on July 06, 2020 Talent HubSpot

HubSpot Training: How to Uplevel Your Team’s HubSpot Platform Savvy

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PR 20/20 continually invests in the growth and professional development of our team. From certifications, to professional association memberships, to events, and to using our strengths to give back to the community — pouring time and resources into our team comes back to the agency tenfold. 

Team members are more confident. Clients receive better quality work and consultation. And we’re constantly learning and evolving when it comes to the ever-changing world of business and marketing. 

This year, PR 20/20 recommitted its business to helping clients grow using HubSpot.

With that goal in mind, we deployed a HubSpot training program for our entire team to really dig into new courses available via The HubSpot Academy. The HubSpot Academy team is incredible when it comes to making quality training available. For us, it was more about intentionally guiding individuals so they had the most relevant training for their day to day, and so that we as a collective team unit were able to cover the full scope of the HubSpot platform. 

Here’s how we did it. 

HubSpot Training Program

Led by Tracy Lewis, our vice president of talent, we put a program together that intended to make HubSpot top of mind for our team for 90+ days. It included: 

More on each component of the program below.

Weekly Updates

Get your team reading, sharing and more intentionally discussing HubSpot products and best practices. We would post updates or articles to our internal social network (or wiki) each week, then bring those posts up for discussion during our morning meetings. 

Doing this for a quarter helped to re-establish good habits of following news and product updates across our tech stack, summarizing and sharing that information with the team, then making time for those important conversations to bring questions and ideas to the table. 

Train with the Experts

We were super lucky to have our HubSpot channel consultant with us about once a month to nerd out over hot marketing, sales and service topics. For the team, it was a chance to dive deep into HubSpot platform capabilities and best practices. No question went unasked—from strategy to detailed application of that strategy in practice in the HubSpot portal. 

Here’s the mix of topics on which we chose to focus discussions:: 

  • Workflows
  • Lead scoring
  • Lifecycle-stage nurturing
  • Marketing and sales alignment
  • Service Hub overview and best practices

Thanks again, Evan, for making the time! :)

Client Portal Review

When HubSpot-related work came up during this intensive re-certification across the agency, we asked everyone to contribute. The benefits here include taking what you learn and applying it in practice; supporting teammates and learning about new portals, clients and goals; and bringing all the ideas to the table to deliver the best possible work.  

Employee Certifications

As a legacy HubSpot partner, we have folks on the team who received HubSpot’s very first certifications. But guess what? The platform has evolved since, and it’s our responsibility as a Solutions Partner to keep those certifications current. 

As an agency, we require all employees to be HubSpot certified before they’re able to have certain portal permissions. From there, we’ve historically let individuals choose which certifications they wanted to get (mostly based on client work or personal interest). 

This time around, we set up guided learning tracks for our team. If your clients were doing a lot with the sales side of the platform, we encouraged those teams to take sales-related courses. Same idea for dev, marketing, service, and overall management. 

In doing this, we found greater ability to go to market confidently with new HubSpot services. We had core capabilities covered across the full team, so once services were sold, anyone on our team was theoretically trained to deliver. 

More on those tracks—with specific courses we chose for our team—below

Agency Practicum 

Finally, we asked the team to really apply what they learned. 

We have a “legacy” portal — and when I say that, I mean we have a 13-year-old, messy, disorganized, teenager portal that’s seen a LOT of love over the years. With 4+ businesses at some time operating out of the portal, hundreds of lists and workflows, 5+ websites over the years, etc., it is just a beast.

Once certified, members of the team audited our marketing program as we would a client’s. We asked about goals, upcoming milestones, challenges, and more. From there, we treated the agency as a client, and each member of the team completed a quick portal review with recommendations. We shared the combined mega-document with the full team too, so each could learn from everyone’s work. 

From here, our marketing team will spin through the recommendations and make most of them happen. *Magic*

Agency HubSpot Training Tracks & Courses

Stepping into the many courses and certifications available in the HubSpot Academy can be a lot! There’s so much goodness. 

As mentioned above, we tried to be intentional with how we asked our team to dedicate their time based on their specific clients' HubSpot goals, areas of personal strength or interest, and so that we as a team had the basics of the platform covered. 

We ended up with five tracks plus our baseline requirements—shared with their HubSpot link and description below! 

Baseline HubSpot Requirements

These are the requirements across the team. 

