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Your Complete Guide to HubSpot Onboarding

From what it involves, why it’s essential, how much it’ll cost you and what your options are, learn everything you’ll need to know about HubSpot Onboarding.

Published January 2, 2022 By Klim Lugovtsov

Your Complete Guide to HubSpot Onboarding

Adopting a new tech platform can sometimes be as easy as following a few instructions and figuring out the rest as you go. That’s not necessarily the case with the HubSpot platform. Whilst HubSpot is incredibly intuitive and easy to use, there are several moving parts to the onboarding process and it’s important to understand them fully and set them up correctly.   

As with any software investment, the onboarding phase can either make or break your return on HubSpot investment. Taking the time to onboard your business properly will not only minimize the risk of failure, but help smooth the transition for your team, unlock the full potential of the platform and help expedite the chances of seeing results sooner. 

Looking for a HubSpot onboarding checklist? Get an idea of what an onboarding process would look like if you went down the guided HubSpot onboarding route with our checklist.

Looking for a HubSpot onboarding checklist? Get access to one here and get an  idea of what an onboarding process would look like if you went down the guided  HubSpot onboarding route

Realising the importance of proper onboarding, HubSpot has made onboarding mandatory for any business that has purchased some or all of HubSpot’s licenses. They offer every customer dedicated onboarding, either from HubSpot directly or from one of their solutions partners.

"In our experience, poor onboarding is the number one reason companies experience problems with the HubSpot platform."

From what it involves, why it’s essential, how much it’ll cost you and what your options are, this blog uncovers everything you need to know about the HubSpot onboarding process.  

What is HubSpot onboarding? 

HubSpot onboarding is the collaborative process that enables new users to start their HubSpot journey by allowing them to understand, configure, and navigate the various features available on the platform within the context of their business processes.  

Why is HubSpot onboarding necessary 

It’s seen to be a necessary step in your HubSpot journey as it helps you and your team understand how to navigate all the platform's features, utilize the platform to its full potential, and fulfill your business goals and expectations.  

HubSpot has made onboarding mandatory because they want you and your business to grow with the platform. They want to ensure you’re set up for success and have unlocked the true potential of the platform.  

HubSpot is continuously evolving its platform and offers a wide range of capabilities. However, these capabilities are only helpful if: 

  • You’re aware of them  
  • Have configured them correctly from the start (i.e., during the onboarding phase) 
  • Have trained your team on how best to use them to make their day-to-day experience in the platform positive   

All of the above requires a certain level of expertise and know-how, arguably the main reason why HubSpot enforces onboarding, giving you access to the expertise needed to successfully onboard your business to the platform.  

Top tips for overcoming the challenges you’ll face when onboarding HubSpot 

 As with any new platform, the quality of your onboarding and implementation will determine how quickly you start to see a return on your HubSpot investment. A good onboarding and implementation plan will help you generate more leads and customers quickly, as well as improve productivity, efficiency, and tool usage across your team. A poor setup will lead to frustration, time, resource wastage, and ultimately a lower return on HubSpot investment.  

We are a HubSpot platinum solutions partner that has helped onboard many businesses to the HubSpot platform. As a result of this experience, we’re trained to recognize the mistakes made by businesses during the onboarding process. 

Below is a list of the top five most common challenges businesses encounter during the onboarding phase: 

  • User adoption, retention and change management 
  • Unwillingness to adjust processes to work with the HubSpot platform 
  • Migration of your historic data
  • Setting up automation 
  • Configuring your analytics, reports, and dashboards  

To get a deeper understanding of what these challenges are how you can avoid them, check out our blog post here. 

Now that we’ve covered what HubSpot onboarding is and why it’s a necessary step, let’s take a deeper look into what routes you have available for your HubSpot onboarding.  

HubSpot onboarding options explained: HubSpot vs. Solutions Partners 

When it comes to HubSpot onboarding, you have two routes: 

  1. Onboarding with HubSpot directly
  2. Onboarding with a HubSpot solutions partner  

HubSpot onboarding  

When you purchase onboarding with HubSpot, you’ll receive a customized onboarding plan built out for you by HubSpot and designed to help you reach your most important goals. HubSpot onboarding plans focus on several things:  

  • What your highest priority goals are with rolling out HubSpot  
  • What the size and complexity of your business requirements are  
  • What HubSpot licenses you’ve purchased 
  • What your current technology stack is, and how it will integrate with HubSpot.  

HubSpot’s onboarding services are based on the guiding principle. They’ll guide you through the onboarding phase, while you configure and implement your HubSpot platform in a way that helps you meet the objectives outlined at the beginning of your onboarding phase. You're sent to knowledge base articles and HubSpot academy courses to upskill yourself on how to technically implement the tools and develop them for your business requirements. HubSpot won't do anything within your portal, but they will check in for an hour each week to ensure your questions are answered and that you're progressing well. It's the accountability factor that enables you to achieve results. 

"We’d typically recommend the direct HubSpot onboarding route to customers who are looking for product training. Direct onboarding would be a good fit for companies that need a consultant that guides them, but they have the resources to do things themselves". 

– Marek Sukenik, Channel Consultant, HubSpot 

Uncover everything you need to know about onboarding directly with HubSpot with the below links: 

What does onboarding directly with HubSpot cost? 

 Both the duration and cost of your HubSpot onboarding plan will depend on what HubSpot license you’ve purchased and the complexity of the onboarding project.   

