Who Wins This Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison? SharpSpring vs. Hubspot vs. Marketo vs. Act-On vs. Pardot vs. Infusionsoft

Want to see who wins this marketing automation vendor comparison? Check out my short video or read the article because I'd love to hear your opinion on which of this list of marketing automation "heavy hitters" might be best for you and the people who work hard for you.

I'm going to do my very best to walk you through a case study that compares what I consider to be the biggest and most competitive, most widely used marketing automation platforms in the industry. All of these solutions can be integrated with CRM. Each of these vendors offers their basic CRM or what I would call more like a contact management list management system.

This particular worksheet is provided compliments of SharpSpring to SharpSpring partners. I am a SharpSpring partner, but as any of you who know me well, who have worked with me one on one in the hundreds of instances I've implemented or optimized a marketing automation platform, you know I am a suitability guy. This means I help you choose and optimize the marketing automation platform that is BEST for YOU.

The main message of this article and video is this: Always include your key people in the process of evaluating the best marketing automation solution for you and your team. There are MANY VARIABLES to consider!

Please, never buy marketing automation or any software for your company in a seminar and bring it back to your office and wonder why nobody is very happy with you.

You’ll hear the details of the comparison in the video. The needs analysis that will produce a side by side comparison, including trust, radius reviews. This scenario includes a larger company, typical of what I prefer to work with.

Here’s the company profile …

  • $150 million in sales.
  • B2B technology sales company.
  • 8 marketing users.
  • 30 sales users.
  • 1 sales administrator
  • 39 users in total.
  • List of contacts is 50,000.
  • Expected list growth for one year is 15,000

When you watch the video you will hear and see my detailed breakdown of the marketing automation vendors so you can see a side-by-side comparison.  Listen to the nuances of my professional opinion after hundreds of implementations and optimization projects since I started using marketing automation software in 2008. (The article would have been way too long.)

Sharpspring is the only company I know that exclusively focuses on selling through partners like me, consultants, marketing agencies, integrators, technology firms. They mostly sell directly to businesses.

My top insights shared in the video ...

  1. Look at the annual cost and upfront commitment. That's a big deal. Contract terms, third-party CRM integration availability is also important. Except with Infusionsoft, this is not entirely true. (Full disclosure: Infusionsoft and I had a long run as a top-rated partner. I know it well but don’t like it much.)
  2. Infusionsoft offers solid customer relationship management for outbound salespeople where you can sort reach contacts drilled down, and leverage a lead scoring system. So it's not a terrible CRM.
  3. I would say the best free CRM here is HubSpot, but just know they limit what you can do in free CRM.
  4. Infusionsoft is the lowest price in this comparison. But you should not buy this on price alone. Focus on function and ROI! (What do you people want?)
  5. The upfront commitment to make the software work for you is a big difference. Now, the vendor comparison is a little misleading. If I'm going to set up a full system, you should plan on spending about $10,000 including a great strategic input based on a lot of thought, clear communication and experience through my process and about 90 days plan to invest for an initial build or a high-performance optimization, about $10,000, maybe a bit less.
  6. You can see some of these solutions are much more expensive. I'm telling you when we get into a cost-cutting down cycle in this economy, companies will be cutting these expenses and head counts. And you all know what I'm talking about, month to month terms unlike everybody else.
  7. I can run this marketing automation vendor comparison for any scenario. It takes me about a half hour to do it and run you through it. I can work in any of these systems because what I focus on is the strategy of the campaign, the targeting, and most importantly, the messaging, the frequencies, the things that actually make any of these incredible systems work.

In closing, remember to never buy any software like this in a seminar. The bigger the company, the better the leadership and capabilities of the marketing and sales pros. They “get it” when it comes to choosing and investing in their marketing technologies.

But most small business owners don’t “get it.” They wing it and that gets expensive and frustration fast.

If you need help contact me.

I always appreciate your constructive comments and questions.

To your success!

P.S. I normally suggest far simpler solutions now for true, small businesses of one, two and three people. Schedule a time to chat with me if you’re interested in learning more.

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