made. A full-service content management system, the CMS Hub provides a safe, secure, wicked-fast, and super-easy-to-use platform for your website. And did we mention it integrates seamlessly with the rest of the CRM? 

And that's just the tiniest taste of what HubSpot is capable of!

Ultimately, the HubSpot CRM is one of the most robust platforms on the market. It offers a long list of tools you can use to draw in qualified potential leads and do better business with your existing clients. 

Now that we know what that is, let's look at each of the 5 components of the HubSpot CRM, starting with the impressive CMS Hub. 

The HubSpot CMS

The HubSpot CMS was launched in April of 2020. You see, HubSpot knew that they had superior marketing, sales, and service tools at that point, but what's the true heart of all of your company's activities these days? 

Yep, it's your website. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, your website is your digital office. And nothing is more important in today's world than a digital presence. 

With all of that in mind, HubSpot decided to create its own content management system (you're probably familiar with other popular options like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace). And if revenue and growth are what you're looking for, then we're confident saying the HubSpot CMS is the best option out there. 

No seriously, we tested it on our own website. And in a direct comparison of our WordPress website vs. our new HubSpot CMS website, our HubSpot CMS website wins every time. 

Now, there's a lot that goes into the CMS, so I won't cover it all here. I've got a blog for you to do that — What is the HubSpot CMS? 

I will give you an overview of some of the CMS Hub's top tools, so you can understand what value it's providing. 

Some of the tools the HubSpot CMS Hub provides are: 

  • Complete website hosting platform — Get everything you need, from home pages and service pages to landing pages, blogs, contact forms, and CTAs, all in one place.
  • Top-tier security — HubSpot is known for its exceptional security. And, because they're not an open-source platform like WordPress, security risks are much lower.
  • Speed —The CMS is wicked fast and it's built that way. You don't have to do a bunch of work or implement a bunch of plugins to get a website that loads like lightning. 
  • Drag and drop editing — Afraid of a new platform? don't be! HubSpot offers a simple drag and drop interface that makes it easy for you to customize, update, and edit web pages. 
  • Data — HubSpot's CMS presents a never-before-seen level of data integration. Your website is automatically rolled up with every other aspect of your company. When sales, marketing, service, and operations data are all tied together with your website's performance and usage metrics, that's a powerful picture you can use to inform a wealth of smart growth decisions.

With custom reporting features, robust performance, and a user-friendly interface, the HubSpot CMS is offering an improved way to look at how your website informs the way your business grows. 

It's a hub that stands alone as an excellent website platform, but that seriously shines when it's rolled up into all of the other tools and hubs that HubSpot provides. 

HubSpot Marketing Hub

The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a set of tools designed to help your marketing department. The HubSpot Marketing Hub helps your company increase website traffic and convert more visitors into leads.

The goal of the Marketing Hub is to make life easier for your marketing department. It offers seamless content creation for your blog, email, social media accounts, and website, and provides exceptional metric tracking and reporting of all the data you care about most.

See easily how many people are coming to your site, where they're going, when they leave, and how much they like your landing pages.

Like all of HubSpot's tools, the Marketing Hub is offered in tiers according to the size of your company, and the number of tools your company would like to use. HubSpot's first tier is always free, regardless of which Hub you're interested in testing out.

Some of our favorite tools offered in the HubSpot Marketing Hub include:

  • Blog and content creation tools
  • Social media planning, organization, and scheduling (and of course, tracking on all of it!)
  • Calls-to-action that provide in-depth tracking of click-through rates, impressions, and other important KPIs.
  • Landing pages that integrate seamlessly into your website, and then use HubSpot's sophisticated metrics to track and optimize performance.
  • Goal-based nurturing allows your marketing team to choose specific goals based on buyer persona research and previous performance. Set the Marketing Hub to help nuture leads with those goals in mind. 
  • SEO tools to help you optimize your content strategy, site architecture, and more. 

The HubSpot Marketing Hub offers a whole host of additional tools that we couldn't fit into this one intro blog. Check them out for yourself, or feel free to get in touch with us for more info.

HubSpot Sales Hub

The HubSpot Sales Hub was designed to help your sales department close better deals, faster.

Each tool offered here is designed with efficiency in mind — so your sales team can focus their full attention on what matters most — closing deals with qualified clients.  

HubSpot Sales Hub gives sales teams the tools they need to provide excellent service and close deals the minute a lead is ready to convert. It's a robust package of tools that can seriously level-up your selling game. It's so robust we actually gave it its own blog. If you're interested, check out this post on What's the Deal with HubSpot Sales?

What Does The HubSpot Sales Hub Do?

Sales Hub lets your sales team see what leads are visiting your site, on what pages, and how often.

The software also offers instant alerts whenever a prospect opens an email, converts on a form, or takes an action that indicates the intention to buy.

And because Sales Hub syncs up with the rest of the CRM, your marketing team can easily see which deals are won, lost, or still in progress, and how they've contributed to that success.

