As with many SaaS companies, Gong’s customer success managers were responsible for training their customers, but soon found this to be unscalable as they grew.
Gong continues to experience significant growth as companies adopt its platform to boost their sales and go-to-market operations so sales, customer success, and marketing teams can reach their full potential. Amidst rapid expansion in 2021, the timeline was growing tighter to deliver an online learning platform. They needed a strategic partner to deliver a platform that would scale as the company grew – on time and on budget.
With a clear vision and high expectations, Stephanie Pellegrino, Director of Customer Education at Gong, led the search for an LMS partner.
Gong’s goals for their customer education program include:
- Improve user experience (UX)
- Increase product adoption
- Reduce churn
Based on her experience working with Skilljar in previous roles as the Manager for Global Customer Education at LinkedIn and Zendesk, Stephanie chose Skilljar to deliver Gong Academy on an expedited timeline that exceeded expectations.
Some highlights of the Gong/Skilljar partnership include:
A key goal for Gong when they came to Skilljar was to improve the user experience through live training. Gong had a target of how many customers they could train and onboard through a combination of self-serve education, instructor-led training (ILT), and virtual instructor-led training (VILT).
Our implementation team was fantastic! They met us every step of the way with academy resources, hands-on demos, impromptu calls, and regular syncs to make sure our launch was a success. They took the time to really understand our success criteria and used that as a North Star throughout the implementation process.— Andrea Ivy Cantrell, Instructional Designer, Gong
Gong has been very intentional about making registration through Gong Academy user-friendly. Gong’s internal customer-facing resources supply a CSV file of users who need to be enrolled in training. The education team is then able to leverage Skilljar’s bulk registration feature to register and track training usage.
Bulk registration has been huge for us. It’s super helpful for driving attendance. This has also been really helpful for tracking how much of an impact we’re having, how many people we’re reaching in our live webinars and tailored trainings. – Chris Maironis, Customer Training Specialist, Gong
As part of the Customer Success organization (Stephanie reports to the Chief Customer Officer), it’s essential for the Customer Education Team at Gong to show the impact that Gong Academy and training have on onboarding, engagement, and adoption levels.
Skilljar built a shared architecture between Salesforce, Gainsight, Segment, and Amplitude to help Gong measure the success of their program. This construction helps Gong offer a more personalized learning experience and prove that users who take training are more engaged and adopt the product more deeply than those who do not participate in training.
We have the ability to push data from Skilljar and Salesforce to Gainsight and show the impact this is having on customer health. We can show each CSM how their accounts are measuring up in Gainsight, a tool they are often in.–Nicole Pettit, Customer Training Specialist, Gong
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Leveraging SSO was another critical requirement Skilljar executed to enable a seamless user experience, not only for connecting systems, but to ensure all Gong CSMs could trust the information that was passed from Skilljar to their systems of record. Skilljar is also working to incorporate a multi-SSO feature so that different Gong audiences, including non-Gong users, can access content through one academy domain.
Designing for a Better UX
In March 2022, the customer education team at Gong revamped Gong Academy to help meet learners where they are, including a new visual identity. The goal was to ensure a user could land on the homepage and get to exactly what matters to them in as few clicks as possible. They also wanted to ensure that within marketing communications, they could deep link to landing pages in Gong Academy to point users directly to the information they need.
The Skilljar ProServ team ensured that Gong’s training platform matched the exact look and feel of their new visual identity. Skilljar created a highly-customizable modular theme where they can plug and play different modules into their pages to customize the learner experience. What’s more, the system is set up so that as they continue to scale training content, the theme itself will scale to support all new additional modules.
We have had customers rave about the experience and many even asked us for help and advice on how to design theirs!–Stephanie Pellegrino, Director of Customer Education and Training, Gong
Gong’s training program launched in June 2021 in half the time implementations with this level of sophistication typically take. For Gong, having a speedy launch was necessary since they had already spent a meaningful amount of time trying to implement an LMS with another vendor before switching to Skilljar.
First of all, let me just thank you for your support! Launch day has gone off without a hitch and I could not be more pleased.–Stephanie Pellegrino, Director of Customer Education and Training, Gong
Since the program launched in June 2021, their user engagement with the Academy has steadily increased.
- Gong crossed the 10,000 mark for monthly course registrations in March 2022, with monthly registrations continuing to peak at over 11,600*!
- 30-day completion percentage of 80% is 4X higher than the industry average (20%)*
- Monthly average users surpassed 6,400*
- Strong certification engagement with over 1,500 certification registrations within the first five months of launching
*For July 2022
Much of why I love working with Skilljar is all of you do such an amazing job at partnering with your customers to ensure that their success is your success.–Stephanie Pellegrino, Director of Customer Education and Training, Gong
Gong launched two certifications to date (for Program Managers and Frontline Managers). Registration has been strong, and Gong is planning to launch a third certification for Account Executives soon. As an engagement tactic, they also initiated “Gong Quests” — bite-size learning paths that users complete to earn a badge. These efforts encourage engagement not just in the Academy but in the community as well, and help to build a foundation for recertification.
Gong’s first education hire started in March 2020 delivering virtual live custom trainings as requested by their customers. Thanks to their ability to scale and demonstrate the business value of customer education, the team has grown to include six trainers, five instructional designers, and one certification program manager.
The level of customer service and support with Skilljar is heads and shoulders above the rest. Skilljar relies on extensive real life experience to come up with creative and complete solutions, consistently helping us achieve our lofty goals. This is the truest form of a partnership I’ve encountered so far.— Tim Halter, Instructional Designer, Gong
Making Gong Training Available to All
Gong decided to open a large portion of their training to non-customers to further industry knowledge and establish thought leadership in their category.
Skilljar partnered closely with their technical teams as well as their community vendor, inSided, to walk through possible solutions for making Gong training available to all.
As of October 2022, most of the Gong Academy experience is open to the public! The Skilljar ProServ team incorporated a multi-SSO feature so that different Gong audiences, including non-Gong users, can access certain content all through one academy domain. For example, their live training content is only accessible to Gong customers, whereas their community feature will be seamlessly accessible to any user, all through Gong Academy.
“The Skilljar ProServ team ensured we have the login experience we know our customers and prospective customers want.”–Stephanie Pellegrino, Director of Customer Education and Training, Gong
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