Managed Services & Retainers
Marketing Automation & CRM platform consulting, optimization, administration, support

Providing OUTCOMES and VALUE

Our Managed Service plans & Retainers provide the most value by including the perfect balance of strategic advice and planning plus DFY (Done For You) hands-on tactical elements to optimize platforms and processes for driving more ROI from your tech stack including marketing, CRM, and web platforms.

Starting from $640/month

No annual contracts or expensive retainers required.

With Managed Services & Retainers we don’t use a static SOW

In contrast to a static punch list of items from an SOW that quickly gets outdated, with Managed Services & Retainers we reconvene every month to review task status, work out current priorities and milestones, and then execute on agreed tasks as a ‘monthly sprint’. This provides a sort of Agile project management method of addressing current priorities so you are always getting what you need over the course of our engagement.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)

Two Managed Services plans to choose from:

Fixed Hours Retainer
Managed Services Retainer
Fractional Hours
Managed Services


Fixed Hours Managed Services Retainer

Best for organizations wanting an ongoing consulting relationship for more significant impact with strategy and execution to address initiatives while achieving the best rate available along with billing predictability, and willing to commit to at least a six month retainer at a fixed amount of hours each month to achieve their goals.

Our Fixed Hours Managed Services Retainer offers the lowest effective hourly rate available. Pricing is based on tier of hours selected plus the length of commitment.

Main Features:

  • Provisions for ongoing consulting relationship for deeper strategy and execution.
  • Fixed hours, flexible tasks. Hours are fixed but tasks are not.
  • Provides billing predictability.
  • Select 6 or 12 month retainer.
  • Select the number of fixed hours for entire engagement ranging from 5 to 100 hours per month.
  • Rate progressively discounted based on higher hour tiers and duration.
  • Simple online agreement process.

Our retainer is ideal for creating systems & processes.

Our Fixed Hours Managed Services Retainer is suitable for a combination of strategic tasks and tactical tasks, allowing for the depth of consulting relationship required for deeper strategy where we can develop a roadmap and drive towards desired future state, tackling long term initiatives specific to your organization, and for setting up systems and processes that will have the most impact.


Fractional Hours Managed Services

Best for organizations wanting a consulting relationship to tackle tactical work (at least 5 hours per month) and perhaps with irregular amounts of work or spikes in workload, but not wanting to commit to a retainer requiring a fixed amount of hours each month across several months (while probably saving a little over 'Pay-As-You-Go’).

Our month-to-month Fractional Managed Services plan allows you to flex work hours up or down each month at will, as you go. No need to select a fixed number of work hours on long retainers. With this plan you can even pause service for a month or even a few months, then restart when you are ready (or you can choose not to restart again at all).

Sliding scale rate, the more hours we work on your tasks the cheaper your hourly rate for all hours that month (usually works out to be cheaper than 'Pay-As-You-Go'). You only pay for actual hours logged for work tasks each month. Rate applies based on tier of hours reached each month, and rate applies to all hours for month.

Example of how Fractional Managed Services works:

  • If we log 8 hours you're billed the 10 hour minimum at the 10 hour rate tier for that month.
  • If we log 15 hours you're billed 15 hours at the 10 hour rate tier for that month.
  • If we log 21 hours you're billed 21 hours at the 20 hour rate tier for that month.

Main Features:

  • Hybrid option that fits between our Pay-As-You-Go and retainer services.
  • Flexible hours, flexible rate, flexible tasks.
  • Only single month commitment (month-to-month).
  • Only pay for hours worked.
  • No retainer.
  • The more hours worked per month the lower the rate for the whole month based hitting hour tiers.
  • Hour tiers ranging from 5 to 50 hours per month.
  • Pause for as many months as needed, or restart any time with as little as 1 week notice.
  • Simple online agreement process.
  • Minimum 5hrs/month.

As hours worked increase ↗️ your rate decreases ↘️.

Our Fractional Hours Managed Services can be suitable for light strategic tasks or almost any sort of tactical tasks, but is not really suited for the depth of consulting relationship required for deeper strategy, long term initiatives, or for setting up complex systems and processes.

