Do you need to hire a HubSpot Elite Partner for your CRM project, or would a smaller agency be better suited to your needs? Let’s unpack what the various HubSpot partner tiers mean, and what you need to know about Elite Partners to ensure you make the best decision for your business.
What’s the difference between a HubSpot Solutions Provider and a HubSpot Solutions Partner?
First and foremost, there are some notable differences between HubSpot Solutions Providers and HubSpot Solutions Partners. HubSpot Solutions Providers make use of HubSpot software for their clients and have access to enablement resources from HubSpot, but they are not official HubSpot Partners.
HubSpot Solutions Partners receive benefits like dedicated product strategy and implementation support, a dedicated account manager from HubSpot, access to partner-level credentials and certifications, and many more depending on the tier of the partner.
What do the HubSpot partner tiers actually mean?
HubSpot solutions partners are experienced providers of inbound marketing services, recognised for their quality and reliability. Partners are tiered based on the following metrics: monthly recurring revenue (MRR) acquired and managed, retention, software engagement and campaign success.
Monthly recurring revenue. Instead of tracking how many HubSpot licenses have been sold outright, this metric ties success to how much a partner agency’s clients are paying monthly for their HubSpot licenses.
Client retention. Happy clients (that don’t cancel) are an effective way to gauge an agency’s overall performance — both in technical ability and in client service — making client retention a valuable success metric.
Software engagement. This tracks how useful HubSpot is to the companies that subscribe. If only a small portion of the team is accessing their portal regularly, it’s a sign they were sold something that isn’t useful to them. Similarly, high engagement rates indicate the partner agency correctly matched their client’s needs to appropriate software.
Campaign success. Effective agencies deliver successful campaigns to their clients, and in the case of partners, through the use of the HubSpot platform. Inbound marketing success tracks and ranks agencies according to the results they attain for their clients.
Once they’ve qualified for tiering, agencies are ranked biannually according to those four metrics. The tier thresholds are as follows:
Elite agencies manage a minimum of $170,000 MRR. To ensure continued success with larger accounts, they’re uniquely supported by HubSpot. Partner support includes exclusive access to a Solutions Architect that assists with strategy, deals and software, and access to special sessions at INBOUND — HubSpot’s annual inbound marketing conference.
Diamond. The threshold for this tier is set at $55,000 in MRR, and there are substantially more Diamond partners available to assist you than Elite ones. However, each descending tier receives increasingly less support from HubSpot — which may affect their ability to service larger, more complex CRM projects. Thankfully, Diamond partners have access to 1:1 sessions with a HubSpot support team (though not to a dedicated Solutions Architect).
Platinum. These agency partners manage significantly less MRR, as their qualifying threshold sits at $15,000. However, this doesn’t mean they’ll offer less adequate services. While higher tiers often reflect that an agency has more experience, lower-tier agencies may provide specialised services to niche industries, or focus on project work, rather than long-term service retainers.
Gold. The Gold partner tier has an MRR threshold of $3,750. Gold partners do still get access to benefits such as priority access to HubSpot support, however, they don’t have access to partner previews of upcoming HubSpot updates and developments. There are many Gold partners who provide specialised services, so if you’re looking for niche expertise on a short-term project, perhaps this might be the right option for you.
So do you need a HubSpot Elite partner for your CRM project?
There are many phases to an enterprise CRM roll-out (and you can read more about them here), and unfortunately, there are also significant risks. Perhaps your biggest vulnerability when tackling a CRM project, is that all of your data will be exposed. Ultimately, you’ll want to work with someone you can trust wholeheartedly with your, and your customers’ data.
This makes choosing a more experienced partner ideal — and HubSpot Elite partners have demonstrated experience, and success, over time. This lowers the risk of errors in data processing in every phase of an enterprise CRM roll-out — from planning architecture and strategy to configuration and implementation, training and change management and ongoing support.
And if you’re dealing with highly sensitive data, you may want to go one step further and choose a partner agency that’s compliant with internationally recognised standards for information security. Accreditations such as ISO 27001:2013 can deliver peace of mind — the absolute assurance that you have more than just the agency’s word on the fact that your data is safe, you also have ongoing, external auditing of the agency’s systems verifying their claims. Read up on how we’ve recently become ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accredited for all five of our business locations, and what that means for our clients, here.
Taking the plunge and choosing a partner
If you’re an enterprise leader with a high-stakes CRM project on the cards, hiring a HubSpot Elite Partner seems like the logical choice. However, HubSpot platform experience isn’t the only factor to consider. You’ll be signing into a long-term relationship, making regular contact with your partner agency team and trusting the success of your project (and business) to their skills and expertise. It literally pays to find an agency that makes you feel heard and valued.
Here are three key factors that should be considered when making your decision:
Have you looked at what customers have to say? Check out the HubSpot Solutions Directory and check out the reviews to hear what customers have to say about anyone on your agency shortlist.
Have you checked their HubSpot certifications? Has the agency achieved any of HubSpot’s advanced certifications — awarded after passing robust testing that confirms their expertise? Keep an eye out for badges that show they’re HubSpot Advanced Implementation Certified, and HubSpot Advanced CMS Certified (you can find examples of these on our HubSpot Elite Partner page).
Do they have an international presence? Will you get support when you need it? It may be worth partnering with an international agency to ensure you’re never left unattended in an emergency and can service your international client base with localised solutions.
Is Huble Digital the right match for you?
We work with international enterprise companies to ensure the success of large CRM projects that help their business grow and scale. If you have a smaller, one-off project in mind there may be a fantastic Gold, Platinum or Diamond partner who can be a more efficient match. However, if you’re looking for a long-term strategic partner who has supported and migrated some of the biggest HubSpot licenses on the planet, we may be an excellent fit.
To get in touch with one of our consultants, simply book a meeting with a member of our sales team. We are a Digital Business Consultancy with consultants serving in the UK & Ireland, the USA, APAC and EMEA, so there’ll be someone on call no matter your timezone.
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