52 Agencies Share the Top Benefits of HubSpot’s Partner Program

November 29, 2018
Featured

Hubspot’s partner program has crossed companies and even geographies. It was also a big inspiration for PartnerStack (we power company’s reseller, marketing, and referral partner programs to help them grow revenue, increase distribution, and go to market quicker): “The success of Hubspot's partner program inspired us to make channel programs and distribution accessible to everyone.” shared Bryn Jones, CEO and Co-founder of PartnerStack.

With a market capitalization of $5+ Billion, 52,000 customers and still growing revenue 35% year-over-year (source), HubSpot is one of the most successful SaaS companies. And as they shared in their 2014 IPO S-1, their resellers are a big reason for their success, “marketing agency partners represented approximately 42% of our customers as of June 30, 2014, and 33% of our revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2014.”

But to really figure out why their partner program has been so successful, we wanted to hear it straight from HubSpot partners. So, we worked with Databox, a Premier HubSpot Connect partner now lead by Peter Caputa - the founder of the program who lead it past $100M in revenue - to survey over 50 members of Hubspot’s Agency Partner Program across the world. The partners included the newest and smaller ‘silver’ partners all the way up to their top ‘diamond’ tier partners. We asked them to explain the “most important benefit” they received from partnering with HubSpot. They were very forthcoming in sharing what they see as the perks of the program as well as why they joined and now stay with Hubspot.

Here are the key benefits of Hubspot’s Agency Partner Program:

  1. Training and support available to agencies
  2. Business model insights allowing them to streamline services
  3. Community of like-minded partners with shared experiences
  4. Increased business revenue and ability to charge more
  5. Access to qualified sales leads
  6. Centralized dashboard to manage entire campaigns

Training and Support

This was by far the most popular reason agencies raved about HubSpot. Agencies really saw the benefit in the training and tools HubSpot gave them access to. They felt as though they had a support system ready and able to help them when they ran into challenges. Many reported that the HubSpot team was always available if they needed perspective or advice or someone to listen to their ideas. Here are some direct quotes:

Kelly Jackson from Jaxzen Marketing Strategies: The number one benefit of being a HubSpot partner is the professional consulting. The team at HubSpot has guided our agency across the spectrum of organizational structure, specialization, sales strategies, pricing strategies and more to help us best serve our clients. The HubSpot partner program is designed to help agencies grow, increase profits and deliver outstanding services.

Kris Corter from Corter Group: The biggest thing I saw, becoming a partner was the training and certifications Hubspot offered. This partner benefit cuts down the amount of time I need to bring new staff up to speed. It helps the organization become more organized, increases employee retention & productivity.

Scott Fraser from Fifth Ring: The biggest benefit we have realised since becoming a HubSpot partner has been having the capabilities and know how through HubSpot training and tools to deliver much more insightful reports for clients based on the sales and marketing activity that we can see inside their HubSpot portals.

Doug Fowler from Waypost Marketing: I'd say the biggest benefit of choosing to be a HubSpot Partner, beyond just working with the platform, is the level of support we receive. Our dedicated consultants are an integral part of our Inbound team. Our Principal Channel Consultant is on hand for regular meetings to help us truly make the most of the platform and often gives us a heads-up about upcoming changes that will allow our clients to benefit even more. This kind of one-on-one, dedicated attention to our success (and the success of our clients) sets HubSpot apart from the crowd.

Eric Baum from Bluleadz: We completely transformed our services based on the Inbound Marketing Methodology. We have been able to leverage HubSpot's approach to teaching the strategy and tactics to train our team and educate our own clients. For us, HubSpot's training resources have been invaluable. We continue to leverage these resources to train new team members.

Andrew Chao Daongam from Bethink Marketing: As a new Agency, I believe having a dedicated Channel Account Manager and Channel Consultant is the biggest benefit. They coach you on how to sell and how to develop your offering. As you build out your agency, you need people like them who work with multiple agencies so that they can provide you the feedback and guidance you need in order to succeed.

