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Why Software Companies Should Develop a Certification Program

Posted by Julia Borgini on Sep 1, 2017 6:38:00 AM
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We've been talking a lot about certifications lately, whether they're worth it for employees, candidates, and employers. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Many companies are developing their own certification programs as a companion to customer education, which are then becoming industry standards for technologies (like the Microsoft or Oracle Certifications).

Let's take a closer look at why you may want to create one for your company and the benefits it can offer you.

Create a new revenue stream

At a basic level, a certification level creates a new revenue stream for your company. You can sell certification and training individually or in bundles. Then rework the content into different content types and then sell those as updates or specialized modules. It gives you a chance to re-use the training content you've already created for customers and generate more revenue from it, thereby increasing the ROI for the initial work on it. Most reputable certifications require one to maintain the certification over time. This is especially important in software, which changes so often. You can also sell re-certifications, which is a great way to increase recurring revenue from education.

Increase your lead funnel

Certifications can be used to increase your lead funnel as well, by selling it to prospects and leads who are looking to test drive your products. It gives them a good chance to look at the functionality of your products before they dive it. The training courses offered to prospects could be either paid or free or both. Many software companies, like Cloudera, MuleSoft, and HubSpot, offer education to prospects.

Reduce customer dependence on support

Knowledgeable customers require less hand-holding and help from support teams. So by certifying customers in an official program, you create more product experts and reduce the workload for your support teams.

Establish market dominance and reputation

Offering a certification program to customers and the public ensures your company is thought of as the market leader in your technology or industry. It establishes a benchmark for quality and value for your company, but also those who take the certification and publicize it.

Set a standard for future hiring

By including certifications in job postings, you ensure you're getting a certain level of candidate applying to your open positions. This is especially useful if you have particular technologies in your ecosystem that require particular knowledge.

Increase your hiring pool and reduce hiring costs

Plus, you can always draw on the list of people who've taken your programs the next time you need to hire. Reduce your hiring costs by looking at the list right away instead of spending time searching through HR websites or applications.

Use the certification data for future product development

Your certification database also includes other information you can use to create future products and training programs. You'll have access to company data that give you a deeper view of who uses your products, the features they're interested in, and how they're using your products. Take that information and create new products, certifications, prospect webinars, and more. You won't have to work as hard to sell those products or information as you've already got a group of people who know and understand the value of your information and products.

Use certification programs to expand your entire company

You may have thought that a certification program is only good for prospects and customers, however you can see there are many other reasons to create one. Have you had success creating a certification program for your company? Hit the comments and let us know your experience. We're curious to hear more.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Certification, certification programs

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Julia Borgini

Written by Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini helps Geeks sell their stuff. A self-proclaimed Geek, Julia is a freelance writer and content marketing strategist who teaches tech companies how to develop & execute successful tech content marketing programs. Her helpful articles have appeared on CrazyEgg, Social Media Examiner, KISSMetrics, and B2B News Network, as well as her own tech content marketing blog. To learn more about tech content marketing, visit her website at spacebarpress.com.

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