7min read

HubSpot Onboarding vs HubSpot Training vs Inbound Retainer

by Article by Remington Begg Remington Begg | June 21, 2019 at 8:04 AM

HubSpot is a big tool; and inbound marketing/sales/service, a complex strategy. So, how is a business supposed to understand, implement, and efficiently run their strategy through this tool?

HubSpot offers onboarding for new customers. They also publish tons of content to help explain the strategies behind the movement. But who has time to take all that on?

In this article, I want to explore the three ways customers engage with HubSpot for their business growth. We’ll cover the HubSpot onboarding, our HubSpot training, and inbound retainers.

I’ll also share which solution makes the most sense for what kind of marketing team, and what kind of company structure.

HubSpot Onboarding

HubSpot LogoI think of HubSpot Onboarding as the how-to solution. HubSpot onboarding will teach you how to use the marketing hub, the sales hub, and the service hub, depending on which products you’ve purchased.

You’ll learn how to set up a blog and publish articles. You’ll learn how to set up deals and sequences. You’ll learn what a landing page is, along with how to create forms.

So for a fee, a HubSpot account manager will teach you or your team the ins and outs of the software platform. Marketing hub onboarding will cost $3,000 USD while service hub and sales hub onboarding each run $1,500 USD.

When you purchase HubSpot through a partner like Impulse Creative, you don’t have to pay for HubSpot Onboarding. When we have a signed contract with you, we’ll take care of the onboarding with an expert from our company that can take the context of your business and how you can use HubSpot.

HubSpot Training

When I think of our HubSpot Training solutions, it makes me think about building a sailboat. I can learn how from a YouTube video or instructions I buy online. But if I want to really understand the soul of the vessel, I’m going to learn from a mentor who’s been there, built boats, sailed them, and wants to impart his or her wisdom, expertise, and philosophy onto a willing apprentice.

I may not even decide to build the sailboat myself, or I may decide to partner with this expert, but at least I’m getting more than a simple “Here’s the mechanics” conversation.

At Impulse Creative, we deploy our most-certified HubSpot Trainer, George B. Thomas. He can help basically anyone understand this complicated tool through real-world, non-jargon lessons.

George B Thomas HubSpot Training

Of course, we don’t just unleash GBT on you without preparation and context. We have an entire team ready to set you up for success.

We begin with about five preparation meetings where we’ll get to know your C-Suite and marketing managers via video conference. We want to know what your goals are, what your challenges are, and how you ultimately want HubSpot to operate in your business. We take this seriously.

Next, we’ll prepare your Hubspot portal and plan how we’ll focus and customize your training. Before we arrive, we’ll have instructions, documents and how-to guides for your team.

Once we arrive, we’ll train your team to rock HubSpot in 12 hours of sessions over two days. They’ll learn how to run HubSpot the way you need them to, as they work in the HubSpot tools side-by-side with our team. Everyone will receive assignments that will help to build your solid HubSpot foundation while we’re there to guide them.

Finally, your HubSpot portal will be set up to support your goals and help you make sound business decisions. Choose to have your team take the reins with their new knowledge and confidence or choose to get some ongoing support, for as long as you need it.

We also offer inbound sales training, HubSpot Launchpad Workshops, Sprocket Talk, and other resources to help you and your team understand HubSpot inside and out.

Inbound Retainer

So let’s say you have a small marketing team that needs a partner to execute the huge ideas you’ve come up with to generate leads and create growth. That’s where an inbound retainer comes into play.

HubSpot agency partnerOr maybe your company is cranking on all cylinders for your traditional marketing, but you want to dive into the inbound world and you’re ready to have an expert in the field come alongside to teach, do, and partner with your team. That’s an inbound retainer at work.

Whatever the reason, enlisting the help of an agency for the implementation of an inbound strategy will mean you’re working with an expert team on everything from account set-up to content marketing to conversion rate optimization and beyond.

An inbound retainer should include monthly meetings with the team for progress reports, strategy discussions, and general updates. It should also include regular communication through tools like email and Slack.

An ongoing relationship means you’re partnering with someone who’s as interested in your success as you are. They’re just able to execute the plans you and your team have, because they’re experts in the field.

Creating Your Growth Strategy

Whether you’re considering buying HubSpot and completing their onboarding, you want to go right for the HubSpot Training with us or you opt for an inbound retainer to have it done for you, understanding all of your options is critical.

Maybe your team is full of DIY ninjas. Maybe they need a sensei to guide them. Or maybe they need a team of bodyguards to take care of business.

Ready to fight for your business growth yet? I am!

However you decide to take on the challenge of growing your business and delighting your customers in the digital age and the relationship economy, you’ve made a great choice in implementing HubSpot and the inbound strategy.

Now it’s a matter of planning the implementation.

How Long Does Each Option Take?

Of the three options laid out here, onboarding is generally more simple. HubSpot will teach you and help you, and it will likely take two to four hours of training for each of the hubs you buy.

For HubSpot training with the expert team at Impulse Creative, plan on two to four weeks. This means a couple hours of training time, then a couple hours of homework each week. It could also include an in-person, on-site training, which can take a few days.

When it comes to the inbound retainer… it depends. We’ll teach you how to use HubSpot to the level you need, then we’ll work on development and implementation. For us, retainers run on a 12-month strategy plan with 3-month contracts/initiatives to hit goals.

The Hybrid Approach

You don’t have to choose just one option. We actually love working with clients to train to level they need while adding in retainer work so we’re more partner than just service. You can choose a hybrid approach to truly supercharge your marketing and sales process, creating hypergrowth.

PS - If you already have HubSpot and don’t know how to use it, we can help you. Just because you bought this great tool and now you’re not sure what to do, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck. Let us know where you’re having a delay, and let us walk you through your next steps. As a Platinum HubSpot Partner, we’re well-versed on the tool, the strategy, and the many facets of the inbound world.

What Will You Choose?


The ship’s navigation controls are in your hands. You’re in the harbor right now, but growth is in front of you. Which route will you take? HubSpot onboarding, HubSpot Training, or an Inbound Retainer?

Or will you choose a custom hybrid path for you inbound journey?

We’re here to help.

Speak with a Growth Strategist

Paths photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash