When organizations get Sitecore it is usually to initially deliver a new digital project, for example a brand-new website. Training the marketing team and your IT staff on how to use, code or administer Sitecore is often delivered during or after the project, and usually within the scope of what is necessary to manage the new website just delivered. The training is important, but it is essentially a project deliverable rather than something offered with a longer-term view in mind.
Organizations that want to get the very best out of Sitecore need to take a more comprehensive and long-term view of Sitecore training, and plan it as an ongoing activity, rather than just as a single event. This is absolutely integral to unlocking your full investment in Sitecore, achieving ROI and exploiting the full capabilities of the platform. The good news is that there are plenty of options when it comes to Sitecore training, including training from Sitecore themselves, online and classroom options and also expert training from agencies like Cylogy.
Let’s look at some of the reasons Sitecore training is important.
1. Knowing the basics
It goes without saying that knowing the basics from day one on how to use Sitecore is a must. Training is key here; it can speed up effective use of the platform and help users to explore the other more complex parts of the platform.
2. Product breadth and depth
Sitecore is not a standalone CMS; it’s a full digital experience platform and arguably even an ecosystem. The breadth of the capabilities and the depth of individual functionality is considerable. You can do a lot with Sitecore; without training it is hard to get the full range of what it can do and how to actually deliver that.
3. Using the advanced capabilities
A common complaint of organizations is that they were not able to fully exploit Sitecore’s powerhouse of personalization and marketing automation features. In our experience, lack of knowledge here is a key barrier; training means actually teams can appreciate how they can get started on using these advanced features.
4. Driving confidence
A lack of confidence in using the platform often leads to a reticence in using it to deliver better customer experiences. This manifests itself in different ways from basic content editors thinking that they are going to “break” the system by adding a component to their web page, to marketing managers thinking that it will be too difficult to achieve something. Training is not just about providing knowledge, it’s about providing confidence too to explore the capabilities of the platform.
5. Sitecore keeps on evolving
Sitecore keeps on investing in the platform and a release may contain major new features. Sitecore Content Hub, Sitecore AI, a new editor experience, new tools for developers; all these are relatively recent additions to the platform. Training needs to match the release schedule.
6. Early knowledge benefits projects
If you are about to go into a Sitecore development project, some training before the project can reap benefits. Of course, coders undertaking development will need to be up to date on their Sitecore know-how, but marketing teams on the business side too can also really benefit from having some knowledge of what Sitecore is capable of and how it fundamentally works; this will help inform the scoping of requirements. Having some Sitecore training also means that you can be more fully informed about the project as it goes on, give more meaningful input and also keep your digital agency on its toes.
7. Everyone brings different experience to the table
The range of experience of people using Sitecore can vary dramatically; people may have used it in a previous role while others may be complete novices. It can help team dynamics to get everybody up the same level of understanding through some targeted training. Of course, as you get new members of your IT or marketing team they then may need to undertake that training.
8. Sitecore is a journey
Sitecore is a journey. Websites go through different iterations; digital services change; the priorities of teams change. Teams get more proficient and ambitious as they try out new capabilities; for example, many start off small with personalization and then realise how they can develop it better. Training is a key part of the journey in helping the team evolve with Sitecore.
The importance of targeted training
When you choose to invest in Sitecore training it is really important to make it as targeted to the needs of different groups and even individuals, as far as possible. Training that does not feel relevant, or is too basic or too complex is both off-putting and ineffective; learning that enables people but also engages them and gets them excited about the possibilities of Sitecore is going to have more impact.
When targeting training there are usually three factors to take into account: role, experience and individual needs.
The first of these and the most obvious is different roles, primarily split between your coders and your content people. Here at Cylogy we carry out Sitecore training for different groups with differing needs:
- Super users and the marketing team
- IT admins
Furthermore there may be a need to train content contributors who do not need access to many of Sitecore’s features beyond the editing experience, but often it is possible for the marketing team to carry out this internally. We usually seek to equip the marketing team with a level of knowledge for them to be able to carry this out.
After ‘role’, the next factor is level of experience and confidence. There will be some people for whom Sitecore is new, or are new to personalization, for example. Then there may be some who are ready to take personalization to the next level and don’t want to cover the basics.
The third final factor is individual needs. This includes individual ambitions, development needs, learning styles, personal circumstances and so on. When you can meet these specific needs any training resonates far more strongly than generic approaches.
Invest in targeted Sitecore training
If you want to get the best out of your investment in Sitecore and fully exploit its capabilities, then you need to invest in the required training. If you target this to different roles, levels of expertise and individual preferences then it will be better; the more targeted, the more effective. If you’d like to discuss Sitecore training options, then get in touch.