Optimize Your Salesforce Training

I think in every blog I’ve written about CRM or Salesforce success I’ve mentioned training your employees to use the software. This really should be a no-brainer; if your employees can’t or won’t use the software, you’ll be wasting money and effort on it.

image via accountwaresolutions.com

Assuming you’ve already internalized the fact that training your employees to use the new software is non-negotiable, how can you ensure that you can effectively train all of your end users? Here are our tips for putting together training that sticks.

Set expectations

If you are expecting employees to use CRM software, and to use it a certain way, one of the first things you should do is communicate that to the effected parties. Part of this should be explaining how their usage will be measured and how often they will be evaluated based on that usage, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s also important to let people know what they can expect the CRM to do or be for them, such as what administrative tasks will be automated or what processes are going to be streamlined and hopefully take them less time to complete. When team members understand the value that the software has for their own jobs, they will be more receptive to using it and using it correctly.

Hands on training

Chances are if you spend an hour telling a team how they need to use Salesforce in hypothetical future situations, they’re not going to retain the steps to the process and end up asking about things you already covered, or worse, just not using the CRM at all. Training that utilizes real data, the data that the team actually needs and will care about, will make a deeper impression on them. It may not always be possible, but training someone to use a system right when they need to record the data is probably the most impactful way to demonstrate how to use something. A salesperson who needs to record a call and a new opportunity will be paying closer attention because they are in present need of the information you are providing. I’ve mentioned this many times, but this is where one-on-one training with a peer who already understands a particular process or function can be particularly effective.

Two way evaluations

Just as you will be measuring and evaluating your employees based on their usage of the CRM, it is important to allow them to provide their own feedback on how the software and related processes are working for them. Maybe there are fields they need that were not added during the initial implementation, or certain workflows aren’t quite working the way they were intended to. This feedback will help you ensure that your employees are getting everything they need out of the CRM, and if they’re not, you will be better equipped to make changes to the system. Check in with team members periodically to see how they are feeling about the system, if it is making their jobs easier, and if it is living up to the expectations that were set.

Follow Up

Training is not a one and done process, especially considering that the way that you use your CRM system is likely to change and evolve over time. New features or changes made to the software will require subsequent training with your team. If an employee is not using the CRM correctly, seize the opportunity to discuss what challenges they are facing and take the time to review any training they may need a refresher on.

Need help designing a Salesforce training plan for your team? Contact Xceli Global today.


Salesforce Success Community: “Success Insights: 10 Tips for a Successful Training Plan”

Laura Maker for Cloud4Good: “Organizing an Awesome Salesforce Training Program”

Cirrus Insight: “Tips for a Successful Training Plan in Salesforce”

Greg DeVore for Screensteps.com “Outlining a Salesforce Training Plan”

Chris Wolski for Chron.com: “How to Create a Sales Force Training Program”

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