Turning Confidence into Revenue
by Miles Jobgen, Director Cybersecurity Programs Relevancy, CompTIA
Professional certifications are designed to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities are in place to perform a specific job role. Likewise, organizational-level credentials are designed to demonstrate the people, processes, and technologies are in place to perform a business function. While that’s great and all, how can you turn that into profit?
Without question, there is an investment of time and money to pursue certifications. I’d like to provide a four-step path to a return on that investment, starting with building confidence and ending with telling your story.
Step 1: Validate alignment with industry identified best practices.
This is the process of earning the certification itself. Peer networks, education, trade events, and many other options are available to get the most out of this step. Operational frameworks and exam blueprints developed by industry experts identify the objectives being measured by that certification. Understanding and demonstrating those objectives instills confidence. Knowing what should be done, what should be documented, what should be known allows the business or individual to have a place from which to grow.
Step 2: Devote time building in-depth familiarity with processes and procedures.
With skills and operations aligned to industry best practices, staff can become familiar with processes and procedures. This should go beyond just “what” they are. For a full understanding, people need to understand why a particular process is in place. That understanding increases confidence in what can be done and when. For example, it’s important for a sales team to have a working knowledge of how invoices are accepted, processed, and paid out. Here is where the earlier investment begins to pay off. Documented, repeatable, processes can be automated. This automation leads to the next step.
Step 3: Free up resources to focus on revenue-building activities.
Teams with well understood, well documented, repeatable, and automated processes find themselves with more time to build better relationships with current clients, recruit quality leads, and meet service level agreements with regularity. Just as important, a process of continual review and improvement can be put in place. Organizational confidence continues to build as operational and sales processes support staff at the right time and place.
Step 4: Tell a great story.
You now have a wedge to separate you from your competition. Lean into what you know works. Your staff is certified in their job roles. Your processes are documented, aligned with best practices, and your team can explain the “why” behind them. The business is certified in the services and functions it provides. The effort put into these activities and the confidence berthed is worth talking about. Build this story into your sales and marketing messaging and be the leader your clients didn’t even know they needed.
At the end of the day, there is no tool out there, no magic key that will turn investment in certifications into revenue. Just like everything, it takes a strategy. It takes hard work. But it’s just as valuable as the time spent thinking about a client solution. Leverage it. Celebrate it. And turn that investment into revenue.