Tony Cole from Anthony Cole Training Group: The data is just incredible. As we continue to develop our own inbound lead generation process the data helps us pinpoint where we should invest our effort and money. Additionally the online certification programs, the webinars and the white papers are incredibly helpful in increasing our knowledge.

Gabriel Marguglio from Nextiny Marketing: Being able to provide more value to the customer.

We believe that providing more value accelerates growth for them and for us. More value means happy customers and easier upsell opportunities. More value means bigger retention, bigger case studies which brings bigger customers in the future. The HubSpot partnership helped us through education and mentoring to become better marketers and now a better growth agency, and the tool+methodology helped us to be able to generate success and prove it = more VALUE for the customer.

Darrell Evans from Yokel Local Internet Marketing, Inc.: Hubspot's support and desire to see us succeed. We'd previously worked with a couple of other SAAS marketing automation platforms and were sadly let down by either the tools or the support or both. Since becoming a Hubspot Partner, we've received genuine, ongoing support long after the honeymoon phase and the software does exactly what they said it would do. They continue to invest in us and we never feel like a small fish in a big pond. We're confident that Hubspot will continue to innovate and give us an edge for our clients and help grow as leaders in the marketing space.

"This kind of one-on-one, dedicated attention to our success (and the success of our clients) sets HubSpot apart from the crowd." - Doug Fowler, Waypost Marketing

Eman Talei from Digital Standout: Since Hubspot is at the forefront of marketing, we've greatly benefited from the information they share with us about best practices in various areas of digital marketing. We rely heavily on Hubspot and their staff to help us with professional development and the latest technology.

Romy Fuchs from BEE Inbound AG: Our biggest benefit since becoming a HubSpot partner is the support we are getting from them. We can go to our various HubSpot contact persons with any problem and usually receive a response in the shortest possible time. Whether the problems occur internally or whether we have to solve a problem with our customers, HubSpot is the right partner for you. Especially when it comes to finding upsell opportunities, HubSpot is very helpful. This in turn enables us to offer our customers the best possible service.

Brendon from Yello Veedub: The single biggest benefit for us is access:

1) to the agency training provided by the partner program (would be worth $000's on the open market). The training and knowledge that is provided has been a game changer for us - it's not a silver bullet but the best way I can describe it is they helped us add the missing pieces in our agency puzzle. We got a clearer, complete picture.

2) to other partners - to be able to share, network and learn from other agency partners has been invaluable. Being an agency owner can be a lonely place so to share and troubleshoot your problems with like minded individuals is huge for me - the amount of things I have learnt from other partners is immense.

Liane Grimshaw from SupaReal: The support, encouragement, tools and education we get from Hubspot. This is without a doubt key to our ongoing and increasing success, because we never feel alone, we have more resources and training than we can get through, and the direct and regular contact with the Hubspot team keeps us progressing and moving forward. Plus, they are always great, positive and enthusiastic people - it's a bit like therapy sometimes ;-)

Francois Benner from Brandsensations: The education program:

- being guided at the beginning of the partnership

- getting insights and help to grow our agency later on

- taking us to the next level once a step has been achieved

Chris Strom from ClearPivot: The biggest benefit we received from becoming a HubSpot partner was the fantastic training we received from Pete Caputa and his team at HubSpot. Back then we were just starting out and subsisting on a series of small web design projects. Pete and the HubSpot crew taught us how to move our agency over to marketing retainer work that provided more value to our clients and more consistent cash flow for us. Frankly, I'm not sure we would have survived our early years without it.

John Middlebrook from Calibrate Brands: I have been working with HubSpot as an agency partner for 4 years now, 3 with an agency running marketing, and now 1 with my own business. Being a partner is instrumental for me personally, as I am a 2-person agency working with small to medium businesses. I sometimes need "another adult to speak to". Working alone and virtually with consultants, I sometimes need and like to bounce ideas off of my team at HubSpot, or have them support or shoot down my ideas. You do not have that without this partnership. On the sales side, I have weekly calls with my CAM and he helps me plan and look for new opportunities in my area, which is where we are aligned as a business.

