Train Your Team on Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Free Using Trailhead

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Deciding on Salesforce Marketing Cloud as your marketing automation platform of choice and implementing it is only part of the story – you will have to familiarize your team with the terminology, features and how your team will use Marketing Cloud. A new tool brings with additional costs to budget for in terms of team enablement. So, how do you train your team in a quick and cost-effective way?

Trailhead appears to be the most suitable solution to support your teams on a daily training basis. In this post, I will share my tips on how to organise a Trailhead training program for Marketing Cloud based on my experience as a consultant working with different types of marketing teams over time. If you’re looking for tips to ensure your team makes a smooth transition to Marketing Cloud – you’re in the right place!

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Why Use Trailhead for Training?

Trailhead appears to be the most suitable solution to support your teams on a daily training basis for the following reasons:

  • It’s free: Trailhead is a free online platform which means accessible everywhere (including Trailhead Go for iOS), anytime, and without restrictions!
  • Profile: includes a series of modules adapted to each profile whether you are developper, administrator or end user.
  • Fun: Trailhead is based on a badge system with a mixture of quizzes and practical tasks, which monitors a user’s progress and whether they are up to speed.
  • myTrailhead: customise the original Trailhead learning platform to represent your company’s processes and your company’s brand.

How to Use Trailhead for Marketing Cloud Training

Before you send your team to Trailhead, don’t just allow them to navigate the expansive platform, and let them fend for themselves. Instead, a little planning will help ensure your team make a smooth transition and you have the right people onboard to ‘steer the ship’.

By following the approach described in this article, you will be able to answer the following questions :

  • Do I need to review my team structure to allocate Marketing Cloud super-users? Who will those people be?
  • Do I need to hire a technical resource to support technical needs? (Say hello to API calls, AMPscript, GTL and SSJS – to name but a few technical things that come up).
  • Can we handle Marketing Cloud Administration day to day?

1. Browse Trailhead Modules

Go to the Trailhead homepage, and select the product filter for ‘Marketing Cloud’. This will bring up a list of 78 modules, including theory on multiple related topics. Each item is listed with a description, learning objectives and estimated time to complete.

Once your Marketing Cloud project plan is defined, you should have a list of the apps and features that are planned for roll-out. Pick the modules that relate to your Marketing Cloud modules, eg. Email Studio.

2. What’s the Existing Level of Salesforce Knowledge?

Is your team completely new to the Salesforce platform? If that’s the case, it’s useful for them to understand how the Salesforce core platform works (Sales Cloud) to inform their use of Marketing Cloud, how Marketing Cloud Connect works, and to work better with the teams that are using Salesforce core.

Remember to distinguish the types of modules to follow by indicating whether it is part of CORE or Marketing Cloud – and don’t forget to add in modules about Marketing Cloud Connect!

3. Shaping your Marketing Cloud Training Plan (RACI)

A RACI matrix will help you to understand who handles what within your organisation, essential for big internal teams or cross-functional teams.

This is where the definition of the project plan takes on its full meaning.

Focus your team’s learning on their role and responsibilities. For example, a content manager will not need to know the details of the Marketing Cloud APIs. In the same way, your team would not need to pass the Social Studio modules if this product is not included in your project roadmap.

Your marketing team may be divided into several sub-teams, eg. Acquisition, Data & Analytics, Content, Social Media, etc.  If that’s not the case and everyone within your team multitasks, just list people to identify who should be included to this Marketing Cloud Training Plan.

Map the list of users to the different modules. Depending on your vision and management style, you can listen and take onboard what each member of your team wants to learn in their training plan. The key is to achieve a balance between your project roadmap and your team structure to map it with the possibilities offered by Trailhead. Better to get it all together in one place at this stage.

The main goal here is to fill the gap between your current team skills and the required expertise to use Marketing Cloud, and also to facilitate this new (and often daunting) marketing platform to be accepted by your team.

4. Timing

Time is precious, use it wisely! This doesn’t mean you should cut off individual’s learning to explore the wider capabilities of Marketing Cloud, but you should guide them to first master what is planned to be used and activated for your project. Take the estimated time to complete the modules into account to ensure you are not giving your team unrealistic training objectives.

Summary

As indicated above, your Trailhead training plan should be adjusted to the specific need of your own Marketing Cloud project.

Trailhead helps to motivate and help people learn at their own pace. To accelerate training even further, you could add a number of options Salesforce provides, like accelerator programs, webinars, and multi-day training courses – and if you are working with a certified Salesforce consulting partner, you may prefer their suggestion on a training program for your team that will be more rigorous and specific to your implementation.

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