Most businesses rely on a number of software applications to run their company, e.g., accounting, customer relationship management, sales force automation, etc. Typically, a great deal of time, money, and energy was invested into securing and implementing these various business management software applications.
When we look at the three key areas of a successful Salesforce.com implementation — Education, Executive Buy-In, and Budget – we often find additional monies and time have not been allocated to properly train (and educate) people on how to better manage their efforts in order to reap the benefits of the systems.
Education is essential to your long-term success and one that is an on-going effort. The biggest problem we see is not understanding what the system is designed to achieve for the business. Proper education from an accredit Salesforce Training vendor at the time of installation will allow you to learn enough to independently manage the training basics. It’s important that all ‘key’ users and department heads become fluent in the use of the system. They should be able to train other users within their department on the basic needs and how the system impacts their job (position).
Be sure that your company’s executives are prepared to “share the ownership” of the automation you have put in place. C-Level executives should become well-educated on how this tool may impact your business processes, reporting and other essentials for greater efficiency – doing so will ensure they are prepared to “champion” allocating funds for your on-going training efforts.
Also, executives need to be prepared to re-design business processes to effectively take advantage of the system’s functionality and enhancements. Business management packages today operate differently than traditional, older software. Functionality is integrated, redundant data entry is eliminated, etc. – hence changing the way work is done.
Create a budget that is realistically aligned with your Salesforce training goals. Thoroughly research all costs associated with the engagement up-front. A few requirements to consider if needed: technical staff to explain system performance and use, training resources both within and outside the company, on-going support or maintenance fees imposed by the vendor for curriculum or eLearning materials.
Unforeseen Salesforce training costs can be avoided by properly having a needs analysis / process review done before you solicit training proposals or purchase a certified program. All department heads should be active in the needs analysis to avoid surprises later.
To better assess your Salesforce training needs, you may want to begin with your Salesforce training vendor. They are not only keenly aware of your business and the systems in place, but can often point you in the right direction for available training materials and educational programs for your systems.
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.