How to Plan effective CRM Training

The implementation of all applications, including your CRM, is tangibly dependent on how efficiently and rapidly end-users adopt any technology. Adopting your CRM is essential to ensure your ability to know its effects and outcomes in your day to day processes. We understand the need to make sure that CRM training translates into profitable results. The need for this training, if understated, its value may be lost and jeopardize the assurance of the CRM implementation success. Inefficient user training will result in weak user adoption, despite the significant investments and desire to adopt.

Cool Life CRM is well experienced and knowledge required to deliver the training of our clients effectively.  

Define success criteria and set training expectations
Before the session, confirm your objectives and goals for each training. Share these goals with your team, creating a shared commitment to achieving these goals.

Consider incentives that will increase the motivation of your team members to put each training goal into post-training action, such as scoring some aspects of their user adoption. Some examples could be comparing whom the users logged in the CRM; the most time or sales leads in a week who has contributed the most valuable inputs and other role related metrics.

Assess the skills gap
For a new CRM implementation, most individuals will have the same learning requirement, but it is important to measure where each employee stands and where they may need more or less training and involvement. If you have a mix of competency levels, you’ll want to group those users accordingly, rather than in a 'one size fits all' course. Managers can send out questionnaires to find out exactly where each employee is on the scale. This assessment can be used to put them into similar skill groups, or the needs for user’s activity expectations on parts of the CRM. To increase relevance, consider splitting training sessions into separate tools and assign users according to their job and what tools they will be utilizing.  For individuals with specific requirements, one-on-one training will often prove to be the best option.

Don’t leave training too late
There is a good case for allowing new users to have the opportunity of testing out the new CRM system before training. Training should be a priority when launching a new system for your organization. When you delay CRM training, there’s a risk that everyone will go in different directions resulting in chaos and bad user habits and inputs.

Training environment
Training will never be practical if users are allowed to be distracted by emails, phone calls or office chatter. While it may sound like an obvious statement, attempting to run a training session on the shop floor is not conducive. For a proper training environment, book a room away from all competing noise and work distractions with reliable internet access.

Wherever you choose to conduct your training, ensure that all participants will have access to a network connection and a reliable machine to aid in the training actively. We recommend that each person attending has their screen and internet connection.

Use your data
User training will always be more relevant if everyone can apply what they learned to their day-to-day functions within your organization. Using accurate, up-to-date data is highly recommended. 

Speak to the trainer in advance
Our trainers will seek to speak to clients before training to make sure they are clear about our learning goals so they may prepare accordingly. Make time for a pre-training call, as this is an ideal opportunity to agree on a plan for the sessions collectively as well as to express any concerns or challenges. Ultimately, this call will help your trainer prepare for the day and make the best use of everyone's time from the start of the session.

Confirm the key CRM processes
When your organization plans to use Cool Life CRM as their new system, one of your key aims will likely be to use the tools to improve the efficiency of your processes. It is important not to let this overlap in your training sessions. Database design and workflow planning are completed before the training, allowing us to keep your training focused on learning.

Something else to remember is that even when these processes are mapped out in your system, users may still present new ideas and requests for changes. On the one hand, you need to gain user acceptance, but you also need to prevent the overall project from being diverted off course by ideas that don’t consider management a more significant picture and will dilute CRM effectiveness. An effective way to avoid this is to take note of the new ideas and ensure you will follow up after training is completed. Our team is an invaluable asset in these situations. We work with the implementation of data every day and know when something will work and when it does not. Utilize their insight to decide if user suggestions are justified or if you should stand firm and gain group commitment to the plan.

Display strong management support for CRM
As explained above, some users may use training as a forum to push back on anything that impacts their day-to-day work. Resistance to change has the potential to build among colleagues simply because people are reluctant to any change.

Higher management can prepare for this by having the training with Cool Life CRM staff opened by a senior project sponsor, whom we refer to as the “administrator.” When management has advance working knowledge, it will reinforce the staffs’ commitment to the new CRM. A productive way of demonstrating this after the fact is to stress that key performance indicators will measure a user’s wiliness to use the CRM as trained.

Q&A and User Takeaways
Always remember to leave time at the end of the training session to ask all participants for questions and to make sure that they understood the training, and that they’re fully on board with all practical application. Create a tips list and send an email providing all users access to the Cool Life CRM System guide.

Client Support
After the training is complete, the next milestone in deploying your new CRM the day you choose to “go live,” and the support you show users on that day.

As your employees start using the CRM, users may encounter issues or find that they have questions not addressed during training. The administrator should be readily available to resolve any points as they occur. Our team will remain on-call and can provide back-up to any problems that the administrator is unable to resolve.

Training Review
Plan and measure the results against your goals and expectations outlined during the initial phase of your new CRM. The success of your organization becomes transparent after full user-adoption. After training, we will schedule a call for a week or two later to gather everyone’s experiences, identify issues, collect ideas, and or the need for corrective action. 

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