If you’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to work with, you’ve likely come across a few mentions of the phrase “HubSpot Partner.” You may have also noticed that there are different tiers of HubSpot Partners, including New, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. On its website, HubSpot says:
“The Partner Tier program is designed to acknowledge those Agency Partners who have not only brought the inbound message to the most clients, but also those who executed inbound marketing services to the highest standards.”
Trying to figure out the significance of these Partner tiers can be a little complicated—to do so, you first need to understand how HubSpot’s Partner program works.
How HubSpot Partner Tiers Are Determined
The gist: A HubSpot Partner agency’s tier assignment is based on how much revenue that agency is bringing in (and sustaining) for HubSpot.
If you check out this Partner page on HubSpot’s site, you’ll find that a Partner’s tier depends on “MRR [monthly recurring revenue] + Retention”—in other words, how much revenue the agency is bringing in for HubSpot (which is based on how much an agency’s clients are spending on HubSpot per month) plus how much of that revenue an agency is keeping for HubSpot (which is based on how many clients’ HubSpot subscriptions an agency is actively managing). Both factors must line up for an agency to be in a certain tier.
Take a look at our Partner dashboard for an example:
The top bar—“12 month sold MRR”—is the “MRR” part of the equation. You can see that as far as this factor is concerned, we’ve hit Diamond status! But remember: Both factors must line up in order to be in a certain tier.
You’ll see in the bottom bar—“Managed MRR,” which is the “Retention” part of the equation—that we’ve just hit the "$20,000" mark. Since our "12 month sold MRR" is on point, this means that we’re now considered a Platinum HubSpot Partner. (Hooray!)
Based on what we know about being a HubSpot Partner, there are two main things an agency's tier can tell you right off the bat.
2 Things You Can Tell About An Agency Just By Knowing Its Tier
1. The higher the tier, the more experience (and, therefore, knowledge of inbound) that agency has under its belt.
While I’m sure there are a few exceptions to this rule, you’re going to find this to be generally true across the industry—an agency that has grown to (and is able to retain) a certain number of clients won’t have gotten there without learning some things about inbound marketing along the way. From our experience at Nectafy, trying and failing is how you learn what works and what doesn’t.
If you decide to work with an agency in the New or Silver tier, it can be advantageous in some ways (see #2 below), but you should know you may be a “guinea pig” client—and there’s nothing wrong with that! Every agency in the Platinum or Diamond tier started out as a New HubSpot Partner. Just know that the agency probably won’t have the results to prove its methods yet.
Agencies with more experience will bring you more targeted approaches to inbound—they’re going to know exactly what works and what doesn’t. However, it does come with a cost…
2. The higher the tier, the more it will cost you to work with that agency.
Because agencies in higher Partner tiers have more experience, this just comes with the territory: You’ll be paying them more because of their expertise. It’s likely that every agency in Platinum or Diamond has a formula for inbound or knows exactly what works—and has the results to prove it. When you invest in working with them, your odds for success are likely going to be higher than they would be with a lower-tier agency. So naturally, the price will reflect that.
There are pros and cons to working with any agency in HubSpot’s Partner program, no matter what tier they’re in. Because of that, never let an agency’s HubSpot Partner tier be the determining factor for choosing to (or not to) work with an agency.
While tiers do have some significance (and tell you a couple things about an agency from the get-go), there’s so much more you need to know before you make a decision.
So where do you go from here? You can start by asking the agencies you’re looking at this extensive list of questions. And if you'd like to get our take on your inbound strategy or just an opinion about your options, feel free to contact us or request a free consultation! We’ll always give you honest answers to any questions you may have.