Man doing training on computer

The success of a CRM implementation depends greatly on how well end-users are trained and how well they adopt the new technology. 

Investing in CRM training is frequently overlooked because a majority of decision-makers tend to underestimate the amount of training their employees will need. This leads to implementation project failures and delays in time to value despite considerable investments in the system implementation itself. 

Here are 5 tips to ensure your CRM end-user training program gets the job done. 

Tip 1: Establish Training Expectations and Success Criteria Upfront

Before you roll-out your CRM training, it is critical that you clearly communicate information about the training to your employees to avoid confusion. 

You must share clear and complete information, like training:

  • expectations
  • timelines
  • goals/success criteria

When all CRM users are on the same page, they are more likely to succeed. When they know what success looks like, they will be more motivated to complete trainings. 

Tip 2: Assess The Skill Gap Between What Users Need to Know And What They Already Know

Before you even plan your end-user training, you should perform a skills audit. This will help you understand the pre-existing skills and knowledge your CRM users have about using the CRM and identify areas where there is a knowledge gap that needs to be closed. Use this skills audit to create your curriculum. 

If you have a blend of competency levels amongst end-users, it is best to avoid grouping all users together in a one-size-fits-all course. Rather, you should group users together based on their skill level so they only get the training they need. 

Tip 3: Train Your End-Users As Early As Possible

It can be beneficial to let your end-users play around with your new CRM system before you begin formal training. A few days of exploration will help your end-users familiarize themselves with the basic structure of the CRM system and even make a list of questions that they can ask during training.

However, do not delay your formal CRM training too long or it will result in chaos and confusion. We suggest waiting no more than one week after your CRM implementation to train your end-users. This will prevent users from developing bad habits, mucking up data, and ignoring best practices taught during training. 

Tip 4: Provide A Productive Training Environment

CRM training sessions will not be effective if users are distracted by phone calls, office chatter, or emails. It is best to book a training room that is away from the shop floor. 

Moreover, the size of the training group should be no more than 10-12 people at a time. Putting too many users in the CRM training sessions will slow the pace of learning which restricts the depth and intensity of the content that can be covered. As we recommended above, you can split users into training groups based on their skills audit. This way, users are paired with others who will have similar questions throughout the training. 

One of the most important tips to follow for end-user training is to have users follow trainer-led work examples on their individual computers instead of watching a trainer or sharing laptops. If end users repeat the actions as they learn them, their skills have a better chance of sticking.  

A man doing training on the computer

Tip 5: Use Training Sessions To Demonstrate Leadership And Management Buy-In To The CRM

Some employees may use CRM training sessions as a forum to push back and provide negative feedback on your new CRM. This can create resistance among the entire training group. To avoid these scenarios, it is best for one of your top decision-makers (we recommend a CEO, COO, CTO, or CIO) to reinforce the executive commitment to CRM

The decision-maker should allow all end-users to vent and air their frustrations while also reiterating why the decision was made to switch CRM systems. 

Conclusion

There are many ways to approach CRM training. One thing that should remain consistent is leaving time for Q&A at the end of each training session so that users can ask questions to clear doubts about the new CRM system..

Do you need help planning your CRM end-user training? Reach out to our certified CRM experts today.

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