In the fast-paced world of inbound marketing and sales, it’s perhaps more important than ever to stay on top of the latest updates and industry research if you want to achieve great results.
There are many ways to train yourself and your team, and HubSpot Academy is one of them — if you’re up for the challenge.
HubSpot Academy regularly launches new certifications and lessons, and they update the existing ones whenever they see the need so that you don’t lag behind.
This has been a huge learning resource for us at Inbound Norway.
But you know what?
Only 15 people in the world have every one of the certifications.
And four of those 15 are working here at Inbound Norway.
As a HubSpot partner and a massive fan of HubSpot Academy, we're about to share with you our top tips on how to succeed with the certification courses, which courses we've found the most useful, and how they can benefit HubSpot users.
How Education Has Benefited Our Team
Did you know HubSpot Academy offers you 55 hours and 16 minutes of video material on everything you need to know about inbound marketing and sales?
Or that there are 841 exam questions to help you understand, learn, and gain insight into the inbound methodology?
No wonder we've benefited from these courses.
Because these courses have given us an enormous amount of value, some of them are now part of our training program for new team member as well as existing team members. This helps us stay up to date on developments in inbound and with HubSpot.
Passing the inbound certification is a requirement to get a job with our company because it teaches a fundamental understanding of what we do.
The reason for this is quite straightforward: If you don't like the course, you probably won't like working here, either.
Each team member has time set aside to do training and development each month to keep growing in their role. This is important, not only regarding our personal development but also for being able to grow the company.
That's why we require our clients, trainees, and strategists to go through relevant certifications.
Take the CEO, for example. She may not be working directly with clients or doing those everyday tasks in HubSpot, but it’s still important for her to understand how the decisions around management and strategy affect everyone in the company.
In order for us to give the best advice to our customers, we need to understand the whole context of our strategy.
And the same goes for every company, no matter the size or expertise.
It also gives us a huge advantage when we're able to answer questions outside of our specialty — both in proving our competence and in saving time.
We're able to make better decisions and recommendations, and we're able to do it faster.
No matter why you're using HubSpot, what your relationship with inbound marketing and sales is, or what role you have in the company, you’ll benefit from each and every one of the certification courses in one way or another.
And to be honest, no matter how small or large the company, growing is all everyone wants, right?
We bet your answers to that is yes — or, at least, that’s our answer.
Key Takeaways From Our Favorite Certifications
There are three of us with completely different roles in the company, and we couldn’t really decide on one favorite course, so bear with us.
But we do agree on what’s great about the three we’ve chosen:
- The Sales Software Certification is useful for anyone who wants an understanding and overview of all the possibilities the sales tools provide. With a better understanding of how the CRM system works, and how the marketing and sales tools are connected, it's easier to not only understand the whole concept of inbound marketing and sales but also to get a grip of smarketing, and maybe even implement and embrace it for those who dare.
- The HubSpot Partner Certification, on the other hand, provides a comprehensive introduction on how to grow an agency with inbound and HubSpot and what being a partner entails. At Inbound Norway, we have processes and client delivery nailed, so it's useful to have a certification that focuses on structuring the agency. Pulling important aspects of sales, marketing, and processes together really helps us build a solid foundation for ourselves as a business. The certification also provides additional reading, such as the ebook “5 steps to defining your agency’s positioning strategy.” These are great resources to take the things you've learned further and implement change in your company.
- The Contextual Marketing Certification was our writer's favorite (shocker, right?) because inbound marketing is absolutely dependent on tailored content. This certification guides you through just that: how to use personalization and smart content, how to segment with context, and how to deliver a successful user experience.
And although we have processes established for other strategies, like sales enablement, we always want to learn more and develop our knowledge further, so we're excited to take the new Sales Enablement Certification course.
How We've Used Education
This we can all agree on: The certification courses have been incredibly useful and valuable in different aspects of our daily work.
Inbound marketing is new still, especially in Norway. Not many people have the skills or knowledge needed to execute this type of marketing well.
Skilling Up as a Team
This training has been a huge help in growing our team, as we can onboard new team members more efficiently, which in turn makes it easier to take on more clients.
It also allows team leaders to focus training time on the right things, and not just the basics of the inbound methodology.
Our team at Inbound Norway has a diverse background from studying anything from marketing to politics to psychology and journalism. All this is a great foundation for what we do, but we're still keen to learn more.
These certifications have helped us get a wider grip on the whole inbound process, from executing inbound marketing to attract, nurture, and convert leads to how to go about closing more deals.
Working With Our Clients
In our day-to-day work, there has been some interesting spillover: In the GDD certification, you learn processes that are relevant for thinking agile- and sprint-based in inbound delivery, as well.
This makes it easier for us to deliver services fit for the clients as their needs changes over the course of the agreement.
We also have a better understanding of the possibilities in HubSpot, in the sales, marketing, and partner accounts, which allows us to give better advice to our clients and coworkers.
Learning About Each Other
We run our processes based on many of the structures and methodologies offered in the certifications.
By watching the videos, reading the transcripts, and taking the certification exams, we all get familiar with how everyone in the team works. And seeing as we all know the basics for every role and every inbound marketing-related topic, we can all jump in with relevant solutions, no matter the problem.
Because we get valuable insights to the work the designers, content creators, salespeople and developers do, and what they need to consider when doing their jobs, we manage to have useful discussions with the whole team.
The certification courses also work as endless inspiration for blog content. This helps us explain inbound to our persona and as inspiration for our webinars and video content.
Our Best Tips for Passing the Certifications
We have oh-so-many tips for how to pass the certifications, but in order to not make you fall asleep, here are our top five.
1. Don’t just pass them to pass them. Try to relate every subject to your own experience and in relation to what you do. This makes it more interesting, and it’s also easier to understand the logic behind the questions when you relate the information to something you know. (And if you know it all too well, watch the videos at 150% speed or skip reading about the parts you already know enough about.)
2. Try to make a point of implementing something new after you've gone through all the videos. Putting it into practice makes the learning easier for the next one.
3. Be strategic about which courses you take first. Start with the certifications most relevant to your job or field of interest. If you're a HubSpot partner, take the HubSpot Sales and HubSpot Marketing Software Certifications before the partner one. Many of the lessons are similar, making it easier to learn.
4. Set aside a specific time when you'll focus on the courses. It takes some focus to get things right and to pass them — it’s not done in a couple of hours.
At Inbound Norway, we have a plan for completing certain certifications as part of our career plans. This way, we make sure to set aside the necessary time to take them, and we make it a priority in the same way as other tasks.
5. Take your time when actually taking the course, and read the questions properly. It's easy to miss a few things and then answer the wrong thing, even when you know the right answer.
You hit the “finish” button and BAM, there it is — 74 %. Many of us have been there, and there's nothing worse than missing that one percent that would get you another completed certification. It’s a bummer for sure, but if this happens to you (and it probably will if you don’t focus during the test), think of it like this: You learn more because you’re taking the test one more time, and you'll probably study better in the future in fear of missing that one percent again.
All in all, the certifications are a great opportunity for all HubSpot users to learn about the many features of the software and gain valuable insight about the whole context of the inbound methodology.
Originally published Jan 8, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated January 08 2018