Perhaps we don't mention this on our blog often enough, but we love HubSpot. Influence Agents have been proud partners with the World's leading inbound marketing software company since 2013, and we're constantly surprised by the pace and quality of the product updates we've seen during that time. We do have to keep our finger on the pulse, when it comes to marketing software, so we do have the odd demo along the way, to ensure that we're not missing out on some other cutting edge solution, and in all honesty... we can't find anything that comes close.
One of the key factors in HubSpot's success is the ease of use, and the time saved, when conducting any aspect of inbound campaign execution, reporting and general management. But that's not to say that everyone that buys into HubSpot can hit the ground running at pace, and generate the results they're hoping for in a timely fashion. That's where a certified HubSpot partner comes in. Now, on face value I can see that a HubSpot Partner telling you that there are benefits to working with a HubSpot Partner seems a little self-serving, so we've delved deep to investigate just HOW a partner adds value, and what factors you should consider, before deciding to go it alone...
1. Speed of Results
It can take far longer to get results, especially if you're new to HubSpot and facing a complete blank canvas portal. We've seen some customers struggle to get results on their own 10+ months in, and question the value of renewing their license - the technology wasn't the problem, but lack of adoption and a strategic approach usually were to blame.
It's important to say at this point, that HubSpot provide a first-class on-boarding service, and their customer success teams are dedicated to helping customers get the very best out of HubSpot as a technology. It's rare, however, that you'll get the strategic, up-to-the-minute tactical expertise you can expect from someone that lives and breathes digital/inbound/online marketing (more names emerge every day). Working with a partner should allow you to access that immersive on-the-ground expertise, and turn it into results at a faster lick.
2. Get to the Good Stuff
A HubSpot partner often has years of experience working hands-on inside the HubSpot software - they make use of more features, and accelerate adoption, thanks to an outcomes-focused approach. Those customers that stay the course with HubSpot's video training and certifications usually take a methodical, feature-by-feature journey through the software, which means they might be deferring their use of the modules that offer the greatest benefits in their specific situation.
A formulaic training program won't know whether your greatest challenges are in traffic acquisition and targeting, reporting and attribution, or nurturing and conversion, but a partner should be able to diagnose your highest-value focus areas and "switch on" the tools required to alleviate your problems.
3. Good Partners are Good Trainers
We've all encountered those professionals that prefer to guard their best-performing strategies and knowledge, to "retain their value" and protect their "intellectual property". The only problem is... there are no secrets! There is no "intellectual property"! Try patenting your method for acquiring new qualified leads and clients, and by the time you do, that strategy is no longer effective, or something else has come along to set the World on fire.
Choose a partner that shares their knowledge freely. Seek out partners that employ Certified HubSpot Trainers, and ensure that as much emphasis is placed upon teaching, as "doing".
4. Sector KnowledgE
As with many successful businesses, the leading agencies have found their niche, either in the specialist service they provide, or in the industry they serve. With so many aspects of inbound marketing reliant on content, be it textual, visual, or audible, it's important to work with people who "get it". Partnering with an agency that has a solid track record of delivering results in your sector can dramatically reduce the timescales on the "getting to know you" phase, and generating results more swiftly.
This seems to be especially relevant in companies and industries with a highly technical focus, or high levels of complexity. The product might be the best at what it does, globally, and speaking about features and benefits suits those "solution aware" prospects, but try educating the unwitting public and even usually-savvy prospects from this position, and you'll repel them quicker than Van Helsing at a vampire convention.
A good marketer, with a deep enough level of industry knowledge, and an even better grasp of effective communications, will translate the proposition into something that attracts and converts best-fit prospects with ease.
5. A "Clearer Desk"
With the accountability and ROI focus that comes with an agency relationship, the right partner will push for goals to be a) set, and b) met. Find an agency partner that insists on a goals-focused approach, including regular reviews and solid plans to achieve what's been agreed. The resulting levels of delegation and trust will clear so much from your own plate, allowing you to focus on other key areas of your role.
With so much at stake, here's our important last tip:
ONLY work with a partner that take you through a thorough qualification process. A successful working partnership relies on synergy, common goals, aligned expectations, and many other factors. It may take time for you to evaluate each other to the required degree. A quick call and an order form just won't cut it. Here's a little something that might just help...