The Hubspot partner directory breaks all solutions partners down into five tiers: Partner, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Elite. Here we’ll dive into the way the company defines these HubSpot partner tiers, and what an agency with a tier badge will mean for your business.
The idea behind the tier system in the Solution Partners Program is pretty simple: Make it as easy as possible for you to find the agency that will best fit your unique needs.
Each of the five tiers in the current setup is a distinction the partner must earn through demonstrated excellence in the HubSpot ecosystem. As HubSpot explains, “Tiers are designed to acknowledge those partners who have not only brought the inbound message to the most clients but also those who executed inbound marketing services to the highest standards.”
What Determines the HubSpot Partner Tiers?
All HubSpot partners are evaluated twice each year, and their ranking on the tier list could change due to the metrics recorded at those times. HubSpot calculates tier rankings based upon a few variables, including:
- Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): Essentially, this measures how much business the agency has brought to HubSpot through clients that have HubSpot licenses.
- Client Retention: HubSpot agencies that retain their clients at high rates have proven their value to businesses like yours, and get a plus in the ranking algorithm.
- HubSpot Portal Engagement: This metric shows how worthy an investment the HubSpot platform has been to your business by tracking how many users are regularly logging into the portal. Every client portal connected to the partner contributes to this measurement.
- Inbound Marketing Excellence: Campaign success is a clear marker of a valuable HubSpot partner agency. HubSpot hands out individual awards to partners that have attained incredible results for their clients.
Strong performance in these areas leads to membership in the prestigious HubSpot partner tiers. Any agency with a Gold or better tier ranking has established itself as a partner that knows HubSpot well—and that can help you leverage the platform to earn real results.
How HubSpot Partner Tiers Have Changed
The HubSpot partner program was launched back in 2011, but the tiers haven’t always followed a five-category structure. The current tiers are as follows, in descending order of achievement:
If you’ve seen other lists in the past, this is because ranks have adjusted three times since the original lineup. A Silver tier (just below Gold) was originally included, but was retired from the list in early 2020. Diamond was first added to the top of the tier list in 2014. In January of 2020, HubSpot rolled out a brand new top-end HubSpot partner tier called Elite.
The current Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Elite tier lists are awarded based on HubSpot’s ranking metrics, but there are also un-tiered “Partners.” These agencies and other service providers are still official HubSpot solutions partners but haven’t yet met the goal metrics to earn a tier badge.
What Do the Tiers Mean For Your Business?
A HubSpot tier ranking is a prestigious achievement, but it’s only a part of the picture. Use the tiers as a contributing element of your search, for sure, but also try to understand the whole package. Here are a few tips to keep tiers in context when it comes to what an agency can do for your business.
- Higher tiers don’t always mean higher costs. The investment required for each individual partner agency is more a reflection of the services they offer and their perceptions of that service’s value than it is of their tier ranking. And many agencies will actually offer services at a range of price points so that you can find a level of service that matches your needs. You’re likely to find agencies from all tiers up and down the price spectrum.
- The tier ranking does tend to mean more experience. Yes, it’s possible for a HubSpot partner agency to take on several large clients, rack up a high MRR, and achieve a high tier quickly. However, it’s much more common for an agency to get there by working with an inbound methodology and building a large HubSpot client base over years of experience mastering the system. Higher-tiered partners will tend to offer you a deep well of knowledge and experience.
- Certifications matter more than HubSpot partner tier. While the tier is relevant in evaluating an agency, the certifications are more important for matchmaking. In order to qualify as a solutions partner, every HubSpot agency needs to pass courses on the HubSpot Academy, and these can offer a great insight into what the partner specializes in. If you’re looking for a website redesign project, for example, you may want to look at HubSpot partners who have this qualification, and know what they’re doing. As with all of the above points, you should always choose skills and experience over a nice badge — it’s important to get the results you want, not to have a “better” HubSpot partner on the job.
- You don’t always need Elite to see superior results. It’s natural to assume that a top-tiered HubSpot partner agency will earn you top-tiered results. The whole point of the tier system is certainly to help push the best agencies towards the top of your list. However, what’s much more important is that the agency understands your company, has specific experience in your industry and knows how to maximize HubSpot for your sector, product or service, and audience. It’s possible that your best-fit partner is a Gold, Platinum, or Diamond tier agency rather than Elite.
Maximize Your HubSpot ROI
Whichever rank your tiered partner has earned, a HubSpot-certified partner agency has gone through extensive onboarding, certifications, and maintained a high standard of performance. You can be sure you’re getting a proven and professional partner who knows how to help you get the most out of your investment in HubSpot.
Partners run the gamut from full-service agencies to more narrowly specialized services in web design, sales support, content marketing, and more. The most important thing to remember is that the HubSpot partner tiers are only one piece of the puzzle of finding the right fit. Take time to determine what you need, evaluate each agency’s culture and methodology, take note of their certifications, and also consider what tier they’ve earned for a fully informed choice.