Case Study: How JLL Adopted a Living, Breathing Training Solution with Spekit

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Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is an award-winning, Fortune 500 global property consultancy company with a specialization in property services and investment management. They're a world leader with an entrepreneurial spirit that includes nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 90,000.

Rapid growth and strained resources calls for a move to technology

As a pioneer in the real estate technology landscape, JLL acquired BRG , a recognized expert in workplace technology consulting and implementation, in 2016. The Digital Solutions (DS) Group was in a move to address the productivity demands placed on CRE leaders that have become increasingly hard to deliver, according to Greg O'Brien, JLL CEO, Americas.

JLL DS went through a global transformation with a major impact to how they operate globally. Since then, the team has also experienced significant growth through other external acquisitions or even what the Digital Solutions group at JLL calls “Internal Acquisitions” - bringing similar groups within the company onto the same tools to boost efficiency.

The growing need for rapid employee onboarding and integration of new team members

Their global footprint has traveled farther than it ever has before in a relatively short amount of time, resulting in new employees, customers, and opportunities. This dramatic transformation demands agility and knowledge transfer as people transition into new roles and need to understand how to do their daily jobs, what data goes into the system, why it’s important, who consumes the data, and how to interpret it.

In a short period of time, JLL Digital Solutions (JLL DS) went from 250 Salesforce users to over 700 with another 100 still to be onboarded.

“Onboarding new employees or staff members moving into new roles is just as complex as managing the org itself. From a training perspective, we saw the need for a living, breathing knowledge solution that could provide process guidance, when and where the users needed it, right at their fingertips."

Nana Gregg, VP & Senior Salesforce Administrator, JLL

Complexity brings a need for structure

JLL DS has a complex Salesforce org. They not only use Salesforce for CRM, but also for Project Management, Resource Management, Billing and Invoicing of customers. Upper management has long stressed the need for technical documentation on their org in the form of a data dictionary where data field attributes can be documented and defined, including details like who populates the fields, what various values in picklist fields mean, etc.

“Data quality is a big priority for JLL to ensure the impact of this transformation can be measured.”

Marshall King, Senior Vice President, IT Solutions, JLL

The problem with keeping this information in Excel is that there’s no true version control, and it’s all but impossible to know who currently holds the most up-to-date copy.

How JLL brought order to chaos

Nana Gregg, JLL Vice President and Senior Salesforce Administrator was attending a meeting of the local Dallas Salesforce Community Group. The agenda included a presentation by Spekit.

"I was somewhat disappointed to learn a partner was presenting, expecting it to be the usual sales pitch loosely disguised as a best practices learning opportunity. But as soon as Melanie started presenting and demonstrating Spekit, I realized how wrong I was and immediately saw the value that Spekit could bring to JLL’s digital transformation."

Nana Gregg, VP & Senior Salesforce Administrator, JLL

From setup to roll-out in 3 weeks

Spekit automatically connects to your Salesforce org and allows you to dynamically import your objects, fields and picklists so you can use your existing descriptions and help text as a baseline.

"The initial setup was painless. After about an hour of the Spekit team walking us through onboarding, the creation of JLL-specific content began."

Marshall King, Senior Vice President, IT Solutions JLL

Because of the complexity of JLL DS’s applications, the team decided to start with Sales Management, documenting items such as leads, opportunities and accounts.

To address the major onboarding and training needs required to make this digital transformation a success the team at JLL hired a Training and Documentation Specialist, Ann-Renee Thrash, in December.

"What I loved most about Spekit is that I could start with any record in Salesforce and go through each field one by one, through the lens of an end-user, and create Spekit training content in Spekit right from within Salesforce.”

Ann-Renee Thrash, Documentation Specialist, JLL

Reduced documentation time

After noticing a trend amongst many of their customers where time was being spent documenting standard processes like, "How to use report filters" that end-users needed help with, the team at Spekit decided to create out-of-the-box, customizable Salesforce training templates.

"There's a gap in the market as a result of the customizable nature of enterprise software like Salesforce and the generic nature of help center content available to support adoption. This results in a heavy burden placed on training managers to recreate all of their own training from scratch. The reality is in some cases, steps 1-8 might apply to the client, but steps 9 and 10 they have customized to their own needs. Our goal with customizable training content is to help companies reduce that up front manual effort so that their focus can be on documenting only the customized part of that process that's unique to their business."

Melanie Fellay, CEO, Spekit

On connecting to Salesforce, JLL's team automatically had access to these customizable training templates to get the started.

“Spekit’s out-of-the-box content is such a valuable bonus to an already superb product! Our users need comprehensive Spekit content, ranging from fundamental to complex. With a multitude of custom Salesforce processes, objects and fields throughout our organization, Spekit’s out-of-the-box content enabled me to focus on creating that custom content pivotal to our organization. As a result, we’re able to introduce the variety of content our users need, just in time – all while personally saving me up to 8 hours in new content creation time!”

Ann-Rennee Thrash, Documentation Specialist, JLL

Smooth and easy rollout to end-users

It took the team about three weeks to build out the Sales Management content enough to share it with end users. JLL DS decided to start with a focus group for testing and feedback before rolling out division-wide. The feedback from the focus groups after rolling out Spekit was a home run for the team.

“Kudos to Melanie Fellay and Zari Zahra for their feedback and guidance as we’ve worked through the implementation process. It’s so awesome to work with a partner that is responsive and genuinely cares about your success together!”

Nana Gregg, VP & Senior Salesforce Administrator, JLL


Watch JLL present Spekit at the Dallas FinancialForce User Group to learn how they use the tool to drive adoption and drive continuous training for their sales org:

About the author

Melanie Fellay
CEO & Co-founder
Mel is a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, a Top 100 Female Entrepreneur to Watch, and has been featured across Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and more.
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