Like any software, there’s the inevitable onboarding period. And like any software, it’s important your HubSpot solution is configured correctly. Taking the time to get this right in the first instance will help you deliver a smoother rollout, minimise time to value and set you up in the best possible way to unlock the full value of the HubSpot platform, day after day.
To help you achieve all this, HubSpot offers every customer dedicated onboarding, either from HubSpot itself or one of its certified partner agencies (‘Solutions Partners’).
What does HubSpot’s onboarding involve? Why exactly do you need it and who will it benefit most? What should you expect and why might you opt to onboard with a Solutions Partner over HubSpot directly? For all the answers to these questions and more, read on.
You’re not the only one wanting to unlock the full value of the HubSpot platform. HubSpot offers onboarding because it wants that for you, too. And if there’s one thing HubSpot’s renowned for alongside its ease of use, its customer support.
From product demos and team training to Live Chat support and the much-loved HubSpot Academy, HubSpot has a reputation for being there when you need it. Its onboarding offer is really just another extension of that, helping you to find your feet and get the platform working for your business as quickly as possible.
It’s a true specialist who understands the many features and functionalities available across the full HubSpot platform. And more are constantly being released as HubSpot evolves its platform offering off the back of the community’s feedback.
It’s a fantastic thing, to have all these capabilities at your fingertips — except, they’re only useful to you if you
know about them
have configured them correctly when onboarding
have trained your team in how to best use them
This is why HubSpot insists that when you onboard, you use either HubSpot or a partner agency, giving you access to the expertise you need to make your Hub/portal a success.
HubSpot onboarding explained
When we talk about HubSpot onboarding, what we’re referring to is the process of setting up, or configuring, your new HubSpot software so that it’s ready for your business to use.
This includes template creation, setting up workflows correctly and creating pipelines that your whole business can use to make more informed business decisions.
As they work with you to configure your new software, the HubSpot onboarding team will dig into your business requirements and what you need the platform to deliver. Perhaps automation could help you to save time here, or a workflow would improve lead nurturing there. You might be struggling to create a set of smart goals to track performance.
As you might imagine, this can be quite a technical process depending on how you need your HubSpot set up to best serve your business needs. But it’s not just a technical process.
HubSpot onboarding also involves a series of training sessions designed to familiarise your whole team with their new software and how to use it. Delivered as part of the onboarding process by HubSpot’s onboarding specialists, these standardised training sessions will cover everything your team needs to know in terms of the features available in your plan and how to use them long after the onboarding process is complete.
HubSpot’s onboarding specialists will also offer advice unique to your business and recommend when to use certain features to help you get the most value out of the platform.
Whether you’re investing in HubSpot for the first time, or simply adding a new Hub to your existing suite, by the end of the onboarding period you should have an expertly configured HubSpot platform, ready to use, and a team capable of using it.
So what kind of challenges might you expect to face when onboarding your new platform and how could HubSpot or one of its Solution Partners help you to overcome them?
Common challenges when onboarding HubSpot
As you might expect, there are plenty of technical challenges when implementing a new system, but don’t forget about the human challenges, too.
If you’ve already read our article on how to successfully roll out a new CRM, you’ll remember that people don’t like change. It’s important to get your users familiar with your new HubSpot portal before it launches to keep the rollout smooth and adoption high.
Whether technical or people-based, let’s look at some of the most common challenges you will face when onboarding HubSpot:
Adopting an entirely new platform
A platform shift is a big change for any organisation. As we’ve just touched on, it will come with technical challenges as well as people-based ones.
Do you have the technical expertise in-house to configure your new HubSpot instance correctly?
Do you have the technical expertise to integrate it with any other core systems on which your operations depend?
In the absence of HubSpot’s standardised training sessions to help upskill your team on the new platform, what tactics have you got to educate your team and win them over?
No matter how experienced or knowledgeable your in-house HubSpot experts are, the wider business won’t get to grips with all the platforms functions and capabilities overnight.
Does your team have the resources (and the stamina) to support the business until it’s more capable of using the software?
Successfully migrating across your data
A big part of adopting a new platform is migrating your company’s data across to the new system.
Given just how precious data is these days (and how sensitively it must be protected), can you confidently say your business has the capabilities and the processes to sync, map and in some cases clean your data so that it is migrated across correctly?
Setting up automation
HubSpot’s automation capabilities are industry-leading. Using them, you’ll be able to save all your customer-facing teams time and improve efficiencies across the business — never mind deliver targeted marketing and sales outreach that really speaks to your buyers.
