As a Senior Customer Training Specialist at HubSpot, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of customers and teach them the best practices of inbound marketing and how to use the HubSpot platform to transform their marketing. Throughout my time training customers in this role and others, I’ve found that certain tactics seem to work when it comes to teaching adults.
As HubSpot customers, you want to make sure your team is using the tool to it’s full potential and getting your team to be proficient with the tools can sometimes be a challenge. I’ll share some tips I’ve used during my trainings to make sure the concepts and tool tips stick and have a lasting effect on your team and your marketing.
Tips on How to Train Your Team
1. Identify Experts
You hired the people on your team for a reason. It’s important that you identify the existing knowledge on your team and experts on particular topics. Maybe someone on your team has run a number of successful email marketing campaigns using another platform; ask them to share their experience and knowledge of best practices for the training before diving into using HubSpot to see a similar results.
This also helps you identify the base level knowledge on any particular topic. If everybody on your team has been using social media for a decade, you probably don’t need to spend your time explaining the basic best practices and platform differences, but instead you can dive deeper into social monitoring functionality and building a content calendar for your posts as a group.
In training, I identify experts in every class. One of the fundamentals of inbound marketing is building buyer personas. During our customer training sessions, we usually have a 50/50 split of people who have done this for their company vs. not. To make sure that the group that understands and has built buyer personas prior to training doesn’t lose interest in what we are talking about, I lean on them to share their personas and the strategies they used to build these personas. I make them the experts and people love sharing their work with the group.
2. Apply learning to everyday tasks
One of the challenges of training is getting people to actually buy into the idea of learning something new. Sure, plenty of people come to our trainings amped up to learn everything they can about inbound marketing and HubSpot, but not everyone is as gung-ho. For those people who aren’t quite sure they need to be in training, I try to relate the material back to their everyday role as much as I can.
A technique I use to do this is carefully identifying people’s roles and goals early on in training. This allows me to call on them when we get to the part of training that applies most to their role and show them some tips and tricks that will make their everyday life easier and some ideas for improving on what they are already doing. Is the group you are training responsible for creating content for your blog? Show them exactly how they can use the Keywords tool to prioritize their content ideas for the upcoming quarter and make sure they understand each piece of the optimization panel in the Blog tool and how it can make their already great content even better and increase the reach. I also like to share free tools, like the HubSpot Blog Topic Generator, that can make their job more efficient and fun.
3. Assign a project
As adults, we generally don’t learn by watching someone do something in front of us, but we have to do it ourselves. We learn even better if we have to do similar exercises more than once, especially when it comes to learning software. Think of activities your team can do to practice what you are teaching them.
You could have a competition on who can create the best landing page for an upcoming content offer, then have the team work together to choose which landing page is best aligned with the best practices you know and who used HubSpot most creatively. Bonus, you get a landing page created that your team needed to build anyway.
If you’re looking for ideas for activities your team could do to increase their confidence in HubSpot, check out the HubSpot Projects page. Give each member a project that most relates back to their goals on the team, but remember that just having them do the project isn’t always enough, make sure you or other team members review each project and give feedback on what they’ve accomplished.
4. Test their knowledge
Have you ever sat through a training and walked away not really remembering the key takeaways or being able to apply the knowledge when you returned to work? This happens all the time. We want to make sure that not only are our training sessions engaging, but that we also impact learning and drive our employees or teammates to keep improving.
I like to use tools during training sessions, like Kahoot.it, to do random and frequent knowledge checks. This helps me gauge whether or not the concepts I’m teaching are sticking and it’s a fun way to break up training with a competition. If I find that the majority of class misses a specific question, we revisit the concept as a group and go through additional examples.
You could also encourage your employees to take what they’ve learned from all of your HubSpot training sessions and using the tools to take one of the HubSpot Certifications. Not only will this help you gauge their expertise, it will give them something to show for their hard work.
Training your team on HubSpot is no small feat, but it can certainly be done. Remember to use your teammates and their expertise when training on particular topics, make it relevant to their everyday tasks, create useful activities and test their knowledge. Using these tips, you should see better, faster results training your team using HubSpot in no time.
Originally published Aug 25, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated December 01 2017