HubSpot Onboarding Vs. Implementation: What’s the Difference?

One question we’re frequently asked: What’s the difference between HubSpot onboarding and HubSpot implementation?

We definitely get the confusion, as the processes might outwardly sound similar - in both cases, you’re adding HubSpot to your business. But there are definitely some major differences between the two. We’ll explain exactly what onboarding and implementation involve, and what to expect when you work with us to get started with HubSpot.


HubSpot Onboarding

Onboarding is a standard, templated process to help you get started with HubSpot which you have to buy either from HubSpot themselves or a Solutions Partner.  

Onboarding usually involves just one hub and wouldn’t involve looking at how HubSpot fits into your wider business, or how it might need to be set up to give you flexibility as you grow. What it does include is a series of sessions designed to familiarise your team with their new software. These sessions will cover everything your team needs to know, such as features available in your plan, and how to use them after the onboarding process is complete. 

Think of Onboarding as a flat pack cabinet, and we’re IKEA. You measure and pick out the cabinet that you think works best, then we’ll give you the instructions for how to set it up. Our consultant is the allen key – a tool to help as you do the heavy lifting yourself. 

If you want to make changes during that cabinet installation, like choosing a different handle design, you’ll need to make extra purchases. All in all, though, it’s a great piece of furniture that can look good in lots of homes. 

With us, you can opt to beef up your onboarding experience by purchasing our ‘Enhanced’ or ‘Elite’ packages. Each of these come with add-ons like a personalised self-serve success plan, strategic consulting sessions with our experts, and workshops to help you start getting ROI from the platform on day one.

Related Read: 7 Frequently Asked HubSpot Onboarding Questions Answered


Implementation with HubSpot

A HubSpot implementation is a project undertaken by our Expert Practices team. It often involves multiple Hubs and complex data and reporting requirements. 

To get started with implementation, we’ll go through a detailed discovery phase and produce a full SoW which includes an agreed timeline and deliverables. 

With implementation, we take on a macro view of your entire business, with a strategic and customised look at HubSpot’s role in your techstack. We then build you a future-proof portal that will grow with your business. 

Implementation customers are typically businesses with more complex requirements, like custom integrations,  or multiple divisions across multiple regions. 

Going back to the IKEA reference: with implementation, you get a custom cabinet built by one of our expert carpenters. We’ll have a look at the room and your decor, and establish what was wrong with the old cabinet, and what you might want to store in your new one. We’ll help you uncover what kind of wood you’d like, which varnish, how many doors and drawers you need. We’ll also talk through options for handles and hinges.

After going over everything, including when you’d like your new cabinet built, we’ll go away and draw up the plans. We’ll consider the best way to put your cabinet together based on what you’ve told us, and use our expertise to suggest some options you might not have thought of. 

If during the building process you decide you want a custom carved front, we’ll charge you the agreed day-rate. You’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind, custom piece of furniture which does exactly what you need it to.


So, which one do I need?

Deciding between onboarding and implementation can involve a great number of factors, including budget, needs, and company goals. While onboarding can be a helpful choice when starting out, many businesses find that implementation can take their HubSpot platform to an entirely new level. 

Want more information about HubSpot onboarding and implementation? Read HubSpot Onboarding: A Detailed Guide

You can also reach out to us today to uncover which solution is right for your business.

Hollie Higa
About the Author
Hollie is the in-house Marketing Manager at BabelQuest, an Elite-tier HubSpot Solutions Partner based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.