Do This To Clarify The Purpose of Your Salesforce Training

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

If you are planning a Salesforce training session, I want you to pull out a piece of paper and a pen, and do these 2 things...

First - draw the current reality

Turn your paper so it's landscape, and draw a line down the middle. On the left-hand side, draw a picture of what the current situation is in your company. What isn't working? Why are you doing the training at all?

If your Salesforce reports are completely inaccurate, and management can't accurately budget, you could draw something like this...

Before sales forecasts.png

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Topics: Training, Learning

How Would I Describe No Procedures? With One Word - Exhausting

Posted by Jonathan DeVore


I had no idea how much work was involved with selling items to students at an elementary school.

Which is a good thing. Because if I did, I probably wouldn't have volunteered to help out : )

But I was glad to have experienced it because the work involved reminded me of how it feels to be given a task without any procedures.

I felt stressed. I felt frustrated. I felt like quitting. And I felt exhausted. Which is exactly how your employees are feeling when they have a lot of work to do without any clear directions on how to do it.

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Topics: Salesforce documentation tips

Focus On These 3 Things Before You Do Salesforce Training

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

So, life on the PTO (parent teacher organization) Board is getting more exciting. School begins next month, and we are planning our first events.

However, I still have a huge problem. I don't know what to do.


I wouldn't be writing about my experience as a PTO treasurer if it didn't apply to you. 

But I know it applies to you.

It applies to every business and every nonprofit, great or small.

Whether you are hiring new employees, bringing on more volunteers, or rolling out new cloud systems...


We like to bring on new assets without a clear idea of what those assets are actually going to do. And instead of making a clear path, we put up roadblocks.

For this blog post, we're just going to talk about people, and how we make jobs harder than they need to be when we aren't clear on what people are supposed to do.

As a volunteer treasurer, my job has now been made 10x more difficult because there is no clear process for what I'm supposed to do. I'm expected to invent new procedures and figure things out, even though this job has been done for over 7 years by others.

When we do this to employees and volunteers, it's like asking a bunch of friends to come help you move before you've actually packed everything into boxes. When everyone shows up to your house to load the truck, their work is slowed down because nothing is ready to go.

They were supposed to just move boxes from your house to the truck--a job that should be finished in under an hour. But now they are packing boxes, throwing away trash, and taking apart bunk beds while you are running around trying to figure out how to orchestrate the chaos.

None of the prep work was done beforehand to help your friends do what you called them over to do. Which makes your friends frustrated ("This took way too long") and it makes you frustrated ("Why is everybody just sitting around?").

So, what prep work needs to be done before you ask volunteers to be treasurers, hire new employees, or roll out Salesforce?

I'm glad you asked.

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Topics: Salesforce adoption

The #1 Overlooked Reason Your Salesforce Training Isn't Changing Behavior

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

Explain Salesforce.002.jpeg

OK, that title is a little click-baity. 

I haven't actually done scientific research that definitely states, "This is the #1 reason..."

So I apologize to statistical minds everywhere.

To make up for the title, I won't make you read the whole article before I jump to my point. I'll tell you right up front what the overlooked reason is. Then I'll go into some detail that backs up my assertion (and you'll probably agree that my title isn't too far off).

Here it is, the #1 overlooked reason your Salesforce training is a dud: You don't know what job Salesforce actually does for the end user.

You think you do. But you don't.

That's why it's easy to overlook. And as long as you aren't showing users how Salesforce helps them do their job better, they won't adopt it.

You're stuck in the middle

Figuring out what job Salesforce actually does for the end user is difficult because you're kind of stuck in the middle.


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No Salesforce Training Docs? One Idea for Where to Begin

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am going to be the new treasurer for the local school's PTO (Parent Teacher Organization).


Today, was a big day--I received access to QuickBooks online.

This is the main system I'll be using as the PTO treasurer. I'll use QuickBooks to track revenue, vendors, reimbursements, and expenses. I'll also be running reports that explain how the money is being spent (and how much money the PTO has left).

But, there is a problem.

did not receive any training documentation for how to use QuickBooks, when I'll be using QuickBooks, or what the overall processes actually are when it comes to running transactions.

The only thing I received was an email telling me to set my password.

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Topics: Live Training, Documentation

This is How Employees and Volunteers Feel When There Are No Training Docs

Posted by Jonathan DeVore


I'm the new co-treasurer at our local school's PTO (Parent Teacher Organization—what used to be called the PTA).

Here's a recent exchange I had with a friend who used to be the treasurer for our local school's PTO. 

