HubSpot Onboarding: onboarding through HubSpot itself or a partner?

3 min read
Apr 29, 2024 11:27:09 AM
During my time at HubSpot, there was a popular saying - "HubSpot is like joining a gym...you only see the benefits if you use it." This saying was used to emphasize the idea that just buying the HubSpot software does not automatically lead to good results. You only see results if you use the software regularly and correctly.

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In my time at HubSpot, there was a popular saying - "HubSpot is like joining a gym...you only see the benefits if you use it". This saying was used to emphasize the idea that just buying the HubSpot software does not automatically lead to good results. You only see results if you use the software regularly and correctly .

Regular use of HubSpot is achieved without too much effort and with some planning, but to use the software correctly you need expert guidance. In the case of HubSpot, this guidance consists of the onboarding service. In fact, with HubSpot, new customers are required to purchase the onboarding service for all of their Professional or Enterprise products. If you ever visit the HubSpot pricing page viewed, you'll see a disclaimer under the product price that onboarding is required:

While onboarding is mandatory for new customers, it does not always have to be performed by HubSpot. Customers can be onboarded in two ways:

  • HubSpot onboarding - onboarding performed by a HubSpot Implementation Specialist (IS)
  • HubSpotpartner on boarding - onboarding performed by a company affiliated with the HubSpot partner program

Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages. Below I list the ones that I think are the most important:

Onboarding through HubSpot:

Advantages:

  • Onboarding is led by HubSpot Implementation Specialists, which provides a more consistent onboarding experience. You may not get the very best onboarding, but virtually every Implementation Specialist has the basic knowledge required to onboard you. In fact, HubSpot provides its employees with intensive training.
  • HubSpot Implementation Specialists have access to other departments at HubSpot. This means that any issues they encounter can be transferred to senior support staff, or even to HubSpot's development team if necessary.

Disadvantages:

  • Implementation Specialists are selected randomly. This means there's a chance you'll be onboarded by an IS who has just started his/her position and doesn't have much experience yet.
  • HubSpot onboarding is done through a roadmap. While this roadmap has proven results, the lack of flexibility means the onboarding is not tailored to your experience level or your company's unique situation.
  • HubSpot Implementation Specialists are there to train and advise you. They will never perform tasks within the portal, such as importing databases, setting DNS settings and creating landing pages.
  • All onboarding is done remotely from HubSpot's offices. This means you can't meet the Implementation Specialists in person.
  • Implementation Specialists are billed based on HubSpot-specific metrics (portal usage and customer retention). This means that your IS will do everything possible to enable you to use the HubSpot tool. This can become a problem if your goals are not solely focused on HubSpot.
  • Implementation Specialists focus only on the HubSpot tool. In most cases, your IS won't be able to help you with problems outside of HubSpot, such as problems integrating the HubSpot portal into Salesforce.

Onboarding through a partner:

Benefits:

  • The customer can choose which partner to work with. This gives the customer more options regarding:
      • Experience - how many years of experience do the partner's employees have?
      • Expertise - does the partner have other clients in the same industry as you?
      • Location - is the partners located in your country/city?
      • Click - does the partner's culture appeal to you?
    • Partners can perform work within your HubSpot portal. Unlike Hubspot onboarding, onboardings through partners take a more proactive approach. This usually means that the partner contact will not only advise you, but also help you set up your portal.
    • Partners can do more than just assist with HubSpot. For example, a partner can also provide additional components, such as providing integrations with other software in your technology stack.

Disadvantages:

  • Bad partners also exist. To become a HubSpot partner, all you have to do is sign up for the program - the bar is very low. This has led to an influx of new partners (now over 4,000). It has also led to unsatisfactory partner onboarding services. Unlike HubSpot onboarding, which guarantees a consistent experience, onboarding through a partner can leave you dealing with people who don't know what they're doing. To reduce the risk of a less than ideal partner, do some research using HubSpot's partner list. In this list, you can filter partners based on their customer reviews and rank (the higher the rank, the more HubSpot customers they have).

Ultimately, the right choice for onboarding depends entirely on your own circumstances. I hope this blog has at least given you some more information before you make your decision!

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