7 Habits of Highly Effective Salesforce Trainers

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Salesforce implementations can be one of the biggest investments of time and resources a company makes to further the success of its sales organization — and full-scale end-user adoption is critical. However, sometimes employees can be hesitant to get on board. This can stem from the existing training culture and employees’ perceived usefulness of new software systems less than the technology itself.

Thankfully, it’s not impossible to change your internal culture. If you’re responsible for a Salesforce implementation and your colleagues don’t mirror your enthusiasm to learn a new CRM, here are seven habits of highly effective Salesforce trainers that will help you drive adoption and be the hero of your organization.

1. Get to know your users

People are the #1 factor in adoption. It’s easy to assume that everyone will use Salesforce similarly or need the same features and functions, but before you can expect others to hop aboard, it’s best to learn their specific roles.

Schedule time to learn how they do their jobs and watch how they interact with Salesforce and other complex systems. In turn, you’ll uncover some quick wins that highlight why and how Salesforce can solve key business outcomes and generate revenue for your organization. Generating trust early on can also minimize friction as rollout efforts increase.

Pro Tip: Timing is everything. Sales teams heavily focus on hitting quotas, so asking them to make changes to their daily processes during stressful times can lead to frustration for everyone. Avoid Monday mornings to push out updates and instead announce a launch date for when a change will go into effect.

2. Peer influence

The concept of peer pressure is introduced at an early age, yet even today, we all want the latest and greatest mobile device or electronic gadgets. Think of Salesforce adoption from the same lens. If the highest-performing account executive is an early adopter, chances are, other sales reps will want to mimic their success and be eager to use the same tools. Publicly celebrate your biggest users’ efforts in fun, non-competitive highlights to illustrate the value to others.

3. Make it personal

As a trainer, you know Salesforce in and out. But each user will have their own needs. To encourage wider adoption, partner with your admin to personalize each user’s experience to them. Start small with personalized dashboards mapped to their workflows. Instead of disseminating general training documents, discuss how to discover new leads, create a list of contacts that need follow-up, and look for ways to overcome the challenges discovered through shadowing and early conversations. With customized landing pages, Salesforce becomes more than just another program to learn, but instead, a dependency for success.

Pro Tip: Sales reps and SDRs want to know what’s in it for them. Once you can tie Salesforce back to their personal goals (more money, promotion, recognition), the perceived usefulness becomes clear and less of an objection for trainers to overcome.

4. Create a network of champions

Your users are the best source of generating adoption. Find the superusers and reward them with incentives, coffee dates, or contests to generate excitement. A little enthusiasm goes a long way, especially as you test different methods and ideas with users.

Instead of relying on weekly emails to announce product releases, meet with your heaviest adopters periodically to discuss challenges, needs, and updates that they can relay to others. Eventually, you’ll have an internal community of peers who can lead training events. This not only removes some of the pressure from the trainer but also fosters an internal sense of community.

Pro Tip: Even those without “trainer” in their title can encourage adoption. Ask team leads to communicate product releases and changes in weekly stand-ups to their teams to spread messaging internally.

5. Continue to communicate

Once you’ve spent time with your users, learned their challenges, and found internal champions, communication and ongoing feedback will further your adoption efforts. If your system isn’t reflecting your original vision or yielding your intended ROI, ask your users what should be communicated more frequently? What is inhibiting their adoption? Keep an open door (and mind) and encourage ongoing dialogue for others to express their challenges instead of one-way email communications.

Pro Tip: Track ongoing questions, challenges, and obstacles as you hear them and set aside weekly time to address this list. There may be common themes that can be developed into new support documentation.

6. Show the impact

Whether you’re communicating quick wins to a small group or showing executive leadership the value of their Salesforce implementation, it’s important for your entire organization to know how they move the needle. Tie your projects and reports back to top-line business objectives that reflect revenue generation, time savings, roadmap progress, cost savings, or new efficiencies. Numbers are hard to argue with, so adoption continues to evolve and receive additional support with more visibility into the impact.

7. Don’t forget training reinforcement

Even the best trainers struggle to overcome the fact that within one hour, employees forget 50 percent of the information presented to them. To prevent the “forgetting curve,” and ensure higher adoption, trainers should continually reinforce training past the initial launch. Whether you’re rolling out a big initiative like Salesforce Lightning or introducing a new field, reinforce any relevant training in a way that’s easily accessible and digestible, right where employees are working in Salesforce. This will not only accelerate adoption, but will also allow you to speed up the rate at which you can introduce changes.

Pro Tip: Check out third-party solutions specifically designed to support the real-time, contextual reinforcement of training in Salesforce.

Rise Above the 40%

Forrester Research has found that 49% of CRM projects fail. Adding these seven best practices into your Salesforce training can greatly contribute to widespread adoption as well as digital enablement. Maximize your digital transformation investment and rise above the 49% success rate.

To learn more about Spekit’s digital enablement and in-app contextual learning resources, visit us on the Salesforce AppExchange.