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Why End User Training is 'Mission Critical' to CRM Implementation

End user training is sadly an overlooked stage of a CRM implementation project. Considered the ‘last mile’, training has an important role in project wrap-up and system handover. In training, users will learn how to use the system - from where to find records, the business process, data input and updates as well as leveraging automation and analytics. However, after an expensive implementation, cutting costs can tempt business leaders often training is the first to get cut. read more

Common thought is that as an alternative, end users will train themselves with the documentation and resources that the vendor or consultancy will provide. This is not enough to rely on, because:

  • Your CRM implementation may be customized
  • People (especially sales) are busy. Training will continually get pushed down their priority list.
  • Passive knowledge transfer is not a compelling way to learn.

In our ebook: “Preparing for the first stage of your CRM Evaluation” (coming soon), we highlight training as a core consideration at project conception, right from the first conversation you have with your potential vendor. But why is it that businesses continue to overlook training? Do these organizations consider the long term impact of skipping the training stage?

In this post we cover 5 reasons why training is important, and show how training your end users will avoid long-term challenges that will come back to bite further down the line.

  1. Adoption
  2. Training is imperative for adoption, which is why we have placed this at number 1. This is a challenge you won’t have to wait long to encounter if training is skipped. Quality training won’t just cover the ‘what’, such as logging in, creating opportunities (etc.), but will also address the ‘why’: why you need to change your opportunities to correctly reflect your pipeline, for example. The ‘why’ makes usage of the system meaningful.

    Training needs to be worked into project timing to indicate from what date users need to be comfortable using the system. If training is scheduled too late after the date licenses are provisioned and the solution delivered, your CRM is going to sit dormant, untouched, and eating into license contract time.

  3. Long-term Investment
  4. Licenses are finite in the SaaS industry. Once activated, your contract time starts ticking away. Management want to see the return on investment (ROI) they hoped for, which could be based on lead conversion, contract generation time saving or even effectiveness of follow-up.

    Management made the conscious decision to invest in licenses and implementation costs, most likely because they see this as a ‘future proof’ CRM, durable and scalable, to use for the next 5 years (and even longer in some cases).

    With such long term ambitions in mind, it is better that end users invest a day in training than the CRM bringing in disappointing ROI metrics at year end.

  5. Empower sales
  6. Allowing sales and other departments to take the time to learn the system correlates to another benefit: empowerment.

    Empower your people to do their job. The key takeaway is this: modern CRM is not a commodity, it’s an operational lifeline and business growth mechanism.

    CRM shouldn’t be seen as a ‘nice-to-have’. Proper training will show sales they can’t do their job without it. Many organizations are embracing a move towards ‘self-management’, where employees become increasingly autonomous in their roles. By leveraging the CRM tools, they can track their own actions versus progress, and immediately see what they are accountable for.

  7. Avoid internal tension
  8. Establishing an organization where each individual is accountable for their actions and progress is both desirable and possible. An optimally operational business requires visibility for higher management, so those responsible for strategy get the ‘helicopter view’ they need.

    Many excited C-Level Executives will have the fresh mentality that the CRM is the sole source of truth: “if it’s not in the CRM it didn’t happen!” If sales data is missing or incorrect, then when management take the sparkling new Dashboards and Reports, the picture the data paints is at danger of being skewed.

    Tension amounts internally when management enforce teams to use the CRM they can’t use, and make critical decisions based on the output they see from the data.

  9. Data quality
  10. As we mentioned above, the skewed picture that CRM analytics paint with the data available is commonly sourced from data quality issues. Incorrect data input or related in the CRM also leads to disappointing ROI metrics if simply the data cannot be located and accounted for in the bigger picture.

    One typical example is Marketing Campaign ROI, when sales opportunities are not attributed to the correct campaign record, therefore losing Marketing influence in the ROI metrics.

    There are many other business cases like Marketing Campaign ROI that hurt ROI and the value of the CRM for the business. Without communicating a proper procedure to record, update and remove data (a core purpose of end user training), data quality issues will proliferate the ‘mess’ faster than you can say ‘end user training’.

Summary

The 5 points we outlined in this post have shown how training is ‘mission critical’ to any CRM implementation. We hope that the points we have covered will change the way training is prioritized for your teams, or to serve as a reminder for avoiding the unsuspecting challenges that will catch up with businesses who neglect end user enablement. We are always looking for our customers to get the most out of their CRM investment, and setting up customers for success is at our core - your business is no exception!


About enxoo

We are a Salesforce® Gold Consulting Partner providing consulting, industry-specific solutions and implementation services to our clients. Our mission is to partner with our clients to solve business challenges by delivering meaningful Salesforce services. At Enxoo, we can fuel your business!

Go to enxoo.com for more information on our solutions and customer stories.

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