Getting the Most out of Salesforce. 3 Must Know Training tips.

We have done over 2,000 projects these last 13 years, and one thing I can absolutely tell you without hesitation is that the end user training totally affects the system success – either positively or negatively.

And, we have made our mistakes over the years.  8 hour training classes (I dare you to not fall asleep), Generic training content, REALLY bad sample data, etc.  Over the years, though ,we have learned from our mistakes.  Our hard knocks are your gains.  Here is a list of 3 tips we’ve learned over the years to make sure training is effective…

Tip 1 – Know your audience.  Before you walk into that training room, make sure that you understand who you’re training.  Sounds simple right?  But if you have a room of Old School Sales Rep, DON’T START WITH THE MOBILE DEVICE!  If an audience is really tech savvy, it’s a mistake to spend 30 minutes on the benefits of universal search!  Here, at BIG, we build out our training slide deck each time, taking screen shots from the client org, making sure that we drive the pace and the content according to the audience we are going to see.  I know from experience that nothing makes a trainee madder than being talked down to (or over).  Make sure that you have prepped this in advance.

Tip 2 – After 2 hours, no one is listening.  Sales Reps have a job and most of it is interpersonal – calls, emails, visits.  Sitting in a conference room learning a new system is already an inconvenience for them, but sitting in a conference room for 5 hours – that’s just a no fly zone.  Limit your training to 2 hours, making sure you are taking breaks from showing, and walking the room to answer questions and demonstrate concepts.  This doesn’t mean that 2 hours of training is enough.  Here at BIG, we incorporate 3 to 4 half hour webinars AFTER training for the team.  These weekly sessions invite clients to complain (people love progress, but they HATE change), ask questions, learn new tips, and by the time we’re done with these sessions, the user has received 4 hours of training, it just hasn’t been 4 STRAIGHT hours…

Tip 3 – Use Relevant and reliable Data.  Typically, unless a client insists, we train AFTER data migration.  We do this because in order to understand a CRM system, you have to understand the context.  And Acme Industrial and Widget 1 and Widget 2 aren’t going to help a user understand that.  So, make sure the data is solid and reliable.  And, make sure that the Reports and Dashboards reflect that data!  Users will be immediately hooked and willing to do the hard work on the system (usually) if they see that results are insightful and impactful.  That isn’t going to happen with one lousy TEST account and a couple of Widgets.

Doing this for as long as we have, we have come to realize that this 1st impression of the system by users is usually our last task, and so it is important to come into training with an eye towards the student, as opposed to just the last thing to do.  I invite your feedback and suggestions.


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