Partner Services

When it comes to providing services to your clients, there are different package options. Often, our partners who service clients on the Marketing Hub rely on service retainers, whereas our Sales and Service Hub are better suited for shorter term implementation-type of work.

Service Retainers

Why they are important and how they can help transform your agency

Other Useful Information about Retainers:

How to Handle the Sales Process | HubSpot's Retainer Support Team | Resources | FAQ | Example Scenarios

 

What is a retainer?

A retainer is an agreement or contract that your agency signs with a client to deliver a certain amount of work (services) for or on behalf of the client on an ongoing basis for a certain time period. The difference between a project (such as a traditional website build) and a retainer is that the retainer is a recurring (typically monthly) contract similar to a software subscription. A retainer agreement can be 3-months, 6-months, 12-months or 24-months long (or longer). Anything shorter than 3 months should be considered project work.

Why are they important for your agency?

Project work is unpredictable (unless your entire business is built around implementation projects such as a CRM integration as your expertise area). While you can sell a steady amount of project work, the ability to understand the profitability of that project work is difficult. Your agency cannot predict project work as forecasted profit, whereas you can with retainers.

When you have a signed 12-month retainer, you can feel confident in the revenue you will bring in for the next 12 months. If the retainer is for $3,000 a month you can forecast getting paid that $3,000 a month for the next 12 months. When you have a whole book of business paying retainers, your agency can make smarter decisions related to hiring and growth.

  • 59%

    of agencies use retainers to price their services.

  • 45%

    agencies sell retainers between $2,500 and $7,500 per month

  • 80%

    of agencies customize their pricing model to fit the goals or budget of their clients

  • 18%

    of agencies chose cashflow as the main problem holding back their growth

Why Partners must sign retainers with their HubSpot customers?

 

As a HubSpot partner, we put a tremendous amount of trust into your ability to deliver services. If a company decides to purchase HubSpot without working with an agency we require that they purchase 3 months of onboarding from our Customer Success Team to set them up for success. If a company decides to work with you as a partner and on HubSpot, we will waive this onboarding requirement.

Our expectation is that you as our partner agencies match our commitment to teaching and customer success. Without a retainer, the customer is left in a position where they do not have the one-on-one support that makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful customers. For example, some partners choose to sell HubSpot's Direct Onboarding packages when, for various reasons such as lack of time or still in onboarding themselves, our Customer Success Team might be better suited to onboard the customer onto HubSpot.

When a client commits to a monthly marketing engagement, or retainer, with PMG, they enter a partnership where they can be confident that we will use the agreed upon budget strategically and practically to achieve desired outcomes. Retainer commitments give our agency the room to be more innovative and creative as we think about the best ways to not only meet but exceed our client’s goals. We become an extension of their team as opposed to a vendor executing projects. It is a better experience for all involved!

What is included in a retainer?

Retainers vary in length and details and so do implementation projects. A retainer or a project can contain different types of services depending on the goals of the client and the products they are using. 

As a HubSpot Partner, you are required to ensure that every customer is set up for success for each of our product hubs. Typically, we see the following type of services offered per hub:

  • Marketing Hub - mostly retainers, some projects for smaller/simpler needs.
  • Sales & Service Hub - mostly projects, some retainers for larger/complex needs.

Services/Retainer requirements from HubSpot Partners per product to waive Direct Onboarding:

  • Marketing Hub
  • Sales Hub
  • Service Hub
  • Two or all Hubs

Marketing Hub

Starter

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Assistance with the email tool
  • Leadflow setup
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager.

Professional

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Support to launch the first Inbound Marketing campaign in HubSpot (either implement the whole work or train the customer to do it well in terms of e.g. landing page, thank you page, CTA, blog creation)
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager
  • Signed contract before HubSpot purchase for a minimum duration of 3 months

Enterprise

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Support to launch the first Inbound Marketing campaign in HubSpot (either implement the whole work or train the customer to do it well in terms of e.g. landing page, thank you page, CTA, blog creation)
  • Assistance with setting up Advanced Reporting, Multi-language Content, Custom Events, Single Sign-on, Teams, and Predictive Lead Scoring
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager
  • Signed contract before HubSpot purchase for a minimum duration of 3 months

A partner’s agreement with a customer should cover at a minimum what HubSpot Direct Onboarding offers based on the product the customer has purchased:

Quick Start Consultation

Marketing Hub Professional Onboarding

Marketing Hub Enterprise Onboarding 


Sales Hub

Starter

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Assistance setting up user level features (snippets, templates, documents, sequences, prospects, etc.)
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager

Professional

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Implementation or training of the customer on how snippets, templates - sequences, documents and prospects tools work
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager
  • Signed contract before HubSpot purchase for a minimum duration of 1 month

Enterprise

Only Strategic Launch Partners are eligible to service Sales Hub Enterprise without HubSpot required onboarding

A partner’s agreement with a customer should cover at a minimum what HubSpot Direct Onboarding offers based on the product the customer has purchased:

Quick Start Consultation

Sales Hub Professional Onboarding

Sales Hub Enterprise Onboarding


Service Hub

Starter

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Assistance setting up user-level features (snippets, templates, documents, sequences, prospects, etc.)
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager

Professional

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Implementation or training of the customer on how to set up knowledge base (to be indexed by google) and tickets (form, rotator, stages)
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager
  • Signed contract before HubSpot purchase for a minimum duration of 1 month

Enterprise

  • Implementation of the technical setup
  • Implementation or training of the customer on how to set up knowledge base (to be indexed by google) and tickets (form, rotator, stages)
  • Assistance with setting up Single Sign-on, Teams, and Predictive Lead Scoring
  • Designated partner point of contact for this customer for the duration of the contract who will manage the partner-client relationship - e.g. a Project Manager, an Inbound Consultant or an Account Manager
  • Signed contract before HubSpot purchase for a minimum duration of 3 months

A partner’s agreement with a customer should cover at a minimum what HubSpot Direct Onboarding offers based on the product the customer has purchased:

Quick Start Consultation

Service Hub Professional Onboarding

Service Hub Enterprise Onboarding


Two or all Hubs

Regardless of whether you sell one Hub, two or three at the same time or at a later stage, the minimum requirements for service contracts on each Hub remain the same and are all required for each product.

*Only Strategic Launch Partners are eligible to service Sales Hub Enterprise without HubSpot required onboarding.


What happens when reselling without a retainer?

If you resell without retainers or services to set up a customer for success you will be required to provide proof of services before you resell for all upcoming customers you want to bring on board or to sell HubSpot Direct Onboarding if no services will be provided from you. If this is not followed, HubSpot will be reaching out to engage directly with the client to ensure they are successful with the HubSpot software.


Retainer Verification Process

All of the above is why our Customer Success Team is eager to follow up with our partners once you sell HubSpot products to a new customer to review the information provided by the CAM during the sales process. Through our Retainer Verification, the CCs want to understand the type of services you will offer so that they can help you set the new customer for success.


What are HubSpot Partners required to do when a retainer ends?

We understand that sometimes client relationships break or are shorter-term in nature and it's expected that at some point you will end your agency relationship with the customer, sometimes before the HubSpot subscription term ends. We are in this together and want to ensure the customer continues to receive support, directly from HubSpot, in order to continue to drive success. To continue getting your commissions and your Sold MRR tier credit, as a HubSpot partner you have an obligation and a responsibility to offboard a customer you are no longer working with back to HubSpot by:

  • Clicking on the “end association” for this customer on your partner dashboard as soon as you know the relationship is ending.
  • Providing the right user on the customer side to your Channel Consultant as soon as possible.
  • Letting the customer know that someone from HubSpot will be reaching out

How to Handle the Sales Process

Agencies get power back through properly positioning the agency and developing and implementing a clearly defined sales process.

An agency should expect pushback from prospects when selling retainers. Clients will tell you that as long as the work is good they can negotiate with your agency every month. They may bring up the work they need is better approached as a single project as opposed to ongoing work. They may stress the need for flexibility or bring up financial constraints.

Agency new business representatives or owners should set expectations early with the prospect. Explain why your agency approaches new clients like a partnership and why the partnership won’t work if there is no trust on both sides.

HubSpot's Retainer Support Team

  • Academy

    Partner Certification

    HubSpot's Partner Certification includes dedicated training on building and delivering a services retainer.

  • CAM

    Channel Account Manager

    Your CAM helps you sell new HubSpot accounts. They can work with your agency to build a retainer that works for the client and your team.

  • CC

    Channel Consultant

    Your CC takes over once a new HubSpot deal is sold. The CC can be most helpful when they know what kind of retainer you are delivering as they will be guiding you through the process with specific best practices to help drive results.

Resources

FAQ

  • Yes of course, if it’s the right model for you and your clients. While we suggest 80% of your revenue come from retains while 20% comes from project work, you will know what’s best for your agency. However, as a HubSpot partner, we do require a services contract for any HubSpot deals where we waive HubSpot’s Direct Onboarding so that they are set up for success.
  • Not a problem - sign your prospect up for HubSpot Direct Onboarding and you'll still get the commission. You'll still be able to sell services to them after they are a customer, work with your CAM and CC.

Example Scenarios

  • In this case, the customer should only purchase HubSpot Direct Onboarding because the partner is not supplying strategy, consulting or actual work within the customer' portal.

  • It's important to provide technical implementation for new clients, but in this scenario, the customer must still purchase HubSpot Direct Onboarding. The reason is that outside the technical work, the partner is not providing important work such as consulting, strategy or campaign creation. All of those tasks are essential to making a successful HubSpot customer. 

     

     

  • It depends on if the customer is buying just HubSpot Sales Hub or also buying HubSpot Marketing Hub. If the customer has also purchased Marketing Hub, then we require the partner to provide services to both the Sales and Marketing.