Some of the tools the HubSpot Sales Hub offers are:

  • Email Sequences — Automated email workflows designed to nurture qualified leads
  • Email Tracking and Notifications — Your sales team is notified when a prospect opens an email or clicks over to your website.
  • Meeting Scheduling — Forget confusing back and forth scheduling that can drop leads. Instead, let potential clients pick meeting times that work best for them.
  • Reporting dashboards — So your team can see how their efforts are impacting business, and so you can see who is selling well, and why.
  • Multiple deal pipelines — Not every product or service has the same sales process. Make it easy for sales teams to customize their service to the unique needs of your buyers, and implement and track custom deal stages for multiple pipelines.

Just like the Marketing Hub, HubSpot's Sales Hub has a vast offering of sales tools, depending on the tier that best fits your company. And, they all integrate with the Marketing Hub, the Service Hub, and of course the HubSpot CMS. 


HubSpot Service Hub

The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to support your service team while they support your clients. It offers a full suite of tools that make service delivery easier, more seamless, and more transparent. 

Easily identify issues clients are experiencing, resolve them quickly, and keep a finger on the pulse of your client's level of satisfaction. HubSpot Service Hub helps your service team keep clients happy, efficiently. 

The HubSpot Service Hub includes:

  • Live Chat and Conversational Bots — Customers and clients get the help they need, whenever they need it. No waiting for business hours; solve problems now.
  • Customer portals — Make it easy for customers to see exactly where their tickets are and who's resolving them, eliminating the frustration of the ticket resolution process. 
  • Email Templates — Check in with clients you haven't heard from in a while, or request service reviews with email templates that are easy to format and send, and even easier to track.
  • Canned Snippets — Those questions you get every day? Send back the perfect answer automatically with canned snippets.
  • Phone Support and Customer Feedback
  • Knowledge Base — Pull up all the information in your database on any client, so your service team knows who that client has talked to, and about what, so they can get to the right solution, quickly.
  • Multiple Ticket Pipelines — Easily organize tickets based on customer query subject
  • Customer Service Automation

And just like every other hub, the HubSpot Service Hub works in tandem with the rest of the CRM, so anyone on your service team can see previous interactions a client has had with marketing and sales teams, and determine quickly how best to resolve any potential issues.

This streamlines the time it takes for customer service reps to resolve a client ticket, and ensures your clients experience the best customer service possible.


HubSpot Operations Hub

The HubSpot Operations Hub is HubSpot's newest hub addition. Launched in April of 2021, this hub was designed entirely with RevOps in mind. 

Don't know what RevOps is? We got you covered

Built for operations teams, the Operations Hub functions to bring all of your company's data, from HubSpot and beyond, into one place. It also works to improve processes and make automation — even custom ones — easy to implement. 

So what's included in Operations Hub? Take a look: 

  • Data Sync — HubSpot gets that it's not the only platform you're using. With robust data sync features, you can now import and export data to and from the HubSpot CRM. That means you can seamlessly integrate any other tool or platform your team uses, and get data exactly when and where you need it most. That's data integrations made simple. 

  • Data Quality Automation — One feature that might seem simple is the Operation Hub's data management capability. But, if you've ever had to merge information from multiple spreadsheets, I'm about to blow your mind. HubSpot Operation Hub's data management feature makes it easy to clean up dirty data, standardizing it across platforms automatically.

    Don't believe me? Check out this video straight from HubSpot themselves.

  • Custom Process Automation Galore — Ever wished you could create a complex automation? For example, let's say you want North American leads with a budget of 200k+ to be assigned to a specific sales rep. In the past, your team would have had to assign that manually.

    Not so with Operations Hub.

    This hub makes custom automation (no matter how complex) possible. You can code them yourself, or get a developer to create the code, and you can choose where and when to implement those complex automation. 

So that's a lot of info about data. 

What's the bottom line? 

HubSpot Operations Hub makes it easy for you to get the data you want when you want, where you want, and how you want. Then, it makes it easy for you to take action based on what your data is telling you. 

That's an insanely powerful tool to wrap into the rest of an already very powerful platform. 

HubSpot CRM Suite

The HubSpot CRM Suite (formerly known as the Growth Suite) is HubSpot's complete suite of services bundled together. If your company can benefit from all five of the above Hubs, the Growth Suite is perfect for you. You'll get the benefits of all five hubs, for a significantly discounted price than purchasing all three individually. 

The HubSpot CRM Suite is best for companies who are serious about growth and RevOps. Since it includes all of the Hubs and is built on top of the HubSpot CMS, the HubSpot CRM Suite is the best way to align your entire team, from people to processes to products, towards a single growth goal.

Let's Talk Growth!

We're hoping after 2,000+ words, you're starting to understand the hype behind HubSpot. But, if you still have questions, or if you're interested, but just don't know how your team can implement a sophisticated software of this magnitude, I know some people who can help. 

These guys, right here 👇


Evenbound is a HubSpot Diamond Agency Partner, which means HubSpot is what we do. If you have questions about any of HubSpot's software offerings, whether it's one of the Hubs, the CRM, or all of it, we are happy to help!

HubSpot can be a little complicated to figure out at first, but once you see it in action, it's one of the most user-friendly growth tools on the market today.

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