Salesforce vs. Hubspot

Salesforce generated roughly $176K in revenue per customer in 2022, compared to Hubspot’s over $10K per customer. The companies both operate in the CRM space, but Salesforce follows a more skewed strategy toward more significant enterprise deals vs. Hubspot, which is focused on smaller deals.

ElementsSalesforceHubSpotSimilaritiesDifferencesCompetitive Advantage
Customer SegmentsEnterprises, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)SMBs, mid-sized businesses, marketing and sales teamsBoth target SMBs, mid-sized businesses, and marketing/sales teams.Salesforce primarily focuses on enterprises but also serves SMBs. HubSpot has a broader customer base, including SMBs, mid-sized businesses, and specialized marketing and sales teams, with a strong emphasis on inbound marketing.Enterprise expertise and SMB outreach (Salesforce). Inbound marketing focus (HubSpot).
Value PropositionCustomer relationship management, cloud solutionsInbound marketing, CRM, sales, and marketing softwareBoth provide CRM solutions, though with different emphases.Salesforce offers CRM and cloud solutions with a focus on customer relationship management. HubSpot emphasizes inbound marketing and provides CRM, sales, and marketing software as part of its suite.Established CRM solutions (Salesforce). Inbound marketing and integrated suite (HubSpot).
ChannelsDirect sales, online platform, partnershipsOnline platform, content marketing, partnershipsBoth utilize online platforms and partnerships for distribution.Salesforce leverages direct sales, online platforms, and strategic partnerships for distribution. HubSpot relies heavily on its online platform, content marketing, and partnerships to reach and engage its target audience.Strong online platform and direct sales (Salesforce). Content marketing and inbound approach (HubSpot).
Customer RelationshipsSales teams, customer support, online resourcesCustomer support, online resources, communityBoth offer customer support and online resources.Salesforce maintains customer relationships through sales teams and extensive support. HubSpot focuses on customer support, online resources, and an active community.Comprehensive support and sales (Salesforce). Active community and customer resources (HubSpot).
Key ActivitiesCRM development, cloud infrastructure, supportInbound marketing, software development, supportBoth involve software development and support activities.Salesforce’s key activities revolve around CRM development, cloud infrastructure management, and customer support. HubSpot’s activities include inbound marketing, software development for its marketing and sales solutions, and providing support for its customers.CRM and cloud expertise (Salesforce). Inbound marketing and integrated solutions (HubSpot).
Key ResourcesCloud infrastructure, CRM expertise, sales teamsMarketing expertise, software development, supportBoth rely on their respective areas of expertise.Salesforce’s key resources include cloud infrastructure, CRM expertise, and a sales force. HubSpot’s resources encompass marketing expertise, software development capabilities, and support teams dedicated to its marketing and sales solutions.Established CRM and infrastructure (Salesforce). Marketing and software development expertise (HubSpot).
Key PartnershipsTechnology partners, consulting firms, ISVsAgency partners, marketing technology providersBoth collaborate with technology and service partners.Salesforce partners with technology providers, consulting firms, and independent software vendors (ISVs). HubSpot collaborates with agency partners and marketing technology providers to enhance its inbound marketing and sales solutions.Diverse technology and consulting partnerships (Salesforce). Agency partnerships and marketing technology (HubSpot).
Revenue StreamsSubscription-based models, professional servicesSubscription-based models, professional servicesBoth generate revenue through subscription-based models and professional services.Salesforce generates revenue primarily through subscription-based models and additional professional services. HubSpot’s revenue is driven by subscription-based models and complementary professional services, especially in inbound marketing and sales.Strong subscription-based revenue and professional services (both).
Cost StructureInfrastructure costs, development, sales and supportMarketing costs, software development, sales and supportBoth incur costs related to infrastructure, development, and sales/support.Salesforce’s cost structure includes expenses for maintaining infrastructure, software development, and sales/support teams. HubSpot’s cost structure encompasses marketing expenses, software development costs, and sales/support activities, with a strong focus on marketing investments for inbound growth.Infrastructure and development costs (Salesforce). Marketing-focused cost structure (HubSpot).



Revenue Per Employees


Revenue Breakdown


Key Highlights

  • Revenue per Customer Comparison:
    • Salesforce generated approximately $176,000 in revenue per customer during 2022.
    • HubSpot, on the other hand, generated over $10,000 in revenue per customer during the same period.
  • Operational Focus in the CRM Space:
    • Both Salesforce and HubSpot operate within the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space.
    • Salesforce and HubSpot offer tools and solutions to help businesses manage customer relationships, sales, and marketing.
  • Differing Customer Strategy:
    • Salesforce employs a strategy that leans toward larger enterprise deals.
    • HubSpot focuses on smaller deals with a different approach.
  • Salesforce’s Enterprise Emphasis:
    • Salesforce’s revenue per customer is significantly higher due to its focus on catering to larger enterprises.
    • The company specializes in offering extensive CRM solutions tailored to the complex needs of large organizations.
  • HubSpot’s Small and Medium Business (SMB) Focus:
    • HubSpot’s strategy targets small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
    • The company’s offerings are designed to be accessible and cost-effective for businesses of this scale.
  • Strategy Implications:
    • Salesforce’s strategy of pursuing larger deals allows for substantial revenue per customer but typically involves longer sales cycles and more intricate implementations.
    • HubSpot’s focus on smaller deals emphasizes a higher volume of customers, potentially leading to a broader customer base.
  • Diversification and Target Audience:
    • Salesforce’s approach allows it to work closely with large corporations and enterprises with complex needs.
    • HubSpot’s strategy positions it as a solution provider for smaller businesses looking for simplified CRM and marketing tools.
  • Market Positioning:
    • Salesforce is often associated with enterprise-grade solutions, offering a wide array of products beyond traditional CRM.
    • HubSpot positions itself as an inbound marketing and sales platform suitable for SMBs.