Me: "So, what does the treasurer for the PTO do?"

Previous PTO Treasurer: "There are a lot of things. For example, when you do the daddy-daughter dance..."

[after 40 minutes explaning what a treasurer does]

Me: "Oh wow! That's a lot. So, are there any procedures for how to do all of that?"

Previous PTO Treasurer: "Not"

After that, I felt like most employees starting a new jobnervous.

Bonus: Download the eBook "5 Things Your IT Training Should Include" so you can put on a great live training session >> Click here to get it


What am I supposed to do?

I volunteered to be the PTO co-treasurer for the next two years.

And right now, no current member of the PTO actually knows what a co-treasurer does. Which means that no current member of the PTO actually knows what I'm supposed to do.

Fortunately, I am friends with the previous treasurers. And they live down the street from me. So we are going to have several long talks.

And I am going to be creating lot of training docs in ScreenSteps.

And on this blog, I am going to be journaling my experience so you and I can discuss lessons learned in a very candid way.

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Topics: Training

You Are Explaining Salesforce Wrong (Here's How To Fix It In 6 Steps)

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

Here's a typical explanation about what Salesforce is...

" is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco." (TechTarget's definition)


You might also hear something like this...

"It’s an extremely flexible and scalable CRM system that is delivered via the cloud." (Tidewater's definition)

Explain Salesforce.002.jpeg

Nothing is wrong with those descriptions if you are talking to somebody who understands the lingo and the context.

But if that's how you explain it to your coworkers, don't expect any light bulbs to turn on.

The problem with those explanations is that they are meant to make you, the person explaining Salesforce, look smart. But explanations should focus on helping them, your coworkers who are learning about Salesforce, feel smart.

When you first train employees on Salesforce and explain what it is, skip the jargon. Forget all of the "interesting" details. And leave out the TLAs (three-letter acronyms).

Instead, package your explanation using guidance from Lee Lefever's book, The Art of Explanation:

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Topics: Salesforce documentation tips, Salesforce adoption

3 Reasons Static IT Training Docs Are Still In Style

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

"So... the Salesforce training documentation isn't interactive?"


"Then what's the point?"

That's a good question. Although the question above is from a Salesforce Admin, I admit that I've asked myself that question after seeing fancy training tools like Captivate, Articulate's Storyline, and WalkMe.

What is the best way to take users from the "Land of Training" to the "Land of Doing"? And if interactive courses and guided tours are possible, then what's the purpose of a simple training aid?

After talking with dozens of Training Managers about this, here are the 3 main reasons static training guides are still in style (and why they're a great way to bridge the gap between training and doing).


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Topics: Salesforce documentation tips

Three Changes to Make to Your Salesforce Training Right Now

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

Ready to run a training session for your co-workers? Well, before you fire up the Webex (or GoToWebinar/Joinme/ect.), see if you need to make any of these 3 changes to your material.

If you're not sure, take advantage of our coaching service.

1) Ditch the detail

The majority of Admins I speak with are great at their Admin jobs. They love getting into the nitty gritty of Salesforce. Understanding all of the backend connections. How this object interacts with that object. How workflows work. Coming up with a clever concoction to make everyday life simpler.

The problem is, the folks being trained don't care about the details.

See, what makes an Admin so good at her job is her ability to focus on the details (many Admins are analytical and detail oriented). And what makes a Sales rep so good at his job is his ability to completely ignore the details (many reps are focused on results, no matter how they get there).

That's a bit of a joke, but it holds some truth.

When a sales rep is selling, he doesn't run through every detail of the product with the client--he usually conveys a high-level vision of what a product or service can do. He focuses on the results. That's what great selling is. And it carries over into the sales reps' world of Salesforce as well.

Most sales reps are not motivated to learn all of the details of Salesforce. They only care about what pertains to them.

That's not good or bad. It just means that you will have to modify how you deliver your training. While you are very excited about the details and the backend, your audience is not. So leave that stuff out. Only include what is absolutely necessary for your audience to do what they need to do.

Cut everything else out.

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Topics: Salesforce adoption

A Little Friction in Training is Good

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

Did you know that if you leave gasoline in a power washer too long, your power washer may not start?

Doesn't matter that the power washer is brand new. Doesn't matter that you spent over $300 on it. If gasoline is left in the tank for a few months, a chemical reaction happens inside that results in a power washer that won't start.

Want to know how I learned that? Because I now own a power washer that doesn't start.

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Topics: Salesforce adoption