Holly Yalove from VIEO Design: Since becoming a HubSpot partner in 2013, I've most enjoyed the ongoing educational opportunities. We've benefited from one-on-one attention from our CAM and Account Manager as well as partner webinars, resources, and small group sessions. A focus on ongoing learning is important and valuable in this industry and helps create better partners.

Erlend Førsund from MarkedsPartner AS: By becoming a HubSpot partner, we gained access to threefold benefits: firstly, HubSpot’s holistic digital marketing philosophy and strategic thinking, (which was a perfect match for us). Secondly, a fabulous tool that covers all the bases. Thirdly, an excellent training program that brought our team quickly up to speed in the various skills needed to run a successful inbound marketing program.

John McTigue from Kuno Creative: The HubSpot Partner Program connected us closely with Sarah Posnak, our Channel Account Manager, who helped us to drive HubSpot Sales and become the second Diamond Partner as well as close new service accounts for Kuno.

Business Model Insights

The second most popular answer we received was around agencies’ business models. Hubspot’s program gave them insight into better ways to shape their business model, get their teams on the same page, and even streamline the services they were offering to increase their efficiency, fees and overall revenue.

Here are some quotes from agencies:

Julia Woodward from New Breed Marketing: Aside from all of the traditional benefits of joining such a successful partner ecosystem, the biggest benefit we've discovered from being a top HubSpot agency partner is the drive to remain innovative and competitive.

The HubSpot partner ecosystem has expanded well into the thousands, so to keep our spot as a top agency, we continuously need to be updating, optimizing and innovating to drive growth for ourselves as well as for our clients. A traditional agency has the opportunity to settle into their niche and keep their status, but being a HubSpot partner keeps us on our toes and has led to greater opportunities, returns and successes for our company.

"Ultimately, becoming a HubSpot partner has allowed us to change our mindset about how we want to run our business and let us take control of it, rather than it control us." - Gary Henderson, DigitalMarketing.org

Casey Stillman, an independent consultant: I bought into the monthly retainer model immediately which increased my overall revenue. I became so successful at implementing this concept that I started teaching other agencies how to use this model. Increasing the overall revenue for an agency can make or break their growth trajectory.

Gary Henderson from DigitalMarketing.org: Our biggest benefit has been the streamlined ease of use. We have migrated multiple clients from Infusionsoft and the process has been completely painless. What used to take is now taking substantially less time in Hubspot. Using Hubspot has also opened up the opportunity to provide a much more robust service to our clients that is directly impacting their bottom line!

After 1 year we pivoted to become a niche-focused SaaS marketing agency, and now only develop websites if they fit within our goals outlined with our clients. By being able to transition into a more stable business through recurring revenue, we have been able to work much smarter and look into other opportunities within the software industry. We have now branched off into owning equity in portions of many software startups and are growing the business through other passive income streams.

Ultimately, becoming a HubSpot partner has allowed us to change our mindset about how we want to run our business and let us take control of it, rather than it control us.

Ryan Parshall from Lure Creative: Our 100% Inbound and HubSpot Certified team walks and talks the same strategy throughout our consultation and service delivery. It makes it easy to choose a path when deciding what the right marketing action is because of the Persona that has been pre-selected for each campaign. So educating, tasks and reinforcement of Inbound Processes are consistent and effective.

Elizabeth Yarbrough from Link360: Becoming an agency partner has given our agency the structure and credibility that we needed. For years, I have felt that we lacked a focus and direction. Hubspot gives us that solid platform, with built in processes and procedures to take us to the next level. Additionally, Hubspot gives us a company with a solid reputation to count on, which in turn gives us immediate credibility with our clients.

Kevin Dean from ManoByte: HubSpot has helped me grow my agency. We started with 2 employees and now have 12, and at one time 20. They taught me how to sell and deliver services that shared clients need.

