Class is in Session: An Interview with Our Corporate Education Guru
There’s been a lot of buzz around our offices lately due to the release of our latest commitment to helping customers get the most out of their DiscoverOrg experience: an Education Portal that offers a range of dynamic, instructor-led and e-learning classes – all designed for maximum benefit in minimum time. I mean when you’ve got the ability to leverage the most robust, accurate, and insightful sales & marketing intelligence solution on the market, why not take it “up to 11”?
To help you get a better sense for what’s offered in DiscoverOrg’s Education Portal (and how it can propel your team to sales and marketing greatness), we sat down to talk with Sandra Elliot, Director of Learning at DiscoverOrg.
What motivated you to create these classes? Did customers request them?
There’s more than motivation behind these classes – there’s research. We talked to our most successful customers, and some that were less successful, to determine what the difference was between them. Time and again, we saw our successful customers using DiscoverOrg in ways that the less successful teams didn’t know about. So we took all those best practices and built instructor-led courses around them, designed to bring these skills to more of our users.
Who would benefit most from these classes?
Anyone using DiscoverOrg. To date, I haven’t gotten a single evaluation that says “I didn’t learn anything new.” In fact, we’ve had several people say that they will take the class again because there were just too many great ideas to capture them all the first time around.
What can people expect to experience/get from this?
Anyone who takes these courses and puts what we teach into practice will see a major time savings for their department. Why? Because they will know how to more effectively utilize the hand-verified contact data, curated by our in-house researchers. Our training program also covers how to use the information from the platform to get around gatekeepers and directly reach decision makers. With this info at their fingertips, participants can look forward to their live-connect rates improving as just one benefit of their continuing education.
Who’s teaching these classes?
All of our classes are taught by members of the DiscoverOrg team who have many years of experience in marketing and sales. They all have great track records of high-performance in their fields and are excited to share their expertise with our customers. Combine that with an interactive experience with a live instructor and other participants as well as exercises, you’ll gain hands-on experience as you go. They’re really top-notch, and nothing like the boring technical training you may have had in the past.
What makes this different from a webinar? How much interaction can students/participants expect?
Let’s be clear – our classes are not webinars. In webinars, people talk to you with slides and maybe a demo, and the best interaction you can get may be asking questions of the moderator. Thousands of people might be attending, and the presentation may even be pre-recorded. Our courses are all taught by live instructors, usually in groups of 20 or less, where you can open up your phone line or chat a question any time and get a real-time answer. Not only that, but we give you practice – both in using DiscoverOrg as well as developing your job skills, so it’s a very different experience.
Is one-on-one instruction available?
One on one instruction is usually less effective than team instruction – predominantly because you don’t get to hear all the other ways people use the tool and it’s data. Sure, we have experts teaching the courses, but we all learn more by interacting with a variety of people, and no one person can give you the breadth of knowledge an entire team can. So, we focus on training groups.
Can students follow up post class with questions?
Absolutely! Each course has a survey attached, which students can answer any time. We also have a dedicated email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for training-related questions.
Are there certifications offered?
Not yet, but they’re in the works. Stay posted!
What have you and your team learned in the process of creating these programs? Have other DiscoverOrg teams helped advise and shape the content?
There’s not a single team here at DiscoverOrg that hasn’t help shape these courses. We have so much expertise at this company that, sometimes, the hardest part for us is sifting through and organizing it all! We’ve learned that we have a lot more knowledge to share, a lot of skills we can help our users develop, and a lot of work ahead of us – and we’re itching to do it.
I’m assuming there’s no cap & gown upon completion of these courses, but I hear you’re adding some fun awards/accomplishments to the program, Tell me more about these. Can we get a teaser of the badges and course titles?
No cap and gown, no – nothing so stuffy! But we are going to be awarding fun badges in the near future, and we’ve also got a full certification coming soon. Sorry, though – no spoilers!
Are there any particularly innovative aspects of the program people should know about?
I think the most important thing about the program is that it’s designed around the way people learn. We’re not just throwing information at you; we’re helping to transform the way people do their day-to-day tasks and eliminate some of the most frustrating aspects of the professions we serve.
What’s next for this program? What other offerings are in the works?
We’re currently working on a full-fledged inside sales professional track, designed to help you make the most of DiscoverOrg while also improving your prospecting approaches. That program will lead to a certification that you can put on your resume or profile, so we’re excited about its launch. After that, we’ll be doing the same for other types of professionals we serve, like marketers and recruiters.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just one thing: I’ve been in the technology training space for a while now, and it’s hard to imagine working with a company that has as much expertise in its field as DiscoverOrg. Honestly, one of the reasons I came here is because I believe that they can truly transform the businesses they help, and their commitment to building a world-class training program in the process only solidifies that. I can’t wait to hear what you think about what we’re doing!