Revenue & Features Editor, Co-host of Content Lab, 15+ Years of Writing and Teaching Experience
September 8th, 2020
At IMPACT, we believe so strongly in They Ask, You Answer that we want to share the message with everyone. Thousands of small to medium-sized businesses around the world have been inspired by Marcus Sheridan’s message of transparency, self-sufficiency, and openness, and they’ve used his philosophy to transform the way they do business.
But even as Marcus crisscrosses the country to speak to business leaders — and IMPACT guides clients through They Ask, You Answer implementation — we know this leaves out a huge swath of the population.
IMPACT’s Director of Inbound Training Zach Basner puts it this way: “We were trying to figure out how we could take the things we teach clients and make them more scalable. How could we make content that people could consume without them actually being our clients?”
The result was IMPACT+, an online education platform and community to spread the word of They Ask, You Answer and help people and companies improve their digital sales and marketing — and connect with others looking to do the same.
Zach has taken the lead on the educational aspects of IMPACT+, and the platform has grown vigorously under his stewardship, now boasting dozens of courses, more than a hundred videos of keynotes and other event presentations, and thousands of users.
A team of developers led by Morgan VanDerLeest has built the structure capable of supporting all of these initiatives.
We started with the idea that we could leverage our talented people to spread the word about They Ask, You Answer to help SMBs take control of their digital marketing and sales — and that this content could be used for individual growth or for company-wide training.
With this philosophy underpinning everything on the platform, IMPACT+ has a consistent ethos throughout, regardless of the course or instructor.
What’s more, this is not a platform just for one team at your organization. IMPACT+ is for anyone connected to the sales and marketing efforts at your company, including company leadership, video production staff, marketers, sales teams and leaders, and others.
According to Zach, “if we can give people all these important basics in sales strategy, videography, content creation, leadership, and more, people can start implementing them on their own, self-discovering how they best apply to each situation. That creates innovation.”
As people self-discover and grow, IMPACT+ offers community aspects that connect professionals with others in similar roles at different businesses. This sort of peer-to-peer connection is all too rare today.
We believe in making much of IMPACT+ free for all. Users can get started with many features and courses for free. Upgrade to a Pro account for access everything the platform has to offer.
Who is IMPACT+ for?
IMPACT+ is designed for anyone lacking direction in their sales and marketing strategy.
Zach says “it’s for folks who know they want to get better, but they may not know how.” And these folks could operate in any number of roles in your company.
IMPACT+ has courses that are specifically designed for sales people and sales leaders. We have courses just for c-suite executives. We have courses for content managers, videographers, and marketers.
But beyond individual growth, IMPACT+ can offer a common language to teams who want to grow together. If a CEO has seen Marcus speak and wants her team to implement assignment selling, for example, having each sales rep take the assignment selling course is the most effective method of adoption.
That way, everyone has the same source of truth.
If you’re new to IMPACT+, let me show you around
If you’re excited to see what IMPACT+ is all about, let me show you around! Your first step is to go to impactbnd.com/plus and sign up for a free account. Then, start exploring.
The centerpiece of the platform is the course material:
If you’re new, you should get started with Marcus Sheridan’s Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Modern Buyer. This will, in Zach’s words, “give you the history and context for They Ask, You Answer.” It’s Marcus’ introduction to how businesses need adapt to best serve today's customers.
From there, you can explore courses that best fit your role. If you’re a marketer, you might check out Carina Duffy’s Marketing Automation Mastery. If you’re a salesperson, try Zach’s Fundamentals of the Visual Sale, which offers instruction in using video in the sales process. Business leaders might choose to learn about Self-selection and the Touchless Buying Experience with IMPACT’s Chief Learning Officer Chris Duprey.
While the courses are the foundation of IMPACT+, users would be short-changed if they just stopped there.
Keynotes and presentations
Your free membership allows access to dozens of keynotes and presentations from past IMPACT events. A Pro seat unlocks dozens more. These include thought-leadership lectures from the likes of Brian Halligan, Jill Konrath, David Meerman Scott, Rand Fishkin and others, as well as tactical presentations and fireside chats.
With your scorecard results in hand, you can see how you stack up against other companies who are seeing great success with their digital sales and marketing.
The scorecard allows for strategy development and team alignment as you come together to plan your growth.
The importance of a learning community
For the same reason that classrooms sparkle with discussion and dialogue, IMPACT+ is a learning community. Courses are taken on-demand by individual users, but these are just one aspect of the IMPACT+ platform.
Other features allow users to connect with each other.
Virtual peer groups facilitate connection between professionals at different companies. These monthly meetings are led by IMPACT experts and generally center on one topic. In between meetings, users might get homework to extend the learning of the group:
IMPACT+ virtual peer groups exist for:
Students and young professionals
Video content creators
Discussion boards are organized by categories so you can follow threads, respond to comments, and tag coworkers and friends. This allows IMPACT+ users to “interact with each other and share their learnings and share their challenges,” says Zach.
The future of IMPACT+
IMPACT+ has demonstrated prodigious growth since its launch in May. For a platform so young, it is surprisingly well-established, with thousands of users, more than two dozen courses, and robust virtual peer groups and discussion boards.
And we’re just getting started.
In the next six months, users can expect at least thirty more courses to launch. These new offerings will expand the breadth of IMPACT+ curricula — and will be further enhanced by quiz functionality. This way, formative assessment quizzes can serve as knowledge checks to reinforce certain important points from the lessons, reminding learners how much they’ve taken in.
Furthermore, users can expect the release of highly effective business tools.
To learn more about IMPACT+, sign up for a free account today and get started! Then, follow a thread in a discussion forum and watch a keynote from a recent IMPACT event.
When you make IMPACT+ a part of your weekly routine, you will quickly start to see the results of your own growth. If you join with your team, you will inherit a shared language and set of guiding principles that can help you chart a course toward growth and improvement.
We all grow better when we grow together.
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