Direct HubSpot Onboarding vs. Partner Agency Onboarding

Kendall | February 07, 2023 | Hubspot

Hey, soon-to-be HubSpotters! This one’s for you.

Now that you’ve made the decision to grow better with HubSpot, I’ll first congratulate you. You’ve chosen a robust platform and set of tools that can help you eliminate friction, reach your goals, and drive revenue. 

But I’ll also warn you: HubSpot will only work for you if you use it effectively. That’s where a solid HubSpot onboarding plan can really help you out. 

For that, you have two options: onboard directly with HubSpot or onboard with one of HubSpot’s partner agencies. I’ll break down the two approaches and their pros and cons below.

What's the Big Deal About HubSpot Onboarding?

If you purchase (or have already purchased) a HubSpot Professional or Enterprise account, onboarding isn’t just recommended; it’s required. 

Why? It’s that important to your future success using the platform. HubSpot offers so many features that it can be difficult to nail them all right off the bat. Without an expert guiding you, you may run into challenges or not even be aware of all the resources available to you. 

Plus, switching to HubSpot is more than just adding a new item to your tech stack. Instead, you’ll find that you’ll optimize many of your systems and processes throughout. Your HubSpot use will affect sales, marketing, service, development, and operations teams alike. It's a lot to wrap your mind around if you don’t have experience with the tools.

So there you have it. A full onboarding process will help you and your team get situated in your portal, refine your processes, and enable you to use HubSpot to its fullest potential.

Now, how?

HubSpot Onboarding Checklist

So, what exactly does HubSpot onboarding involve? Here’s a checklist that covers most of the topics. 

Keep in mind that every business is different, every HubSpot portal is different, and therefore every HubSpot onboarding process is different. Your onboarding checklist may have small changes depending on your needs. 

  • Domain setup (primary and any secondary subdomains)
  • Account defaults
  • Data migration
  • Data cleansing
  • Tracking code installation
  • Review existing sales and marketing processes
  • Sales and marketing email setup (plus templates, if applicable)
  • Integration with other tech stack items and social media accounts
  • Automation opportunities
  • Workflow creation
  • Service and sales pipelines
  • Custom dashboards
  • Lead scoring
  • Campaign setup
  • Anything else that’s a priority for your business!

What to Expect From Onboarding with HubSpot

Here’s your first HubSpot onboarding option: work directly with a HubSpot implementation specialist. Your experience working with HubSpot will depend on which plan you purchase, but it will generally be 90 days and give you basic information on how to set up and use HubSpot. They’ll also give you demos of all the features available to you, and they might even give you advice on which integrations may be useful. 

At the end of your engagement, your implementation specialist will walk you through how to set up your first marketing campaign. This is where they leave you. 

With all of that in mind, here’s how direct HubSpot onboarding stacks up in terms of expertise, tasks you have to complete by yourself, pricing, and timeline.

HubSpot Expertise

Given that a HubSpot implementation specialist is, well, a literal HubSpot employee, you can trust that you’re in good hands. They’ll have incredible knowledge of all the tools available to you. However, there is just one of them, and you have limited time with them in your 90-day engagement. 

Tasks You Need to Complete

HubSpot can provide great support throughout the onboarding process. However, it’s best to think of them more as a consultant than an extension of your own team. Your implementation specialist will fill you in on what you need to do, but you’re going to be the one doing most of it — migrating data, building buyer journeys, adding integrations, etc.


The cost of direct HubSpot onboarding depends on which plan you choose. Here’s the breakdown:

  • HubSpot Starter: $250
  • HubSpot Professional: $3,000
  • HubSpot Enterprise: $6,000
  • Custom HubSpot Plan: $8,000


HubSpot’s onboarding process follows a 90-day timeline. This is great for getting up and running quickly, but you may find that you have more to learn at the end of your engagement. While 90 days seems like a long time, it can really fly by. 

Pros & Cons of Direct HubSpot Onboarding

Pros Cons
  • Easy handoff from sales to onboarding
  • Predictable pricing
  • Predictable timeline
  • Onboarding task autonomy
  • Limited to 90-day engagement
  • Minimal technical support
  • Only 1 HubSpot expert
  • Difficult to stay on track with small team

What to Expect From Onboarding with a HubSpot Partner Agency

Your second option: hire a HubSpot partner to guide you through the onboarding process. HubSpot partners are agencies that have met specific requirements from HubSpot to effectively manage and service clients using the platform. They’re vetted by HubSpot themselves and are even ranked based on their managed revenue, number of HubSpot clients, software engagement, and inbound marketing success

All HubSpot partner agencies have been through a ton of training to ensure they train you on the right things, the right way. However, each one works a little differently. They have different training methods, engagement timelines, and pricing. 

That flexibility often means that HubSpot partner agencies can provide a more tailored onboarding experience. Agencies aren’t limited to a particular timeline, so they can take their time getting to know you and your industry. 

HubSpot Expertise

HubSpot partner agencies are trained to have the same level of HubSpot expertise that actual HubSpot employees do. Plus, they may also have experience working with other tools in your tech stack, so they can take a more holistic approach to get all your ducks in a row. Better yet, HubSpot agencies work as a team — so you’ll have a number of experts working with you, rather than just one.

Tasks You Need to Complete

With a partner agency, the number of onboarding tasks you need to complete on your own is very much in your hands. Partner agencies are more likely to complete many of the tasks for you. This is great for small teams with a lack of knowledge, time, and resources. However, if you’d like to do some of the tasks yourself, that’s always up for discussion too. 


There is no set pricing for HubSpot partner agency services. They establish their own pricing. While uncertainty there is a bit of a bummer, it may actually pay off because you aren’t stuck to one pricing plan. Your rate can be determined based on your specific goals and needs.


There is no strict timeline for onboarding with partner agencies. Most agencies will customize it based on your needs. If you want to move faster than 90 days, they can make it work. If you want to extend the process, they can do that too. Also keep in mind that many agencies will offer to continue your engagement with ongoing support once onboarding is complete. 

Pros & Cons of HubSpot Partner Agency Onboarding

Pros Cons
  • Team of HubSpot experts
  • Custom pricing plan
  • Flexible timeline
  • Great technical support (will do tasks for you)
  • Ongoing support
  • Possible marketing knowledge
  • You have to find a right-fit partner
  • Unpredictable pricing

How to Choose a HubSpot Partner Agency

Unless you’re a stickler about consistent pricing and 90-day timelines, completing HubSpot onboarding with a partner agency is a smart choice that can set the ton for long-term success. However, it’s important not to choose just any partner, but the right partner

Take some time to explore your options, comparing things like pricing, timelines, specialized expertise, and whatever else is important to you. If you need help knowing where to look or what to look for, here are some good places to start: 

  • Recommendations from your HubSpot Channel Account Manager 
  • Partner agency reviews, testimonials, and case studies
  • Partner information on additional services you may need outside of HubSpot (e.g. marketing, sales operations)
  • Partner web pages or blogs about HubSpot onboarding, tools, etc.

You may even meet with a few agencies to get a feel for their work style and culture, and if those things align with how your business operates. 


Ready to Get Started with HubSpot Onboarding? Let's Talk!

If you’re ready to get started with HubSpot onboarding and are looking for a partner agency to guide you along, you’re in the right place. Evenbound is a Diamond HubSpot Partner with multiple HubSpot Certified Trainers and over 350 certifications. We’ve utilized HubSpot to help our clients (and ourselves!) reach hefty growth goals, and we’re ready to add you to the list. 


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