  • Inbound Marketing: Learn inbound marketing techniques that range from content creation to social promotion to converting and nurturing leads and beyond. By the end of this certification course, you’ll be well on your way to building your inbound marketing strategy.
  • HubSpot Marketing Software: At a high level, you can use Marketing Hub to host and optimize traffic to your website, nurture your contacts through tailored web and email content channels, and manage personalized relationships at scale using segmentation and automation tools. In this lesson, you'll learn how Marketing Hub fits within the larger context of an inbound business, how to navigate through the different tools, and how to use the tools to set short-term productivity goals.
  • HubSpot Sales Software: The HubSpot Sales Software Certification demonstrates your ability to execute an inbound sales process using HubSpot CRM and Sales Hub. Completing this course will help you: Organize your records in HubSpot CRM to identify the best contacts to reach out to; get the most out of your Sales Hub tools when making contact with your leads; use HubSpot CRM deals in combination with your Sales Hub tools to close more sales.
  • Service Hub Software Certification: The Service Hub Software Certification demonstrates your ability to execute an inbound service strategy using HubSpot's Service Hub. This certification course consists of six lessons that discuss customer journey mapping, and HubSpot tools such as help desk, knowledge base, and customer feedback. 

Marketing

This is often a starter track for our team, and sets pros up for future success. 

  • Inbound Marketing: Learn inbound marketing techniques that range from content creation to social promotion to converting and nurturing leads and beyond. By the end of this certification course, you’ll be well on your way to building your inbound marketing strategy. 
  • HubSpot Marketing Software: At a high level, you can use Marketing Hub to host and optimize traffic to your website, nurture your contacts through tailored web and email content channels, and manage personalized relationships at scale using segmentation and automation tools. In this lesson, you'll learn how Marketing Hub fits within the larger context of an inbound business, how to navigate through the different tools, and how to use the tools to set short-term productivity goals.
  • Content Marketing: Learn what content marketing is and how to do it. Completing this course will help you: learn a content creation framework for producing effective content on a consistent basis; create and repurpose content that both humans and search engines will love; become a stronger, leaner, and more strategic content marketer
  • Email Marketing: In today’s world, there are endless ways to communicate, but email marketing is still an important inbound tool for having conversations with your contacts. Email marketing is rooted in every part of an inbound strategy, and a great strategy will help you keep your marketing on target and show your company a return on investment. Learn why email marketing is an important part of inbound and how to build an effective email marketing strategy for growth.
  • Social Media: The Social Media Certification will help you shape the conversation around your business, build loyalty, and attract new customers and partners. Building an effective social media strategy will expand all of your other inbound marketing efforts as well as build brand awareness, drive word of mouth, and attract buyers. In other words, social media is the ultimate way to do inbound marketing. Invest in your business' growth and your career by learning how to: build an effective social media strategy, set up social listening and moderation, create social content, extend your reach, excel in digital advertising, measure ROI, and more.
  • Contextual Marketing: Note: You will need HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise in order to complete the practical exercises and earn your certification. With contextual marketing, you can personalize your website to the people who are most important to your business. In the Contextual Marketing certification course, you'll learn how to create a website experience tailored to your visitors’ needs and preferences. The content in this certification is closely tied to who your contacts are and how they're segmented. To get the most out of this course, you should have at least 500 contacts in your HubSpot CRM and should feel comfortable with lead segmentation strategies. You should also have clearly developed buyer personas and content tailored to each stage of the buyer's journey.
  • Setting Up CRM: Learn why a CRM is an important aspect of any inbound business, and get started setting up your CRM for growth.
  • Building Custom Reports: Learn how to create and manage custom reports in HubSpot. This course covers the custom report builder, the types of reports you can create, and some tips and tricks for automating your data management in HubSpot.

Sales

For us, this was an area we wanted to focus on in terms of growth overall at the agency. 

