What does certification have to do with sales?
More than you might suspect.
After speaking with hundreds of SaaS company team members over the years, we’ve noticed a few patterns.
One of our most surprising findings has been the direct impact certification strategies can have on top line growth.
Below is a story about Edward — a hardworking sales rep who is slowly coming to this conclusion. In a bit, we’ll describe what you can do to help “the Edwards” within your company:
Edward hung up the phone and sighed.
This was the fifth time this quarter that another conversation with a potential customer had ended in a lost opportunity.
Tasked with helping his company expand into APAC, Edward was mindful of creating win-win opportunities as a company sales rep.
He wanted to help his company increase their brand recognition, global reach and earning potential. But he also wanted to ensure that their customers felt 100 percent competent in deploying their products and solutions.
After a series of similar conversations, one thing became increasingly apparent: No one trusted him enough to make a deal.
Obviously, it wasn’t anything personal. Edward is a straight-shooter, an experienced sales rep, and an all-around “likeable” guy.
However, his ideal prospects wanted a level of certainty Edward’s company couldn’t provide. Translation: Prospects kept asking if the organization offers a certification program and if channel partners are certified in using their solution.
Understandably, they want to know they won’t be “left high and dry” with a software solution that they don’t understand how to implement and integrate.
According to Docebo’s “Powering Partner Performance Through Channel Training” report, Edward’s frustration with managing the endeavor isn’t unusual:
“Even though 80 percent of companies utilize partner channels for some portion of their revenue, 65 percent of CMOs report feeling overwhelmed in managing these growing networks. Channels members have their own difficulties as well, often struggling with onboarding issues, portal access, certifications and a host of other problems holding the partner back.”
Indeed, managing partner channels across the globe can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. The solution to implementing and nurturing a successful partnership program?
Beginning with a certification process that guarantees competency so that partners and customers alike have smoother user experiences.
And the only way to accomplish that objective is by leveraging performance-based assessment for certification programs.
What is performance-based assessment?
Performance-based assessment (PBA) is proving knowledge, ability and skill by doing. Electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and doctors are all examples of traditional professions that demonstrate competency by performing their work in a real environment.
Today’s technology professionals now maintain a set of digital skills that couldn’t be assessed using performance-based assessment until recently.
A handful of tech leaders like Google, Pivotal and Cisco have begun reformulating the age-old practice in the form of real-world environments with simulated work scenarios.
Unlike traditional multiple-choice testing, these performance-based exams definitively answer the question: Does this person really know how to utilize this software in real-world scenarios?
Interestingly, modern PBA beats its testing predecessors in other categories too, with features like automated registration, remote testing, virtual proctoring and automated grading.
So, why aren’t more companies taking advantage of something that establishes superior channel-partner relationships, potentially opening the door to greater revenue generating opportunities?
Put simply, developing a PBA for software isn’t easy.
The process has, traditionally, required an amount of time, energy and resources beyond the capabilities of a typical in-house team. But that’s where we come in.
TrueAbility is on a mission to make performance-based assessment convenient, scalable and accessible for today’s emerging tech leaders. We provide cloud-based certification solutions for SaaS providers that allow them to remotely test technical skills in real environments for a fraction of traditional costs.
Build or Buy?
If you’re looking to deploy performance-based assessment in your organization, you’ll eventually need to decide whether to build your own custom solution or buy into a performance-based testing delivery platform like TrueAbility.
Download our whitepaper to learn why buying into a platform makes the most business sense.