We're often asked how clients use our learning. Every organization is different and every leader has a different vision. But they all have a common goal; to grow their team and their organization. Here are some of our favorite examples of how to use SiriusDecisions Learning effectively.
Target the Skills Gaps
Some clients come to us knowing exactly what skills their teams need to work on. Others know that their team needs to learn and be certified, but are not sure where to start. When leaders need to understand what courses would work best for their gaps, we have their teams take our individual skills assessment. After completing a skills assessment, each individual will be able to see which courses align to their needs and view a demo of those courses. The teams can then meet to discuss where their skills gaps were overlapping and create a team curriculum based on the results.
Pair SiriusDecisions Learning with Advisory Services for an Integrated Solution
No leader is an island; if you are a leader who is already using SiriusDecisions Advisory services, how will your team be able to implement and take action on the frameworks and best practices you're using? Learning allows your teams to make that intelligence actionable while leaders work with SiriusDecisions analysts to plan initiatives. Using a fully integrated SiriusDecisions solution puts you on the fast track to successful growth.
Gamify Your Learning Initiative
Gamification is a hot topic in e-learning right now. But it doesn't have to be complicated, and with us, it doesn't require you to purchase any fancy software solution. All you need to do is work with SiriusDecisions Learning to develop a curriculum that aligns to your business goals. Once we have that curriculum set, your leadership will decide on what the team prize will be. Prizes and bonuses incentivize your team to complete the learning and apply the learning. You'll break your learners into teams of 3 or more (depending on the number of total users) and then it's off to the races! We'll schedule leader reports to you and you can watch the progress happen. Some clients make their gamification initiative two fold: one prize for being the team that completes the curriculum first, another prize for being the team that best proves application of the learning.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
If you're a leader with a large number of business goals within your marketing organization, you may have several directors or lower level managers who have teams in need of upskilling. Our learning tokens provide a great deal of flexibility in this arena. You can buy a large number of learning tokens and then transfer them in smaller numbers to each manager. That manager can then transfer them to each of their team members, creating a sub-curriculum that they are able to monitor.
We always encourage our clients to choose courses based on skills gaps or business goals for the year. If you want to take a more flexible approach to your program, you can buy a large number of tokens to start and then roll them out strategically aligned with your year's business goals. For example, leaders can choose three courses to offer each quarter, allow a week for sign up, then kickoff the first cohort with a internal schedule of deadlines to ensure completion at the end of the quarter. When the quarter is complete, each class cohort meets on a webinar to discuss the course content and ask questions. At the beginning of the next quarter, a new round of classes is offered.
SiriusDecisions Learning recently released an innovative new way to train channel partners, the Channel Partner Enablement Training Series (CPETS). It stands out as one of our most exciting solutions for 2016. But we're just getting started.
In the coming months, we'll be releasing a suite of channel partner training designed specifically for suppliers to upskill them with our best-in-class insights and frameworks. Here's a peek at what we'll be offering...
Account-Based Marketing in the Channel for Suppliers
Some suppliers and partners are already focused on account-based marketing, but largely through ad-hoc efforts and not a formalized and defined process that should be adopted internally. We believe that designing this type of comprehensive ABM initiative requires a clear understanding and selection process for the appropriate type, tier and route-to-market focus. In this course, we’ll walk you through the following:
- How to identify the four types of account-based marketing and get your organization started off on the right foot
- How to prepare for ABM and select the appropriate plans and processes
- How to conduct a pilot and optimize ABM roll-out
- How to build a best-in-class ABM measurement strategy
Core Skills for Suppliers
It’s imperative that suppliers understand how to build marketing competencies within their organization so they can design and deliver high performing demand creation programs for partners. In this course, we’ll cover the core foundational concepts that will arm channel organizations with the skills required to address the unique needs of their channel partners. Specific topic areas include:
- Demand Type
- Relative Targeting
- The Buyer's Journey
- The Demand Waterfall
- Integrated Campaigns
- Digital Planning
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Pipeline Acceleration
Customer Engagement in the Channel for Suppliers
Customer engagement is becoming increasingly important to b-to-b organizations as a source of competitive differentiation. Despite growing recognition of the importance of a positive, productive customer engagement, suppliers often overlook customers in the channel. In this course we’ll cover the following key topics:
- Assessing the current state of customer engagement
- Establishing a customer experience function
- Improving retention and growth
Passing your SiriusDecisions Learning course with a score of 90 or greater means that you are SiriusDecisions certified for a full year from the date of certification.
