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 sound similar. In both cases, you’re adding HubSpot to your business. But there are definitely some major differences between the two.

As an Elite-tier solutions partner, it's fair to say we've onboarded and implemented more than a handful of HubSpot portals for clients from all walks of life. In this week's article, discover exactly what onboarding and implementation involve and what to expect when you work with us to get started with HubSpot.


HubSpot onboarding explained

Onboarding is a standard, templated process to help you get started with HubSpot. You purchase it either from HubSpot themselves or a solutions partner like us.  

Onboarding usually involves just one hub. It involves a series of sessions designed to familiarise your team with their new software. These sessions cover everything your team needs to know, such as the features available in your plan and how to use them after the onboarding process is complete. 

Think of HubSpot as a flat-pack cabinet. Onboarding is the process of understanding how to assemble your new furniture (platform). HubSpot, or us if you chose to use a solutions partner, are IKEA, helping you to put everything together quickly, effectively, and correctly.

If you want to make changes during that cabinet installation, like choosing a different handle design, you can buy extras along the way. All in all, though, it’s a great piece of furniture that can look good in lots of homes.

What is HubSpot implementation?

A HubSpot implementation often involves multiple Hubs and complex data and reporting requirements. 

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

Going back to the IKEA reference: with implementation, you get a custom cabinet built by an expert carpenter. They’ll have a look at the room and your decor, establish what was wrong with the old cabinet and look at what you might want to store in your new one. They'll help you uncover what kind of wood you’d like, which varnish, how many doors and drawers you need — all of it, right down to details like your options for bespoke handles and hinges.

After going over everything, including when you’d like your new cabinet built, they'll go away and draw up the plans. They'll consider the best way to put your cabinet together based on what you’ve told them and use their expertise to suggest some options you might not even have thought of. You’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture that does exactly what you need it to.

Onboarding and implementations with BabelQuest

We offer two onboarding and implementation packages: guided onboarding and advanced implementations.

If you're looking to onboard yourself onto your new platform, guided onboarding might be for you. We'll still look at what you need from the technology and we'll use those insights to build you a detailed onboarding plan, but you're choosing your in-house team of experts to do the heavy lifting.

Advanced implementations are the best choice for organisations with complex needs. You might be a global brand with offices in several different countries or a business with a particularly challenging organisational structure around which your technology estate needs to be mapped. You'll likely be buying multiple hubs from HubSpot, likely at the Enterprise level.

Our advanced implementations take on a macro view of your entire business, with a strategic and customised look at HubSpot’s role in your tech stack. We then build for you a future-proof portal that will grow with your business.

Due to their advanced nature, our Expert Practices team undertakes these projects. 

Related Read: 7 Frequently Asked HubSpot Onboarding Questions Answered

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.

If you know you need one of these solutions but you're not sure which, click the image below and reach out to us today.

Just want to talk?

If you want to talk to one of our team about which onboarding option is right for you..


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