But these aren’t out-of-the-box solutions. HubSpot’s automation is so effective precisely because you can set it up according to your team’s needs (and those of your buyers). Every team’s needs are different, as are the target audiences we’re all trying to reach.
Can your team set up workflows independently?
Are they experienced at creating templates that can be used time and time again?
How many pipelines have they configured in the past?
All these features are easy to use and can be picked up quickly — but not as quickly as when you have a HubSpot specialist to show you the ropes and optimise your first attempts.
Configuring your analytics
We’re not going to belabour the importance of setting up your analytics correctly. That speaks for itself!
Does your team have the platform knowledge to create the dashboards and set up the reporting you need to prove the value of your activities, as well as the value of HubSpot?
HubSpot’s analytics potential is awesome, but to unlock all that value, you need to make sure it’s configured correctly to keep your data accurate and your insights helpful.
With these challenges in mind, what can you expect when onboarding with HubSpot?
HubSpot onboarding: what to expect
HubSpot onboarding overview
HubSpot’s experts will design an onboarding plan for you based on
your highest priority goals with HubSpot
the size and complexity of your organisation
the HubSpot products you purchased
your current technology stack and how it integrates with HubSpot
As we touched on above, this will involve going through your business model, defining smart goals, understanding your plans and what challenges you might face, setting up workflows/tasks/pipelines etc. and documenting a strategy to help attain the desired results.
How long does HubSpot onboarding take?
The average onboarding duration with HubSpot lasts for around three months. This is the timeframe within which HubSpot commits to completing your onboarding.
Of course, this timeline can vary significantly depending on the nature of your onboarding, your requirements and their complexity. You may complete onboarding well within this time.
The timeline for your onboarding is something the HubSpot onboarding experts will help you to define when they take on your case.
When looking for more definite pricing, the best thing to do is reach out to HubSpot for a quote.
Their onboarding team will advise you on how much your onboarding will cost based on the services required, products purchased, scope of work etc.
Onboarding: HubSpot vs Solutions Partners
By now, you’re probably wondering what a Solutions Partner can offer you that HubSpot doesn’t.
Given everything HubSpot onboarding covers, why would a business such as yours consider using a HubSpot partner agency for onboarding services?
There are genuine cases when it makes more sense, economically and from an onboarding perspective, to choose a Solutions Partner over HubSpot. At the same time, you might draw some disadvantages to working with a partner agency over HubSpot directly.
The fairest way to compare the two, particularly when you consider that we’re a Solutions Partner ourselves, is with a direct comparison.
Here are some pros and cons of onboarding directly with HubSpot.
HubSpot Onboarding direct
Tried-and-tested onboarding process: You can have no doubt going into HubSpot onboarding directly that your experts know what they are doing. HubSpot’s onboarding specialists will have onboarded hundreds of businesses like yours, and the standardised process they follow has been refined time and time again.
Cost: Always near the top of a company’s priorities, the cost of HubSpot’s onboarding services can be a mark against choosing to onboard directly. As a result of the more competitive Solutions Partner ecosystem and their wildly varying service levels, partner agencies tend to offer much more varied and competitive pricing.
Dedicated onboarding specialists: There’s also something to be said for knowing that the people onboarding your HubSpot are there to do exactly that. Their focus is on your and your portal, when a Solution Partner’ team — with broader responsibilities outside of just onboarding businesses onto HubSpot — might find their focus pulled in other directions
Standardised services: Due to its size and market presence, HubSpot needs a standardised onboarding process in order to maintain quality and standards at scale. But this also means the onboarding services it offers are heavily templated. Its onboarding experts will always endeavour to tailor those services to your business and requirements, but the services themselves are rigid, making them unsuitable for businesses with particularly complex needs or those with teams who require a little more support.
Timeframe: The potential three-month window for onboarding can be a lot for a business to swallow, especially if its business needs are pressing or its industry is particularly fast-paced.
Choosing to onboard with a HubSpot Solutions Partner
HubSpot Onboarding with Solutions Partner
More cost-effective: One of the biggest cons to going direct with HubSpot for onboarding is naturally a benefit to choosing a Solutions Partner’s services. Businesses with tight budgets or challenging internal approval processes for new technology/wrap-around services may find the lower costs more accessible.
Varying services: Because Solutions Partners offer their own onboarding services, and because they have much less experience of delivering these at volume compared to HubSpot’s numbers, it’s important to make sure you understand what you’re getting for your money. Does it deliver onboarding for your Hub or the third-party systems you need to integrate?
