Listen to this episode on
“Building an ecosystem is hard… You got to think bigger than just the marketplace.”
In this episode, Scott Brinker, VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, dives deep into the inner workings of HubSpot’s partner strategies, how they have led them to create a dominant MarTech platform and the tech stack they use to achieve their goals.
This post was updated on 8/28/2023.
- Integration is vital to business success, and consolidating data into suites or platforms is a standard solution for companies with too many tools.
- To build a successful platform, focus on finding the right partners and tools and providing value to your company, customers, and partners.
- Genuine relationships and understanding the needs of your audience are crucial for success in an ecosystem like HubSpot’s.
- HubSpot’s winning partner strategy includes finding the most popular partners through customer research, ranking them, and bringing them in to help them succeed.
- To grow a marketplace, build a solid foundation across all product lines, and provide end-to-end support for partners on the platform.
- Building an ecosystem takes time and requires cohesion between the right tools. Choose a platform to experiment with different apps while breaking down stack silos.
- HubSpot CRM: HubSpot’s central source of truth, where they track their partner’s journey and integrate all their other tools.
- Google Suite: everything from spreadsheets to slide presentations and documents.
- Slack: To communicate with partners.
- Asana: For tracking projects.
- Looker: For visualizing data.
- Snowflake: For data warehousing.
- G2: For ranking potential partners.
- HubSpot’s App Directory: A directory of tools you can integrate with HubSpot.
- OrgChartHub: For building organizational charts in HubSpot.
- Sales Tracking Software: For tracking and monitoring sales journeys.
- Crossbeam: Helping businesses connect with prospects, partners, and opportunities.
Revamped and Ready: HubSpot’s Agency Program Transforms into Solutions
In 2020, HubSpot relaunched its Agency Program as a Solutions Partner Program to help customers find the right service providers (tools) for their business. Companies using multiple service providers often discover friction and disconnect between their goals, the providers they hire, and the software they use.
HubSpot’s integration ecosystem is so robust some would say it’s the center of gravity in the martech landscape. Why? Integrations & partnerships. HubSpot has played the long game by organically building a tightly integrated platform and tool ecosystem to deliver value for its customers and partners.
Why HubSpot’s B2B Platform Strategy Works
Their platform is designed for seamless integration, making it easy for users to trigger the right reactions across their entire stack with just one action. Ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow for their customers. Additionally, the platform offers a fantastic user experience, allowing partners to provide resources such as instructional videos and walkthroughs to help users get started with their products.
Build the most critical integration features first, then gather customer feedback from partners. Then, use that feedback to improve – This process often leads to discovering new use cases
HubSpot prioritizes data governance, compliance, and privacy when building its platform. Furthermore, the platform is built from the ground up rather than relying on paid acquisitions, which allows for greater control over the development process and ensures a high-quality end product. Overall, this company’s platform provides a seamless and secure user experience tailored to their customers’ needs.
Scott attributes the following strategies to the platform’s success:
- Operate partner managers like product managers to understand what product functionalities matter to customers.
- Host events like Inbound for partners to meet each other.
- Employ solutions architects to draft how the integration should look based on partner manager use cases and ensure it’s built correctly and works as advertised.
HubSpot’s Tech Stack for Measuring Partner Success
Scott and his team and HubSpot have built their stack to accommodate their partners, improve collaboration, and build trust.
Their stack allows them to do things like run town hall meetings so their partners can meet sales organizations, provide resources for better user experience like videos and walkthroughs, experiment with some account mapping tools like Crossbeam, and foster healthy collaboration between partners and in-house teams like engineering, product, marketing, etc.
HubSpot practices what they preach by using their product, also known as “dogfooding.” They utilize HubSpot as the central source of truth, integrating every other tool into their suite.
What’s with dogfooding?
Using a CRM allows for a streamlined and efficient process, as they treat every partner relationship as a deal going through different stages. With this approach, they gain insight into the customer journey and associated tasks through their CRM.
Additionally, they have an internal sales enablement tool that monitors their sales journey. By utilizing their product, HubSpot showcases the effectiveness and value of their platform in real-world scenarios.
One way Looker can help improve business performance is by providing valuable insights into how different aspects of the business are performing. By analyzing data from various sources, Looker can identify trends and patterns impacting performance, allowing stakeholders like Scott to make data-driven decisions to improve outcomes.
For example, Looker helps Scott measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and analyze customer behavior to identify areas for improvement and performance over time. With Looker’s powerful data analysis capabilities, Scott can better understand the business and make more informed decisions to drive success.
Changes to Looker
As a company with numerous partners and vast amounts of data to process, HubSpot recognized the need for a robust tool to manage all these data points efficiently.
Scott requires a reliable and scalable data processing, sharing, and analytics system to achieve his goals. As a result, HubSpot decided to store its data in Snowflake, which provides a secure and flexible storage solution and an excellent platform for data processing and analytics.
Getting to the Metric that Matters: Active Installs
Active installs are an important metric covering all aspects of success for Scott and the platform. Active Installs can mean anything, depending on your perspective. For HubSpot, looking at the metric from multiple angles is critical.
Scott believes partnerships and ecosystems are a three-way relationship. To be successful, you must find the intersection where you, the customers, and your partners get value from the partnership.
Scott and the platform require partners and customers to remain engaged in order to increase stickiness. Active installs are a sign of new business for partners and retained customers. For customers, the more they utilize the integration and platform, the more value they will receive.
Developing products and integrations that satisfy customer needs and building strong relationships with industry leaders like HubSpot are crucial for any company’s success.
By understanding the needs of their customers and creating solutions to meet them, companies like OrgChartHub can differentiate themselves from competitors and establish a loyal customer base.
How HubSpot Helped OrgCharHub Grow Its Customer Base
Additionally, building relationships with industry leaders can provide valuable insights, resources, and opportunities for growth. As a result, prioritizing customer satisfaction and community engagement should be a key focus for any company looking to succeed in the market.
Partnerships can be a game-changer for your business. By collaborating with other companies, you can unlock new opportunities and reach new heights of success.
Remember to approach partnerships strategically, conduct research, and identify complementary opportunities to ensure maximum value.
Communication and support are also crucial for mutual success. With a clear plan in place, strong partnerships can drive growth and pave the way for long-term success. So don’t hesitate to explore partnership opportunities and see how they can elevate your business to new levels!
Join us every week as we journey to the bleeding edge of the modern tech stack. You’ll hear from real experts how to nail your strategy, build a revenue machine, and take your sales to the next level.