Do More With Less: Getting Started With Outsourced HubSpot Partners
By Mike Poledna
Across nearly every industry, only one thing is certain: Change.
Our world is changing faster than ever, and businesses are being forced to make difficult decisions. One common question in the minds of executives everywhere:
“Should we outsource our inbound marketing and HubSpot management needs?”
Right now, your job is to figure out how to do more with less. You can’t shut off your inbound marketing funnel or neglect HubSpot, but you also need to save resources.
That’s where outsourced agency partners play a critical role. By working with an outside expert, you can hit your growth goals and cut expenses at the same time.
You need a partner. Whether you choose 360 Sales Growth or another HubSpot agency, this guide will show you:
The benefits of outsourcing
How to choose the right partner
How to set up your partnership for success
Outsourcing marketing and HubSpot management is more than just a cost-saver. It canaccelerate your sales growthand make your entire team more effective.
The Benefits of Outsourced Marketing and HubSpot Management
Ever during the best of economic times, more and more businesses are turning to inbound marketing agencies and HubSpot partners for support. The benefits of these outside partners are amplified during times of economic crisis and uncertainty:
1. Subject Matter Expertise.You’re the expert on your industry and customers. We’re experts in using inbound marketing to grow sales, not just leads. Together, we’ll make sure your business hits those all-important growth goals.
2. Gain Outside Perspective.Business consultant David C. Baker said: “Businesses can’t read their own label from inside the jar.” One of the greatest benefits of hiring outside experts is the simple fact that they come fromoutsideyour business. We all get stuck staring at the same problem for too long. An agency adds perspective and gets you unstuck.
3. Connect Sales and Marketing.Sales and marketing teams — and even the employees within those teams — tend to silo themselves over time, leading to a breakdown in your sales growth funnel. Working with an outside agency can get everyone on the same page and working towards common goals again.
4. Cost Savings.When accounting for the hidden costs of employment, outside agencies can represent a cost savings of 20-50% over in-house staff. That does NOT mean you should let go of your entire marketing team. Like we mentioned earlier, they are the real experts on your industry and customers. But when you have specific gaps to fill, it’s smart to consider an outsourced solution.
How to Choose The Right Outsourced Inbound Marketing and HubSpot Partner
It should go without saying, but here it is anyway:Not every agency is right for every client.Client-agency relationships go south for a number of reasons, but most common of all: Poor working fit.
Choosing a poor-fit agency can do far more damage than good. Not only will you waste money, but it could set your sales growth goals back by months.
Finding the right partner is a process — one made easier by following this checklist:
1. Identify Specific Problems and Objectives
Knowing what you want to accomplish is the first step towards a successful client-agency relationship. It’s critical to set business-level objectives, such as increasing revenue or raising brand awareness.
However, don’t try to prescribe your own solutions — that’s what your expert agency is there for. Like going to the doctor, your role as a client is to define your problems and desired results as clearly as possible. The agency’s role is to develop the plan to get there.
2. Look for Experts for Your Specific Needs
Unlike the medical profession, marketers aren’t constrained by malpractice laws. Just because someone claims to be “experts” in a given practice — like SEO or inbound — doesn’t mean they actually are. Marketers can claim anything they want, making it difficult for clients to filter through the BS and find true experts in their areas of need.
Be wary of “full-service” agencies, unless they have more than 15 employees on staff. Anything less than that and they are just blowing smoke. They simply don’t have the bandwidth or experience to doeverythingwell.
Instead, look for experts who specialize in your specific problems or objectives. If your objective is to increase revenue, work with an agency with experience in sales growth. If your problem is lack of brand awareness, work with a branding agency.
Most importantly, review the agency’s portfolio, testimonials, case studies, and referrals before working together. Make sure they have actually been around the block. It’s not worth the discount to be a guinea pig for an inexperienced partner.
3. Don’t Skip Strategy
It’s tempting to jump right into building landing pages and writing email campaigns. As entrepreneurs and problem-solvers, our instinct is to “get shit done” and “move fast and break things.” But even Zuckerberg eventually learned the hard lesson of his famous mantra: breaking things is costly, in terms of both time and money.
If you want to see results quickly, you need to go against your instinct. You need to slow down andstart with strategy.
Developing a comprehensive strategy is the only way to connect your actions to your objectives. It ensures you choose the right goals and benchmarks, and that you aren’t wasting time on things that don’t matter. When resources are tight, it’s critical to take a step back and ask, “What are we trying to accomplish, and what is the best way to get there?”
You may be tempted to hire foot soldiers to execute on whatever strategy you currently have in place. But remember— outsourced agencies aren’t just cost-savers. They are experts in the things you’re not. Simply hiring order-takers will greatly diminish the benefits of working with an outside group.Hire experts who will help you develop the right strategy first, then help you execute to perfection.
4. Start with a Limited-Scope Project
No matter how much research you put in beforehand, you’ll never know the true working-fit between your business and an agency until you actually complete a project together. That’s why it’s smart to start with a limited-scope project before signing a 10- or 12-month retainer.
The ideal limited-scope project is a strategy project, which answers the questions we outlined in the section above. Not only do you get to test out working together, but you’ll also see how the agency thinks. A strategy project will leave you with valuable new information, whether or not you decide to work with the agency on the execution phase.
Are you Ready for Outsourcing?
Outsourced marketing and HubSpot partnersare invaluable assets to any business, especially SMBs. Ironically, though, it’s the largest enterprise who are most likely to outsource aspects of marketing. It’s common for corporations to work with multiple, sometimes dozens of agencies at once.
But SMBs are far less likely to take advantage. Part of it is not wanting to lose control of their business. More often, though, SMBs are intimidated by the search process. With thousands of agencies at your fingertips, how can you ever make the right choice?
Start by considering your business objectives — those areas of growth where you could use support. Then seek out partners with proven expertise in those areas, whether it’s branding, sales growth, or inbound marketing. Don’t just hire foot soldiers, but strategic partners who can help you develop the best possible plan for achieving your objectives.
Once you decide on a partner, don’t jump right into a long-term retainer; start with a limited-time project—such as a strategy project—to determine working fit and alignment in thinking. With a solid strategy in place, you can then choose to work with that partner on execution, hire another outsourced firm, or handle the work internally.
Working with an outsourced agency requires a leap of faith. But by doing your homework and thinking strategically, you’ll position yourself for success and reap all the benefits outsourced partners have to offer.