At Technology Advisors, we have a lot of experience with all aspects of implementing CRM systems.  We’ve been around and doing this for over 10 years now.  Time and time again, we find one aspect of an implementation that is often overlooked: training.  So much focus is often placed on the requirements, design, and development (and rightfully so), that training can often be an afterthought for an organization.  This is very dangerous.  I mean, think about it, you are making a huge investment in your CRM system; however, if your users can’t use it, how will it ever be successful?

There are several different options to consider when developing a training plan for a large organization. These options can also work for a small organization. The training plan needs to be more structured and organized as the number of users increases:

Administrative Training:

All of the CRM packages we offer have complex features that, while not everyone in the organization needs to understand, at least a few definitely should.We offer administrative training on every system.It’s good to have someone from your organization take this early on in the implementation planning to ensure they understand these more complex features.

Train the Trainer vs. Use TAI Personnel:

While we would love to train all of your organization’s users, and know that we would do an excellent job at it, we realize that sometimes it makes more sense to have your own staff train the rest of your staff.In this scenario, we recommend that we train your trainers on the ins and outs of a day in the life of your end users, while also teaching how they might best communicate CRM concepts.This is best to do after much of the system development has been completed, so the trainers can really focus on any custom or unique functions of your CRM system to see how it works.

Via the Web vs. In Person:

We strongly believe that training users in person makes a much bigger impact on the way they learn because you can actually see if people are underderstanding. Of course, it’s much more difficult to do this via the web, and, as a user, it’s very easy to zone out and not pay attention when you are on a GoToMeeting session.With that said, web training sessions make a lot of sense for mobile salesforces, and can make a great impact on anyone getting familiar with CRM.In reality, both methods should be incorporated in any successful learning plan.

Staged Learning Plan vs. A Few Large Classes

A common misconception with regards to training is that you will be able to throw all of your users with varying degrees of computer/CRM/technical knowledge into a room for one full day and that they will walk out understanding CRM completely – that they’ll be 100% productive with their new found skills on day 2.This cannot be further from the truth.A good learning plan, whether fully executed by you, us, or you and us will be staged out with the various components/options listed above. This may be through a series of web training sessions focused on basic skills, followed up by onsite classes for specific groups of users a week or two later.There should always be resources for continual learning in the future, as well.

Feel free to contact us at TAI, and we’ll be more than happy to discuss a training approach that makes sense to you and your organization.

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