1 min read

Should You Work with a HubSpot Partner? (HubHeroes, Ep. 64)

what is a hubspot partner

 

Can you freakin' believe it? We're almost at the end of another year, with 2024 mere weeks away! That means we have another year of goals, KPIs, campaigns, sales targets, content strategies, and more.

Here's the thing, though. Just like The Beatles, when it comes to successful inbounding and HubSpotting, you don't have go at it alone — you can "get by with a little help from your friends." More specifically, one of the best parts of the HubSpot ecosystem is the fact that you can turn to countless HubSpot partners to make your inbound dreams a reality. If you make smart choices, of course. 

🔥 Related: The HubSpot partner agency model isn't broken ... we are

Which is why we're taking a step back from all the powerful technology and tools HubSpot has to offer in this episode, and we're setting our sights on empowering you with all of the HubSpot partner knowledge you need to make smart choices in the new year. 

Because HubSpot help is only helpful if you know what kind of help you need. On top of that ... well, let's just say we've got a few hot takes up our sleeves about how HubSpot partners can (and must) step up their game in 2024.

What We Talked About

  • What is a HubSpot partner exactly? Are there different types of HubSpot partners?

  • Why do so many not understand the benefits of working with a HubSpot partner?

  • What are the benefits of working with a HubSpot partner?

  • When is the right time to work with a HubSpot partner?

  • How do you know which HubSpot partner is right for you?

  • When isn't it the right time to work with a HubSpot partner?

  • What questions should an organization ask themselves before working with a HubSpot partner?

  • What are the ways in which HubSpot partners need to step up their game?

And so much more ... 

Additional Resources

SHARE THIS EPISODE
(We've made it easy!)

😱 What exactly is a HubSpot partner? How do you know when you need one for your organization's inbound goals? Is there ever a reason not to work with one?

We explore these questions (and more!) on this week's episode of #HubHeroes! 

https://hubheroes.co/3tz3ocV 

#hubspot #hubspotpartner #hubspotpartners #inboundagency #hubspotagency #hubspotpartneragency 

💥 Why are so many folks confused about what HubSpot partners can offer?

💥 Why can a HubSpot partner make a difference in your success in 2024?

💥 And what do HubSpot partners need to do to improve what they're offering clients?

Get the answers to these questions and more on this week's episode of the #HubHeroes podcast!

https://hubheroes.co/3tz3ocV 

#hubspot #hubspotpartner #hubspotpartners #inboundagency #hubspotagency #hubspotpartneragency 

⛔ "If you are a know-it-all instead of a learn-it-all the relationship with a HubSpot agency partner is going to be difficult. We are going to give you strategies. We are going to push you out of your comfort zone because where does true growth in life itself come from? In discomfort, in challenges."

What does it take to succeed with a HubSpot partner? We've got the goods on this week's episode of #HubHeroes!

https://hubheroes.co/3tz3ocV 

#hubspot #hubspotpartner #hubspotpartners #inboundagency #hubspotagency #hubspotpartneragency 

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy

HH-LM-300

Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy

HH-DB-300

HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen

HH-MJC-300

HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas

HH-GBT-300

HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:00] Liz Moorehead: how will I know?

[00:00:01] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah, you,

[00:00:02] Liz Moorehead: I know if Devin's opinions matter or not?

[00:00:04] Devyn Bellamy: I'm hurt

[00:00:06] George B. Thomas: have we played that when Noah puts it in the vodcast anyway, anyway,

[00:00:10] Devyn Bellamy: that, yeah, see now the live audience, like Chad

[00:00:13] George B. Thomas: I just broke Liz, I just

[00:00:15] Devyn Bellamy: I was all good. It's like when your favorite part of a song comes up and then the DJ cuts it before the beat drops. Like, that's what you just did. You cut my safe harbor language.

[00:00:24] George B. Thomas: I'm, I'm

[00:00:25] Liz Moorehead: We haven't even gotten into the episode. We have not even gotten into the episode and you're already a little chaos gremlin. What is going

[00:00:32] George B. Thomas: well, what's funny is Saleem says everything that Devin says today is HubSpot endorsed, just so,

[00:00:39] Devyn Bellamy: Right, okay. For the record, it's not. Oh,

[00:00:47] Liz Moorehead: Are you saying HubSpot doesn't also think I'm a delightful flower? That is

[00:00:51] George B. Thomas: of course they

[00:00:52] Devyn Bellamy: that's probably Yomini's direct opinion and position. I I'm, I'm certain

[00:00:57] George B. Thomas: Yes. Yes. I would agree. And if not, it

[00:01:00] Liz Moorehead: Before we started, okay, George, you're pandering and it's working, but I'm going to say I'm noting the pandering.

[00:01:08] George B. Thomas: Noted. Noted. You're noted.

[00:01:10] Liz Moorehead: Noah, you have to leave all of this in. I hope you know that. Anyway, welcome back to another episode of Hub Heroes. We are down a Hub Hero this week. Max, we miss you, buddy. We hope you feel better. But this week, am excited about this topic. This is something we were Tossing around earlier this week when we were thinking about what are some of the things that we want to be talking to going into the end of the year, right?