  • HubSpot Sales Software: The HubSpot Sales Software Certification demonstrates your ability to execute an inbound sales process using HubSpot CRM and Sales Hub. Completing this course will help you: Organize your records in HubSpot CRM to identify the best contacts to reach out to; get the most out of your Sales Hub tools when making contact with your leads; use HubSpot CRM deals in combination with your Sales Hub tools to close more sales.
  • Developing A Sales Plan*: The Developing a Sales Plan course will teach you how to put together a focused and actionable sales plan. In addition to the on-demand videos, you’ll receive resources such as templates and example plans to help you put what you learn into practice.
  • Frictionless Sales: In the world of inbound, businesses are visualized as flywheels instead of funnels. A flywheel is a machine that stores rotational energy, and its spin represents your company's growth. You can increase that growth by adding force to the flywheel or by removing friction from it. Sales organizations in general have no problem using force. If you want to help your sales team grow better, you need to find ways to remove friction. Learn how to use the frictionless selling framework so that your team can spend more time selling. Also, discover how to align your team with your target buyer and how to transform your team through a culture of learning.
  • Selling Sales Services*: As a marketing agency, you’re probably used to packaging and pricing inbound marketing retainers for your clients. But what happens when you want to start offering sales services? Learn the steps to packaging and pricing sales services either on their own, or as part of your client's existing marketing retainer. You'll also see real-life examples from HubSpot agency partners to help you put this into practice.
  • Sales Management Training: Most sales managers are former salespeople who have been promoted. They know how to sell but often don't know how to lead a team. If you're a new sales manager, or thinking about becoming a manager, this certification course is for you! In it, you'll learn how to define your target market, create a scalable sales process, and build training, coaching, hiring, and onboarding programs to help your sales team grow better.
  • Delivering Sales Services*: The Delivering Sales Services course will teach you how to offer sales services as a way to deliver strong ROI to your clients and increase your retainers. In addition to the on-demand videos, you’ll see examples of HubSpot Agency Partners doing this successfully. Each class is full of actionable tips and processes you can make your own.
  • Sales Enablement: What is sales enablement? And why is it important? The Sales Enablement Certification will teach you how to develop a marketing-driven sales enablement strategy. This course was designed with marketing managers in mind, but other marketers as well as sales leaders can benefit from learning the principles involved in this approach to sales enablement.
  • Inbound Sales: Inbound sales transforms selling to match the way people buy. This lesson covers the big-picture view of why you need an inbound sales strategy.
  • HubSpot Enterprise Sales Implementation*: Learn how to successfully implement Sales Hub Enterprise for your clients to its completion. This lesson reviews the steps and tasks required for migration, setup, pipeline management, sales enablement, automation, sales and marketing alignment, performance measurement, and training.

Websites

We all dabble, but don’t have trained developers on our team. Focus here helps us partner better with devs, and use the marketer-friendly HubSpot CMS to build for our clients. 

  • Growth Driven Design Agency: Deliver better client results and accelerate your agency’s growth by offering Growth-Driven Design website retainer services to your clients. This five-lesson course will give you the knowledge, templates, and real-world examples you need to start packaging, selling, and servicing Growth-Driven Design with your clients. Note: You should complete the Growth-Driven Design Certification before starting this agency-specific course. If you have not, please start there. 
  • Growth Driven Design: The frustrations, risks, and lack of results associated with a traditional website redesign are due to a broken playbook. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the new playbook, Growth-Driven Design, and how to use it to build a peak-performing website to deliver user value and drive business growth.
  • CMS Implementation Certification*: A website redesign and CMS implementation process involves many complex steps and different stakeholders. Before managing a CMS project, your firm’s strategist should be armed with best practices, supporting documents, and a clear rationale of why project and stakeholder management matters. This lesson will prepare your firm’s strategist to effectively lead your client’s website redesign and CMS implementation projects toward success. 
  • HubSpot CMS for Developers: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the tools and workflows developers use to build a variety of web assets in the HubSpot CMS.
  • HubSpot CMS for Marketers: Your website is your business's most important digital asset. It's your home base on the web and the first place people go to learn about your offers. It's essential that your website works for you, not against you. In this course, you'll learn how to use HubSpot CMS Hub to create a high-performing website.

Account Management

This is critical to agency life! We want our whole team feeling good about selling, servicing, and reporting on progress with HubSpot. 

