How to maximize Salesforce training and gain instant buy-in from your Sales, Marketing & Customer Success Teams

Are you a project leader, trainer, consultant, CIO, Head of Sales (or a similar role) in charge of Salesforce training? Then you’ve come to the right place. 

We all know Salesforce is the world’s leading cloud-based CRM software. It caters to more than 150,000 global companies and even offers upwards of 2500 apps and integrations to assist in the areas it can’t provide. For large companies, it’s been labeled the holy grail of CRMs, providing effective centralization, scalable functions, and endless customizations to meet the individual needs of businesses.

Yet, analyst firms found at least one-third of CRM projects either fail to achieve their objectives or fail outright.

(Source: CIO magazine)

And Salesforce is no exception. But why? Purchasing even the world’s best CRM is just the first step of your implementation project. No matter who it can help, how many functions it has, or what metrics it can measure, no CRM (including Salesforce) can increase business revenue without user adoption.

We’ve previously explored the challenges to CRM adoption. Today, we’re discussing why Salesforce training is essential for digital adoption and successful implementation. 

Why is Salesforce user training so important?

A Salesforce implementation project is a huge investment of money, resources, and time. The setup phase can take months, requiring consultants, project managers, trainers, and even developers to get started. But once the technical decisions have been made it leaves the end-users a matter of weeks to adopt the tool, extract its value and start developing sales opportunities. And that all comes down to effective CRM user training.

At this stage, you’re searching for the most cost-effective training methods to increase software time to value and begin producing ROI. And rightly so…but this is often where the issues begin. With all the features, functionalities, and integrations available on Salesforce, it’s easy to get lost in the software.

End-users care less about measurable software functionalities and more about how they can improve user, customer, and business outcomes. A revenue-boosting CRM starts with end-users that know what Salesforce can do for them. And that’s where user buy-in comes in.

Best practices to implement your Salesforce CRM training

A Salesforce implementation project should begin just like any other large-scale project.

  1. Establish the goals of your training program 
  2. Anticipate your training costs
  3. Create a project timeline   
  4. Implement change management processes
  5. Measure the impact of training

1. Target users with personalized training

With 7 products and over 2500 integrations currently available, it’s easy to imagine the unique range of Salesforce CRMs in existence. It’s even easier to see why one-size-fits-all training is not an option.

If you require a customized Salesforce CRM, you only want to pay and train users on the features they need. Alternatively, a ready-made CRM doesn’t mean training users on every module. It means understanding what’s relevant to fulfill user tasks.

🍋 Start by creating a plan for each user profile. (Tip: include your users in the conversation!)

2. Prove and approve the budget required for user training

So you’ve bought the Salesforce licenses and trained your Salesforce admin. Now it’s time to anticipate the training costs of your end-users. Like any new software, the goal is to create the most cost-effective and sustainable training that can outlive any trainer or user while reducing support costs long-term. Sounds simple right?

The user training plan you just created will help clarify the level and amount of training required by each user profile, as well as the associated costs. But it doesn’t end there. In your training project discussion with leadership, including the potential benefits of user training, including:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved user experience
  • Reduced support costs
  • Time saved on error mitigation
  • More accurate reporting
  • Increased ROI
  • Reduction in sales turnover
  • Boost sales productivity

3. Create a concrete project implementation timeline

From a business perspective, training and onboarding should increase the time to value of your Salesforce CRM. The goal is to generate revenue and ROI as soon, but also as realistically as possible. 

Depending on your users and the CRM you chose, your timeline will be different. Is it a ready-made or customized CRM? Is the level of customization complex? Do you anticipate scaling your CRM in the near future? Are your users familiar with Salesforce, or is it an entirely new solution? 

It’s important to acknowledge how your CRM could grow in time, whether it’s new modules, new users, or new updates, and how you will communicate these changes to your users.

4. Prepare your users with change management

Change management is one of the most significant factors in implementing successful Salesforce user training. It’s the opportunity to map out your stakeholders, advocates, and risks, manage user expectations, and understand what they require from the tool. All this information will help you create a tailored support and training program. 

The goal is to anticipate resistance and equip stakeholders with the knowledge of ‘what’s in for them’. What skills do they need? What skills do they stand to gain? How will it impact their day-to-day role? What are the benefits and any potential drawbacks? What OKRs and KPIs will be used to measure their performance?

Take the Sales team, for example… 

It’s notoriously difficult to gain buy-in from Sales teams on a CRM if they don’t understand the value of Salesforce from their perspective. Let’s compare the two:

From a business perspective, Sales managers require Salesforce to track sales representative activities, performance, lead pipelines, and conversion rates. 

From a Sales rep perspective, they require a tool that can streamline the sales cycle, their day-to-day challenges, task automation, and provide easy-to-use features that help generate sales.

🍋 Communication is key!

5. Collect quantitative and qualitative data to measure the impact of your training

There’s no ROI without quantitative and qualitative data to back it up. With software training tools such as a digital adoption platform, it’s possible to measure in-depth user performance analytics. But it shouldn’t end there. Create an effective feedback system that allows your users to share their experiences with surveys, polls, and team check-ins. Your Salesforce CRM will update and scale over time, and with feedback your training should too!

CRM solutions are constantly updating and evolving, requiring some level of support. Tied closely to change management and communication is support, which can simply mean listening to your users to establish the support they need. If users feel abandoned during Salesforce training, they can quickly follow suit. 

Implement sustainable Salesforce training with a digital adoption platform

With a digital adoption platform, it’s possible to implement sustainable user training long after deployment. But how? All thanks to adaptable training that can evolve with your CRM.

Transform Salesforce training with DAP features, including:

  • Adaptable training workflows that require no code (new integration)
  • Learning by doing methodology (active learning while working)
  • Micro learning objectives (easy to learn)
  • Embedded application training (train users inside any Salesforce module)
  • On-demand, repeatable training workflows, accessible 24/7 (even after onboarding)
  • Interactive, action-activated workflows (facilitate user engagement every time)
  • In-application user support (self-service support)
  • Learning analytics (accessed learning paths, workflow completion time, user support)

Want to know more? Take a look at our Lemon Learning for Salesforce demo and get in touch!

Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.