And as organizations start plotting what they're going to be doing in 2024, it's not just about their strategies, it's potentially about who they're going to be getting help from, if anybody. So this week, we're going to take a step back from the tools, from the tactics. We're actually going to step out.

Of the HubSpot platform entirely and talk about HubSpot partners. Now, Devin, I know this is a topic that you are particularly passionate about.

[00:01:58] Devyn Bellamy: it is.

[00:01:59] Liz Moorehead: two questions for you to start off this conversation. One, let's just get real clear. What is a HubSpot partner really? Cause I don't think a ton of people are clear on that.

And then the second thing I would love for you to address is something you mentioned earlier, which is you don't think people understand the benefits of really working with a HubSpot partner. Why do you think there's that confusion? So let's

[00:02:21] Devyn Bellamy: sure. First, let me go ahead and put on my orange hat for those of you who don't know, I actually work in the partner program at HubSpot and before that I worked in leadership at a few different HubSpot solutions, partners, uh, agencies. So. Um, this is definitely something that's near and dear to my heart.

uh, Chad asks if my hat is sprocket shaped and the answer is, of course. So, there's actually a few different kinds of partners. first you have, uh, the, the solutions providers who, They work with HubSpot, uh, customers, but not to the extent or frequency that you have the HubSpot solutions.

Partners HubSpot solutions. Partners are partners that sell service HubSpot. Um, they work with people on generating strategy. They work with, um, people on creating, uh, solutions, be they marketing sales service or all of the above. and sometimes they will even work with another kind of partner, which is an.

App partner. an app partner is a partner that, uh, is very technical and will create a bespoke technical solutions that will solve a problem. Uh, and in some cases, these solutions are so innovative, uh, and helpful. They will resell the service in the app marketplace. So the, uh, HubSpot partners in general are to me.

And again, this is my personal opinion. Uh, the, the, the cornerstone of someone being successful using HubSpot. Uh, cause like I always say, HubSpot is, is, is a tool. Uh, it's not a person and it's only going to work as well as you work it. So Chad did point out, yeah, if only Max were here, he could just talk about being an app partner with Happily.

All day long as he is the chief evangelist. Um, but yeah, being a HubSpot partner is, is very rewarding. Um, because one thing they all have in common is that their core, their goal is to help customers grow better, um, using the HubSpot platform.

[00:04:16] George B. Thomas: well,

[00:04:16] Liz Moorehead: That's outstanding.

[00:04:18] George B. Thomas: well, let's hope, let's

[00:04:20] Devyn Bellamy: Hey, I'm rainbows and sunshines over here. George Rainbows and Sunshines

[00:04:25] George B. Thomas: I hear you. But I want people to be careful because, first of all, I love all of the definitions that you just gave us. Um, I actually think that that's probably a blog article in the future of what is truly a HubSpot Partner and what you need to know.

but here's the thing. they're not all the same,

[00:04:44] Devyn Bellamy: They're not, they're not all the same, and they're not all created equal, unfortunately.

[00:04:49] George B. Thomas: And, and here's the thing, what I'll say is hopefully part of this conversation we'll have in the future during this episode is how do you know if it's the right one? Cause I'm not even saying when I say that, that good and bad, which there probably is good partners and there probably are bad partners.

I remember. In 2013, 2014, where there was only a handful of us and we were all like, just marching the cause of like, it's a blue ocean and it, and we're all going to help each other. But the more humans you get, the more pockets of interesting places start to occur in the ecosystem. So let's not even talk about good and bad though.

Let's talk about. Right fit wrong fit and what you might want to be asking yourself if you are entertaining the idea of bringing on One of these types of partners for something that you're trying to do in HubSpot. So again, we'll just assume Positive intent that everybody's amazing.

[00:05:47] Liz Moorehead: Okay, well, before, first of all, hot takes coming off the line early coming off the line

[00:05:52] Devyn Bellamy: Can, can I just drop, uh, a stat here, that I seem to Yeah, yeah. I am not the.

[00:05:58] George B. Thomas: it might be a first. It might be a first. We're dropping a

[00:06:00] Devyn Bellamy: I am so

[00:06:02] Liz Moorehead: a live stat drop.

[00:06:03] Devyn Bellamy: Sorry. I wish I

[00:06:04] George B. Thomas: Now I'm sitting on the edge of my

[00:06:06] Liz Moorehead: Hey, live stat work is, is important work. 

[00:06:09] Devyn Bellamy: So I actually have some stats about, working with solutions. Partners, customers are likely to see 38 percent more inbound leads, 141 percent more deals created and 91 percent more deals closed.

When they're working with the solutions partner.

[00:06:27] George B. Thomas: I feel like I need to get a partner. Al.

[00:06:32] Liz Moorehead: It's like that thing. I need an adult. No, I need another adult. Preferably one. That's a HubSpot partner.

[00:06:37] Devyn Bellamy: Chad had a great question. That is like automation. It's process it's because process is lined out documented. Um, it's not something you have to figure out. It's not only teaching you how to use the tools, but teaching you how to use the tools in a way that's best for your organization and your process.

