Starting your journey with HubSpot can feel like embarking on a grand adventure. But, as with any epic quest, having a trusty guide by your side can make all the difference. Whether you’re contemplating HubSpot’s own onboarding services or considering the expertise of a certified solutions partner, understanding your options is key to unlocking HubSpot’s full potential for your business.

In this guide, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about HubSpot onboarding versus solutions partners onboarding. We’ll explore why you need onboarding in the first place, answer whether it’s mandatory, and take you step-by-step through both processes. Plus, we’ll share insider tips to make sure you get the most out of your HubSpot setup. Spoiler alert: we’ll even highlight when a partner agency might not be your best bet.

Ready to kick off your HubSpot onboarding journey? Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, if that’s your thing), and let’s get started!

Why You Need HubSpot Onboarding

Imagine setting up a shiny new piece of tech without reading the manual—pretty daunting, right? That’s where HubSpot onboarding comes in. It’s like having a personal guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of your new system, ensuring everything runs smoothly from day one.

When you invest in HubSpot onboarding, you’re not just getting a setup; you’re getting a foundation for success. Here’s why it’s a game-changer:

  • Avoid the Learning Curve Blues: HubSpot is packed with powerful features, but diving in without guidance can be overwhelming. Onboarding helps you understand the platform faster, so you can hit the ground running.
  • Customization is Key: Every business is unique, and so are its needs. Onboarding ensures that HubSpot is tailored to fit your specific processes, making your workflow more efficient and effective.
  • Maximize Your Investment: Let’s face it, HubSpot isn’t just a casual purchase—it’s an investment. Onboarding helps you get the most bang for your buck by showing you how to leverage all the tools and features you’re paying for.
  • Reduce Frustration: Nothing kills productivity like constant roadblocks. A smooth onboarding process minimizes hiccups and technical issues, keeping your team focused and motivated.
  • Boost Team Adoption: Change can be tough, especially when introducing new technology. Onboarding provides the training and support your team needs to embrace HubSpot, leading to higher adoption rates and better overall results.

Is HubSpot Onboarding Mandatory?

Alright, let's clear up the mystery! If you're eyeing HubSpot's Pro or Enterprise packages, onboarding isn't just a nice-to-have—it's a must. Yep. HubSpot requires onboarding for clients purchasing these advanced packages. But why, you ask? Let's break it down.

  • Ensuring Proper Setup: Pro and Enterprise packages come with a ton of features and capabilities. Onboarding ensures that everything is set up correctly from the start, so you don’t miss out on any crucial functionality.
  • Maximizing Value: These packages are powerful tools for your business, and onboarding helps you understand how to use them to their fullest potential. It's like having a personal trainer for your CRM, ensuring you get the most out of every feature.
  • Tailored Guidance: Onboarding provides customized support tailored to your specific business needs. This personalized approach ensures that the setup aligns perfectly with your workflows and goals.
  • Preventing Common Pitfalls: Without onboarding, you might run into issues or miss important steps that could hinder your progress. Onboarding helps you avoid these common pitfalls, setting you up for success from day one.
  • Boosting Team Adoption: Change can be challenging, especially with complex systems. Onboarding includes training and support for your team, making it easier for everyone to get on board (pun intended) and start using HubSpot effectively.

But here’s a cool twist: while onboarding is mandatory, you have options. You can go through HubSpot's own onboarding services, or you can opt for onboarding through a HubSpot Solutions Partner. And the best part? If you choose a Solutions Partner, the onboarding service is free! That’s right—no additional cost while still getting top-notch, customized support.

So, while onboarding might be mandatory for Pro and Enterprise packages, it’s really a strategic move designed to set you up for long-term success. Whether you go with HubSpot directly or a Solutions Partner, you’re getting the guidance you need to make the most of your investment. 

How Is HubSpot Onboarding?

So, you're ready to embark on your HubSpot adventure. But what exactly does onboarding look like? 

Actions Involved in the HubSpot Onboarding

  • Migration Team: They’ll help you set up your blog, landing pages, website, and templates within HubSpot.
  • Training Courses: These include comprehensive sales and marketing training courses.
  • Private Consulting: Short-term and long-term consulting sessions to teach your team the ins and outs of the platform.
  • Free Courses: Covering everything from onboarding to using HubSpot for sales, marketing, customer service, and more.
  • Learning Materials: Ebooks, guides, and videos, along with the extensive HubSpot blog.

What Does HubSpot Direct Onboarding Look Like?

Your onboarding experience varies based on the plan you choose. Generally, you’ll be paired with a HubSpot implementation specialist for 90 days after signing up. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Training and Tours: They provide general training on setup and usage, guiding you through all the features HubSpot offers.
  • Integration Advice: They’ll recommend the best integrations for your business and offer ongoing support during those 90 days.
  • Campaign Setup: They’ll help you launch your first marketing campaign, and by the end of this process, you should feel well-equipped to use HubSpot on your own.

Onboarding Tasks You're Responsible For

Even with all this support, there are still tasks you’ll need to handle yourself:

  • Integrations: Adding integrations with tools you already use.
  • Buyer Journeys: Building your own customer journeys and funnels.
  • Templates: Creating more than just the one template HubSpot helps you set up.
  • Additional Training: Seeking further training on tools you didn’t cover with your specialist.

Remember, your implementation specialist acts like a consultant—they can guide you, but they won’t do the work for you. They also won't have enough time to completely understand every nuance of your business.

How Is a HubSpot Agency Partner Onboarding?

Let’s talk about HubSpot Agency Partners. These are specialized firms that partner with HubSpot to provide tailored onboarding and implementation services. They’re like your personal tour guides, ensuring you get the most out of your HubSpot journey.

