This one’s for all the services reps out there. Want to make more money and gain the respect of internal and external stakeholders? Getting certified is key.
If you’re unsure of what certification is, it’s basically the coursework and “diploma” for mastering specific features or use cases within your partners’ software. After completing the courses, you’ll get a credential that shows off your level of expertise in the software — proof that you know your stuff.
Once you get certified, you’ll likely get a “certificate” of completion and a little badge to share on LinkedIn. Some companies may offer different levels of certification for specific use cases, features, and product updates. You might notice on LinkedIn, for example, that your colleague is certified in HubSpot for “content marketing” and also HubSpot for ‘inbound sales’. (You could spend all of your time getting certified in all of the software in the world and become a master of all tech, if that’s your thing.)
By getting certified in your partners’ software, you’ll be more appreciated by:
Explore the benefits of getting certified below, and check out our mini certification program directory at the bottom when you’re done!
#1 Your Clients Will Trust in Your Product Knowledge and Service Expertise
A professional services consultant. A client services rep. An implementation project manager. If you’re working in one of these roles, you need to be five steps ahead in the technology you’re using to help your client reach their business goals. Maybe you’re helping the client make the most of a particular integration, or you’re helping them adopt and use a tech partner’s software for a specific project. Before you’re able to make thoughtful recommendations on strategy, you’ve got to know the software you’re using.
And with product updates happening automatically in your client’s dashboard (ah, the beauty of SaaS) and new product features rolling out monthly from your tech partners, this presents a continuous challenge. How will you stay on top of the tech you’re using on behalf of the client?
Will your partner give you a call every time they need you to get up to speed? Er, maybe if you have a really, really good relationship with them (like a, “Let’s catch up on our favorite show and then talk tech” kind of relationship). More often, though, they’ll send you a quick note urging you to check out their company’s latest certification course.
The more problems you can solve for your clients and the better results you help them achieve (aka more revenue), the better you’ll look. Your clients will develop faith in you, your company, and the tools you’re recommending.
Through certification, you could improve the following metrics for your company through the success of your client:
- Customer lifetime value (LTV) (think: the dollar worth of your client through the lens of the number of transactions or projects you’ve completed for the client and the length of time you’ve retained them as a client)
- Product feature adoption and integration adoption (by helping your client understand the best path forward for their custom needs)
- Upsell rate (more success translates to more trust in you and an openness to try new strategies and features)
- Cross-selling wins (e.g. if you’re working with your client’s marketing team, and then the marketing team recommends that its sales team adopts your product and/or services, too).
#2 Your Employer Will Find You Indispensable
Get certified in the right software and at the right levels, and you’ll become an indispensable part of your team. By using your expertise to help your clients, you’ll be playing a direct role in improving your company’s retention and renewal rates.
If you know your partner’s software best, you might:
- Land more client projects that involve that software.
- Become the go-to in your company for your peer’s questions about the software.
- Get selected to lead team training sessions to get your team up to speed.
- Get a raise and/or a promotion.
- Become a more attractive candidate to other employers.
Add your certification badge to the “Licenses and Certifications” section of your LinkedIn profile. Your badge could attract more of your ideal customers to your company, and it will help validate your skills to potential future employers. Bonus points for checking which badges your competitors have and throwing yourself in the ring to get certified on that software, too.
Google Cloud’s Certification Impact Report mentions that businesses modernize faster with certified employees. You’ll be able to recommend the best, most innovative solutions to your clients, and you’ll be able to think creatively about the best action plans for your clients’ unique needs.
Global Knowledge published a list of the top paying certifications of 2021. In the top spot? Google Certified Professional Data Engineers earn an average of $171,749.
#3 Your Partners Will Send You More Business
The more success you drive for your clients using your partners’ software, the more successful your partners are. For example, you do some marketing magic for your client while using your partner’s video performance platform. Now, your client’s doubled the amount of marketing qualified leads they’re getting — all thanks to you and your partner’s software.
On the flip side, the more problems you cause because you don’t know the latest best practices for implementing your partner’s software, the more frustrated your partner will become with you. They’ll stop sending you business, and you could even lose the client for yourself and for your partner. If your client ends up replacing your partner’s software with another because of your mistakes, your partner will remember.
“They’re always like, ‘I did this and it didn’t work.’ And I say, ‘Well, did you do it right?’” says an account manager at an ISV.
(Read Confessions of an ISV to get all the dirt.)
You could be the “tech expert” your partner avoids sending customers to, or you could be the person they turn to first when they have a customer who needs professional services.
If you know your partner’s software really well, you could even earn a few public accolades for yourself and/or your company.
For example: Optimizely publishes a list of its top-performing partners every year.
And your partner might even add product feature requests you recommend on behalf of your clients into their product roadmap (think: your partner will take your feedback seriously).
And now, our mini certification program directory:
A Mini Certification Program Directory
Browse our certification directory below, and know that this is only a starting point! Using a different CRM than the ones we’ve listed? Check your CRM partner’s website to find certification programs best-suited for your role.
HubSpot. Get certified in topics like… content marketing, inbound sales, contextual marketing.
Amazon Web Services (AWS). Get certified in… data analytics, machine learning, SAP on AWS.
Botify. Get certified in… Botify’s SEO methodology, SiteCrawler, segmentation.
Veeva Systems. Get certified in… Veeva CRM, Vault Platform, Vault QMS.
Adobe.Get certified in… Adobe Analytics, Adobe Workfront Core Developer, Adobe Sign Essentials.
SAP. Get certified in… SAP Ariba Supplier Management, BusinessObjects Web Intelligence.
Marketo.Get certified in… Account-based marketing, analytics attribution, email deliverability.
Microsoft. Get certified in… Azure fundamentals, security, Microsoft education.
Oracle.Get certified in… Java, platform as a service (PaaS), enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Tableau.Get certified in… data analyst, consultant, and architect courses.
CISSP. Get certified in… cybersecurity.
Qualtrics. Get certified in… CoreXM, CustomerXM, EmployeeXM.
Are you a technical team lead? You’ll find enablement tips for growing your team’s expertise in your tech partners’ software in the “Enable” section of the Partner Playbook. Get your copy below.