We’re so confident that you’ll love the value you’ll receive that we don’t require long term commitments, but there are some advantages of setting up a retainer that extends for several months. Some of the advantages of a longer consulting engagement include a lower rate, and the ability to dive deeper into your current processes, while driving toward an improved future state.

HubSpot lead generation dashboard

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Compare to our other services

Our Pay-As-You-Go Consulting & Support is our most flexible offering allowing you to only pay for what you need when you need it. Prepay by the hour with as little as a single hour or two, or for a bucket of hours to realize a better hourly rate. No commitments, simply pay a fixed hourly rate when you need some work done or technical support. Buckets of hours can be used up to within six months of purchase.

Our Implementation & Onboarding service is geared towards organizations that have a very new platform and need initial set up with best practices implementation and client onboarding which includes training. We have three implementation packages to choose from that covers various levels of needs and budgets.

Compare our services to other vendors

Managed Services: Other vendors, if they even offer Managed Services, will require expensive annual contracts and typically don’t go into strategic tasks. Many may not even offer DFY (Done For You service), and many vendors will not provide a dedicated certified consultant. Most vendors Managed Services will only provide a select set of tasks and will not adapt to your situation or needs.

Pay-As-You-Go Consulting & Support: Most vendors simply will not offer paying by the hour or paying for buckets of hours, but will require a strict project-based SOW that is based off of your initially known needs (see the drawbacks of SOWs in the next item below).

SOW Statement of Work: Most vendors will not even offer Managed Services but will require a strict project-based SOW that is based off of your initial expression of needs, but an SOW is a snapshot of items based on the current known needs and does not flex over time to accommodate your ongoing needs, which will inevitably change over time. Also SOWs are very limited since they typically are framed based on an organization telling a vendor what they want, but frankly most organizations don’t know what they don’t know, they likely don’t know what the platform is capable of, and they probably aren’t experts and haven’t seen or tackled as many diverse issues as the vendor who specializes in certain platforms, so they can’t include in their initial list of requirements that the SOW is derived from any items that may come up later during discovery meetings with a qualified consultant, and items that become evident over time. This results in either jumping through hoops and negotiating a Change Order as thing arise, or simply not adjusting to current needs but instead deferring any additional items that are considered ‘out of scope’ from the SOW. Frankly we consider SOWs an old school method of doing business and far prefer Managed Services which can adapt month-by-month to any needs and provides much more value to our clients.

Level of Work: Most vendors will not provide a deep level of complex types of work, they typically will do more advisory or limit to tactical tasks, and even those may not include best practices or take into consideration how the work they are doing affects other systems or areas within your organization. An example of this is setting up lead management systems; most vendors will do some level of lead scoring and maybe MQL triggering, but they most likely won’t do discovery meetings between your marketing and sales teams and departments to get alignment on what criteria should constitute an MQL, and what triggers and timing should cause a prospect be sent to SDR or sales teams. We not only align marketing and sales for better outcomes, but we also layer in multiple criteria to be sure that the only leads sent to sales are fully qualified leads that closely match your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) AND that have shown intent by recent engagement with high value marketing assets, thus sending only the right prospects to sales at the right time.

About Managed Services

Managed Services is the practice of outsourcing business administration, operations and management to a third party, often whose sole or primary focus is the services being outsourced. While the term managed services most commonly refers specifically to managed IT services, our Pardot, HubSpot, Salesforce, and WordPress Managed Services go beyond the standard IT aspect to include other areas, such as process and systems development, marketing, and product training. All of our consultants are certified, with several years of Pardot/Salesforce and/or HubSpot along with marketing and web experience. We can even help you with campaign set up or management, or troubleshoot ones that aren’t performing as you’d like. We’ll work alongside your team, however big or small, to enable you to get the most out of your technology stack.

How do Managed Services work?

Managed Services from Optimal Business Consulting are designed for organizations interested in maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage through month-to-month access to award-winning consulting expertise, strategy and best practice guidance, plus hands-on administration and optimization, support and training.

There are no annual contracts required. Start with pay-as-you-go month-to-month Managed Services with our Flexible Hours Fractional Managed Services plan or opt for our Fixed Hours Managed Services Retainer.