[00:06:54] George B. Thomas: Yeah.

[00:06:55] Liz Moorehead: So here's what I want to dig into here a bit, Devin, because when we brought up this conversation earlier this week, you said that you don't think enough people understand the benefits of working with a HubSpot partner now. Before we get into the benefits. I want to go back to my original question here.

Why do you think there's confusion about HubSpot Solutions partners in general? Is, are people just not talking about it enough? Do people not understand what it is? What's the gray area there? And George, feel free to weigh in too as well.

[00:07:22] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. I think. One of the things that I've, I've run into, uh, with partner or with people, when we're talking about partners, um, one, unfortunately, some people get a bad taste in their mouth after having a bad experience. Um, but that's not just the exclusive HubSpot. That's just with working with, uh, an agency in general, regardless of the flavor.

Um, they will work with someone who promises the moon and delivers nothing. And so, If they meet a partner, like even if they had been working outside the HubSpot ecosystem, come into the HubSpot ecosystem, working with a partner in general, um, can, can be a bit scary. another thing is that, um, there are different ways that partners can work with you.

and people don't always understand that. Like they think, oh, we're just hiring them to do our social media. We're just hiring them to do our Facebook. You can literally just hire them to write out a strategy for you and walk away. Like these people can just say, Hey, here's what you need to do. Here's how you need to do it.

Okay. See you later. you can keep them on to not only give you the strategy, but to help you execute on it. Uh, they can help you. And again, we're not just talking about marketing, talking about sales process. Automating your pipeline, growing your pipeline, helping you calculate, calculate your pipeline metrics and help you, uh, analyze where you need to apply force in your flywheel, all of these things are things that partners can do, um, working with you and it's.

These people, um, don't understand that there are a lot of problems that can be solved in an organization by working with an outside consultant and HubSpot solutions partners, if HubSpot is the cornerstone or the center of your tech stack, then you should definitely call in somebody, uh, even just to evaluate how you're using it and make suggestions on how to improve.

[00:09:12] George B. Thomas: Yeah. So there's a couple of things that I want to pick, uh, uh, in there that Devin just said, and kind of yes. And to, uh, to a couple of them, first of all, the, um, bad taste in your mouth and therefore being turned off on partners is, is a real fact, um, to the point where historically I've literally had, uh, HubSpot employees say to accounts that were going to churn, At least let's give you a shot with George B.

Thomas and see what happens. And I've been able to take those accounts and turn them around and then be fans of the tool because of getting them into a better place, getting them educated, getting them moved in the right direction. So, so Devin, yes, there are agencies out there that, and to maybe no fault of their own.

Right? Like, you've got great leaders that have scaled or grown too fast, maybe out of necessity, that processes get lost, new people are hired, and so they don't get, like, what they thought they were going to get in the process of Getting what they're trying to get now, more importantly than that, there's another phenomenon that's kind of happened is that when the HubSpot partner ecosystem was created, it was really HubSpot marketing hub.

And so therefore it created a lot of HubSpot marketing agencies. And so my fear is that when somebody hears the word HubSpot partner, they go, Oh yeah, then marketing agencies. And here's the fun thing is if you look at what most partners did is they went. From being a marketing agency to a marketing and sales agency, and then to a marketing sales and service agency, and then to a rev ops agency.

And like they tried to grow the agency to what the actual HubSpot platform created, which is okay. If that's who you are and what you can do, and you have the ability to do that. But let's be honest, some of you who originally created marketing HubSpot partner agencies, because that's all there was, were actually dope sales people that when the sales tool came to fruition, you should have just.

Transitioned into where a HubSpot sales hub partner agency. Uh, we're a service hub partner agency. You see at one day, niching down meant that you were just going to be a HubSpot partner. But we live in a day with a whole massive butt ton of partners where now it's like you could niche down into a hub.

And still make a great living, still provide a better service, because now you are more targeting what it is that you're actually going to do. Now, that might sound like terrible to some of you out there, but you have to ask yourself, have you created, and I'm talking less to the customer that might be listening to this and more to the partner that might be listening to this, have you created a system of chaos?

Because you've tried to collide three or four universes into one, instead of just creating the most dope universe singular that you could, and that's something to think about in 2024 and beyond from the partner side of it. From the customer side of it, unpack everything that I just said and ask yourself, cause I don't know if they necessarily do this at a deep enough level, what is it that you truly need?

The default answer is going to be, I need website traffic. I need more conversions. I need more deals closed because we need to prove ROI on everything we're trying to do. Is that really what you need or are there underlying factors? That need fixed and changed to enable those things that you think you need to happen. So, from the customer's perspective, think about do I need somebody that is tougher in sales or tougher in marketing, or do I need that agency that is from tip to top rev ops focused friction force all the words that they're going to use when you get to their website downstream upstream. Like, do you is that the partner agents you need?

Who do you really need?