What does being SiriusDecisions certified mean?
SiriusDecisions is the lead global b-to-b research and advisory firm. Being SD certified isn’t just a feather in your cap; it signals excellence in your field and provides you with actionable intelligence.
What should I do now that I’m certified?
Download your certificate from the SiriusDecisions portal.
Your certificate will be available for downloading on the Learning tab underneath the course title once your course is marked complete across our systems; this can take up to one hour from the time of course completion. Your certification is valid for one year and is available to download for as long as your access period. If you no longer have access to the SD portal and did not have a chance to download your certificate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be sent a copy.
Add your certification to your LinkedIn profile.
Let your LinkedIn network know that you’re certified by SiriusDecisions. To add your certification to your LinkedIn profile, follow the steps below.
- Navigate to your profile page and click “add certifications.”
- Enter the name of the course you passed and select SiriusDecisions as the Certification Authority.
- Leave the license number and certification URL blank and uncheck the “this certificate does not expire” box to fill in the dates that appear on your certificate.
Tell your network about your achievement.
You can use these pre-written status updates or you can write your own! Make sure to tag SiriusDecisions when you post your update.
I’m now on the SiriusPathway™ to success in b-to-b marketing. I’m certified by @SiriusDecisions. Are you? http://bit.ly/291wovJ
Skills gaps? Not anymore. I’m certified by @SiriusDecisions. http://bit.ly/291wovJ
I saw it, I read it, I applied it. I’m @SiriusDecisions certified in (fill in your course title). http://bit.ly/291wovJ
Let us know how you’re applying the skills you gained to your role and your organization. Don’t be a stranger! Reach out to SiriusDecisions Learning along your journey and let us know how the certification has helped you in your job role. Be mindful of how you apply the concepts and frameworks to your work and keep a portfolio over the next year. You can the use this proof of application to become re-certified after your initial certification expires. For more information about re-certification, email us at email@example.com.
SiriusPathways™ are robust e-learning courses with a large amount of content. On top of that, in order to become SiriusDecisions Certified, you have to pass the course with a score of 90 or greater. Each competency ends with an assessment and that assessment asks you to apply the concepts to a business case. These assessments are challenging!
As such, it's no surprise that people often ask us how long it takes to complete a SiriusPathway™. The trouble is, there is no easy answer to this question. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite time management tips that can help you find the time in your busy schedule to complete a SiriusPathway™.
Set your pace. SiriusPathways™ will take somewhere between 4-8 hours to complete. We know that everyone learns at a different pace and that pace is set by your schedule, your ability to comprehend new information, and your experience level in the subject area. That's why we don't reply with a firm number of hours for course completion.
Map your time. SiriusPathways™ are made up of Competencies, and within each competency there are modules. Within those modules there are activities. The courses are not designed to be taken in one siting, so make sure to review how many competencies are in your SiriusPathway™ and how many modules make up each of the competencies. Typically, it will take an average user 30 minutes to complete one module - but that, again, is an estimate that will vary person to person.
Decide how you learn best. Modules are broken into See It, Read It, Apply It activities. See Its are a series of videos with graphics and audio, Read Its are our SiriusDecisions briefs that explain the concepts in detail, and Apply Its offer you templates and frameworks that encourage you to take what you've just learned and apply the concepts to your role or organization. You do not need to take these activities in order - you can try applying it first, and then go back and Read It and See It. Or you can Read It, then See It, then Apply It.
Block off the time you'll need. Your calendar is probably hectic. Look for open time slots throughout the week. It can be 20-30 minutes a day, an hour a week, whatever you can squeeze in. Google Calendar even offers a way to make time for your goals; check it out!
Leave time to process and review. This is new information for many of you. Make sure to leave time for yourself to return to the material for review after you've finished the course. We even suggest printing all of the documents and taking screenshots of the videos so that you can use them for note-taking and return to them after you no longer have access to the course.
With this kind of preparation, you're bound to succeed and be added to the growing number of b-to-b marketers who are #SDcertified.
