So, you’re nearing the decision to pull the trigger on HubSpot. We know what a great decision that is, but you’re not off to the races just yet.
Unfortunately, onboarding is mandatory. Yes, we’ve tried to wiggle around it but HubSpot draws a line in the sand and if you want to use their software you have to cross it.
Why do they do this? HubSpot has realised over the years if a new client receives a dedicated onboarding it will vastly increase their chances of having success with the software. Seems fair - if you get a shoddy onboarding and struggle, you sure as heck won’t renew.
To get your portal set up, you have two options:
- Receive onboarding directly from HubSpot,
- Work with a certified HubSpot Partner Agency.
You’ll find no agenda and (almost) no bias here. Just a handful of pointers in the hope you’ll be best equipped to make the right decision for your business.
Poor onboarding is the number one reason companies experience friction with HubSpot. It’ll pay to make an informed decision.
Things to consider...
Who is doing the work?
A big difference between HubSpot onboarding and Partner Agency onboarding is who’s actually doing the implementation work.
When you go direct to HubSpot, you’ll get detailed instructions and quality consulting, but your team has to do the majority of the setup. This can be a great way for someone to learn the ins and outs of the software and become your ‘HubSpot Champion’.
One of the best perks of going direct is getting stuck into the software and riding the steep learning curve - perfect if you have a motivated team who are eager to learn new skills.
I can’t speak for all agencies, but we also encourage this as much as possible. HubSpot is too important for you not to have people on your team that are comfortable using it. If you choose to onboard with an agency, make sure they show you the ropes and let you work in the platform.
Your team’s bandwidth
On the flip side of this, having someone to do the work can be a big advantage, especially if you have a smaller team or one that’s not very tech savvy.
It’ll take a large chunk of time, so if you can’t allocate considerable time to the setup, your onboarding can end up dragging out.
How quickly do you need to get HubSpot up and running? Your answer might impact your onboarding decision.
HubSpot onboarding is a standardised process with a clear timeline. You are working through a checklist - point by point. Usually, this process takes 90 days.
Again, I can’t speak for other agencies, but agency onboarding can move up the timetable considerably. For reference, we can get professional packages fully onboarded within 30 days (60 for Enterprise).
The main takeaway is: Agency onboarding is much more flexible when it comes to timeline.
It can be a test run for the agency
If you require ongoing marketing or support, we absolutely recommend going with a Partner Agency because the onboarding process can act as a test run for the agency to prove themselves. Both in the quality of their work and how well they get on with your team.
An agency is likely to have other tools in their arsenal
Even if an agency has dived head-first into HubSpot and bleed orange, they are likely to have an arsenal of marketing tools outside of HubSpot to inform their efforts. For example, we use SEMrush for Keyword, Backlink & SEO analysis (and a bunch of other great tools). Other agencies might use BuzzSumo for content ideas or Moz for SEO research.
These tools would add thousands to your annual budget and take quite a while to learn.
By working with an agency, in addition to HubSpot support, you will gain access to their tools and the expertise to use them without having to invest your own time and money.
A clear, well-worn path or the unknown?
Like I said before, when you're working directly with HubSpot, you are working through a standardised checklist. It’s a well-worn path that won’t steer you off a cliff.
The pricing is consistent and the HubSpot integration team are great at what they do. When you work with an agency, you have to do your research to make sure they know what they’re doing.
Both options have their advantages, so do what makes the most sense for your team based on the size of your team, your desired timeline, and your future marketing goals.
If you have a large marketing team who you can trust to handle the implementation, direct HubSpot onboarding is probably the best choice for you. Although, if you shop around, you could probably shave a decent chunk off your onboarding costs.
If you want a more strategic direction and a partner in the process, opt for a partner agency - especially if you plan to continue working with an agency for your marketing.
Of course, if you decide working with a Partner Agency is right for you, we’d love to be considered. You can read what our clients say about us here.