[00:13:02] Devyn Bellamy: Bam. And real quick, before I continue, I just wanted to point out, I got a notification on my phone that said the chicken run sequel is now on Netflix. Um, just needed to let somebody know that

[00:13:13] George B. Thomas: End the show, let's go watch.

[00:13:15] Liz Moorehead: You heard it here first folks, we've got live stat drops, movie updates, and if you were in the chat, Devin, I saw you make a fast and furious reference. I saw it.

[00:13:27] George B. Thomas: Let's go!

[00:13:29] Liz Moorehead: it up. He made it unironically,

[00:13:31] Devyn Bellamy: I made it just for you, Liz. That was for you. I wouldn't do that for anyone

[00:13:36] Liz Moorehead: Mm hmm.

[00:13:37] George B. Thomas: I love it. I love it. I mean, we, we could clock out, I guess, right now. Because,

[00:13:42] Liz Moorehead: we could, but I have other questions for you jokers. So nice try George. I understand that we're recording this on a Friday afternoon. I understand that it's almost the holidays, but I have more questions before I'm allowing you to leave class today.

[00:13:54] George B. Thomas: Oh, wow.

[00:13:55] Liz Moorehead: dig into. What the actual benefits are, like, this is our chance to have you guys talk directly to people who are looking at their 2024.

Maybe they've been burned by a partner agency. Maybe they haven't. What are the actual benefits beyond? We will upscale your downstream upstream revenue explosions. Like, what? What are the real benefits

[00:14:17] Devyn Bellamy: the number one benefit. Of working with a solutions partner is perspective. You can't see outside of your problem while you're still in the midst of it. Having someone come in from the outside, looking in and who isn't, uh, plagued by the daily stressors of your current situation, who can take an objective look, uh, after a detailed discovery and say.

Here's what we've seen. Here's how it's working. Here's what we recommend should change. And here's what we think will happen when you make that change, that in and of itself is worth its weight in gold.

[00:14:55] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Like, the, the forest through the trees whole thing, Devin, is, without a doubt. Like, it's so hard. Like, and there's even times where I'll challenge myself of like, maybe I should get somebody to just look at the jam that I'm creating to see if it's actually as jammy as I think it is. Right. Like, and having that ability to self reflect on you and your business to understand that it is time to maybe get a new set of eyes.

I totally agree with the other piece that I'll say in here, as far as a benefit is just the. Uh, speed to scale or what the better way to maybe this would be is to expedite the things that must be because here's the thing. What I don't think everybody realizes that there's things that are nice to have and there's must be. And I can't tell you how many portals I've gone into as a HubSpot agency partner and seen completely broken must be sitting in the portal for what has been 1, 2, 4 years. Most mere mortal humans. Don't understand blog subscription and subscription types and don't understand even how to get the right email created that creates the right form so that the subscription system actually works in the proper way that it should work.

Many mere mortal humans don't understand that when we say the word persona, we don't mean The book that was created and written about how to create a dope persona, or that we want you to create some type of fictional representation presentation slide and posters that you spread throughout your office space.

Like, that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about. A way that you can create a property that helps with segmentation triggers reporting and just automated communication. Right? Like we're talking about the engine of the freaking inbound machine and it just sits there and nobody ever puts gas in it.

They don't put seats in it. There's no steering wheel. And they're wondering why is this junk not working? Like, these are main have to be's, must be's that partner agencies that have seen hundreds of people make those mistakes before know to immediately go look at it. Call it a hot topic and start to work on it.

Mere mortal humans don't realize that they can create a folder, create 18 lists, and actually have a data hygiene process to know when people should have a physical postcard be deleted or whatever action should be taken inside their HubSpot portal. Like, these are the, these are the benefits that you get from getting somebody who truly knows HubSpot and what I dare say would know business and Devin, the word you use perspective business and being able to look at it at Thank you.

Different perspectives because of helping accountants, helping app developers, helping like all of these different business use cases. And now all of a sudden you've got this modular mindset that you can plug into the business as soon as you see how they are and understand, Oh, this is how we're going to wrap HubSpot around your business.

I got it. Now let's go ahead and implement it.

[00:18:13] Liz Moorehead: I love all of these different benefits, but it does leave me wondering, you know, there isn't, there isn't a right time for everything, right? It's not always strategically going to be the right time to bring someone in. So what are the ways in which you would encourage organizations to self identify? Or self assess when they are ready to work with a HubSpot partner.

How, what are those inflection points? What are those questions they should be asking?

[00:18:40] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. See, I got to push back on that one. Um, the thing is, is that, um, it might not be time to enter into a partnership or into a retainer agreement, but there is always time to have someone come in and assess and look at what you got going on, even if all they're doing is helping you see what's broken.

and giving you, uh, ideas on how to fix it. I'm gonna go ahead and, and, and shout out a partner. I used to work for digital J2, uh, shout out to ET and all those guys. He, uh, had this wonderful thing where before he would enter into any sort of retainer. The first thing you would do is do a strategy. Uh, it would be discovery and strategy.

Um, and the first part of discovery was see whether or not he wanted to work with you in the first place. and then the other part was to, uh, help you develop a strategy for success. And at that point, you can continue to work with him, or you can move on to someone else, or you can implement it yourself.

