If you have explored the topic of inbound marketing for even a moment, you have come across HubSpot, the ultimate inbound marketing software platform. Now I admit we’ve drunk the HubSpot Kool-Aid, so we may be a little biased – other great marketing platforms do exist, including ActOn, Pardot and Eloqua, among others.
But we’ve committed to HubSpot for the long haul, and we’ve worked with dozens of companies to help them leverage their investment in the platform. (We have been offering HubSpot marketing services as a partner since 2008 and were excited to be included in The Sales Lion’s 2014 roundup of the 12 Best HubSpot Partners.)
Along the way, we’ve learned a few things about how companies can get the most out of a relationship with a HubSpot Partner. Here are some things to keep in mind!
1. Custom, Not Cookie Cutter
Many HubSpot partners offer set packages for their engagements with HubSpot customers. These may work great for you, but chances are you’ll have some unique needs or situations that may require a more flexible approach.
Is your potential partner agency listening to you? Are they getting to know your business before making recommendations? Your plan should feel practical for your business and aimed at achieving what’s important for you.
The right HubSpot partner will be good at identifying low hanging fruit to go after quickly while concurrently working on more long-term opportunities. They will also not come in and redo work that you or another agency has already completed just because they would have executed it differently.
For instance, if you have buyer personas written, the best partner will use those personas in the most logical way and not waste valuable time redoing them their way. We all have opinions about how to make things better, but your HubSpot partner’s job is to be as practical as possible and leverage what exists so you see real results as quickly as possible.
2. Listen and Be Open to New Ideas
Just as you don’t want to have a HubSpot partner agency try to push its agenda on your company without understanding your goals, you’ll want to enter a partner engagement with an open mind. In most cases, your agency is working with many other HubSpot customers and has learned valuable lessons about what works and what doesn’t for an inbound marketing program.
Being receptive to new ideas and approaches about your marketing can help open doors to more qualified leads for your business. Let your HubSpot partner be the best resource they can be.
3. Chemistry is Key
Marketing is fun, and it should be an enjoyable process. When you are looking for a HubSpot partner, you are essentially looking for someone to become an extension of your team. Over the years, we’ve had many clients turn into great friends who we love laughing with during our check-in calls and who have shared the real ups and downs of their businesses with us. This makes the hard work we all do so much more fulfilling.
Just as you do when you look for new employees, make sure you engage with a partner agency who fits into your company culture and with whom you look forward to interacting on a regular basis.
4. Engage in the Process
When outsourcing any part of your business, it’s important to identify who is responsible for what and how involved you need to be in the process. Your relationship with your HubSpot agency is no different. It’s critical to clarify how your team will be engaged in the inbound marketing process.
The relationship will work best if you have a dedicated subject matter expert who is committed to giving your partner agency the time, information and feedback they need to create and promote great content on your behalf. The best HubSpot partners will never waste your time with unproductive meetings or phone calls, but they will need some participation from you to do their best work.
A true alignment between sales and marketing is also helpful, so that your HubSpot partner knows the exact type of leads you are seeking and how those leads will go through the buyer’s journey with your organization. This intelligence allows your partner to build and execute the most successful inbound marketing campaigns.
You can never provide too much information to your HubSpot partner. They will use all of it to get your marketing machine working at full capacity.
5. Use HubSpot and Your Partner Agency Together
This is a biggie. As a HubSpot partner agency, we want to work with you and with your HubSpot consultant to help you get the absolute best results. This means we all have to communicate and collaborate. So if you are engaging with a HubSpot partner agency, it’s important for you to let your HubSpot consultant know that the agency will be involved in calls and consults moving forward.
Your HubSpot consultant will be very knowledgeable about the software, as well as inbound marketing best practices. But your HubSpot agency will know much more about your firm, your marketing budget and style, and the skill sets of your overall team. Because there are various ways to approach inbound marketing successfully, it is common that you’ll get different advice from your HubSpot consultant and your HubSpot agency. This can be confusing and waste time as you try to weigh options. It can even make you question the expertise of your consultant or your partner agency.
The best way to avoid this situation is to introduce your HubSpot consultant and HubSpot agency and clarify that you will all work together.
A Successful Partnership
If you choose wisely, you will get more out of your HubSpot investment by working with a HubSpot partner agency – and you will have much more fun along the way! It’s worth it to take that extra time to find the best partner fit for your team.
Questions about netting a larger ROI from your HubSpot software? As a Certified Gold Partner, we offer many services from the HubSpot Marketplace to help jumpstart your business or make a current business even more successful. Let us know if we can help!