HubSpot, a company best known for its marketing tools, took its CRM product out of beta today. According to the firm, some 60,000 companies used the tool during its beta period.
The product is free, but HubSpot’s sales “acceleration” tool, Sidekick, will run you $50 per seat, per month. HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan swung by TechCrunch this morning, and noted that the pricing of Sidekick is inside normal industry cost bands.
The company describes the CRM tool as built to help sales reps avoid some of the tedium that comes with data entry and interaction management. Its tool automatically takes in data from a reps sales process, and arranges it in a chronological format.
TechCrunch asked Halligan if the product could generate material revenue for the firm, which he affirmed. Given the rules that surround public companies, how they guide investors, and the like, he couldn’t be more specific. However, given that for-profit entities rarely build products to harm their balance sheet, it’s fair to presume that HubSpot hopes the CRM tool will create a new revenue stream, diversifying its top line.
The company also indicated that because the CRM product is free, it could bring HubSpot into companies where it previously lacked a presence.
The model of getting free software into companies and then upselling their IT departments is a method that software companies like Dropbox and Box have used to strong effect. There are still costs associated with that sales process, but, certainly, having your products inside more shops does cut some friction.
What will be fun to see is whether adoption of its CRM product will force HubSpot to boost its revenue guidance. The company currently expects revenue in 2015 of between $165 million to $168 million. Place your bets now.