Um, but either way, um, at that point, um, you would have a better understanding of whether or not you need. To bring someone in, because the thing is, is the question is, do you want to make more money? If the answer is yes, then you need to evaluate working with people who can do that. And it is at a fraction of the cost of headcount.

Um, like for, uh, the price you're paying for, uh, an entirely new staff member, you can have an entire team of people, uh, devoted, uh, in a, in a frac, as a fractional resource to your organization. but. At the end of the day, um, you need to know that something's broken and there are so many be like, there, check this out, talk about broken process.

I have a friend who lives in Florida. Uh, I'm not going to say the name of the company that she worked for. Um, one, because. They're stupid in two because they fired her after she pointed out their broken, uh, process. So screw those guys. But here's what happened. They, their sales process is one when, when a lead comes in, the lead would go to the lead salesperson, the head honcho, the big closer.

Right after two weeks, if he does nothing to close it, if he can't close it, it goes on to the next person. And then after two weeks, it goes on to the next person. And then after two weeks, it goes on to the next person. and it just goes down the list. And this guy, this number one guy, shockingly is making millions of dollars, uh, in, in, uh, by closing people.

And it's like, With these commissions through the roof, it's like, Oh yeah, I want to be like that guy, but you're getting his leftovers. And then everyone else is getting everyone else's leftovers. It's like that one prison movie on Netflix where the food just kept going down the prison. And at the bottom, people just ended up with scraps or starved.

And it's like, it is the worst process of all time, but you can't tell these people anything different. Like, like not even just the sheer stupidity. Of just like filtering these leads through this stupid favoritism funnel. But when also combined with the fact that someone might not be ready, especially given in their industry, people aren't going to be making these massive changes to their homes, um, without, you know, in, in, in two weeks.

And so if they're not buy ready in two weeks, all this guy's doing is cherry picking and it's like, so if they're not buy ready in two weeks and they're not. Selling, uh, they're in, they're not sell ready, but when they come back, they find out they have to talk to a completely different person who may or may not be an expert in what they're doing.

It is so, so stupid, but to work there, you wouldn't think it's stupid because your idol is making all this money, but an outside consultant would come in and slap you with reality gauntlet and just be like, no, stop. Right now. I mean, yeah, somebody is going to have to stop buying yachts, um, because they're not gonna be making as much money, but if there's no one who's going to come in and tell you that, then it, oh gosh, see, now I'm angry.

Go ahead, George.

[00:22:39] George B. Thomas: first of all, first of all. Oh, M G like you're creating, uh, a cultural, by the way, this is more for the partner agency, less the customer. You are creating a cultural nightmare with the system and scenario that we just listened to. And here's where like back in the day, when I was in sales, we used to call these folks lay down Larry's meaning they would come in and they would already have their credit card in hand, they were ready to buy.

My job was just don't screw it up. Don't screw it up. Sales guy ready to buy. This person is simply scraping the lay down Larry's off of the sales funnel and letting everybody else try to do actual. Sales work. That's what's happening here. And not that they might not have a little bit of sales chops.

They might have a lot of sales chops, but man, that is so dysfunctional. Now, I want to get back to the original question, Liz, because Devin mentioned, uh, it's always good to get like, listen, when's the right time to have a mechanic look at your car, um, before you don't have any oil in it or your transmission is blown up.

That's the right time, like before those things happen. So, cool. Devin mentioned like the audit. And so one of the things that, you know, we're messing around with and entertaining as we're making some big changes in 2024 with what we're doing and how we're doing it is we've got this idea where we're talking about this, um, visualizing the client journey, visualizing our customer journey, and we're going with audit, action, automate, accelerate, right?

So there's literally the start of anything. That we're going to do from a training perspective, from an implementation perspective, we're going to do an audit. We've got to pop the hood. We've got to see if the oil is low. We've got to see if the transmission is about the blub. We've got to look at the blog subscriptions, the personas, the data hygiene.

We've got to. These are must do's that we've got to see. So we're going to do that audit. Then we're going to tell them the hot topics, the actions that we immediately need to take. Then we're looking at automation and acceleration, but here's the thing, if you're about to cancel, I'm going to give you another scenario, by the way, if you're about to cancel HubSpot, because you haven't been able to see the ROI out of the system, I would dare to tell you that the one step before you actually do that is maybe try to give a partner a six month, nine month, 12 month, Opportunity to see if it was in their hands.

If all of a sudden this wouldn't become the godsend that you originally thought was for your organization, but now you're disenchanted because it's not the silver bullet that you thought it would be because, well, listen, I can get inside of a NASCAR car. I'm going to wreck. I'm not a NASCAR driver. I'm going to, first of all, I'm probably going to doodoo myself on about the second turn.

Because I've never done this before. And there are a lot of business owners, C suites, marketing and sales folks that are too proud to say that they're in turn two or three. And they're sort of kind of with house bought, by the way, and they're kind of doodooing themselves because they've never done this before.

