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How to Deliver Salesforce Training that Sticks

In the past, if you got lucky, you found a master of the trade to train you. If not, you went through the painful process of learning from your mistakes – in some cases, never reaching your full potential because all your effort went into reinventing the wheel.

Training has come a long way since those days. We see businesses implementing digital adoption and eLearning solutions to provide continuous learning experiences. Yet, 63% of CRM projects still fail to reach a tipping point of adoption among the intended users.

The training isn’t working, or it isn’t sticking. And sales performance suffers. Companies with a CRM adoption rate below 75% struggle with poorer sales team performance, compared to their counterparts (companies with CRM adoption rate above 75%) which report 6% higher win rates and 3% higher business quota attainment rate, on average.

The good news:

Training technology has innovated at a rapid rate over the last few years so there are now more employee training methods and strategies than ever before. And you don’t have to choose just one. In fact, it’s better if you don’t.

Here are 4 reasons why...

1. People learn differently

The way people learn and absorb information has always varied. Some are visual learners, preferring images, diagrams and videos. Others opt to read the material, or have it read to them. Many find an interactive environment helpful – the more they can be hands-on, the better they learn. And of course, those who grew up with the Internet and mobile phones, often expect a digital, interactive learning experience.

In the past, there weren’t many alternatives to the classroom approach.
Today, organisations offer pre-recorded video courses, in-person training in groups, even create entire knowledge bases of help docs, videos, strategy guides, presentations, and internal procedures to help teams do their best work.

You may well have put a Learning Management System (LMS) in place to cater to the different learning styles of your employees. But when it comes to implementing Salesforce training that sticks, that’s only Step 1.

2. The Google effect

We hear all the time how technology is reducing attention spans, but it has also changed the way people search for information. Your employees are far more likely to Google their question for a quick response than comb through a knowledge base looking for the right guide or help document.

Even if they do turn to company resources (especially for internal processes), they expect the simple Q&A experience Google offers.

Yet studies show that following a defined process can boost sales win rates by as much as 15% so making your internal LMS and CMS (Content Management System) as accessible and digestible as possible is business critical.

This means your task (and challenge) is to make sure that, alongside more detailed guides, videos and documentation, employees have a quick way to check key facts and questions – at any time, from any device and any location.

3. There’s more ground to cover

eLearning and Udemy style pre-recorded video courses may have sped up the training process, but there’s much more information to absorb. Your sales team isn’t just acquiring or polishing their Salesforce skills, they’re also familiarising themselves with your CRM and sales processes, learning the terminology specific to your Salesforce environment, and looking for relevant case studies and sales enablement content to share with prospects.

There’s more to remember, and more to find. Don’t make them learn it all by heart in one go. They won’t be able to anyway – no matter how hard they try.

Why? Because learning retention rates vary dramatically by the method of teaching:

From a lecture
0 %
From reading
0 %
Audio-visual methods
0 %
Practicing by doing
0 %

Motivation is another crucial element in the learning process. If the learner knows how, when, and why they’ll need to apply the knowledge they’re getting their head around, they’re far more motivated to capture every detail of it.

That means the more relevant the training material to the task in hand, the more motivated the employee is to learn and implement it.

4. Expertise comes through chunking

Any skill we have, whether it’s playing a complex jazz composition on the piano, scoring a goal in basketball, or mastering a CRM tool, consists of a combination of many neural patterns, a.k.a. neural chunks. That’s why when you learn maths or languages at school, you go through the theory first, work through several sample problems and exercises together with the teacher, and then practise on your own at home.

It is only through truly comprehending the theory and practising it that we develop neural chunks and master a skill. Otherwise, you may feel like you understand the concept but after a few weeks you’re unsure of the best approach and how to solve the problem.

Chunking requires:

In the words of the “expert on experts”, psychologist and researcher of human performance K. Anders Ericsson, you learn faster through deliberate practice – focusing on what you find most difficult.

Proficiency and productivity take time, repetition, and practice. That’s why it’s time to move away from traditional training methods if you want your employees to get to grips with a platform like Salesforce that you want them to use every day, and use well.

Here's how...

The “zero training” training approach

To perfect Salesforce training at your company, enable that helpful chunking and “practice by doing” experience.

To perfect Salesforce training at your company, enable that helpful chunking and “practice by doing” experience.

An employee logs in to Salesforce for the first time. She gets a high-priority alert assigning her a task to complete within a week. The task is simple: to go through introductory notes about Salesforce and familiarise herself with the terminology and processes followed by your company.

Over the following days and weeks, she gets more prompts and alerts with extra information and useful reading lists. If the Sales Rep adds a competitor to a deal she’s working on, she receives a notification with videos and slide decks about the company, as well as content that has helped her colleagues win similar opportunities.

She’s ready to beat the competition. And she’s saved hours of research.

What’s more, every time the employee adds notes about a new deal or a contact, she sees the info icon next to every data field with

She can click and learn (on any device), then carry on, repeating the process until that neural chunk is formed and the task feels as easy as sending an email.

There’s no waiting or guessing, no time-consuming research, annoying pop-ups, or lengthy onboarding process. No need to learn every single step and term by heart. The Sales Rep gets the guidance she needs to maximise her use of Salesforce, delivered at the exact time it’s most relevant to her.

This zero classroom approach is the exact strategy that has helped Brambles drive digital adoption, as well as business speed, scale, and resilience using Salesforce.

Technology has made it easier than ever to accommodate multiple learning styles (reading, watching, listening, practising) and information sources.

With a Salesforce-specific training tool, for example, you can

What to look for in a Salesforce training tool

As you hone the Salesforce training experience offered to your employees, you’ll come across a lot of great tools. To make sure the solution you choose can scale, flex, and change with you, look for an app with:

learning salesforce

1. Native Salesforce integration

This is fundamental for functionality and reliability, as well as data residency, security, and time to value. A mere change in Salesforce page design, such as moving a data field to a different location, can cause a browser extension-based solution to break. By comparison, an app that’s built onto the Salesforce platform itself will automatically adjust to any updates, ensuring a positive training and user experience for your teams.

Native Salesforce integration also means

The result?

Your Salesforce users remain engaged because the process is easy and convenient for them. They understand how to do any task and, importantly, why they need to do something in a specific way.

2. User-friendly agility

Look for a solution that can be set up and managed with ease by the teams using it. That way, the IT crew won’t need to get involved every time you want to add to or update a section of the training docs or learning path.

3. User feedback and personalised learning experience

Allow employees to tailor the training experience to their needs by bookmarking their favourite content, asking questions and receiving guidance within the app, logging feedback, and upvoting or downvoting help content.

4. AI that adapts to each employee’s individual learning style and experience

The Salesforce training you create will need to cater to

You could try putting them together yourself. Or you can let an AI such as Improved Apps’ Digital Adoption Solution analyse user click behaviours, identify what works and where people get stuck or abandon the process entirely, and show you exactly what needs optimising to get the best results from and for each employee.

5. Critical alerts to simplify compliance and internal communication

…as well as drive productivity.

When employees need to change the way they log their sales calls, you don’t want to be sending dozens of emails or chasing teams and individuals across continents – first, to make sure they’ve read and understood the email, then to check they’re following the new process.

A critical alerts feature can fix that by allowing you to send company-wide notifications within Salesforce – and even set a deadline for employees to acknowledge they’ve read and understood the update.

boost digital adoption

If you’re keen to make your Salesforce training stick, get in touch today and let us show you how!

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