What's Holding You Back From Better Salesforce Training?

Posted by Jonathan DeVore

You know it, I know it, and your boss knows it - your new user training is basically a "check the box" activity. Nobody actually walks away from training able to do their job without further assistance (and a lot of it) from you or other co-workers.

And yet, when a new user logs on, you continue to run them through the same program that doesn't work, hoping that "this time it will be different."

Here are three common reasons you and your organization continue to do the same training rituals that don't have an impact:

  1. You don't actually know what new users need to do
  2. Nobody knows what new users need to do
  3. You're not sure how to make improvements

These are slightly different, so let me elucidate.

1 - You don't know what new users need to do

As an Adminstrator or a Trainer, you are often in charge of showing new users what to do - the problem is that while you understand how Salesforce works and the basics of what new users should know, you don't actually know what they'll be doing when they sit at their desk. So you show them how Salesforce works, go through definitions, and spend an hour explaining things users don't really care about.

The problem is that your organization actually has processes for finding leads, working them into customers/donors, and following up with them for additional sales/donations - you just don't know what those processes are. So instead of learning them and helping users do them, you just talk about things you do know - most of which aren't important to your users.

I'd recommend you sit down with the business process owners and identify the jobs that need to be done, the actions associated with those jobs, and assign somebody to document those actions. When a new user logs on, you'll know exactly what they need to do and you can walk them through the steps with your documentation, and help them do what they need to do.

2 - Nobody knows what new users need to do

This is a bad situation. You're using Salesforce to do something, but nobody has really determined what. You don't have authority to establish a process, and your managers/boss won't make a decision.

Unfortunately, you're stuck until somebody decides what your business processes are and how to translate them into actions in Salesforce. Your training will continue to be vague and not very helpful because, well, your operations are still somewhat vague and you can't be helpful.

3 - You're not sure how to make improvements

Several Admins and Trainers fall into this category. If you understand the processes in place, and you know what new users need to do when they sit down at their desk, then focus on helping them DO what they need to do when they begin working.

You're stuck in the world of, "Well this is how others do it, so I guess I should, too." If you don't have resources for a 6-week training, guess what - you need to change it up. If you need users to be productive on day 2, you can't waste time.

You need to get users DOING the right actions immediately, so create exercises that help them learn their jobs and perform the actions they are expected to perform during their first week, month, quarter in your organization. Don't worry if they have memorized all of the definitions, and don't spend the afternoon demoing Salesforce - get them in there and help them do their job.

What's holding you back?

If you associate with reason #1 or reason #3, then here's a blueprint to walk you through the steps of identifying the problem, setting a goal, and then creating a program that makes a difference - now nothing is holding you back.

If you associate with problem #2, you will have to continue working with your managers and/or your boss to determine how you will use Salesforce so you can put together a training program that works. When that time comes, check out the blueprint and get to work.

Let's work together to prep your next training

Topics: Training Events, Onboarding