How to Select the Right HubSpot Solution Partner

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

As the CEO of a seasoned HubSpot Solution Partner with 35 full-time staff, I've navigated the evolving landscape of digital marketing and CRM implementation for years. Through this journey, I've gained invaluable insights into what makes a partnership genuinely effective.

In this post, I want to share my personal experiences and professional advice on navigating the HubSpot partner ecosystem to select the right solutions provider. This decision can significantly impact your ROI on HubSpot software and the precious time required from you and your team.

Identifying Your Company's Requirements

The first step in this journey is introspection. Reflect on what you're aiming to achieve with the HubSpot platform. Whether enhancing marketing strategies, streamlining sales processes, or elevating customer service, understanding your goals is pivotal.

Because HubSpot's scope for business change is broad, I recommend focusing on one or two areas to begin your journey. Choose a solutions provider who shares your primary objectives. This clarity will help you find a partner whose expertise perfectly aligns with your goals.

Every partner has a skill(s) they are particularly good at. Some HubSpot partners are masterful with HubSpot Marketing Hub - often the marketing agency type of solutions provider. Others are skilled in the sales process (HubSpot Sales Hub and HubSpot CRM), and others are specialists in integrating HubSpot tools with other systems. Consider this when you identify your primary objectives.

What is a HubSpot Solution Partner?

A HubSpot Solution Partner is an agency or consultancy that's authorised by HubSpot to sell and support HubSpot. By joining the HubSpot Partner Program, completing the HubSpot Solutions Partner Certification, and purchasing at least one HubSpot Professional Hub for their own use, they officially become a partner. They are added to the HubSpot solutions directory.

However, that is only the beginning of the journey. To become a tiered HubSpot partner and work on larger and more complex accounts - lots of work is required. 

The Value of Proven Expertise and Past Successes

In my years in the industry, I've learned that the depth of a partner's experience is a cornerstone of success. Look for a partner who has the relevant HubSpot certifications and awards and demonstrates a rich history of client successes.

Case studies and HubSpot Impact Awards are excellent indicators of the aforementioned. Case studies are available on the HubSpot Solutions Partners website, and Impact Awards (and HubSpot Certifications) are available on their HubSpot Partner Directory listing. You'll also find 
Hubspot solutions partner reviews from satisfied HubSpot customers.

Consider HubSpot Partner Tiers, but don't make them the be all and end all of you decision making process. Although Elite and Diamond solution partners are best suited to the larger HubSpot projects - there are many HubSpot platinum partners that excel - and can often give more of their time for the same money. 

That being said, it is really easy to become a HubSpot Partner. Joining the HubSpot Solutions Partner Program, completing the HubSpot Solutions Partner Certification and signing a few documents are all it takes. But to move up their tiers and remain there - takes serious work and commitment. The highly tiered solution partners are almost all 100% dedicated to HubSpot. They are specialists.  

The Art of Communication

Throughout my career, I've seen that the bedrock of any fruitful partnership is robust communication and collaboration. Opt for a partner who is not just a vendor but a collaborator, someone who will invest time in understanding your team's dynamics and align with your business culture.

This journey starts with the sales process. A CMO from a large technology conglomerate recently told me that after evaluating many HubSpot partners, she selected us for their large digital transformation project because of the clarity and process she could see and feel in our sales process. So far, the project (Marketing Hub Enterprise, CMS Hub Enterprise, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM data integration) has been super successful.

Tailored Solutions for Unique Challenges

In the digital world, adaptability is key. Your chosen partner should not just offer cookie-cutter solutions but should be adept at crafting strategies as unique as your business.

You certainly don't want an entirely bespoke approach from a Solutions Partner. Strong processes are key when implementing the HubSpot platform. However, you want your chosen HubSpot Partner to listen to your unique requirements and be able to adapt their processes to your business. This ensures that as your business evolves, your HubSpot strategies evolve.

Empowerment Through Training and Support

A true partner empowers your team. It's not just about implementing solutions; it's about transferring knowledge and ensuring that your team is adept at leveraging the HubSpot platform to its fullest potential. This ongoing support and training transforms a good partnership into a great one.

However, flexibility is key here. Some HubSpot partners insist on doing everything for their clients to keep them dependent on the agency. You want a partner who will train and support you where necessary, but move on to more strategic work or a different function in your company when the time is right. A HubSpot initiative will only succeed if your team is empowered to operate and leverage HubSpot independently.

Cultural Synergy: The Final Piece

Finally, the cultural fit is something I hold in high regard. A partner that mirrors your organisation's values and ethos can seamlessly integrate into your processes, making the partnership productive and enjoyable.

When values are in alignment, we find that the more obvious cultural differences (language and mannerisms) that we experience across borders and continents don't matter so much.

Working from South Africa and the United Kingdom, we had to learn how to communicate well with our clients in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. However, we've regularly found that when values are in alignment, these language and cultural differences are not a problem at all. Additionally, we've turned work away based on early signals of value misalignment. You should do the same.

Parting Thoughts

Choosing the right HubSpot Solutions Partner is more than a business decision; it's a strategic move towards growth and innovation. In my years leading a HubSpot Solutions Partner, I've seen firsthand the transformative impact of a well-matched partnership. It's about finding a partner that doesn't just understand your business but is as committed to your success as you are.

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