Bret Peters from Fig Leaf: The biggest benefit to Fig Leaf in becoming a HubSpot partner has been the clear and consistent communication which has enabled us to experience clear and consistent growth. HubSpot provides partners all the resources they need to be successful growing their businesses while helping customers grow their leads, engagement, and customer journeys. Fig Leaf has been successful because we've made a focused effort to work with HubSpot and we've standardized on HubSpot's Growth Platform, which enabled us to become experts and drive results for our clients.

By becoming a 100% dedicated HubSpot house, we're making a clear statement about what we're experts in today and where our prospects can rely on us playing a supporting role in their future.

Lars Damgaard Jensen from Brand Movers: The process of streamlining both our service offerings - being a HubSpot partner and the work we did with our CAM forced us to streamline our services and products which has been crucial to our business - and processes - we were also forced to look at how we deliver our service offerings through our internal processes that is now documented and optimized for best practices.

Philipp Moder from Phocus Direct Communication: Positioning ourselves as future-driven agency - always ahead and helps customers to align with the modern buying process.

The Community

The third most common answer was around the value of Hubspot’s ecosystem or community. Agency partners really see the value in being a part of a global network of like-minded individuals they can share their ideas and experiences with; people they can mentor and also learn from.

Here’s what partners said:

Greg Linnemanstons from Weidert Group: While there are a ton of meaningful benefits, the biggest to me is being part of the HubSpot partner ecosystem. We've been a partner since 2011, and in that time I've relied countless times on the shared experiences of other HubSpot partners as we reinvented our business model, evolved service offerings, participated jointly in beta programs, and learned to navigate an ever-changing industry. The partner program spawned the ecosystem, without which we wouldn't have experienced both the success and the satisfaction that we now enjoy!

Ed Marsh from Consilium Global Business Advisors, LLC: Through my HubSpot association I've met a number of really smart, creative people from diverse industries and backgrounds. Far more than any tool, or even any cool application of the tool, the insights that have come from sharing and discussing ideas with this group have helped to shape my IP, the services I offer and the way I market myself. That's not only made me better at what I do, it's contributed to entirely new services and approaches which wouldn't exist without those connections.

Darren Leishman from Spitfire inbound: I would have to say that the biggest benefit (and it is difficult to pinpoint one) is the HubSpot community. Their partner programme opens up the HubSpot community to its partner agencies - not only do you gain access to specialists at HubSpot, but you are also introduced to the global partner community. Building relationships within HubSpot and amongst their partners allows businesses and individuals access to global expertise and experiences. The learnings that are gained through the partner programme and community have allowed us to cement solid processes within our business to deliver exceptional standards of work which has meant that we are continually exceeding our clients’ expectations - ultimately contributing to great retention through delivering increased sales for our customers.

"The biggest benefit has been collaborating with HubSpot Partners." - Joe Jerome, Brand Builder Solutions

Rick Kranz from OverGo Studio: Growth is the biggest benefit we have seen since becoming a HubSpot partner. Growth in sales, profits, and community.

OverGo Studio began in 2010 as an inbound marketing agency. At the time we did not know that it was called "inbound marketing". Later that year, while searching for a solution to help with the workload, I came upon HubSpot. Instead of just selling me a subscription, the head of their newly found partner program asked me to join up. So I did.

Immediately after joining I was treated like a family member. There were many things that HubSpot did to help us grow our agency - from lead generation to training. But, the biggest by far is the quality of the people we became exposed to, their expertise and drive to see us succeed. It's been a great ride.

Mikko Seppä from Advance B2B: We started Advance B2B in late 2014 and decided to partner up with HubSpot in 2015. We became a Gold tier partner in 6 months and reached Platinum tier after 12 months of partnership with HubSpot. At the same time, we went from 0 to 1MEUR in revenue. Nearly 95% of the revenue is recurring revenue.

Our secret? Building our key service delivery processes on top of HubSpot platform. We are super effective when delivering our services, and you can only imagine how much customers love that.