For more information on how to complete a SiriusPathway™ and become certified, watch our deep dive video that walks you through the steps to achieve certification.
SiriusPathways hit the market in May 2015. Since then, we've launched a few new Pathways, and even updated some of our existing Pathways.
Here's what people are saying about our learning courses...
$50B Global Advanced Manufacturing Organization
Problem: Lack of common nomenclature across marketing function, huge skills gaps based on re-structuring and lack of role clarity
Solution: B2B Foundations, Messaging & Campaign Planning
Output: Common nomenclature, standard campaign definition, process and measurement
What They Said:
"I asked my 100 field marketing managers to define what a campaign is, they came back with 96 different responses. Post SiriusDecisions Learning roll-out, we now have standardized on ONE definition of a campaign which has increased our focus and productivity exponentially.” – SVP Global Marketing
"Imagine picking up a kaleidoscope for the first time and looking through it, everything is fuzzy. That was my understanding of a campaign. Post SD's learning courses, it was like twisting the kaleidoscope and for the first time everything became abundantly clear. I now know exactly what a best-in-class campaign is.” – Marketing Manager
$20B Global SW and HW Organization
Problem: Challenge trying to bring marketers to be "modern and go digital," no common nomenclature
Solution: Began with one pilot for a five week off and online learning and webinar combo including Messaging & Campaign Planning, Marketing Measurement, Digital Marketing, and Inbound Marketing
Output: Role clarity, process definition and "modern and digital marketing transformation"
What They Said:
"The depth of information in the self-paced learning module was significant.” – Regional Marketing Director
"I like that it really made me think to answer the questions. I found that it actually made me learn.” –Marketing Manager
$50B Global Teleco HW and SW Provider
Problem: Lack of clarity around marketing's contribution to pipe and revenue, lack of common nomenclature and consistent measurement across functions and regions
Solution: B2B Foundations, Messaging & Campaign, Digital Marketing, Channel Partner and Product Marketing
Output: Pilot led to global roll-out and clear understanding of the role digital can play, common nomenclature and standardized on the SD campaign framework
What They Said:
"We now have common nomenclature across all of field marketing and have hit our marketing-sourced revenue goals every quarter since global roll-out.” – SVP Field Marketing
$2B Global HW and SW Testing Equipment Manufacturer
Problem: Had a global re-org and built a demand center for consistent global campaigns but weren't sure how to standardize on roles or process
Solution: B2B Foundations, Solution Marketing, Messaging & Campaign Planning
Output: Role clarity and common nomenclature across marketing organization
What They Said:
"I wish we had this years ago" - Marketing Manager
"I felt like this is exactly what I needed laid out in front of me.” – Director of Marketing
"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." - Michael Jordan
"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." - Steve Jobs
We could go on, and on with these quotes about the importance of teamwork. But, of course, you already know how important it is. The question is - what will you do to build and strengthen your team?
Imagine a b-to-b organization that wants to create a new demand center. The b-to-b marketing leaders work with SiriusDecisions Demand Creation Advisory Service to determine the structure and responsibilities for their new demand center. But what happens to the rest of the marketing team members?
While marketing leaders are engaged in our advisory services, marketers transferred to new demand roles can take courses in demand creation, campaigns, and inbound marketing to support the success of their leadership's efforts.
Demand Creation is a team sport...
Need to upskill your b-to-b marketing team for the new year? On-boarding new staff in 2016? Maybe you need to retain, engage, enable, or motivate your people to get a jumpstart on the new year. Well, you're in luck! SiriusDecisions Learning will have new high impact e-learning courses available for your b-to-b education needs in 2016.
On January 4, 2016, we will launch two new SiriusPathways™: Content Strategy and Account-Based Marketing.
Our highly anticipated Content Strategy Pathway will help your team organize your content plan in a way that aligns with buyer needs and personas, and help you execute a measurable, effective content plan that is scalable and sustainable.
The Account-Based Marketing Pathway is a brand new SiriusPathway version of our previous e-learning course on the topic. This Pathway will teach your team to deliver campaigns that support the buyer's journey and sales needs, while also helping them to execute campaigns using a logical, comprehensive framework for message and plan development.
In addition to these two new Pathways, we'll be launching updated courseware for Pipeline Acceleration, Marketing Automation, and Lead Nurturing. What's new in these Pathways?
