Considerations to Address Before Starting Employee CRM Training

Brian Wolstenholme, Director of A1CRM discusses 4 key questions to ask yourself before starting CRM Training with your employees

This article is second part of the two part series. Last week we will talked about CRM Demos. This week we will talk about CRM Training.

The thing about CRM training is it has to be relevant to the users. Generic training on generic CRM databases can never be relevant, because it’s not using your data, your methodology or your terminology.

1. So, when should training be completed?

The answer is, not too early and not too late! Sounds trite, but it’s right.

You shouldn’t show a new system to colleagues while it is still being configured. This would be a big turnoff, having to go to setup rather than showing them how their day to day problems are going to be overcome, simplified or even removed. Showing them setup can also often look clunky and cumbersome.

Having said that, project owners and stakeholders sould be involved right from the beginning, as they will shape the new system, and will include key users. They will make the system relevant to for their colleagues.

So, the rule is:

  • implementers from day one
  • users just before go-live

2. What about User Manuals?

User manuals are a key part of the training process. User manuals are usually electronic, these days.

User manuals are usually prepared towards the end of the configuration process, to avoid them having to be redone due to changes in processes and setup. They should be checked by the initial stakeholders during user-acceptance testing, to make sure they make sense and the processes flow in a logical manner.

User manuals should absolutely be relevant to your organisation, and show your data, so users can make a mental link with the system right from the start.

3. What is the process in getting to training for general users?

First and foremost, the data and how it is organised has to be relevant and specific to your business. Essentially, generic data will not create a link between what you are seeing and how your business works, so it’s hard to see the usefulness of what you are seeing, and it can appear to be clunky and not really adding value to what you do.

4. How should training be delivered?

Today, a lot of training is delivered online. Generally speaking, when possible, training should be in-person, with relatively small groups and sessions not exceeding two to four hours.

  • Why in-person?: It’s almost impossible to get a feel for how someone is doing when training online. You miss the “vibe”. In-person allows you to look your trainees in the eye and understand any issues or misunderstandings they may have.For example, one online trainee I worked with in the past, was just not getting it, and I sensed would never be able to get, even the basics of what I was talking about. However, after doing some in-person training, the same person became the super user, to such a degree that their supervisors were asking them to slow down.Just one note about in-person training: trainees need to be booked out for the duration, with no interruptions from their day-to-day activities, and certainly no mobile phones (unless you’re training on an app).
  • Why small groups?: Groups of around six people are ideal. Similar to the reasoning behind presenting in-person, smaller groups tend to provide for a more personal interaction, with issues being dealt with straight away. With larger groups, it would be possible to achieve this if you had assistant trainees helping. This person could even be a super user from the company.
  • Why two to four hours?: This is all about attention spans, and the ability to absorb and process a huge amount of new things. If necessary, have a refresher session at a later date, once everyone has had a chance to try new systems out.
  • Trainees need to be hands on: Another reason why remote training isn’t so good, is because for people to learn, they have to be hands on. So, if you’re teaching a computer app, everyone needs their own logon and their own device. It isn’t enough to have someone just showing you how… the recommended technique is “tell them, show them, let them try, check”, which still has its place in all fields of training today.
  • Why no webinars?: The trouble with webinars is they are seldom hands-on. In the above paragraph, it stops at “tell them, show them”, so getting processes into longer term memory doesn’t happen as well.

How A1CRM can help you to get started:

If you are at the point of training, you have already decided which CRM you will be using, and have configured it to the point where you can tell your colleagues about how it works.

A1CRM is able to provide on-site training in both Melbourne and Brisbane, for Zoho and Pipedrive CRM’s.

In conclusion, if you are considering implementing a CRM or have questions about whether it’s the right time to get a CRM for your business, contact us today. Our team of experts at A1CRM can guide you through the process and help you make the right choices to achieve your business goals.

Need Help? Call us on 1300 437 540 and have a chat or email us at support@a1crm.com.au.

This blog was written by A1CRM, an Australian CRM consultancy, specialising in business process mapping and implementation, primarily using a variety of Zoho applications. Our offices are in Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand.

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