Tailored services and experience: Solutions Partners are much better equipped to deliver customised onboarding experiences unique to each client. If your business has a challenging HubSpot setup or lots of other data requirements/systems to integrate, a Solutions Partner is the best approach to take for onboarding.
Questionable quality/standards: Solutions Partners come in all flavours so make sure you choose the right partner for your organisation. Has the Solutions Partner delivered lots of onboarding services before? Can you find reviews or testimonials from other companies attesting to the quality of its onboarding services?
Working with HubSpot experts: It’s easy to assume that direct HubSpot onboarding will give you access to the best experts, but consider that your onboarding team’s expertise is just that — onboarding. On the other hand, a Solutions Partner’s onboarding experts typically work with the product in live environments and all kinds of different contexts and use cases every day. That level of hands-on experience and product knowledge is invaluable.
If you’re considering onboarding delivered by a Solutions Partner, BabelQuest can help. We offer the most flexible onboarding packages on the market, designed to align with your goals rather than locking you into a package based on your Hubspot subscription level. Need something a little more complex than what you see in our standard packages? Choose a bespoke implementation and
Collate, clean and import customer data into HubSpot CRM.
Benefit from the full configuration of contacts, deal stages, sequences and sales automation mapped to your sales process.
Help you define your reporting requirements across every Hub.
Then train your team on your customised HubSpot platform, unlocking its potential.
We can support you with all the leading HubSpot integrations, as well as other bespoke integrations such as connecting HubSpot CRM to another CRM system or to ERP or Accounting tools, so your business-critical systems (and the rest besides) are all joined up.
And when migrating your existing CRM, we'll audit and clean your data, then map and align the structure of your data and records to ensure the smooth transfer of data before testing.
This team is made up of technology specialists and world-leading HubSpot consultants who manage technical configuration, websites and complex HubSpot implementations, no matter how sophisticated our clients’ requirements are.
“BabelQuest is one of the first HubSpot Solutions Partners in the UK to have been awarded HubSpot’s AIC, which really speaks to the calibre of our work and our capabilities in this area.” ‘Unlocking Expert Practices’
This will make a real difference when we get to training your team as part of the onboarding process. Our HubSpot Certified trainers are on-hand to deliver the precise training you need so your whole team knows exactly how to use the platform. This can take the form of
written documentation to help you unlock the full value of the HubSpot platform and ensure you keep seeing a return on your investment, day after day
The right BabelQuest onboarding package for you will largely depend on the level of strategic support you would like. Our Basic packages will just get the technical bits setup so your Hubs are ready to use. Both our 'Enhanced' and 'Elite' packages go a step further, adding strategic consulting sessions, workshops and training, as well as beautifully designed templates if you're using Marketing Hub.
If your business model is such that you need a slightly more complex setup (different requirements and permissions for different business units, countries, etc.) then it's likely that you will need more support when onboarding than the standard packages offer.
But we know it’s useful to have an idea of what a bespoke implementation looks like, so here are some examples of what you’ll receive and how you’ll benefit:
A discovery call to fully understand your current setup and business requirements.
Scoping to identify what functionality you need the platform to deliver.
Migrating contact data from the previous CRM provider to HubSpot CRM.
Integrating essential third-party software with HubSpot.
Implementation, even of advanced/complex configurations.
Personalised training and 1:1 coaching of key users.
“BabeIQuest has been instrumental in achieving our business objectives by helping us with our digital platform. The team understands our aims and goals from working with us at the early stages of our relationship, so if you're looking for an organisation to help take you to the next level — give them a call.” Graham Jones, TCM (a Mitsubishi Company)
Whether you go it alone, go to HubSpot directly or choose a Solutions Partner to configure your personalised HubSpot platform, a lot will depend on your organisation’s requirements.
If budget’s no question and your business needs are relatively straightforward, it might be easier for you to get internal sign-off on onboarding delivered by HubSpot directly, leveraging their company reputation and experience.
At the same time, businesses with more agile needs, custom or complex requirements and tighter budget constraints will typically be better served by a Solutions Partner capable of delivering tailored onboarding services within a shorter time frame.
HubSpot really is simple to use once it’s all set up correctly. But the decision of how to set it up? That can feel like more of a headache. We hope this article helps you to decide on the best way to onboard HubSpot for your organisation.
And if you’re looking for a helping hand from an Elite HubSpot Solutions Partner who specialises in advanced onboarding and implementation — we’re here to help.
To talk to us about our HubSpot onboarding services and how we can help you to unlock the full potential of the HubSpot platform, get in touch today.