How to Truly Get CRM Training Right

By: Michael @wCRMblog Taylor

As more and more companies turn to CRM software in order to manage client information, the process of adapting to CRM is becoming the expected norm. But as widely used as CRM is, many companies still face challenges when it comes to incorporating CRM into the workplace environment.

The most common obstacle to successful CRM is not – as one might expect – technological glitches. Rather, many companies underestimate the difficulty of ensuring that all their employees have the same understanding of how to use CRM and all share a clear vision of the company’s expectations in their use of it. Because of this, according to research by the NCC, as many as one in three companies have seen their CRM rollouts offer only minimal success.

The solution to this problem is to provide better and more thorough CRM training, delivered by a professional who understands the company, its database tools, and its goals. Listed below are five key tips to keep in mind as you embark on CRM training.

1. Provide Relevant Content

If your employees are simply being lectured at about facts that don’t relate to their day-to-day jobs, they’re not likely to engage with the material. Employees are often quick to sense what’s relevant to them, and as quick to filter out what’s not. So be sure that the training provided is concretely connected to the tasks they regularly perform.

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2. Make Training Interactive and User-Friendly

Most people learn more effectively, remember more easily, and enjoy the learning experience more when they are given an opportunity to be proactive and engage with what they are learning. One option is to offer self-directed activities in which employees get a chance to explore the CRM system for themselves. Then you can provide a follow-up session in which the trainer answers any questions they have.

3. Expand Training Beyond the Training Day

As much as possible, it’s best to connect CRM training to the everyday workplace environment. During the training session, this can be done by including practice exercises that draw from typical workplace actions. To take this a step further, once the training session is finished, you can design real-world CRM exercises for use in the office. This will enable your employees to see the importance of taking the CRM training classes. Still more informally, it’s a good idea to monitor employees’ CRM usage in the weeks and months following CRM training, and if necessary, to go from desk to desk to find out if employees are struggling with the system in any way or have any unanswered questions. As Gartner Research has suggested, you can “improve CRM training effectiveness by conducting reinforcement training [several] weeks after the Go-Live.”

4. Evaluate the Success of Training Sessions

Speaking online recently to an old friend who works for Home Depot in their corporate department, we discussed how it’s crucial to know how successful the training process has been once it ends. Follow-up is the name of the game. Create a checklist that you can go over after training is complete to ascertain that basic company objectives regarding CRM training have been met. Ask your employees to provide feedback about the training experience, not only to help you assess what has been learned, but to help you prepare for potential further sessions.

5. Provide Post-training Performance Support

Post-training performance support could include personal visits with employees to answer any questions or concerns they may have, or to encourage them to further incorporate CRM usage into their workday. But such meetings can be time-consuming, which is why it’s also worthwhile to provide self-directed support options for your employees. Self-guidance technologies such as WalkMe can be integrated into existing CRM systems in order to help users access information and complete tasks. These forms of post-training support can be invaluable, because they help to make training an ongoing process, allowing employees to smoothly adapt to challenges and improve their navigational skills in the increasingly complex CRM world.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.
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