According to CRM Manager magazine, fewer than 40 percent of firms implementing a CRM solution have an adoption rate above 90 percent. And, despite the wider industry acceptance of CRM and cloud-based solutions, adoption rates have not improved since 2005.

Creating effective real-world solutions in the cloud means driving end user adoption. When end user adoption is high, that’s a strong indication the system is working according to the needs of its users and helping create real results with the bottom line.

But how do you best train your sales reps and other end users on Salesforce?

Salesforce end user training will vary depending on size of your organization, specific Salesforce environment and business goals. salesforce user training best practices

We put together some Salesforce end user training best practices in hopes that they may help you with ways to increase Salesforce adoption and success within your company.

  1. Role Based Training – Training should not be the same for all roles; it should be tailored to each role and should start with the managers. Focus on showing managers the value of the tool and how to get the info they will want from it; they don’t need to know how to convert a Lead to an Opportunity as much as they need to know which reports will be most useful to them and how to run them.
  2. Scenario Based Training – End users don’t need to know what all the screens and features do as much as they need to know when to use specific tools. Instead of describing each screen in detail, take a real-world example and walk through it together. It ends up almost being business process training as much as it is Salesforce training.
  3. Train as Teams – Keep the teams together for training, so they can discuss with other how they will use it best, and include the manager in training with the end users (after making sure the managers see the value of Salesforce, of course). With their manager present, the end users know there is management buy in and expectation, and they are less likely to say or think “this is a waste of my time; I’m not doing this.” In fact, according to a study by Motorola Inc., training that was reinforced by senior management yielded a $33 return on every dollar invested!
  4. Train on Live System – It’s tempting to train in a sandbox org with fake Leads and Contacts and other data, but then you have to rely on users to take what they’ve learned and translate it to the real world. Instead, have them do real work with real data (e.g., bring their stacks of business cards to class and enter some real Leads during training). That way, they have already started using the CRM tool when they finish a day of class; it’s much easier to continue using a new tool than to start using it!
  5. Hands on Training – This one may be obvious but needs to be stated: many people don’t learn by listening to a presentation or watching videos; they learn by doing. Each student should practice every process taught in class with an instructor to help answer questions.
  6. Reinforce Training Over Time – A Xerox Inc. study showed only 13 percent of skills were retained by trainees six months after training if there was no coaching and support as the new skills were being applied. One-and-done training strategy just doesn’t cut it, because even your most enthusiastic, sharpest end users may not use everything they learned in the weeks following training; you must review and refresh multiple times. Do a quick survey checklist to see what people remember; then have group Q&A calls once a week for a while, and include a Salesforce training expert who can share his or her screen for review.

End user adoption can be one of the hardest things to accomplish with any CRM, but it is also one of the most important. With the initial and ongoing support of direct managers—along with training best practices—any organization can avoid top Salesforce user adoption problems and achieve maximum Salesforce ROI.

Salesforce End User Training

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