They've never built the sales pipeline with deal stages. They've never customized, uh, custom, uh, contact and company and deal records. They've never. And by the way, they've never even really thought about taking the time from their weekend to dive into the HubSpot Academy because they don't necessarily really have a growth mindset because they're not really owners.

They're maybe more employee mindset. Like, there's just a whole lot of psychological human shit that gets in the way part of me. I don't mean to swear. I usually don't do that on the podcast, but there's just listen, listen, there's just humans. That sometimes get in the way of the success that you could get with a platform because you never get the process put quite in the way it should be put in.

And a partner can make sure that that's happening.

[00:26:51] Liz Moorehead: I have to ask a follow up question here, George, and I know it's something you and I have been on the receiving end of because you and I have been in the agency space now for over a decade. And Devin also has that experience as well, is that I've seen organizations go to partners as a last ditch resort, but they're like, we need to make something happen in 90 days or we're out.

Is that too short of a runway?

[00:27:14] George B. Thomas: it's a, yeah, it's a very short runway and usually here's what I would do and I don't agree or I just, I don't disagree, sorry with Devins. Absolutely. Um, it's not too short of a runway to at least get some quick wins or more importantly, to paint a picture of how broke their ish was. And therefore, because they realized their ish was broken them to extrapolate more time for us to actually try to do what they're trying to do.

That's really the thing. If they come at us like that, it's like, let me show you why you need to give us more time, not let me go ahead and try to do it in the time that you just gave me. But it is too short.

[00:27:54] Liz Moorehead: where I feel like we need to have an episode in future at some point. That's just to HubSpot partner agencies, because the double edged sword of that is that when you are a customer who really. Leans on the quick wins as your, what you're defining as success right out of the gate that will make your HubSpot partner agency mostly focused on getting you quick wins instead of establishing the long term foundation you need for inbound success.

So it gets, it's it's a really dicey thing. It, I, it makes me. anxious whenever I hear folks talking about like, well, we need to see something immediately or we're out. You know what I mean? But anyway, moving right along, I would also want to know from you guys, how do you know which partner HubSpot partner is right for you?

Because Devin, at the top of this, you were saying, you know, that HubSpot partners come on all sizes, shapes. Colors. How do I know who I should be working with?

[00:28:49] Devyn Bellamy: that's a tough one. Um, so the first stop of course, is the solutions directory and reading reviews, um, doing interviews, talking to people, asking for quotes, um, and just getting to know people, uh, they know your industry, uh, they've worked with people into your industry. Great. If you can get references, that's great.

Um, but it's like, it's, it's like hiring somebody for a job. I mean, there's a lot of people out there that can do the job and it's about finding the one that can do it the best. Um, and finding people who are, um, who are specifically familiar with what it is that, uh, your problem is. Um, and, and this is my personal hot take.

Um, if you find somebody who's willing to work with someone else. Who is willing to bring in, like, if you have a complex issue, uh, and they don't have to be experts with your. All aspects of your issue, but are willing to partner with other people who are like, my favorites are the solutions partners who can, uh, work with an app partner to develop a bespoke solution to solve a complex problem.

Those, those ones are my favorite, but as far as determining which one is right for you, it's, it's an interview process,

[00:30:08] George B. Thomas: Yeah. And I think we can go a little bit deeper with than that. Like, I do agree with you, Devin, you get to that interview process. And by the way, you can Google search this. You'll find that smart partner agencies probably have blog articles that talk about these things or this topic. Um, but at the end of the day, when you're doing those interviews, when you're going through this, um, process.

You need to think about a couple of things. One is experience and expertise. How long have they been using HubSpot and what expertise do they have pertaining to the problems, hurdles, or aspirations that I'm trying to get to? Uh, the other one, when you're going through those inner view processes, you have to sit back and ask yourself, customer, do I feel like they got it?

And when I say got it, do I feel like they truly understand my business? Because if I've explained my business in the discovery call in this interview, and they look like a deer with the headlights right on them, that might not be a good fit. Also, I would look at what is their strategic approach, right?

Are you a Donald Miller fan and like, you know, story brand? Are you a Marcus Sheridan fan and like Talia, they ask you answer? Do you, do they even know about those strategies? Do they implement those strategies? What, what strategy? Are they still doing the old school 12 blog articles, a pillar page and three CTAs a month?

Cause that'll get you going. Or are they flexible and actually can pivot and transition? Like, do they offer any level of service and support or what does that look like? Listen, last week we talked about help desk moving forward. I would ask him, do you have a help desk? What channels are attached to it?

Is there a way for me to easily book a meeting as a customer? Like how quickly can I get a ticket created that you can fix my ish? Like, where are they at with that? Or are they like, Oh yeah, you can slack us or you can send us an email. Like how, how mature in the service and support area are they? Uh, do they have case studies?

The amount of HubSpot partner agencies that you go to their website and you might not be able to find case studies might actually shock you when you start to search for this, but what I'm saying is, are they getting results? Are they reporting those results or are, and are they sharing those results? Um, I would also see if you like the fricking human.

