We're excited to announce that we have achieved Elite partner status on the HubSpot Partner Programme! What does the mean and how will it impact our customers? Watch the video below for a discussion with the Managing Director of Struto, Craig Wiltshire.
Estee: Hey everyone, it's Estee from Struto here. Today, I have Craig, our MD, joining me with some exciting news. What's happening, Craig?
Craig: Well, we have finally, after an 18-month push, become HubSpot Elite Partners! Which, as you can imagine, the team have been incredibly focused on HubSpot technology and helping companies grow using HubSpot. This Elite status is really just an affirmation of the journey we've been going through. So I'm really, really excited and proud at the same time, of the team and what we've achieved to get here.
Estee: Yeah, definitely. Yay! And you're as excited as the rest of the team here - we've all been celebrating for a couple of days now. But some of our viewers might not know what that means. Could you explain to us what Elite partner status signifies or what it is?
Craig: Yeah, sure. So, HubSpot runs a channel-based programme, in that they go to market directly, sell their technology to the market, as well as sell their technology through partners. We're obviously an example of a partner. Like in many partner-based channels, there is the need for partners to be able to differentiate and show where they fit in that particular channel. Accreditations are one way of doing that, and partner statuses are another way of doing that. So in HubSpot, we have a number of partner statuses. You can be gold - or actually, I think gold has been removed? - but you can be Platinum, Diamond and now Elite, as the ultimate tier within that partner channel. So Elite really shows dedicated commitment to HubSpot at the highest level. In terms of how these things are worked out, it's not just one factor that goes into determining your status within a programme like the HubSpot Solution Partner Programme. It's about more than that. It's about, yes, how much you sell and how much HubSpot you manage, those two factors are, of course, front-and-centre to this type of thing. But it's also about the breadth and depth of skills you have within your own business. Elite partners are a bit different in that they are not judged purely on sold criteria, but they are judged on the number of certifications they have. They need to hold more than 100 certifications across the organisation, which as you can imagine requires not only a number of people, but a commitment from those people to be certified in HubSpot. That's one part of it.
The other part is around things like retention of licenses that we sell so that we sell in an ethical way to people who are actually extracting value from HubSpot. That is reflected in the retention ratios that we maintain. So, it's a big deal for us. It may not resonate from a customer or prospect perspective. You may look at it, as a customer of ours, and think "what doe that mean?". It shows a massive commitment from our team to being a HubSpot partner.
Estee: Definitely! Well, on that, how are our customers going to be benefiting from our Elite status?
Craig: I think there is a number of ways. The first way is really peace of mind. By us moving from Diamond to Elite, it's a symbol of our commitment to the technology, that from a customer perspective, we're supporting you on. You know, we're also expanding our team in order to meet criteria. It's not just about sales numbers, as I said, it's about people within the team and skillsets in the team. So we're committed to growing the team, in order to meet those criteria. I think that's another important aspect of this.
Estee: Okay, great! I this going to impacting the services we offer and the experience and delivery of these services?
Craig: Absolutely. There's a couple of things to say on this, I think. There's an interesting anomaly to our achievement of Elite. We've gone about changing our business over the last 18 month to two years away from being a pure marketing agency to something more. We are committed to building a systems integrator for HubSpot, that focuses on delivering the best customer experience for our customers, but to help our customers deliver the best experience to their customers. In order to do that, we need to understand their businesses end-to-end. We need to build our understanding of process and the way businesses do what they do. And bring in people that can help interpret that and use that knowledge to deliver a better HubSpot experience for our customers. Where this becomes important is when we start looking at the skills required in order to take HubSpot forward as a platform and integrate that with other technology within an organisation. Our focus as a business, and around that journey to becoming a systems integrator, sits all around this. In terms of that journey, we know there's more we can do to be better at this. If we think about what we're doing at the moment, is we're moving into complex territories. HubSpot has always been sold as simple but powerful, the challenge there is, yes - it's simple to use, but powerful requires integration. Powerful requires deep knowledge around data, data migration, customising the technology and then integrating the technology with other technology in order to impact the business in a much bigger way.
So if we think about that word: Digital transformation, that is thrown around so readily, where we are moving to is a world of real digital transformation and changing the way our customers do business. So to those folks we are working with: we are committed to upskilling this business around those technical aspects and indeed our journey from Diamond to Elite has been driven by that process. And this is the bit that's important: that makes us different from many, many other HubSpot partners. And I think from our customers perspective, the reason people want to deal with us is that they want to have a great experience with deploying HubSpot, onboarding HubSpot and using HubSpot to extract value. And that usage is impacted by many, many other factors. So we're building a team that can come in, make that onboarding more effective, and allow people to extract value in the short term, very easily, but also transition into being the kind of exciting things for the future lie. Elite is just a symbol and a milestone of the journey, a much bigger journey to something that I think the vision is not quite clear yet. We know that it's something that sits out there, there's something we're aspiring to be. I would say the next six months would be a period in which we clarify around what that looks like, for the industry itself, as well. I think the HubSpot industry itself has a bit of an identity crisis in certain aspects. Hopefully the work we're doing in this business to cut through all of that and become something different, something focussed around the technology and deploying that technology is going to go some way to help to shape what that future looks like.
Estee: That sounds very exciting! Thanks for joining us today to tell us this exciting news today, Craig! Have a good day!
Craig: Awesome, thanks!
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