HubSpot Launches Solutions Partner Program, a Sign of the Times
Since its founding in 2006, HubSpot has evolved from a marketing software company to a full customer experience platform. Its partner program has evolved as well.
The vendor recently launched the HubSpot Solutions Partner Program, the next iteration of its Agency Partner Program, which debuted 10 years ago.
Channel partners have been hearing a lot about new partner types invading what has comfortably been their terrain for many years. HubSpot, who has built its Agency Partner Program with thousands of partners in about 110 countries, exemplifies the changes taking place in the channel.
“The rebrand is really to capture the changing nature of our partner’s business as well as the market opportunity that’s represented to them from the fact that they’re now working with HubSpot, which has a full customer experience offer,” Katie Ng-Mak, vice president solutions partner program at HubSpot, told Channel Futures.
How muddy are the waters for channel partners? The answer — very. Here’s why HubSpot launched its Solutions Partner Program.
Today, within HubSpot’s solutions partner ecosystem, a large number of partners still call themselves agencies.
“But when you look at the services that they provide, you’ll see that many are heavy on marketing services but you’ll also find a lot of skill sets around building integrations; many partners are building systems integration practices, and some are thinking about sales-enablement services. So what we’re finding is that while many of our partners define themselves as marketing agencies, the services that they offer aren’t quite as pure as you’d imagine,” said Ng-Mak.
At the same time, over the past few years as HubSpot has expanded its product set, the company has been engaged by different types of businesses that want to partner with them.
“These businesses have nothing to do with marketing but are interested in us because their clients are interested in the fact that we have sales service and marketing products. They’re interested in the fact that we have a platform solution that can solve their go-to-market needs,” she said. “We’re starting to have other businesses come to us interested in partnership as well.”
Who are these partners knocking on HubSpot’s door? They’re service providers with skill sets in CRM implementations, and partners who identify as systems integrators and IT resellers.
“What’s interesting is that since we started having these conversations, we can have two service providers offering what sound like very similar services, but they [the partners] go by different names,” said Ng-Mak.
“HubSpot’s move is a recognition that multiple partner types are important over the buyer’s journey,” Jay McBain, principal analyst, channel partnerships and alliances at Forrester, told channel partners.
“The traditional ‘transactional channel’ doesn’t go away, McBain wrote recently. In fact, those partners that have spent years …