Best Practices for Salesforce Training

Sales companies are in a constant flux. This is not because companies are unstable, but because as companies are continuously looking to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive, they need to continually push the envelope in terms of product development, service offerings, sales personnel performance and support for the sales team. Implementing Salesforce.com correctly is sweeping this latest wave of support. As a result of this your sales force needs to be trained not just as new staff members, but also on how to get the most from Salesforce.com. Understanding some of the best practices of Salesforce training will help you train your staff more effectively in the future.

1. Ask yourself – What do we want Salesforce Training to do for us?

Cut out any consultant or management speak and boil the Salesforce training down to what can it do for us, and why do we want it to do that. If there are changes, know the changes and why they happened. Most customers like being told things straight and so do most sales teams. Make a checklist of the most important elements of this Salesforce training, build a road map for implementation, and utilize only qualified instructors who can walk your team through engaging training sessions.

2. Know What You Want to Teach

Before you unleash Salesforce training others, know exactly what you want your sales teams or customer service teams to do. Like with knowing the product, it is easier to teach a sales force when you know exactly what you want to teach them and how. By the same token, when preparing a teaching plan for this, remember to be flexible because different groups and individuals react differently to teaching plans and methods.

3. Remember Communication is not Perfect

Change can be difficult for some people. Adapting to new procedures or processes can take time. Furthermore, like a piece of art or poetry that is meant to represent one thing in the artist/poet’s eye, the reader/viewer may have a different interpretation. The same is true with communication. Expect there to be bumps in the road and for there to be mistakes by your sales force. Help them and guide them through this as practice will make perfect.

4. Share Information

When information about a process changes, let the sales force know  as soon as possible. This is a kind of on the spot training, but also a good practice in general. Sales reps like to be kept informed and like to feel part of the inner circle so to speak. Open communication in this respect helps to keep things going smoothly.  It also helps to improve productivity through trust. You should, however, when looking at points one and two, remember to filter the information. This is not a case of what employees should and should not know, but which pieces of information are relevant and useful and which pieces are not.

5. Keep It Engaging

Whether you are training old hands new tricks. Helping your sales force learn how to utilize a new technology or system, or whether, thanks to effective recruitment advertising you have hired a new sales force, these best practices are well worth remembering. The art of Salesforce training takes time and well, training in itself. People learn in three different ways, through seeing, hearing and doing. Keep the training active and make sure your staff are taking part in the training session. This way they will have a better understanding of what is expected of them at the end.

6. Foster Collaboration

It is natural for companies to hire training companies from outside. This is perfectly fine, but when looking at Salesforce training, try to foster a sense of collaboration. Employees often work best when they feel others are helping them and as a team rather than as a group of cut throat individuals working as rivals. Furthermore, for large companies it is important to get different departments to work together and to feel like a whole rather than again as rivals. This does not have to mean using expensive teamwork training using hot coals or weekend trips to the woods, but it does mean open communication channels, helping people and departments understand how others can help. This kind of collaborative Salesforce training method has helped turn good companies into great ones.

Salesforce Training & Consulting is a professional sales training firm and Salesforce.com consulting firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, Salesforce implementation, sales training and sales personnel assessments.

by   Mark Christie