- Updated supplemental resources
- Enhanced "Apply It" activities that will enable organizations to pinpoint the best offers and deployment options for marketing and sales to consider
- Templates to help guide an opportunity on a positive trajectory and reignite those that have stalled
- Tactics to identify deals that are in the final stages of buying and how to present an offer to accelerate them
- Guides to help assess your pipeline acceleration initiatives, focusing measurement efforts on utilization, response and results
- Updated e-learning videos with a more robust, user-friendly design
- Updated supplemental content and "Apply It" activities
- Content on three key competencies: preparing for marketing automation, evaluating marketing automation providers and determining how to unlock your organization's marketing automation platform's value
- Templates and worksheets that will enable your team to identify project teams and tasks, complete RFPs, complete a vendor selection analysis, identify your organization's maturity level and needs - and much more
- Enhanced content focused on the four main nurture types, the newly developed Nurture Treatment Framework, as well as the appropriate metrics required to track and adjust a nurture over time to drive performance improvements
- Supplemental research resources
- Brand new "Apply It" templates and worksheets, including three different worksheets for each nurture type that will help your organization identify relevant offers, map the various types of nurture flows and determine where different roles should be involved throughout the nurture
The e-learning world is enormous, and it can be very difficult to distinguish between different types of e-learning offerings. Is a 7 minute course on b-to-b marketing better than a 3 hour course? Is it long because someone used lazy editing, or because it is full of great content? Is it better to have a custom course created for your team to train up on their exact skills gap areas, or use an impartial, third party program to spark discussion, adaptation, and innovation?
The bottom line is: value is hard to judge in the virtual world, and even more so in the virtual learning world. What we have found works best is to look for content and training that does three things:
1. The Learning should offer a clear learning progression and integrated sets of concepts. A video is not a course. It is a learning object. Look for learning that has clear outcomes and competencies that people who have taken the course will master, conveyed through a variety of learning objects - videos, worksheets, readings, exercises, and assessments.
2. The Learning should certify the learner on the completion of the course. Certification should not be for showing up and converting oxygen to carbon dioxide. Accountability through rigor and concise, effective assessment gives certification integrity and meaning.
3. The Learning should remain up-to-date and on-demand. Certification and completion isn't the end of a learning process, it's the beginning. Look for courses and content that allow you to use them as a reference library after you complete the course. You can and should expect that library to be kept up to date. That's what good reference tools do.
We designed our courses to meet these high standards, and for whatever training we select, we expect the same. Value - in the end - is all about impact, and the structures above set learners up to make it.
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is about our digital marketing course, and its standards for certification.
Digital Marketing is a very hot topic area for skills development, particularly in the b-to-b skills and training area. Our approach to this topic is three fold: first, we teach about digital strategy and digital planning, including digital personas and tactic mix. This content is covered in our Digital Marketing Pathway. We then get into digital tactics for inbound marketing, and all the various avenues to manage - SEO, SEM, social, and PPC - in our Inbound Marketing Pathway. This Pathway allows for a much more in-depth look at these complex topics, and the ways in which they are unique for b-to-b marketing. Then, we recommend that you bring all these digital concepts together into the fundamental core concepts of b-to-b marketing in the Foundations Pathway.
Together, these three courses comprise our recommended digital marketing curriculum. They come with a digital marketing certification, inbound marketing certification, and b-to-b marketing foundations certification, and set you up for tremendous marketing success! So take a moment to explore these b-to-b courses and see what they can do for you!
We hear these questions quite often from b-to-b companies. The good news is, the answer - each time - is the same. Get on the Pathway!
1.What are top companies doing to prepare marketers to be stronger in new skill areas such as digital marketing, persona-based messaging?
2.How are companies onboarding and training people to support and meet business goals and drivers?
3.What are organizations doing to transition b-to-c marketing skills to the unique demands of b-to-b marketing?
4.How are organizations assessing skill levels to create a cost-efficient yet effective learning curriculum?
5.How do I increase the motivation and engagement of my marketers?
6.How do I level set marketers with different abilities, backgrounds, and education be on the same page and the same skill level?
7.How do I transition a marketing team to meet new challenges or markets?
8.How do I upskill my marketing team to improve performance?