HubSpot’s free certifications are well known in the marketing world. Their Inbound Certification and HubSpot Certification have been around for years and have been completed by thousands of marketers. HubSpot recently released a new certification, the Inbound Sales Certification. This post will help you determine why this certification matters, whether you need to take it, and what it entails.
The release of this certification is significant for one main reason:
HubSpot is no longer just about marketing.
Until now, HubSpot’s “inbound” philosophy has been mainly about marketing. It was the sleek, tech savvy and unobtrusive step child of the loud and irrelevant traditional or “outbound” marketing that consumers are so tired of. While this is all well and good, no one knew what to do about inbound marketing’s annoying uncle: legacy sales. Inbound marketing can only be so cool, when her sales-y uncle keeps barging in to the party and demanding cold hard cash.
HubSpot has preached for a long time that sales and marketing have to work together to get results, but hasn’t given specific steps for taming sales. A few years ago, HubSpot began their conquest into the world of sales by launching their free CRM. But a tool without direction won’t solve the problem. The launch of the Inbound Sales Certification is HubSpot’s first concrete step toward equipping sales people with real vision and training. With HubSpot pushing into the world of sales, they are practicing what they preach and leading the way for sales and marketing teams to work together. It seems that inbound marketing may soon have the uncle she deserves.
Does Inbound Sales Certification live up to the hype?
The certification is an important first step. As the name implies, it is essentially the Inbound Marketing Certification, but reworked for sales. Similar to the Inbound Certification, it doesn’t explain how to use software, but casts vision and teaches a strategy.
The Sales Certification helps sales people understand how to do their job in a digital and connected world. Just for this, Inbound Sales Certification is worth the time of a sales person, looking for ways to improve their skills.
As they did for marketing, HubSpot developed their “Inbound Sales Methodology.” This methodology serves as a way to visualize the inbound sales process.
The certification focuses on how to plan a sales process that is streamlined and customizable to every situation. This includes developing buyer and company profiles, buyer personas, outreach sequences, conducting conversations with prospects, giving presentations and getting buy in.
The new Inbound Sales Methodology emphasizes creating a customized experience for every prospect that you interact with.
The Inbound Sales Certification begs for another, more software related training. The Inbound Marketing Certification is backed up with the HubSpot Certification which trains people in how to use the marketing software. But, the HubSpot Certification doesn’t cover the CRM. Right now there is no certification that teaches how to use HubSpot’s tools to improve sales. But based on HubSpot’s track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a certificate of this sort in the near future.
How To Make Sure You Pass The Test
There are natural test takers and there are whose skin crawls at the thought of a timed exam. Wherever you fall in this spectrum, proper preparation for a test can help you succeed.
The course is divided into 5 video classes that are available on demand. The classes add up to 3 hours, 23 minutes and 30 seconds of video material. Here are the classes:
Here are a few things that I’ve found helpful in preparing for HubSpot’s certifications and more specifically the Inbound Sales Certification:
1) Watch the videos with the study guide pulled up.
A spunky HubSpot employee rattles on about common pitfalls of creating company profiles to the sound of cheerful acoustic guitar music; before you know it, you’re memorizing the pattern of your keyboard with your forehead. It’s easy to zone out and let the main points of a video to go in one ear and out the other.
The study guide that accompanies each HubSpot certification is organized to follow the the subjects covered in the videos. I’ve found that it really helps me to stay engaged and also to find the main points of a video by listening for every answer on the study guide.
The questions on the test usually relate to questions asked on the study guide.
2) Make written notes
Studies show that writing things down by hand helps you learn better. Don’t just follow along on the screen, if you need to, print out the study guide and write the answers to each question. Keep your completed study guide with you in the test.
3) Take periodic breaks
I know you want to get through it as quickly as possible, but trust me, you’ll be able to retain the information much better and avoid insanity much easier if you just take breaks every once in awhile.
4) Get social
Join the HubSpot Academy group on Inbound.org to get help and network with HubSpot scholars. While you’re at it, let people know how smart you are and connect with other people about their certification experience with the Twitter hashtag #InboundSalesCertification.
Have more questions? If so, check out HubSpot’s FAQs.