A Ten-Step Checklist for a Successful Salesforce Training Program

Does your Salesforce Training implementation plan include these ten critical steps?  If it doesn’t you may want to take a step back and re-evaluate how your execution of this organization changing event can help or hinder your chances for success.

 

  1. Build Your Salesforce Training Team. These are the people who can tell you what a successful implementation will look like. You need to understand the key goals of implementing Salesforce and determine what the organization wants to be able to do. Coordinate with external partners. Help your colleagues with the system.
  2. Choose a database hero! Selecting the right system administrator for your organization’s Salesforce training program is critical because the administrator will play the most important role in making your CRM implementation successful.
  3. Obtain and maintain executive support for the Salesforce Training project. This step cannot be overstated enough. The executive sponsor should lend his or her influence on the project. Having that person’s full support and participation—from the planning stage until the go-live date and beyond—is absolutely critical!
  4. Determine who you are going to outsource help from. Particularly for smaller to mid-sized organizations, looking outside for support and guidance with implementing Salesforce training is an important step to consider. To expedite the process of finding your ideal technology partner and to receive an accurate proposal, you should create a request for proposal (RFP).
  5. Take baby steps. Don’t try to do too much all at once. As we like to say, Salesforce training is like eating an elephant…you need to do it one small bite at a time. It is easy to get carried away in the midst of the excitement of building a new system. However, remember that complex projects should be broken down into manageable and measurable phases. Slowly, slowly. Rome was not built in a day.
  6. The technology should be adjusted to meet your needs and not vice versa. The biggest problem that arises from an unplanned Salesforce implementation is that the sales/marketing/service teams start working for Salesforce, not the other way around.  You need to ensure that the Salesforce training includes a full business process review and that this workflow is incorporated into the way Salesforce operates. Salespeople who are told to use Salesforce without any real structure to it, quickly resent the extra work, thereby leading to exactly the opposite situation that you hoped to achieve.  If the database cannot support your business processes, search for a different solution.
  7. Remember that most people are resistant to change. No matter how well designed you Salesforce Training, bear in mind, it may take some time before people willing to switch over to a new system-without complaints and with a smile. Be prepared and patient.
  8. Don’t be scared to make changes during the implementation phase. New things will inevitably creep in during the initial launch…and usually for the better. People will start to realize the power of the program and make new requests for bigger and better processes and applications. This is OK, as these changes will help foster better adoption rates and more interest in the overall system.  Certainly better than 12 months into the use of the system.
  9. Before embarking on a “big bang” switchover approach, make sure that you have fully run the new system using sample real data from your existing system. Have different employees or members of your organization serve as “test dummies.”
  10. Provide fast results. Don’t build a Salesforce training program that might not be relevant by the time you go live. Concentrate on getting the correct basic functionality and data, and then go ahead.

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional coaching and training firm that specializes in helping companies navigate their way in a Salesforce.com environment. SalesForce Training is based in Toronto, with trainers in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, Salesforce.com training and Salesforce.com Admin support, sales training and sales personnel assessments.

by   Mark Christie