HubSpot Partner Onboarding vs. HubSpot-led Onboarding

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

In this article, I share my experiences and professional advice on choosing between HubSpot partner onboarding and HubSpot-led onboarding. This decision can significantly impact your ROI on HubSpot software and the time investment required from your team.

Understanding the Two Paths

HubSpot Partner Onboarding

This HubSpot onboarding process involves working with a certified HubSpot partner for your HubSpot onboarding process. These partners are typically agencies with a deep understanding of the HubSpot platform and a track record of happy HubSpot customers.

HubSpot Onboarding

HubSpot-led onboarding, on the other hand, is facilitated directly by HubSpot's in-house team. This approach leverages the expertise of HubSpot's professionals to guide new customers through the setup and initial use of their software.

HubSpot Partner Onboarding: A Tailored Approach

The partner HubSpot onboarding process will vary from partner to partner. However, select a HubSpot agency partner that is aligned with your business based on previous industry experience or strength in the area of HubSpot you have identified as your major challenge. Eg. Sales Hub, sales process, and automation.


  1. Customised Implementation: An experienced HubSpot Solution Partner can offer a more tailored approach, especially beneficial for businesses with specific needs or in niche industries.
  2. Expert Guidance: A HubSpot onboarding partner will bring extensive experience and can provide insights and strategies relevant to your business sector.
  3. Personalised Training: Training sessions with a HubSpot partner can be more personalised, addressing your team's questions and use cases.
  4. Ongoing Support: Partners usually offer continuous support and services beyond the initial onboarding, which is valuable for long-term guidance.


  1. Cost: Partner onboarding can be more expensive than self-onboarding due to the professional services involved.
  2. Flexibility: Flexibility can introduce problems. We have see cases where the client leads the partner in the onboarding process. A sequential process in onboarding is very critical. 

HubSpot Onboarding: Direct and Streamlined


  1. Direct from the Source: Onboarding with HubSpot's team provides direct access to the software's creators, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information.
  2. Standardised Process: HubSpot's onboarding process is consistent, offering a comprehensive overview of the software's capabilities.
  3. Cost-effective: HubSpot's pricing for direct onboarding can be more budget-friendly for businesses with straightforward needs.


  1. Overwhelming Information: HubSpot's wealth of resources and tools can be overwhelming, leading to a disjointed onboarding experience for some businesses.
  2. Time-consuming: The self-guided nature of HubSpot onboarding can be time-consuming, particularly for companies needing more internal expertise to follow the process effectively.
  3. Generic Process: HubSpot Onboarding follows a "one size fits all" approach. They follow an onboarding checklist which may not address specific requirements of certain industries; or work to your pace.

Making the Right Choice

The decision between Partner-led onboarding and HubSpot-led onboarding should be based on your business needs, resources, and goals.

  1. Complexity of Needs: Partner onboarding might be more beneficial if your business requires a highly customised setup or operates in a niche industry.
  2. Internal Expertise: Consider the level of expertise your team has. A partner might be the better choice if extensive training and support are needed.
  3. Budget: Evaluate your budget for onboarding and ongoing support. While partner onboarding might require a higher initial investment, it can offer more value in the long run through customised strategies and support.
  4. Long-Term Goals: Think about your long-term goals with HubSpot. If ongoing support and strategic advice are anticipated, a partner might be the better choice.

What to consider when making your choice

Remember above - I mentioned experience with the elements of HubSpot that are most important to you. below is a list. And of course, make sure the potential partners you select are certified and members of the HubSpot Solutions Partner program.  

Core onboarding requirements to consider:

  • Marketing hub
  • Sales hub
  • Service hub
  • Inbound marketing strategy
  • Data migration
  • Technical implementation and system integrations

My Experience with HubSpot Onboarding

As CEO of MO Agency, I've seen how the right onboarding experience can set businesses up for success. Our most successful HubSpot clients are the ones that allowed us to lead the discovery process and modify and implement a tailored onboarding program. 

Partner onboarding often provides a more personalised and strategic foundation, especially for businesses with complex needs or those looking to integrate HubSpot deeply into their operations.

However, HubSpot's direct onboarding is an excellent choice for businesses looking for a quick start and a solid understanding of the basics. Just be aware that not every company is well suited to this "one size fits all" process, and we often have these clients come to us six months down the line to help get them on track after a failed HubSpot-led onboarding.

The Wrap

Choosing between a HubSpot onboarding partner and HubSpot-led onboarding is a critical decision that can shape your experience with the software. Both paths have unique advantages, and the right choice depends on your business context and goals.

As you decide, consider your long-term strategy, the complexity of your needs, and the level of support your team requires to leverage the full power of HubSpot.

Check out the HubSpot partner directory, and make sure you always select a partner with the Onboarding HubSpot accreditation.

You can find it here...




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