This Step Must Happen Before Salesforce Training Starts

Our assignments are often those of helping teams get acquainted with the basics of Many organizations, without a lot of forethought or planning, rush out and get their sfdc licenses, and ask some poor marketing coordinator to manage the roll out to the sales team.

Then, after the coordinator realizes that salesforce is a wee bit more complex than everyone realized, they are tasked with learning the system and showing everyone how to use it. A few YouTube instructional vidoes later, and yikes, reality sets in. We need help.

But here’s where companies still go wrong. It’s not just about training, folks. If all you do is to hire an organization like us, and tell us you want us to show your sales and marketing people how to use the various functions of sfdc, you’re completely missing the bigger picture.

What we want to know exactly is, what do you want salesforce to “DO” for your sales/marketing/customer service team? How do you want it to track data, and which data do you want it to track? What triggers do you want to set? Who needs to see what? And most importantly, what process/es need to be followed that salesforce will automate?

No Process

We had a meeting with a prospect the other day to discuss helping them implement salesforce across their sales team. We asked them about their sales process, specifically, how outbound calls were made, what they did when they got voicemail, what they should say on the first message, how and when they should follow-up after the message (email, another call, etc)…stuff like that.

The answer came back, “oh, our salespeople are mostly lone wolves, they each have their own way of doing it”, and “we really don’t like to micromanage our sales people.”


People – that’s not micromanaging. That’s managing!

First of all, CRM aside, what kind of way is that for your sales team to sell? Whenever I hear that response, I always think about a plant that manufactures airplane wings. I don’t know why I think of airplane wings exactly, but I feel that if anything needs to be built with key precission, an airplane wing would certainly fall into that category. Now, can you imagine after asking, so how exactly do your engineers build the wings, that the response was, “well, our engineers are mostly lone wolves, they each have their own way of doing it”, or “we really don’t like to micromanage our engineers”. Well, I can you who’s airplanes I won’t be flying on.

And secondly, if this is your approach to sales, then what exactly do you want CRM to do for you? Why have a CRM at all then? Outlook will do the job you need it to just fine…and for way less. (Or even those old daytimers with the replaceable three hole sheets).

CRM ‘training’ is far more than just showing your team the functions of salesforce. It’s about designing a process that everyone understands and follows, and knows how to execute at each step of the way (which likely involves its own set of skills training) and then embedding that process into the CRM tool and showing the team how to utilize the program to help them manage the process.

It’s not all that complicated, and there are some surprisingly simple sales processes that your team can build and follow that are incredibly effective, and made even more effective when automated with CRM. But without it, just training your team, heck, using CRM, is a costly (in terms of time, and aggravation to the sales team) proposition.

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional services firm and training firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales leaders properly implement CRM with sound sales process first.