As the CEO of a HubSpot Solutions Partner, I've seen firsthand how the HubSpot Partner Tier system benefits our clients. Each tier, from Certified Partner to Elite, is not just a label; it reflects our expertise, commitment, and the value we bring to our clients.
A HubSpot partner agency must be accredited to install and maintain HubSpot software for their clients to maintain their tier. Let's break down what each tier means and how it impacts you.
Understanding the HubSpot Partner Tier System
There are four HubSpot partner tiers:
What HubSpot Tiers Mean for You
- Quality and Expertise: Higher tiers generally indicate greater expertise and experience with the HubSpot platform. However, it's important to note that a higher tier doesn't automatically equate to better service for every type of client.
- Access to Advanced Strategies: Higher-tier partners often have access to more resources and support from HubSpot, which can translate into more tailored and sophisticated solutions for your business.
- Proven Results: Partners with higher tiers are more likely to have received awards and recognition for their HubSpot success, indicating a proven track record.
- Cost Considerations: Contrary to some beliefs, a higher tier doesn't necessarily mean higher costs. Many agencies offer a range of services at various price points.
- Growth Partnership: A strong HubSpot partner agency is empowered to grow through these tiers and will grow with you. Your growth is our growth.
Choosing the Right Tiered Partner
While tiers indicate a partner's proficiency with HubSpot tools and their success, they are not the only factors to consider. Certifications, industry experience, and a clear understanding of your business goals are equally important. Always choose a partner based on their ability to meet your needs rather than their tier status.
Top tip: If you look down the right-hand side of a HubSpot partner directory listing for a HubSpot agency, you'll see a list of their awards and accreditations (see image below). HubSpot awards are incredibly hard to attain. The accreditations are very rigorous, and the criteria to qualify are very stringent. You'll find many Diamond and even the odd Hubspot Platinum Partner with some of these awards and accreditations. And equally, some HubSpot Elite partners are without them. At the very least, if you are going to do onboarding with a partner, make sure they have the HubSpot Onboarding accreditation.
The HubSpot Tier Points Program
The HubSpot Tier Points Program is designed to recognise and reward HubSpot Partners as they become a tiered partner and grow through different tiers within the HubSpot ecosystem. Here's a summary of how it works:
- Four Tiers: Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Elite.
- Requirements: Each tier requires a combination of sold and managed points, with minimum thresholds for both.
- Sold Points: Earned by selling HubSpot licences to new or existing customers. Increases in a customer's subscription not related to deals, like discount changes at renewal, also contribute to sold points.
- Managed Points: Earned by servicing existing customers.
Tier Requirements for HubSpot Partners
- Gold Partner: 243 total points threshold (minimum points: 113 sold, 38 managed).
- Platinum Partner: 645 total points threshold (minimum points: 270 sold, 150 managed).
- Diamond Partner: 2,020 total points threshold (minimum points: 570 sold, 550 managed).
- Elite Partner: 5,950 total points threshold (minimum points: 1,950 sold, 1,700 managed).
How Much is a Tier Point Worth?
Elite needs to sell 1950 points to maintain the Elite tier, which equates to $65,000. As such, a sold point is worth $33.3.
An Elite partner needs to manage a minimum of 17,000 points, or $170,000. So, a managed point is worth $10.
Partner Tier Examples
Example 1: 270 sold, 150 managed = 450 points. This partner is Gold. Although the minimum points for Platinum have been reached, the sum of the points misses the threshold for Platinum (645 points).
Example 2: 400 sold, 150 managed = 650 points. This partner is Platinum. The minimum points for Platinum have been reached, and the sum of the points is greater than the threshold for Platinum (645 points).
- Sold Points: Expire one year after the deal closes. If a customer downgrades, sold points are lost even before one year.
- Managed Points: Expire 60 days from the partner's last account action.
Tier Maintenance and Adjustment
- Tier Review: Performance is reviewed twice a year, and tiers are adjusted based on the best performance during the review period.
- Down-Tiering: This occurs if a partner's performance drops below their credited tier and if Solutions Partner Certification expires.
Special Considerations for Untiered Partners
- Two-Year Requirement: New partners have two years from joining the program to achieve Gold tier status.
- Recalibration: Partners who don't reach Gold status within two years have options to move to a different program level or leave the program.
Recent changes in HubSpot Tiers
I sometimes struggle to understand the Partner program. The criteria have changed more than I'd like of late. Still, the good news is that the most recent changes from HubSpot leadership are positive for customers and their dedicated HubSpot partner specialists.
The recent changes (2022/2023) reward HubSpot solutions partners that are dedicated to HubSpot, and this can only be a good thing for these partners and their clients. This has removed what I called the 'opportunistic HubSpot partner' from the ecosystem.
This is often an agency or consultant with a good client relationship but little to no HubSpot experience. They joined the HubSpot partner program to sell their client HubSpot based on their existing relationship. This is not good for the client or HubSpot. HubSpot wants HubSpot professionals to install and maintain their software to increase time to ROI and decrease churn.
As part of these changes, HubSpot leadership is also driving the HubSpot partner collaboration process with their own sales and support teams. Again, the winner here is the HubSpot client, as both HubSpot and HubSpot partners are encouraged and incentivized to collaborate more.
Navigating the HubSpot Partner Tiers can be complex for both the HubSpot agency and HubSpot customer. However, understanding what each tier represents helps in making informed decisions. As a HubSpot Solutions Partner, we are committed to growing our expertise and moving up the tiers, not just for recognition but to deliver the best possible service to our clients.