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Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 135

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December 29, 2021

#135 Kieran Krohn: Why Goal Setting Is So Important in Partnering

This episode of Ecosystem Aces featured Kieran Krohn, Principal Channel Account Manager, Hubspot covering the Australia and New Zealand market

This episode of Ecosystem Aces featured Kieran Krohn, Principal Channel Account Manager, Hubspot covering the Australia and New Zealand market. Kieran recently shared a very insightful post on LinkedIn about some partnering best practices and we were inspired and invited him to join the podcast to share some of his ideas live on air.

Lover of adventure and hiking, Kieran has been with HubSpot for over 6 years now and has seen the company transform from just marketing automation to a full CRM hub including marketing, service, sales, CMS, and operations. He has helped develop and grow HubSpot’s partner programs and sheds light on it in this podcast.

Kieran discusses:

  • HubSpot’s Partnership Landscape
  • Goal Setting for Partnerships and How HubSpot Understands a Partner’s Business
  • How HubSpot Helps Partners


HubSpot Partnership Landscape

HubSpot has a wide array of partnerships ranging from large tech and services businesses to small firms having just 5 or 10 employees. Hubspot has a history of creative partnering early on establishing relationships with marketing and content agencies to build a strong community of Hubspot-trained advocates around the world. Today Hubspot has partners representing a wide range of partner types including:

  • Inbound and content marketing firms focusing on social media, SEO, and blogging.
  • Demand generation agencies helping their customers create leads their sales teams.
  • Web development companies focusing on applications and user interface.
  • Sales consulting firms focusing on CRM and driving priority or sales alignment.
  • Full stack and integration partners to do technical work, building systems and custom integrations.

As the HubSpot platform expands and based on the market demands, Kieran looks for openings in the Partner Ecosystem and potential future partnerships. Staying open-minded and adaptive is vital for the company’s partner onboarding and relationships.

Goal Setting for Partnerships and How HubSpot Understands a Partner’s Business

Kieran’s philosophy is that goal setting is vital so that the partner understands expectations and mutual benefits that can be achieved. Kieran wants to understand the partner’s business completely so that the right goals can be set. A partner’s business process, goals, and targets, plans for the future, etc., are important before setting final goals.

Once Kieran knows about the personal goals and revenue aims of a partner, HubSpot can help them achieve success by building an aligned business strategy. For this, HubSpot asks many questions like.

  • How deeply do they know HubSpot?
  • Do they have BDRs?
  • How do they want to deal with referrals?
  • What do they sell, and how do they do it?
  • Do they need any help from HubSpot?

Kieran sends a Google sheet to the partner for them to fill in about their business process. It includes information about different stages of their sales process, key activities related to each step of the process, and the exit criteria followed to progress deals along the sales pipeline.

This helps both the partners and HubSpot to be on the same page and take advantage of any opportunities together. It also helps the partners get a well-defined scalable and repeatable process using sales or deal-based automation. Partners find it easier to onboard this way and get all the help needed to succeed.

How HubSpot Helps Partners?

Factors like a company’s size, sales cycle lengths, customer lifetime value, average order value, etc., play a role in a partner deciding who they want to work with. Both HubSpot and its partner don’t have infinite time, and finding the right fit is important for both. Once HubSpot finds the right partners, they go above and beyond to help them get connected and quickly get them sales-enabled.

The easy-to-consume and state-of-the-art HubSpot University plays a vital role in this. It is filled with resources like courses, certifications, videos, and other information to help partners get onboard quickly. Many practical information like co-selling with partners, taking calls together, sharing recordings and Zoom meetings, partner self-diagnosis, etc., are done too.

The training and coaching are done based on the partners’ needs, and recommendations are made all the time to improve things. Some training is done 1-to-1, while some include group coaching sessions. Partners are also able to learn from each other. Partners can take calls together, share ideas, discuss mistakes and potential solutions, etc.

Summing Up

Kieran is dedicated to growing HubSpot’s partner program and has a well-planned process of doing things. He does not make random deals and loves to analyze a partner’s business process and help them as much as possible to achieve success.

He hears recommendations and opportunities brought up by partners and works on them with their team to come up with the best solution together. Instead of HubSpot working on a specific thing, co-selling and working together with partners offers the best resources and solutions to create a win-win situation for everyone.


To connect with Kieran and keep track of his work, you can reach him on LinkedIn.


Links & Resources