How to Choose the Best CRM for Multiple Companies

Liza Smith-Vedder

Director of Operations at Creative Side Marketing

Are you shopping around for the best CRM for multiple companies? 

By now, most of us have some experience with a CRM, whether it’s Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho or any of the smaller solutions out there.

But as CRMs have advanced, so has the need for more complex use cases, and some businesses are investigating the possibility of using different CRMs for managing multiple brands. According to Syncari, twenty percent of businesses that have a CRM say they manage more than one.

This can be an incredible waste of money and time. You can often get all the functionality you need without setting up and managing completely separate CRMs.

Let’s go over a few clarifying questions that will help you accomplish your goals.

Do You Have Multiple Companies or Multiple Domains?

There is an important distinction to make here. If your business has multiple websites that all serve the same customers, you need a CRM that allows you to add more than one domain.

This allows your sub-brands to establish relationships with new audiences while keeping all your data packaged in one place for the parent company to access.

This is often the use case when businesses cater to different regions and languages. For example, a multi-national company may use one website for their operations in the U.S. and another for Europe, each with language and cultural customization.

Several CRMs offer you the option of adding multiple domains. HubSpot will let you host additional sites with an Marketing or CMS Enterprise subscription, and Salesforce offers the same in their Experience Cloud. Copper and PipeDrive offer the ability to create multiple pipelines, but I didn’t find any documentation about adding more than one domain.

If you have multiple companies with completely separate brands and customers, on the other hand, you need a CRM solution that allows you to maintain multiple business units in one account, like HubSpot.

Read More: What Are HubSpot Business Units?

One CRM Can Handle Your Sales and Service Needs


Some businesses also mistakenly believe they need multiple CRMs because they have departments with varying needs. For instance, Sales needs to manage their leads and sales pipeline, while service teams need to manage customer support tickets and inquiries.

You don’t need separate CRMs for this, but rather added features that allow your teams to manage those shared contacts according to their role in the organization. From the moment a new contact is created in your CRM – you need one unified view of the customer journey, including every email Sales sends and every ticket update Service delivers along the way.

It’s important that everyone is working out of the same database for one business. HubSpot Sales Hub and Salesforce Sales Cloud have marketing and service add-ons you can layer into your platform, giving every team the capabilities they need to manage your contacts properly.

"The issues with managing multiple CRMs are scalability and cost.

Every CRM will be an island in itself unless you build integrations for each one, and even then, you will have an expensive Frankenstein-solution that will be difficult to maintain and scale."

The Problem With Multiple CRMs

Trying to manage multiple CRMs will cause many problems. 

First, it’s challenging to ensure data is correctly synced across multiple systems, and teams will find it time-consuming to switch between different platforms. Getting a bird’s eye view of a customer’s interactions with your company is very challenging if their information is spread across multiple CRMs.

The other issues with managing multiple CRMs are scalability and cost.

Every CRM will be an island in itself unless you build integrations for each one, and even then, you will have an expensive Frankenstein-solution that will be difficult to maintain and scale.

So, What is the Best CRM For Managing Multiple Brands?

Companies can integrate multiple CRMs using a single, comprehensive CRM that has all their needs in one place

These integrations will help ensure that data is consistent across platforms and can allow for better collaboration between teams. A comprehensive CRM can also provide a complete view of a customer’s interactions with the company and can streamline workflows by providing all the necessary tools in a single platform.

HubSpot Business Units is one example where you can manage several brands in one portal, while partitioning CRM objects (like contacts and companies) and assets between teams. You can effectively use team permissions and other settings to install guardrails that keep your data protected and teams productive.

HubSpot isn’t the only solution of course, but our research found that most CRMs haven’t developed many options for this type of use case. Some users suggest building multiple databases on-prem, which might create the separation you need between assets, but your teams will still have to toggle between platforms, managing each independently and without any possibility of scaling these systems.

Managing multiple brands is hard for any parent company. Alignment, efficiency, and scalability are challenging no matter what.

Instead of making things more challenging by building siloed CRMs that put a strain on your resources, you can invest in one CRM that handles separate brands, audiences, and marketing and sales plans. HubSpot may be the most efficient way to go.


HubSpot Business Units Checklist


Apr 26, 2023 12:33:13 PM