Like, do you like communicating with the person during the interview? Does it feel like it's somebody that you actually even care about collaborating with? Because sometimes you have to have that human element where you just like, like, listen, my wife has said, you don't have clients you have. People that get on calls and they like to pay you money.

That's what you have. You know, because there's the human element. There's the collaboration, the communication, right? Here's the other thing. Are they still doing old school ish? Or are they super innovative? And are they able to adapt with things that change? Because listen, in marketing and sales stuff changes.

Like, are they talking about meta? Are they talking about TikTok? Are they talking about AI? Have they created? And I, gosh, I can't even believe I'm saying this. Have they created an AI policy yet? For the fact that they're going to be using AI to actually do some of your work for you. I said this in a Facebook post earlier in the week and somebody said policy question mark.

I was like, Oh God, like we got to do some catching up for some folks pricing. Are they in your price? Are they in your pricing tier? Are they a cultural

[00:33:30] Devyn Bellamy: hilariously below your pricing tier?

[00:33:34] George B. Thomas: Oh my God, be careful of that. Be careful. So like, those are some things that you should be thinking about questions that you might ask along the way in those big buckets that I just shared.

[00:33:46] Devyn Bellamy: My goodness, man, you're right on my couch. I was talking to this one guy today, this morning, who was talking about his, uh, the agency that he's working with. He's not a HubSpot customer, but he was talking about they're doing blog posts and they're going to be doing extra small type in order to sneak in keywords.

And I'm like, are you kidding me? What is this? 2004.

[00:34:06] Liz Moorehead: What?

[00:34:07] George B. Thomas: I'm twitching. I'm twitching right now.

[00:34:10] Liz Moorehead: feel free to put them in touch with me so I can just stare at them for an hour and then send me the name of the agency so that I can then stare at them for two hours until they stop

[00:34:19] Devyn Bellamy: I, I, I was like,

[00:34:21] Liz Moorehead: I am offended as our resident content therapist. I am offended. I am aghast. I am. I am.

[00:34:27] Devyn Bellamy: I was shocked. I wasn't just shocked. I was shook. I couldn't, when, when those words were brought up and, and the tactics were brought up, I, I just, I, I, I could not, I could not.

[00:34:40] George B. Thomas: I don't even know where to go from here. I'm like, I I'm

[00:34:44] Liz Moorehead: George, like I'm emotionally,

[00:34:46] Devyn Bellamy: people say such stupid things with confidence. It's, oh my gosh.

[00:34:50] Liz Moorehead: how does it feel to be so wrong about so many things all at once to that unknown agency? Are you for real right now? Are you, okay, moving on,

[00:35:00] George B. Thomas: You know what? You know what? They're probably the same agency. the decided it would be good to put the, um, email footer where it's manager preferences. They put white text on a white background until HubSpot said, until HubSpot said, Hey, you can't do that

[00:35:17] Devyn Bellamy: my

[00:35:17] George B. Thomas: because it literally will yell at you now, but it's probably that

[00:35:20] Liz Moorehead: wrong with

[00:35:21] Devyn Bellamy: Oh my gosh.

[00:35:22] Liz Moorehead: don't, this is why we can't have nice things.

[00:35:26] George B. Thomas: facts.

[00:35:27] Liz Moorehead: This is why we can't have nice things. Okay. All right, Liz, get back to your outline. Outline is truth. Outline is safe. When is it, when is it not the right time to work with a HubSpot partner? I know earlier you guys doubled down and said, it's always a good time, but. There have to be some exceptions. There has to be a time where there's, where it's smarter to pump the brakes before you make a decision.

[00:35:50] George B. Thomas: Yeah. So I'll, I'll go first, Devin, because I'm going to say something that I don't know how many people would actually say, and then you can, you can follow up on this. Look, I'm gonna tell you right now, if working with me as a partner agency or working with another partner agency, even get you in the mindset of it might be the financial stone that is going to bankrupt the company.

It is not time to tag in a partner. I don't want that on my conscious. I know other partner agency owners don't want that on their conscious. Like that means if you're at that point, it is time to triple down in HubSpot Academy, triple down in lynda. com, triple down in the amount of hustle in a healthy way, hustle that you're putting towards your business and get to the point where it can drive the amount of revenue needed to hire the talent.

That's going to be able to then take you to the next phase. Not necessarily the first phase. Now, if you're flush with cash, you're a startup and you've gone through, you know, a couple, um, series and you got a couple of Millie just burning a hole in your pocket, right? Time.

[00:36:56] Liz Moorehead: Totally me. Totally

[00:36:58] George B. Thomas: Oh yeah. Yeah. So that's that I say, I don't ever want to have a client that like.

We bankrupted him. That's just, no, no, don't want to be part of it.

[00:37:06] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah, that's all I got. I can't. I, I, that, that's all I can, I got nothing like, unless you literally cannot afford it. Um, and like you're, you're, if you're broke, then you're broke. Um, but outside of that, I, I can't really think, um,

[00:37:25] George B. Thomas: I'll give you a couple more. I'll give you a couple more. We actually, we actually mentioned one. We said, you know, if it's like 30 days and you're like, turn the ship around and get me to the promised land in 30 days, just don't, don't hit up a, don't hit up a partner

[00:37:39] Devyn Bellamy: Oh, here's one.

