Making the decision to buy any software product for your business should be well thought out. You need to address many questions:
- Does this fit my needs?
- Which version should I buy?
- Is there onboarding?
- Is there customization?
- Who will manage this internally?
- How will I enforce adoption internally?
- Do I need an external resource to optimize the utilization?
- What are the terms and the costs?
As a HubSpot Partner, we often must address these questions with our clients and prospects looking into purchasing one of HubSpot’s products. However, there’s one question that summarizes them all. Is it worth it?
Let’s assume you’re a small business with $3MM to $5MM of revenue looking to grow your sales, making you a good fit for the HubSpot Marketing Pro and HubSpot Sales Pro products. Marketing Hub has a price tag of $890/month and Sales Hub has a price tag of $500/month, bringing your total investment to $1,390/month and an annual price tag of $16,680. Should you spend nearly $17,000 on a software product? Like most things in life, the answer is, “it depends.”
The answer really hinges on how you are viewing HubSpot and the associated costs. If you’re an owner/operator and this $17,000 comprises the majority of your marketing budget for the year, then HubSpot isn’t likely for you. We have dealt with this often in the past with entrepreneurs that keep things close to the vest and are slow to invest resources. HubSpot is not a panacea to your marketing and sales needs. HubSpot is a tool to amplify and optimize the rest of your marketing and sales budget. It is not a plug-and-play lead generation machine that you can flip on like a switch. If you are unwilling to invest the resources into a broader marketing plan, buying HubSpot, or any system for that matter, will be a waste of the limited resources you’ve allocated to marketing and sales.
To optimize the value in HubSpot, it needs to be part of a broader marketing and sales strategy. The strategy should include a budget with three broad categories:
- Human Capital (internal or outsourced)
- Paid Advertising
Your human capital is the person or people responsible for the execution of your marketing and sales plan. Creating content, posting to social media, managing a Google AdWords campaign and optimizing HubSpot take time. Selling to prospects requires attention and nurturing. Someone needs to be responsible and held accountable for these functions. Whether you do it yourself, hire a person or outsource to an agency is a topic for future blog posts, but the fact of the matter is these costs need to be part of your budget.
Paid advertising is the money you allocate to amplify your message and finding your leads. It can be money spent on Google or Facebook for lead generation tactics. It can be an email list or direct mailing list you buy from a service. It can be a content marketing play in an online publication. The right mix of paid tactics varies broadly, but regardless of what, a strong marketing plan needs to allocate dollars to “buying” awareness, reach, traffic or any of a wide variety of potential sources of eyeballs that can become leads and ultimately customers.
Technology in this vein isn’t just HubSpot. Google Analytics, LinkedIn, WordPress, your email platform and a nearly endless line of other products create your technology stack. Not all of them cost money. Google Analytics is free, but when leveraged properly is likely the most robust and informative source of information on the performance of your website. But you should look at your technology stack holistically. Time and money can be wasted when discreet systems aren’t working cohesively, and the separate data sets are not able to be utilized to produce insightful analysis. HubSpot is a product that helps centralize your information, marketing tactics and sales process in one place. For a full set of features, HubSpot has excellent visualizations across hubs here.
HubSpot is an incredibly robust software package that requires commitment to learn, understand and maximize value. That is why HubSpot encourages users to engage with partner agencies. HubSpot knows that retention of their software will be determined by the customers ability to maximize value and that is often created through leveraging our expertise.
In doing your research, you might discover that Partner Agencies have a financial incentive to sell HubSpot through a value-added reseller program, which is completely accurate. This in turn might make you skeptical of the incentives we agencies have in pushing HubSpot as part of our solutions. As a cynic myself, I appreciate this but let me try to put your mind at ease with this arrangement. If you gave me the option of signing a retainer for $6,000/month without HubSpot or $5,000/month with HubSpot, I would choose the $5,000 retainer every time. The reason is that as an expert in HubSpot, we will be able to execute our plan more efficiently, optimize our time so we can do more and accurately measure and optimize all components of a fully integrated marketing strategy. The result will be a better performance for you and higher client retention for us.
If you want to learn more about if HubSpot is a good fit for you, please follow the link below to begin a dialogue.