When you put together a live training, are you just throwing together a few slides, including a couple of screenshots, and hoping for the best?
If you are, you're not alone - that's exactly how I used to do it.
One of my shortcomings in previous training sessions was that I would try and teach everything I knew. I thought the purpose of training was to share information because information would change behavior - but I was wrong. If I had the framework on the infographic below, my training sessions would have been much more effective.
The purpose of user training is to help users do something that will help you achieve an objective and accomplish a goal. If you focus on helping users perform actions instead of learn facts, you will get much better results.
Let's do an example
Let's go through this workflow using an example.
Problem: Onboarding takes too long - we need new employees to start being productive and helping our organization make sales in less time.
Goal: I want to decrease the time it takes new employees to contribute from 3 weeks down to 3 days.
Actions: For new employees to contribute, I need them to perform the following actions:
- Convert Leads to Contacts
- Filter a list of leads
- Open lead record and read details
- Reach out to leads and ask whether they are interested in learning more (Skill)
- Determine whether leads are interested
- Update lead
- Drop leads who are not interested
- Make a note to reach out again in the future
- Convert an interested lead into a contact
- Log the interaction
- Assign the contact to a Sales representative
- Connect with customer contacts and make sales
- Call, email, or make personal visits to contacts (Process and Skill)
- Engage with customers and learn what their needs are (Skill)
- Log activities in Salesforce
- Send out invoices
- Receive a Purchase order
- Identify key information from purchase order
- Delivery date
- Reference number
- Create invoice
- Send invoice out for approval by manager
- Submit invoice to client
Why aren't users doing actions: They are new and they don't know how. Training would help.
Determine needs: Motivation is not an issue - they are new employees and are generally eager to begin working. They need to learn a few soft skills such as interacting with leads and contacts. They mostly need to learn processes.
Approach: We will practice skills such as writing emails, talking over the phone, and meeting leads and contacts in person. I will also teach them how to find job aids and use them when performing processes.
Activities: We will practice with one pretend client and go through the process of converting the lead into a contact all the way through sending them an invoice.
Materials: PowerPoint slides will be minimal - a few pictures and graphics to communicate the overall objectives and high level overviews of processes (maybe 12 slides sans bullet points). I will have to create several job aids, which will be used during training and after training when employees are actually performing work. The job aids will consist of step-by-step instructions that show users how to perform the actions.
Duration: I will plan on this training consisting of 3 one-hour sessions spread over 3 days. The majority of the training will consist of practicing skills such as interacting with contacts, and learning how to use the job aids.
Now it's your turn
If you have a training coming up, go through this process of identifying a problem and creating a training that helps your organization overcome that problem.
If you have a problem, see if you can prepare a focused training that helps you solve it.
Don't worry about unloading all of the information in your brain during a Salesforce training - just focus on helping users do what they need to do so that your organization can accomplish its goals. Complete knowledge and understanding will come over time and through informal meetings and self-study of your job aids.