Related Visual Stories

Who Owns Salesforce

Marc Benioff, Co-CEO of Salesforce is the main individual shareholder, with 3% of the company’s stock. Other major individual shareholders comprise Parker Harris, Co-Founder, and Chief Technology Officer, and Bret Taylor, who is the company’s CEO. Major institutional shareholders comprise The Vanguard Group, Fidelity, and BlackRock.

Salesforce Business Model

Salesforce follows a SaaS business model, offering four main categories of cloud CRM (Customer Relationship Management) services spanning the sales cloud to the marketing cloud. Where subscriptions drive the primary revenue model. However, the company leverages professional assistance to push the adoption of the software and retention of paying subscribers. Indeed, in 2023 Salesforce generated $29 billion from subscriptions and $2.33 billion from professional services.

Salesforce Revenue

In 2023 Salesforce generated $29 billion from subscriptions and $2.33 in professional services, compared to $24.66 billion in subscriptions in 2022 and $1.83 in professional services.

Salesforce Employees

Salesforce had 73,000 employees in 2022, compared to 56,000 employees in 2021, and 49,000 employees in 2020.

Salesforce Marketing Expenses

In 2023, Salesforce spent 43% of its total revenue on marketing and sales expenses, compared to 45% in 2022, and 45% in 2021.

Salesforce Cost Structure

Professional services are run at negative gross margins. In short, in 2022, on $2.33 billion in revenue from professional services, Salesforce reported a $208 million gross loss. In short, Salesforce runs professional services at a loss to boost its subscription revenue over time since professional services are used to enhance the use and retention of the software. The subscription revenue cost structure is quite effective. In 2022 on a $29 billion in subscription revenue, the company reported $5.82B in cost of revenue (expenses related to delivering the service and providing support, including the costs of data center capacity), thus generating a $23.2 billion in gross profits, in 2023.

Salesforce Revenue Per Employee

Salesforce generated $208 million in profits in 2023, compared to $1.44 billion in 2021, and over $4 billion in profits in 2020.

Salesforce Competitors

Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) provider, allowing businesses to build meaningful and sustained relationships with their customers. With robust, customizable software that integrates with social media, Gmail, and Microsoft Outlook, the Salesforce CRM platform is rated highly among businesses of all shapes and sizes. Recent data has shown that the company has captured 19.5% of the global CRM market.

Salesforce Mission Statement

Salesforce’s mission is to build bridges between companies and customers. Salesforce does that via a SaaS platform, which is enhanced via professional services offered on top of it.

Salesforce Acquisitions

Salesforce was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Frank Dominguez, Dave Moellenhoff, and Parker Harris. In a relatively short time, the corporate powerhouse of enterprise software has made numerous acquisitions as part of its broader growth strategy to become a SaaS giant!

Hubspot Revenue

Hubspot generated $1.73 billion in revenue in 2022, compared to $1.3 billion in revenue in 2021 and $883 million in 2020. In 2022, over 97% of Hubspot’s revenue came from subscriptions, which generated $1.69 billion in revenue.

Hubspot Net Losses

Hubspot generated reported a net loss of $112 million in 2022, compared to a net loss of $77 million in 2021, and a net loss of $85 million in 2020.

Hubspot Revenue Breakdown

Hubspot generates most of its revenue from subscriptions. Indeed, in 2022 over 97% of its revenue came from subscriptions. In 2022, Hubspot generated $1.69 billion in revenue from subscriptions vs. $40 million from professional services. In 2021, Hubspot generated over $1.25 billion in revenue from subscriptions vs. $42 million from professional services. And in 2020, Hubspot generated $853 million in subscriptions and $30 million from professional services.

Hubspot Subscription Business

The subscription revenue cost structure is quite effective. In 2022 on a $1.69 billion in subscription revenue, the company reported $257 million in cost of revenue (expenses related to delivering the service and providing support, including the costs of data center capacity), thus generating a $1.43 billion in gross profits, in 2022.

Hubspot Professional Services

The professional service business is run to sustain the subscription business. Indeed, in 2022 on $40.4 million in subscription revenue, the company reported over $56 million in cost of revenue (expenses related to delivering the service and providing support, including the costs of data center capacity), thus generating a gross loss of over $16 million, in 2022.

Hubspot Employees

Hubspot had 7,433 employees in 2022, compared to 5,895 in 2021 and 4,225 in 2020. The company has grown from 2,638 employees in 2018 to 7,433 in 2022.

Hubspot Revenue Per Employee

Hubspot generated over $232K per employee in 2022, compared to over $220K in 2021 and $209K in 2020. Hubspot’s revenue per employee grew from over $194K in 2018 to $232K by 2022.

Hubspot Customers

Hubspot had over 167K customers in 2022, compared to over 135K customers in 2021 and nearly 104K customers in 2020. The company grew from over 56K customers in 2018, to over 167K customers by 2022.

Hubspot Revenue Per Customer

Hubspot generated an average of over $11K of subscription revenue per customer in 2022, compared to over $10K in 2021 and over $9.5K in 2020.

Hubspot Sales & Marketing vs. R&D

In 2022, Hubspot spent 51% of its revenues in sales and marketing efforts, and 26% in R&D efforts, compared to 50% in sales and marketing efforts and 23% in R&D efforts in 2021.

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