As the CEO of a seasoned HubSpot Solution Partner, with a team of 35 full-time staff, I've journeyed through the evolving landscape of digital marketing and CRM implementation for years. This experience has honed my skills and deepened my understanding of what it takes to be a successful HubSpot partner. In this article, I'll share my insights and professional advice on navigating and thriving in the HubSpot partner ecosystem.
Understanding the HubSpot Partner Program
HubSpot's Partner Program is designed for agencies and service providers who want to expand their offerings and grow their business. As a HubSpot Solutions Partner, you gain access to HubSpot's comprehensive suite of tools, resources, and support, enabling you to deliver high-quality HubSpot services to your clients.
Steps: How to Become a HubSpot Partner
Below are the steps in chronological order on how to become a HubSpot Solutions Partner.
- Evaluate Your Readiness: Before diving in, assess your agency's readiness.
- Do you have a team skilled in inbound marketing, CRM, sales, and service strategy?
- Do you have a tech team that can handle integrations or web development?
- Are you prepared to invest in learning and using HubSpot's tools extensively?
- Do you have a minimum of $400 monthly to purchase HubSpot software for your agency/consultancy?
- Apply for the Program: Visit HubSpot's partner page and fill out the application form for the solutions partner program. This step is straightforward but crucial, as it's your entry point into the HubSpot ecosystem.
- Complete the Training: Once accepted, you must complete HubSpot's training and certification courses to become a solutions provider. These are vital for understanding the platform and how to leverage it effectively for your clients.
- Start Servicing and then Selling: Begin by providing services to your clients. Opportunities to sell HubSpot will emerge from that work. You might sell an additional Hub to the client or get a referral to a new client. Your growth and HubSpot Tier as a HubSpot partner is measured by your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) from both sold and managed services.
- Earn Points and Climb Tiers: HubSpot's tier system - Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Elite - is based on the points you earn from your sales and service activities. Higher tiers offer more benefits and recognition.
- Stay Engaged and Informed: Regularly engage with HubSpot's resources, attend partner events, and stay updated with the latest product developments. Things change quickly in the HubSpot Partner Program. This proactive approach is key to staying ahead of the game.
Tips for Success as a HubSpot Partner
Use HubSpot in Your Own Business
The best way to learn and consult on HubSpot is to use it in your business. Run your support and even delivery processes through Service Hub, manage your sales pipeline and team on Sales Hub, and move your website over to CMS Hub.
To join the HubSpot Partner Program you must purchase a HubSpot Professional Hub. The least expensive is CMS Hub at $400/m, but I'd recommend purchasing the Hub that you plan to start consulting on. Generally, this is Marketing Hub and/or Sales Hub at $800/m and $500/m, respectively.
Focus on Client Success
Your success as a partner is intrinsically linked to your clients' success. Ensure that you're not just selling HubSpot solutions but also helping clients achieve their goals using these tools.
Leverage HubSpot's Resources
HubSpot provides a wealth of resources, including marketing materials, training, and support. Utilise these to enhance your services and support your clients effectively.
Build a Skilled Team
Invest in training your team in HubSpot's tools and in inbound marketing, sales, and customer service best practices.
Network Within the Ecosystem
Connect with other HubSpot partners. This network can be a valuable resource for sharing knowledge, referrals, and best practices.
Stay Committed to Learning
The digital marketing landscape is ever-evolving. Stay committed to continuous learning and adaptation to keep your services relevant and effective.
Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them
- Staffing: HubSpot skills are hot property. As an agency starting out you can either poach them (if you have the cashflow) or you need to develop them. I chose to develop all our talent. Great people with the proper support and resources can do anything. I'm a believer in developing and investing in people.
- Staying Up-to-Date: The pace of change in digital marketing can be overwhelming. Overcome this by allocating regular time for training and updates.
- Differentiating Your Services: In a crowded market, standing out can be challenging. Focus on niche markets or specialised services where you can excel and offer unique value.
- Scaling Your Business: As you grow, managing more clients and larger projects can be challenging. Invest in internal systems and processes to scale efficiently. In our case, a solid project management system like Accelo has been invaluable.
My Personal Journey as a HubSpot Partner
Navigating the HubSpot partner ecosystem has been a journey of continuous learning and adaptation. From the initial stages of understanding the platform to scaling our services and climbing the tier ladder, every step has been a learning experience. The key has been a relentless focus on delivering value to our clients, which has fueled our growth.
An amazing bunch of people staff HubSpot, and the process of working with them and getting to know them is very fulfilling. The people in the Dublin office are amazing. They have beer on tap on every floor!
The partner network is also full of great people - and a few that you need to be careful of - but that's people and life. 99% of my partner interactions have been great, and I've learnt so much from them. I've made many good friends with partners across the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
Photographs of my journey as a HubSpot Partner
Photographs of my team and I with our HubSpot team over the years.
Below: A rare sunny day at the HubSpot offices in Dublin. with our HubSpot team, 2023.
Below: Beer on tap at the HubSpot offices, 2023.
Below: A photos with the HubSpot sales team for Sub Saharan Africa in 2022.
Below: HubSpot Partner Conference in 2019 in Dublin.
Below: HubSpot Partner Conference 2018 in Dublin. This one was held in a whiskey distillery.
Below: 120 people HubSpot event we hosted with HubSpot in Johannesburg, South Africa 2019.
Below: My wife, baby and I on the day we recieved the keys to our new family home. Thank you HubSpot for a fantastic partner program.
Becoming a successful HubSpot partner requires a combination of commitment, skill, and a client-centric approach. It's not just about selling a product; it's about becoming a vital part of your clients' success stories. As you embark on this journey, remember that the effort you put in is directly proportional to the success you'll achieve.