[00:37:41] Liz Moorehead: And don't trust the one who says yes to that either.

[00:37:43] Devyn Bellamy: If you're not in a position to utilize them, once you bring them on, that is, um, I've, I've actually, Had a job and gotten fired because of that. Well, I'll say laid off. I wasn't fired. It was, it was actually great people. Great team. the thing was, is I, I wrote this massive, like it was like this nine page document.

On what I think our strategy should be. and I turn it in to the VP and CEO and they both look at it and they're like, this is fantastic. Uh, the only problem is, is that we don't have the infrastructure to support what it is that you're trying to do. Cause we are firing our salespeople. and, and it was like, well, okay.

And they're like, well, and then unfortunately you clearly are a genius and you're, you know, this stuff, but we can't afford to have you on and not doing what it is that we know you can do. So we got to let you go too. And it's like, huh, that actually makes sense. Yeah, because it was just, they're, they're in a situation where I have this plan and they can't implement it.

because they don't do it. They, they can't do it. They, or if you're. Um, and, and the, the wonderful problem to have when you're, you know, uh, are in a position where you'll have to scale quickly and you don't have the, uh, the infrastructure organizational operation to scale quickly. and you need to rebuild internally first before you can, uh, think about expanding and growing.

Um, those are other situations.

[00:39:08] George B. Thomas: Yeah, let's, let's check a couple off the list real quick. Uh, if you go to my about page on the George B. Thomas website, you will see that there is one rule. One rule only to rule them all. No douchebags allowed. If you are a narcissistic, a butthead, a hardheaded. Uh, just keep on listing those words, then just keep on ease on ease on down the road, because this probably is not the place or any other partner agency that isn't the place for you.

And I have to call out and was going to state, but Salim in the chat pane. Yes, we have live listeners and watchers. You could be one of those too. Head over to community. hubheroes. com. See what I did there. Anyway, here's the deal. If you are a know it all. And not a learn it all having a healthy relationship with an agency partner is going to be very difficult. You

[00:39:58] Liz Moorehead: that one more time for me, George.

[00:40:00] George B. Thomas: If you are a know it all instead of a learn it all the relationship with a HubSpot agency partner is going to be difficult. We are going to give you strategies. We are going to push you out of your comfort zone because where does true growth in life itself come from? In discomfort, in challenges, and so if you, if you know you have the right agency partner, you've realized that they're not an order taker, but they're a drill sergeant pushing you to your best.

[00:40:28] Liz Moorehead: love that. All right, guys. Last question of the day, what should organizations be asking themselves before they decide to work with a

[00:40:37] Devyn Bellamy: Are we using HubSpot?

[00:40:38] Liz Moorehead: Gosh, I hope so.

[00:40:39] George B. Thomas: I mean,

[00:40:40] Devyn Bellamy: If, if you're using HubSpot, it's like, are, are we using HubSpot? Do we have a HubSpot expert on staff who is not just a HubSpot marketing expert, but actual, you know, HubSpot admin, a HubSpot architect, someone who knows the system and has the expertise to build the processes that will allow us to effectively use the system in order to grow.

Um, if you, if you don't have a unicorn working for you, then you need a partner.

[00:41:06] George B. Thomas: yeah, it's funny. I'm going to double down on the unicorn piece. real facts like you need to, you need to see if it makes sense to just hire the talent within. this might be a very unpopular position that I'm going to throw out there. There are many, many magical HubSpot super admins that right now work for agencies that work for HubSpot partner agencies. There are many, many, many HubSpot partner agencies that unfortunately may have a toxic environment. means there are many, many, many HubSpot super admins that if offered an in house job where they didn't have to manage 17 clients, weren't worried about the politics of it all, and could get a fair wage, might actually say this unicorn, this stallion, if you will, has found a new barn to relax in, to work in.

Right. So, like, like, I want, I want the customer side of this to realize that the talent is out there and there are places that the talent could be pulled from. So, do you want it to be in house? Does it have to be in house? Can you afford for it to be in house with insurance and 401k and all that? Or does it just make sense to find a healthy culture?

With humans who like what they're doing, that you can kind of plug in, and when I say plug in, what I mean is, not a 500, 000 foot extension cord, but plug in as it feels like they are right there with you, doing what you need them to do, understanding what you need them to understand.

[00:42:49] Liz Moorehead: I love it. Gentlemen, another great discussion in the books. I think another great episode of Hub Heroes. In the history books, ladies, gentlemen, hub spotters listening out there. Don't forget. You can join us each week. George already mentioned this. You can watch us live, go to community. hubheroes. com to learn how, and if you love us, leave us a review on your preferred podcast platform of choice.

Helps us get found, helps us know you love us and we all love affirmation, but George Devon until next week.

[00:43:20] George B. Thomas: Yeah. I'll let you know next week how much hate mail I get from

[00:43:23] Devyn Bellamy: Yo, I was.

[00:43:25] Liz Moorehead: I'm very excited.