But the greatest thing for us has been the other awesome HubSpot Partner Agencies who we've got to know over the past 3 years. We've met so many insightful people who have given us new ideas to grow our agency. HubSpot’s partner program enables us to have a better understanding of how our business is doing when comparing ourselves to other fast growing agencies.

Susan LaPlante-Dube from Precision Marketing Group, LLC: Community. Being part of a larger community of like minded (and some not) business people has given us access to some great agency owners that we have learned from and have shared our expertise with. It has also exposed us to approaches that we know would not work for us, which is just as valuable a learning opportunity.

Joe Jerome from Brand Builder Solutions: The biggest benefit has been collaborating with HubSpot Partners. In 2011 we beta'd our first HubSpot project. We used wordpress and HubSpot and had instant success. We generated more leads for the client’s target persona than they had imagined. But their salesperson wasn't a salesperson and couldn't close the prospects that were begging to pay. That was the first glimpse we had that one small agency couldn't do it all. If only we had brought in a sales process partner or sales coach.

Knowing this I started a new site called Inbound Partner to Partner; it was an alternative network/directory for HubSpot partners who provided complimentary services. We began working with agencies. When we match up with an agency who does the other parts of business development, we get great outcomes. We've done projects with more than one agency, and we also introduce agencies to clients who would benefit more from their services more than ours. We do this even if it means we aren't part of the picture. Our company doesn't benefit when a prospect buys the wrong thing for the wrong problem.

We've had great success for clients working with other agencies and everyone has benefited. The client, our partner agency, HubSpot, and our team. It wouldn't have happened without working with a partner like HubSpot or it's partners. HubSpot isn't just software. It's a community of experts who work in many industries and also specialize in fixing special problems. This has made what we do more fulfilling and accelerated our growth.

Sean Sweet from Blend Marketing Ltd: The biggest benefit in being a HubSpot partner is the ability to link to a company much larger than my own, that is growing and communicating to the widest possible audience. This has allowed us to promote our service to those who are already being influenced in a way that we couldn't have done ourselves.

Increased Recurring Revenue

Agencies were also appreciative of the program’s ability to allow them to charge more for more focused services. For many, this ultimately increased their business revenue and transformed them into companies with more recurring revenue.

“Early on, we realized that agencies had awful cash flow because most of their revenue was from projects like web design, branding or short-term on-page SEO projects. By teaching agencies to bundle services like blogging, lead generation, and email marketing, they could sell services that could be delivered every month and relied upon to show compounding returns and ROI for their clients. That was just the beginning, but it helped agencies get recurring revenue and consistent cash flow.” Caputa shared.

Here are some quotes:

Casey Stillman, an independent consultant: I bought into the monthly retainer model immediately which increased my overall revenue. I became so successful at implementing this concept that I started teaching other agencies how to use this model. Increasing the overall revenue for an agency can make or break their growth trajectory.

Susie Kelley from Spot On: Before becoming a HubSpot partner, we were a project-based traditional agency. Now, 75% of our revenue is recurring retainer. Having a steady cash flow makes a huge difference in how we can grow, hire and sleep at night.

"Hubspot has been an unbelievable resource in helping our agency scale its team, ramp up sales, deliver top-notch presentations, and deliver ACTUAL results for our clients." - Josh Coffy, Flight Media

Frank Cowell from Elevator: The absolute biggest benefit since becoming a HubSpot partner is the transformation we've made from being a project-based business to a recurring revenue-based business. This shift has allowed us to be in a place where we can make decisions for the future as opposed to making decisions for the immediate moment. I won't lie — making the transition was extremely painful, but it had to be done if we wanted a sustainable, scalable business model.

Taylor White from adWhite: Charging more for our services. Since becoming a partner and aligning ourselves with HubSpot, we have transformed into an agency that regularly charged $5,000 per project to one that now charges $5,000 per month x multiple clients. It's been a huge transformation for us.

Josh Coffy from Flight Media: Before becoming a Hubspot partner, we were charging $500-$1,500/mo for our marketing retainers. Now, our minimum retainer is $4k and we've shifted completely to being an "Inbound Marketing" agency. Hubspot has been an unbelievable resource in helping our agency scale its team, ramp up sales, deliver top-notch presentations, and deliver ACTUAL results for our clients.

