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If you're the proud new owner of a HubSpot portal, congratulations! And welcome to the club. You've unlocked the power of one of the leading marketing and sales automation platforms on the market, and you've got the whole world in your hands. But you might also feel a bit overwhelmed.

What technical set up do you absolutely need? How do you approach your marketing strategy now that you have this new tool set? And how do you split up responsibilities among your team members during the onboarding phase? 

These are all great questions, and a proper HubSpot onboarding will answer them all for you. Here are the 3 main options you have for onboarding your HubSpot portal.

There were some big changes to your options in the market in 2020, but which one is right for you?

You have 3 options for 'onboarding' or setting up your new HubSpot portal once you've signed on the dotted line:


  1. Pay for a HubSpot Onboarding Plan
  2. Work with a HubSpot Partner Agency in an Onboarding Plan
  3. Basic HubSpot or Partner Agency Onboarding + DIY Deep-Dive

We're gonna keep this short and skimmable. Below, you'll see the 3 options with pros and cons, plus current costs of each. These costs may go up depending on your license and the HubSpot add-ons you have. As you weigh your options, we're always here to chat if you're considering a Partner Agency onboarding.

Pay for a HubSpot Onboarding Plan = $3,000-$8,000 (depending on license)

Pros: You have a guide through all the important HubSpot tools, you learn by doing since you're still completing much of the technical onboarding steps yourself.

Cons: It's the most expensive onboarding option, and they're more of a consultant showing you what you need to work on--not doing it for you.

Best fit for: Those with a larger team looking to learn HubSpot (but need some guidance), those who like strategic education + DIY, and those with larger budgets. 

HubSpot is a cutting-edge software company. They understand their new licenses must be onboarded properly, but as a company, they are set up to teach their customers theoretically how to fish more than they fish with them.

Starting in 2020, HubSpot is changing to a consulting onboarding model.

  • This process includes identifying 1 or 2 immediate goals you have for your HubSpot portal.
  • Your HubSpot onboarding specialist then creates a written guide for you with all of the steps you'll need to tackle to set up the tools that will best help you hit those goals. 

It's a blend of strategic guidance and HubSpot best practice advice, plus some project management. Your customer onboarding specialist meets with you every 7-10 days and assigns you tasks to keep your onboarding on-track.

Since their agency partners are better equipped to be services companies and do more heavy, hands-on lifting, HubSpot often recommends working with Partners when you want someone to dive in with you and get the tactical technical onboarding done right. 

Work with a HubSpot Partner Agency in an Onboarding Plan = $750-$3,000

Pros: It's less expensive than onboarding with HubSpot, we do most of the technical set up for you, and you have a guide through all the important HubSpot tools.

Cons: You won't learn the technical set up as well yourself (since you aren't doing it), and our scope is limited to just onboarding services unless you enter an expanded engagement.

Best fit for: Those who want it done for them, have smaller budgets, and are willing to accept some scope limitations + a faster onboarding pace.

  • With a do-it-for-me model, HubSpot Partner Agencies (like us!) are a more hands-on approach to onboarding. We will identify your goals as a HubSpot user and talk through your inbound marketing strategy to provide advice and strategic insight based on our many years of experience.
  • Then, we'll work together to complete your technical onboarding. We'll take tasks off your plate and work through tactical onboarding over the course of 2-4 weeks. You may need to help us with some hands-on work, but not nearly as much as with the HubSpot onboarding plans. 
  • It's less expensive than the HubSpot onboarding plans because we're a smaller company with far less overhead, and we don't have the same expenses HubSpot does: massive libraries of resources, a 24/7 support team, etc. We also limit our scope to just 1 month of working together, with 1 short meeting per week.
  • We'll always be transparent with you about scope creep and what's included/not included in your onboarding plan, and if you need more resources after we get going or want to go beyond our 4 meetings, you can buy hourly blocks of time from our team to get more help.

Another bonus to working with a HubSpot Partner Agency to onboard your HubSpot portal is that we're growth experts. We understand how companies of all stages and sizes can bend HubSpot and other pieces in their tech stacks to work in sync.

We're able to build tailored strategies for your next steps beyond onboarding, so at the end of your onboarding (if you work with Revenue River), we provide a road map for your most effective strategies. 

Basic Assisted Onboarding + DIY Deep-Dive = $750 (working w/Partner Agency) $3000 (working w/HubSpot)

Pros: It's flexible, and you really become a HubSpot expert. You have lots of free certifications and resources at your fingertips online.

Cons: It's the most time-consuming option. You'll spend a lot of time fact-finding and searching help docs after your initial onboarding scope with either a Partner or a HubSpot specialist is complete.

Best fit for: Those who want an expert to get them started, but desire to get their hands dirty in HubSpot after that. For those who have a limited budget.

If you've always been a dig-in-and-learn person, you might actually be best-fit to do the most basic HubSpot onboarding option with either HubSpot or a Partner Agency, and then finish your true customization on your own. There are plenty of great resources online, including certifications and checklists, if you want to become the on-site expert for your organization. Your partner can get you started on HubSpot with the most basic onboarding available at your license level. After that, you'll spend an additional 2-3 months getting your own certifications and blowing out the rest of your portal customization on your own.

Look for Reviews and Third-Party Validation

My last piece of advice is to talk to your HubSpot account manager to ask for their advice as you conclude the sales process. They can help you find the right HubSpot Partner Agency, if that's your jam. 

You can also dig into the hundreds of reviews on the Partner page of their website to see which offer onboarding services and match your business goals + budget best. 

You'll see lots of the following:

Amazing video on-boarding with Vidyard & HubSpot

"We're HubSpot users and recently signed on to use Vidyard. The team at Vidyard asked if we'd like to do some on-boarding with Revenue River to best utilize the platform and its integrations with HubSpot. I'm glad I did. We got 1:1 coaching pertaining to Vidyard setup and usage, integration with HubSpot, and how to best utilize video in our sales and marketing processes. Tom was our main contact and he was instrumental in our initial successes with the platform." 

- Jon MacDonald, The Good, February 15, 2020

 

Best of luck in your HubSpot portal set up!

 
 
 
Sami Brenner

Sami Brenner

If you happened to read the 2011 edition of "Chicken Soup for the Teenager's Soul," you witnessed the first real story Sami ever published. If not, you missed out big time--but she's still glad you're following along here. In 4 years as a team member at HubSpot Partner Agencies, Sami has helped clients craft content of all kinds: from videos to sales collateral and every blog post in between. By focusing on your most important goals and your audience's ever-changing demands, Sami is here to..

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