8 Benefits to Hiring a Customer Education Advisor [Especially During an Economic Recession]

by Sarah Bedrick

Businesses everywhere cut back on spending in 2022.

Lyft laid off around 700 employees, about 13% of its workforce.

Coinbase announced that it would let go of 18% of its workforce.

DoorDash let go of 1,250 employees.

And Pluralsight laid off 20% of its team.

These are just a few of the most notable layoffs.

When cutbacks are happening globally across tech, customer education professionals are left to wonder, "How can I do my job well when we are on a hiring freeze, or worse, we let go of key people?"

It's true; it's hard.

And for some teams, the required output maintains despite the decrease in team members and resources available to execute.

What's a CE professional to do?

Now represents a unique period to get ahead. Now is the time to get wildly inventive so you can make even more remarkable progress despite times being tough.

At SaaS Academy Advisors, we're advisors for high-growth SaaS companies investing in customer education or corporate academies. In 2022, several of our clients mentioned their CFOs were requesting cutbacks on their program spending, which was not a surprise. However, one client found so much value in our advising services they said, "I'd rather let go of a team member than fire our SaaS Academy Advisors." While we love these statements because they represent the value we deliver, we know not everyone knows the benefits of working with us or any customer education advisor.

To help everyone understand the value of hiring advising services, we list some reasons our clients love working with us, especially during financial cutbacks.

1. Access to specialized knowledge & expertise

Advisors bring a wealth of specialized knowledge and expertise to a company, particularly in areas that may not be a core competency of the company's existing team.

Our team has led the entire corporate academy function from certifications programs, content creation & scalability efforts, managing subject matter experts, marketing, gaining buy-in with internal stakeholders, program automation, and more. If one of your team members isn't skilled at any of these, the learning curve can be expensive, which is where the benefits of advising are profound for a team.

2. Improved efficiency and cost-saving opportunities

Advisors identify areas of a company where processes should be created, streamlined, in an effort to reduce costs. Again, these activities are especially important when budgets are tight.

At SaaS Academy Advisors, we advise companies based on the Academy Growth Model and Academy Operating System to know what stage of growth they're in and what area they need to execute and optimize, so they can know with confidence that they're ready to move on to future customer education maturity stages.

3. Access to a fresh & honest perspective

Because advisors are not entrenched in a business's day-to-day operations, they can provide a fresh perspective on a company's operations and challenges, which helps generates new approaches for success.

When building and scaling HubSpot Academy, we've experienced it all. We know the pains customer education professionals experience when trying to get buy-in, grow their influence, create a metric-driven program, scale with ease, and more. We bring this experience to your business to help bridge the gap between desired success and actual success.

4. Increased credibility

Working with advisors adds credibility to a company, particularly if the advisors have a strong reputation in their field. This can be important for gaining buy-in and trust for your programmatic decisions.

Our team built HubSpot Academy from day one, and one team member even led several departments over 10 years. We help advise your program to success, but even bringing us on board lends your decisions and program increased credibility with peers at work.

5. Risk management

Advisors help a company navigate risks and uncertainties, particularly during a recession when the business landscape may be more volatile. They can guide on mitigating potential risks and help the company prepare for potential challenges.

When budgets are tight, each mistake is extremely costly. We consider ourselves the insurance layer for businesses to cut back on common mistakes that cost a lot and ensure a quicker road to success.

6. Talent development

Advisors help a company develop the skills and capabilities of its employees.

We call this "knowledge transfer," and it's where we impart 22+ years of combined experience in customer education to educate your team. Our clients have seen their customer education managers upskill into directors and directors to VPs. And this is essential for maintaining a competitive advantage and positioning the employees, company, and customers for long-term success.

7. Networking and partnerships

Advisors have a vast network of connections and can help a company forge valuable connections, partnerships, and collaborations.

Between our three team members, we've seen and done it all. But we know just the people to connect you to for those persnickety instances we haven't. Whether you want to outsource the creation of a new course or are looking for the best software for your needs -- we have friends in all places.

8. Strategic planning

Lastly, advisors help with strategic planning and help customer education departments set achievable long-term goals and develop a roadmap for achieving them.

Our specialty is aligning with the direction of the overall business and then creating and executing against a roadmap to have a significant impact on the customer education program, the department it sits within, and the company. Our goal is to help every one of our clients emerge from a recession with a substantial competitive advantage.

What we do at SaaS Academy Advisors

We spend our days advising high-growth B2B SaaS businesses on how to start and scale their Customer Education and Academy programs.

If you're launching an Academy program or doubling down on an existing initiative, we'd love to see if we can help.

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