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CRM Hacks

Three Steps to Implementing a CRM User Training Plan

October 6, 2017

User adoption is key to the success of your CRM project. According to Forrester Research, the failure of 49% of CRM projects isn’t down to technology but problems with company culture. In the worst cases, staff will find it impossible to see the benefits of a system, so it’s important to demonstrate the value of your CRM in relation to improving their daily end-to-end processes. Your CRM user training plan should account for everyone, from sales professionals to marketers.

Here are three simple steps you can take to implementing a robust CRM user training plan:

1. Make sure that your user-training is suited to the individual

Any training should be tailored to the individual. Staff across your organization will be required to use your CRM but everyone will require different levels of support according to their skillset. Online courses, for example, could work best for IT staff and will allow them to work in their own time. In contrast, your customer service team will most likely benefit from a seminar and your sales team might appreciate a gamification element.

Consider hosting a company wide seminar as well as department specific talks. Including a cross-section of training methods is most effective as different users will different experiences with technology. Don’t forget to include management as they will need a good knowledge base in order to supervise end-users after implementation to establish best practices.

2. Put together a strong team to lead the way

We know that implementing a CRM increases a salesperson productivity by 15%. Before you see these rewards, you’ll need to invest time in training your staff and in order to do this you’ll need a team of people to support the program.

Your project manager should be responsible for the overall CRM implementation process. Ideally they should have the leadership skills to be able to pull together a functional team as well as good technical and industry knowledge. User adoption also falls under their remit so you should aim to work with them to improve buy-in from executives, as well as end-users.

Alongside your project manager think about appointing a super-user. This should be an internal candidate who has natural ability and demonstrates a willingness to learn about the system in depth. The superuser will be the point of contact with the vendor so they can keep up-to-date with any new versions of software. They can also provide support to other end users in the organization should any queries arise.

3. Encourage a culture of continued learning

It’s often the case that training is accounted for up until the point of implementation but neglected in the longer term. It’s wise to put a plan in place for refresher training so that staff are continuing to use your CRM efficiently. Several months in, your super-user can feedback on the way things have been going. If they think there’s room for improvement and that your CRM users are making mistakes, provide follow-up training sessions. A culture of continued learning can only benefit your company if it means staff are engaged and motivated.

Lauren Stafford
Lauren Stafford works as a Digital Publishing Specialist at Discover CRM, a platform which gathers together the latest thinking, news, and research about CRM software.

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