5 tips to help you make the right choice
What do the All Blacks and successful tech businesses have in common? The kind of culture that produces high-performing teams. And it’s one of the most crucial considerations to keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for a HubSpot agency partner.
By the time your tech company has reached this point in your growth journey - the selection of HubSpot as your CRM and marketing automation platform - it's because you're growing as a business, and you want to keep that momentum going. HubSpot helps you scale by automating key process around attracting, converting and delighting customers, and much greater visibility to the results. So the next question is: how do you determine what HubSpot agency partner will be the best fit for your tech business?
Recently, HubSpot revamped its Solutions Partner Program, making it easier for you to find and review the capabilities of their 4,000 (and growing) agency partners. To narrow it down a bit further, we've put together a few tips that will help to crystallise your thinking, so you can select a qualified HubSpot agency partner that aligns with your tech company, and the challenges and requirements you represent.
Why do you need a HubSpot partner?
For one simple and very good reason: to ensure you get the most out of your HubSpot investment. Simply signing up won’t deliver the benefits you’re after; you need a dedicated team focussed on every element of your inbound marketing campaigns, creating a consistent flow of strategic content, marketing and lead generation, selling and closing deals, then delighting customers. An experienced and skilled HubSpot agency partner will help you tap into HubSpot's full potential, leveraging those features and tailoring the HubSpot offering for your specific requirements.
What factors matter most in selecting a HubSpot agency partner?
HubSpot's Partner Directory is a good place to start. You can filter the list to narrow down the results and create a shortlist that meet your basic criteria (e.g. services offered, countries serviced, industries, HubSpot certifications and awards). HubSpot and inbound expertise are a given; if they've reached a tiered status (Gold, Platinum, Diamond or Elite), you can be sure they're actively helping clients with HubSpot. To assess their credibility and competence, review their certifications and awards, and read the reviews.
The next step in evaluating your potential choices is to measure them against each of these five key considerations.
It’s essential that the agency is offering the right range of services across the whole HubSpot stack, with a team that has the skills and experience to deliver them. Find out more about the individuals on their team - their fields of expertise, how they fit into the agency, what their specific roles are. These people will become part of your company, and you will establish an important working relationship with them. Think of them as a candidate for employment, and evaluate them in the same way. Don't be shy about asking to chat with the key people you'll be working with so you can assess their skills, style, and fit with you and your business.
2: Industry knowledge
If an agency specialises in your industry sector then they can deliver greater value. For tech businesses, what you’re looking for here is a proven track record of actually understanding the technological solutions and products they market for their clients. In discussions they should be able to get to grips with your product and what the common go to market issues might be. That's because within the tech industry, businesses face many of the same challenges, and you need a partner who not only understands them, but has proven success in overcoming them.
3: Proven business processes
The bigger and more complex a project, the greater the risk. Processes help reduce this risk by ensuring best practice is followed. Having proven processes in place ensure consistency across a wider team involved in the project. Not only that, but an agency should be able to demonstrate an understanding of your business when it comes to matching HubSpot with your requirements, beginning with a clear and comprehensive onboarding strategy. If your questions on this topic don't produce detailed and enthusiastic answers, move on. Vague and ambiguous explanations of their inbound strategies are a red flag; what they need to show is a clear and transparent methodology with proven results.
4: Experience using HubSpot in the real-world
What you're looking for here is an agency that functions both as a digital marketer and a HubSpot practitioner, one that can, if required, act as your marketing department. An agency like this will not only skilled in implementing, training and consulting around the HubSpot platform, but also be experienced in using the system to drive growth for their clients. The partner agencies you're considering should offer a range of services, products and solutions that are specifically customised for the tech industry, and can be tailored to meet your individual requirements.
5: Proven success with an engagement model
Evaluate how the agency manages the process of understanding a company’s business goals, turning that into project requirements, and then delivering the project. There is a range of roles required – strategy, delivery, account management. An agency partner should have a clear engagement, project management and delivery model.
They should also provide an overview of the clients they work with. Look for case studies on their website that describe the successes they've had, as well as other customer testimonials they've provided. HubSpot Impact Awards are a good gauge of whether the agency has independently judged by HubSpot as doing high quality work.
As you work your way through each of the above, you'll gain a better understanding of the type of relationship you can expect, as well as how much they'll understand your business.
The 'no dickheads' test
This is such an important consideration it deserves its own section - the question of ‘cultural fit’. The New Zealand All Blacks are one of the world's top performing sports teams because they don't prioritise raw talent; they focus on cultural alignment, establishing and upholding core values, and ensuring a team-first attitude. They have their high-scorers on the field, but these players are not elevated above the rest because of it. They have an enforced 'no dickheads' policy, which means that there's no room for divas who won't put the team first.
Look for an agency that shares these values. They'll demonstrate a commitment to the health and well-being of their teams, and to creating an environment that nurtures creativity and innovation. They'll be easy to work with, practical and clear, and above all, they’ll be committed to helping you win.
Partnering with Concentrate on the HubSpot journey
As a Diamond HubSpot partner working with the platform since 2013, Concentrate has implemented with tech companies from start-up to large, mature NZX listed enterprises. We're specialists in B2B marketing for hi-tech companies and know what sort of apps and tactics, from website content management to marketing automation functions (email automation etc) and customer relationship management (CRM), will deliver the best return.
As a tech company, you will know choosing the technology is easy, but getting your team to use it effectively is the hard part. We understand and can help your team integrate technology into the way they market and sell your products. We also boast New Zealand's only HubSpot Master Trainer, and his expertise will help get your team performing at optimum levels.