We get together via web conference towards the start of each month to work out priorities and milestones. Throughout the month, our experts execute on agreed upon tasks and appraise you of the status. We also typically review task status and agree upon priorities throughout the month for the upcoming month as a ‘monthly sprint’. This provides a sort of Agile project management method of addressing current priorities so you are always getting what you need.

  • Submit tasks via our task tool (ClickUp) or our task web form to get them in the queue and on the roadmap for your project.
  • We're highly collaborative so we encourage you to follow up and collaborate via our task tool, Slack, or email.
  • Work directly with your assigned Salesforce Pardot certified or HubSpot Expert Client Success Manager throughout your engagement.
  • Schedule a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly web conference meeting or one-on-one working session with your Client Success Manager (up to 30 minute web conference per 10 hours of work).
  • We can work on practically any type of tasks you need, almost anything.
  • As you hit higher tiers of worked hours for a month, your effective hourly rate decreases...even from the first hour logged that month!
  • We'll pay you a referral fee as a reward for sending us clients.

Strategic & Tactical

All of our Managed Services plans include both Strategic & Tactical elements (actual work items determined each month).

What kind of tasks and services are included in your Managed Services?

Strategic & Tactical

All of our Managed Services plans include both Strategic & Tactical elements. The list below is just an example, but your work tasks can be almost anything needed for any given month (actual work items determined each month):

  • Initial Discovery Call
  • Consulting
  • Best Practice & Strategic Guidance
  • Platform Setup
  • Connector Configuration
  • User Set Up
  • Campaign Setup and Guidance
  • Custom Fields
  • Display Marketing Automation Data within Salesforce
  • Custom Lead Scoring Setup
  • Prospect Grading & Profiling
  • Define & Diagram MQL Journey and Lead Flow Management
  • Create Branded Email Templates
  • Create Form Email Autoresponders
  • Process & Systems Development
  • Platform Implementation
  • Platform Administration
  • Platform Optimization
  • Web Forms & Form Handlers
  • Create Gated Content Forms for Gated Downloads
  • Create Segmentation Lists
  • Custom Redirects (tracking links)
  • Regular Status & Strategy Meetings
  • Marketing Asset Creation (forms, email templates, fields, journeys, etc.)
  • Lead Flow Management
  • Training
  • Support
  • Project Management
  • Analytics / Reports / Dashboards
  • Resource Library of 40+ Original-Authored Pardot & Salesforce Help Documents

Many of the above items apply regardless of platform, but we can adjust the tasks to your platforms and specific needs.

For more details on what our Managed Service plans contain please contact us to learn more!

What platforms do you support?

Our Managed Services help you to keep getting the most out of your tech stack—Pardot, Salesforce, HubSpot, WordPress, ActiveCampaign and more. Pardot and HubSpot Managed Services are our core offerings, but we can also extend that to provide Salesforce CRM Sales Cloud Managed Services, and even WordPress Managed Services or other platforms by request. Combine management of more than one platform, i.e. Pardot AND Salesforce (an upcharge may apply).

If you wish to add Salesforce Managed Services to your plan, we’ll ascertain how much effort should go towards Pardot and/or HubSpot, and how much effort towards Salesforce. You determine the allocation; we agree together on the tasks.

Just get in touch and request additional platform support to start the discussion.

Why do I need Managed Services?

With Flexible Hours Fractional Managed Services you have as much expert help as you need, when you need it, with no long term contracts.

With Fixed Hours Managed Services Retainer your marketing expenses are more predictable because you select the number of hours needed each month, and you still get to choose what tasks and issues are tackled each month as your needs change.

Relying on in-house staff to learn and/or maintain technology systems can be a costly and time-consuming. Marketing’s workload is frequently heavy and often deadline driven, leaving them with little bandwidth to go beyond applying the basics to complex marketing automation systems such as Pardot.

Systems that are hurriedly set up can often result in common mistakes and more administrative time later on, often compounding problems and issues such as poorly constructed automation rules and processes, forms, and email templates. Managed Services take the pressure off your employees and keep them focused on their daily work.

Start the discussion about Managed Services…