  • Guided Client Onboarding*: Customer onboarding is the nurturing process that gets new users acquainted with your product. An exceptional customer onboarding program involves step-by-step tutorials, unlimited guidance and support, and milestone celebrations when a customer achieves success through your solution.
  • Client Management*: Client lifecycle management is a core aspect of building successful client-agency relationships. Yet so many agencies neglect it. In this lesson, you'll learn what client lifecycle management is, the key stages of the client lifecycle, and tips on how HubSpot manages this process.
  • Partner Demo Course*: Educate and inspire your clients by learning how to run an impactful product demo. In this course you will learn how to plan and deliver a personalized demonstration that focuses on the goals and challenges of your client, rather than a standard feature presentation. Pick up some simple tips and tricks to get started with demos from our resident demo experts, the HubSpot Sales Engineers. Learn how to add value and identify opportunities to position your partner services in a demo.
  • HubSpot Trainer Certification*: This course will introduce you to the world of training. Throughout each lesson, you’ll learn why the concept is important and how to apply it to your own business, and you’ll see some real-life examples of what this looks like. Our goal is to help you become an effective and engaging trainer. You’ll learn the fundamentals of training, how to create and deliver training, and how to implement training services at your agency. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to teach inbound and HubSpot like the pros. 
  • Delivering Client Success*: Client lifecycle management is a core aspect of building successful client-agency relationships. Yet so many agencies neglect it. In this lesson, you'll learn what client lifecycle management is, the key stages of the client lifecycle, and tips on how HubSpot manages this process.

Agency Management

HubSpot wants its Solutions Partners to grow too — and has academy content that addresses some typical agency opportunities.  

  • Growth Driven Design Agency: Deliver better client results and accelerate your agency’s growth by offering Growth-Driven Design website retainer services to your clients. This five-lesson course will give you the knowledge, templates, and real-world examples you need to start packaging, selling, and servicing Growth-Driven Design with your clients.
  • Client Management*: Client lifecycle management is a core aspect of building successful client-agency relationships. Yet so many agencies neglect it. In this lesson, you'll learn what client lifecycle management is, the key stages of the client lifecycle, and tips on how HubSpot manages this process.
  • Delivering Client Success*: Client lifecycle management is a core aspect of building successful client-agency relationships. Yet so many agencies neglect it. In this lesson, you'll learn what client lifecycle management is, the key stages of the client lifecycle, and tips on how HubSpot manages this process.
  • HubSpot Solutions Partner Certification*: Welcome to the HubSpot Solutions Partner program. This lesson will teach you everything you need to know to get started, including program requirements, benefits, resources, and much more.
  • Partner Demo Course*: Educate and inspire your clients by learning how to run an impactful product demo. In this course you will learn how to plan and deliver a personalized demonstration that focuses on the goals and challenges of your client, rather than a standard feature presentation. Pick up some simple tips and tricks to get started with demos from our resident demo experts, the HubSpot Sales Engineers. Learn how to add value and identify opportunities to position your partner services in a demo.
  • HubSpot Trainer Certification*: This course will introduce you to the world of training. Throughout each lesson, you’ll learn why the concept is important and how to apply it to your own business, and you’ll see some real-life examples of what this looks like. Our goal is to help you become an effective and engaging trainer. You’ll learn the fundamentals of training, how to create and deliver training, and how to implement training services at your agency. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to teach inbound and HubSpot like the pros. 

*Denotes a course for HubSpot users only, and users must be logged in to view.

Across our small team, we got more than 100 certifications during this process. And like I said, the benefits are tenfold back into the agency when it comes to our ability to be a great HubSpot partner, and truly help our clients grow their businesses using the platform. 

#CertificationDay: Get HubSpot Certified July 10

Timely update: You should get HubSpot Academy certified on July 10. Each cert earned will translate to a $5 donation on your behalf to UNICEF. 

HubSpot has partnered with a fellow Solutions Provider, SmartBug, to encourage people to come together to do their own certifications on #CertificationDay. 

From the HubSpot website: 

“Get HubSpot Academy certified on July 10, 2020 and we'll donate $5 on your behalf to help UNICEF keep the world’s children learning during COVID-19.” 

Learn more here: hubspot.com/certification-day, and read the SmartBug story here

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How are you continually staging on top of the latest updates, features, and best practices when it comes to HubSpot or other techs across your martech stack? Would love to continue the conversation in the comments below. Happy HubSpotting! 

Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller is VP and managing director of PR 20/20, where she guides strategy and performance, and champions the ongoing pursuit of building a great marketing firm. For more than a decade, Jessica has built lasting partnerships that connect marketing strategy to bottom-line business outcomes. Jessica joined PR 20/20 in 2011 with global agency experience. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Full bio.

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