Trevor Hatfield from Inturact: We were a project-based, primarily web dev focused agency, for 5 years. Once we became a HubSpot partner, we were able to transition not only into developing on the HubSpot COS but creating a recurring revenue stream through marketing services to the companies we were developing sites for.

Galen Dow from AMPED Pipeline Marketing: Increased recurring revenue. HubSpot provides the training and tools necessary to enable you to package ongoing services that provide real business value. Being a HubSpot partner brings a level of immediate brand recognition with it that is not possible as an independent agency. This makes it easier to get long term, monthly retainers signed.

Qualified Leads

The agency partners we surveyed also brought up the fact that the partnership had exposed them to new and, most importantly, qualified leads.The partner directory brought these agencies new business and featured them as inbound marketing leaders, which has also increased their referrals.

Here are quotes from partners:

Doug Fowler from Waypost Marketing: The biggest benefit has been our status as a Gold Tier partner on the Hubspot Partner Directory. We're one of few partners in our area and regularly receive high-quality leads from companies looking for a local partner agency. Our last 4 deals have all come through this channel.

Jennifer Lux from LyntonWeb: Being a HubSpot partner and being featured on their directory results in lots of high-quality sales conversations for our team members at LyntonWeb. Not only do we tend to get more referrals from existing HubSpot customers, HubSpot tends to attract data-driven marketing and sales professionals, which means we almost always have strategic business conversations even during the sales process. This results in the type of clients who are prepared to leverage all the bells and whistles of the HubSpot platform for revenue growth.

Kyle Kramer from Hüify: The ability to generate leads from HubSpot!

Tanya Wigmore from Meticulosity: Since becoming a HubSpot partner, it is much easier for us to get qualified leads to sales. People who are already using HubSpot but needing assistance want someone who knows the ins-and-outs of the platform and being a partner helps to build that trust very quickly.

Nicole Pereira from Chief Martech Officer: Lead flow directly from HubSpot.

Centralized Dashboard

Our survey respondents also saw tremendous benefit in being able to manage entire marketing campaigns from one centralized toolset. This allows them to monitor and manage campaigns as well as see clear metrics related to client success - all in one convenient location.

Here’s what partners told us:

Mario Medina from madison/miles media: We've realized a ton of benefits from becoming a HubSpot partner — chief among them that we get killer client-facing data from the HubSpot platform. Rather than sending our clients miscellaneous reports from Google Analytics, various social media platforms, Google AdWords, and so on, we're able to provide an easy-to-read dashboard with the key information that our clients want to see regularly.

Aaron Dyess from Captevrix: Hubspot's centralized portal offers the ability to manage a complete inbound marketing strategy from social media to landing pages and websites. The simplified process of managing clients, reporting statistics and drilling into the data for account improvement has been a huge resource for our company. Pair that with the extensive training Hubspot has provided to ensure our team is always learning and executing the newest strategies and it has positioned our company for success.

Nate Riggs from NR Media Group: We have been HubSpot Partners since late 2014 and have seen the program evolve over the past few years to include a lot of the recent metrics related to client success and retention. I think it's a benefit to agency partners to have a clear dashboard and expectations on how to advance in partner status, commissions rates and exposure to legacy customers who are looking for agency support. HubSpot also makes a lot of training resources available via the HubSpot Academy which provide great training resources and certifications that can aid in agency employee development.

Henry O'Loughlin from Nectafy: Marketing agencies have to be successful at the practice of inbound. While HubSpot's software cannot directly help with that, with a baseline of expertise in place, HubSpot makes it much easier to manage the entire inbound marketing process. It has allowed us to continually report on and monitor how things are going with our clients, which has in turn, enabled us to retain clients longer than before. Becoming a HubSpot partner has directly improved our client retention, which has been the most important benefit to our agency.

Jamie Rubenovitch

Marketing and Communications at PartnerStack

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