Differences in Approach Compared to HubSpot’s Direct Onboarding

When you opt for a HubSpot Agency Partner, the onboarding experience is a bit different than going directly through HubSpot. Here's the scoop:

  • Customized Training: Agency partners undergo extensive training and retraining to ensure they cover all the essential points of HubSpot onboarding. However, they bring their own unique twist to the process, offering more in-depth and targeted training tailored to your specific business needs.
  • Extended Support: The duration and intensity of the training can vary. Agency partners often spend more time getting to know your business and providing ongoing support.
  • Cost Variability: Costs can differ between agency partners, offering flexibility based on your budget and requirements.

Customized Solutions and Added Services Provided by Partners

Agency partners, like Insight Sales, don’t just stop at the basics in the implementation process. They dive deep into your business processes, helping you create custom buyer journeys, integrating other tools, and ensuring everything runs smoothly. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect:

  1. Kickoff Call/Discovery Call:
  • Understanding your business basics
  • Setting or understanding your business and HubSpot goals
  • Uncovering your current buyer journey
  • Reviewing your sales and marketing processes
  1. Beginning the Technical Setup:
  • Integrating your website, social media, blogs, and email accounts into HubSpot
  • Importing and organizing your contact lists
  • Building custom properties for each stage of the customer journey and for the industries you serve

CRM Integration or Data Migration:

  • Tying HubSpot to your existing CRM or migrating data over
  • Ensuring your team adapts smoothly, with minimal disruption to your existing workflows

Advantages of Hiring a HubSpot Agency Partner

Here’s why opting for an agency partner could be a game-changer:

  • Free Onboarding and Implementation Fees: Many partners offer free onboarding services, which can be a significant cost saver compared to HubSpot’s direct fees.
  • Integration Services: Agency partners often handle integrations with other tools, saving you the hassle and ensuring everything works seamlessly.
  • More Intense Training: Expect more in-depth and comprehensive training, making sure your team fully understands how to leverage HubSpot's features.
  • Hands-On Service: Partners provide a more hands-on approach, getting into the nitty-gritty of your business processes and helping you tailor HubSpot to fit your specific needs.
  • Custom Solutions: They offer bespoke solutions that are specifically designed to meet your unique business challenges and goals.
  • Ongoing Support: Beyond the initial onboarding period, partners often provide continued support to help you adapt and grow.

Insight Sales: A Platinum HubSpot Partner

Insight Sales is proud to be a Platinum HubSpot Partner. This means we’ve got the expertise and the credentials to provide top-notch onboarding services, tailored to your needs. Our extensive experience and deep understanding of HubSpot allow us to deliver exceptional results for our clients.

Want to see how effective partner-led onboarding can be? Check out our page on the HubSpot site to read client evaluations and success stories. These real-life examples highlight the benefits of working with Insight Sales and showcase our commitment to helping businesses succeed with HubSpot.

HubSpot Onboarding Checklist

So, you're about to embark on the HubSpot onboarding adventure? Awesome! Let's make sure you're prepped and ready with a comprehensive checklist that'll guide you through the process from start to finish. This list isn't just a handy tool—it’s your roadmap to HubSpot success!

Why an Onboarding Checklist Matters

A checklist might not be mandatory, but it’s super helpful. It lays out what to expect during onboarding and ensures you're hitting all the crucial milestones. Plus, it helps you pinpoint which services are most critical for your business before you dive in.

Pre-Onboarding Prep

  1. Domain Setup:
  • Primary domain
  • Secondary sub-domains
  1. Account Defaults:
  • Basic HubSpot settings
  1. Data Migration:
  • Move data from your old CRM or spreadsheets into HubSpot
  1. HubSpot Tracking Code:
  • Install it on your website and landing page
  1. Email Setup:
  • Sales and marketing emails ready to go

During Onboarding

  1. Data Cleansing:
  • Clean up your data for a fresh start
  1. Automation Identification:
  • Identify processes you can automate
  1. Marketing and Sales Funnels:
  • Review and refine existing processes
  1. Buyer Personas and Journeys:
  1. Scheduler and Social Media:
  • Set up a custom scheduler
  • Connect social media accounts
  1. Technology Integration:
  • Integrate with important tools

Post-Onboarding Tasks

  1. Data Synchronization:
  • Automate syncing of existing and incoming data
  1. Workflow Creation:
  • Automate marketing workflows
  1. Service and Sales Pipelines:
  • Establish new pipelines
  1. Performance Dashboards:
  • Build dashboards to track performance
  1. Lead Scoring:
  • Automate lead scoring
  1. Templates Creation:
  • Create templates for emails, pop-ups, forms, and landing pages
  1. Custom Dashboards:
  • Customize dashboards with specific reporting needs
  1. Test Campaigns:
  • Run test campaigns to ensure everything is working smoothly

Tailor to Your Needs

Remember, this checklist is a general framework. Your specific needs and the services provided by your partner agency may require adjustments. Use this as a foundation to build your own detailed onboarding plan. 


Embarking on your HubSpot onboarding journey can seem daunting, but with the right preparation and a comprehensive checklist, you’ll be set up for success in no time. Whether you choose to go through HubSpot directly or opt for a specialized agency partner, the key is to ensure you’re fully prepared and know what to expect.

If you decide that working with a partner is the best route for your business, we’d love to help! At Insight Sales, we’re a Platinum HubSpot Partner dedicated to providing tailored onboarding solutions to meet your unique needs. Contact us today to get started and make the most out of your HubSpot experience.