Onboarding Hub  

Starter 

Professional 

Enterprise 

Advanced  

Marketing Hub 

£205 

£2450 

£4900 

£6500 

Sales Hub  

£205 

£410 

£2560 

£3280 

Service Hub 

£205 

£410 

£2460 

NA 

CMS Hub 

NA 

£670 

£1640 

NA 

 **Disclaimer – these prices were accurate at the time of publishing this post.  

HubSpot solutions partner onboarding

The alternative to onboarding with HubSpot directly is onboarding with a HubSpot solutions partner. Essentially, a HubSpot solutions partner is a certified HubSpot partner agency that offers a range of HubSpot services. They typically provide a much more customized onboarding process and carry out the configuration and implementation work for you following an upfront strategy phase.  

Not entirely sure what a HubSpot solutions partner is, or why you should consider working with one? Don’t worry, we can tell you everything you need to know. 

Unsure of the right onboarding route for you? We’ve collated all the advantages and disadvantages inherent to each onboarding route. Take a look and decide for yourself! 

HubSpot Onboarding Direct 

Factor  

Advantage 

Disadvantage  

Cost  

 

HubSpot direct onboarding is typically a more costly route. This is because the HubSpot Solutions Partner ecosystem is so competitive and their service levels are more varied, they tend to offer much more varied and competitive pricing than HubSpot Direct Onboarding.  

Timeframe  

 

HubSpot work according to a three-month onboarding plan, which can be a challenge for you if you have an immediate need to get started with the platform. If you want to work at a slower pace, then HubSpot Direct Onboarding won’t work for you. 

Process and experience 

You can rest assured that HubSpot has a tried and tested onboarding process. Their standardized approach to onboarding means they've onboarded thousands of businesses like yours before. The onboarding plan that you will get will be extremely robust. 

On the other hand, a standardized approach to onboarding means that the heavily templated process isn’t customized and is suitable for businesses with a more robust and complex setup. As a result, the knowledge transfer is typically theoretic and generic in nature, which isn’t always suitable for your needs.  

Range of services 

With HubSpot Direct, you get allocated a dedicated onboarding specialist, with the sole focus of getting you onboarded onto the platform. Whereas a HubSpot partner offers a wider range of services, such as ongoing and troubleshooting support. 

Having a dedicated onboarding specialist is only beneficial during the onboarding phase. They don't offer ongoing strategic support beyond the onboarding project and don’t help you troubleshoot issues during the onboarding phase. If you expect you’ll need support in future projects, you should consider a HubSpot partner.  

The effort required from you 

 

One of the biggest disadvantages of going directly with HubSpot is the cost of lost human resources within your business. HubSpot direct onboarding requires dedicated internal resources to configure and implement the onboarding actions, research and learn how to complete one-off activities and troubleshoot team issues.  All of which detracts from their day-to-day activities. 

Training and change management  

 

Someone internally will need to champion the onboarding process and help the change management aspect of switching platforms. HubSpot will work with you to guide you through the process and encourage you to read knowledge-based articles. However, they won't train you and the team. Instead, they'll encourage you to train yourself by taking certifications on the HubSpot academy.  

HubSpot Partner Onboarding 

Factor  

Pro 

Con 

Cost  

Businesses with tight budgets will benefit from HubSpot partner onboardings you can typically find more cost-effective onboarding plans than those offered by HubSpot direct. You also have the added benefit of comparing the prices of different agencies to find one that fits your budget.  

Whilst agency partners generally charge lower for onboarding, it’s still an unpredictable element. 

 

Timeframe  

Depending on the HubSpot partner, the onboarding process can be expedited and done within two months of engaging with them. 

 

Process and experience 

Solutions Partners are far better equipped to deliver bespoke and complex onboarding experiences. They also rope in different departments (e.g., marketing, sales and service) for better alignment on how HubSpot should work.  

 

Range and quality of services 

When you go down the HubSpot partner onboarding route, you get access to HubSpot experts typically working with the platform in live environments with varying levels of complexity. This brings a certain level of hands-on experience and product knowledge that is invaluable.  

Because solutions partners offer a range of their onboarding and ongoing support services, the quality and standard of work can vary substantially.  

The effort required from you 

HubSpot solutions partners usually do most of the heavy lifting for you, meaning there is far less effort required from you and your team. You get access to execution beyond consultation. The actual configuration, implementation and troubleshooting are done by the HubSpot partner. 

 

Training and change management  

HubSpot solutions partners typically champion the onboarding process and offer bespoke training sessions to help with the change management aspect of the HubSpot onboarding process.  

 

“We typically direct customers to the HubSpot solution partner directory if they need someone to do things for them or are looking for extended value. Working with a HubSpot partner agency provides customers with a broad set of Inbound and demand generation strategies and services that enable them to achieve their overall business growth goals, both strategically and tactically.” 

 – Sharen Murnagham – Channel Account Manager, HubSpot  

So, which HubSpot onboarding route is for you?

Whilst we can’t make this decision for you, we’d suggest that you ask yourself a few questions to help you and your team get the most out of your HubSpot platform and onboarding experience: 

  • Do you have an immediate need to be onboarded, or are you prepared to commit three months to this with your internal resources? 
  • Do you need more than consultancy? In other words, do you need help with the configuration and implementation part of the onboarding process? 
  • Do you prefer a more bespoke experience with someone that has a deeper knowledge of the platform and that can offer ongoing strategic support in the future?  
  • Are you comfortable with paying more money for a tailored experience?