Debunking a Common Myth: Salesforce Training is Simple

Many times a day we get incoming calls from organizations looking for Salesforce Training. They’ve recently acquired Salesforce.com and have come to the realization that they need support in order to get it up and running.  The fact that they’ve committed to the license fees, and have unleashed this beast (meant in a kind way) upon the sales team, without considering what they have gotten themselves into, is another matter entirely, and a topic for another day.

Here’s what a pretty typical call sounds like;

Caller: We just got Salesforce and we need training. How much does it cost?

Us: OK, great.  Can you tell us a little bit about what your firm does?

Caller: Well, I’m just phoning around looking for pricing.

Us: Well, that’s tough to say at this point. We don’t really have any idea what the nature of your problem is.

Caller: Well we’re just looking for a couple of hours of Salesforce training in order to get us up and running.

A-ha!

And therein lies the problem. You’ve just acquired some of the most sophisticated software (OK, not ‘software’ per se, as the ‘No Software’ logo Salesforce loves to tout reminds us) out there, and you’ve diagnosed your own problem with a two hour training solution.  Well, sorry, we hate to tell you this, but that ain’t the answer.

Here’s What You’ve Bought

Salesforce.com is indeed remarkable.  It has helped many an organization improve the way that the sales team (not to mention marketing, customer service, financial, distribution departments – you name it) go to market. It is world-class, cutting edge, cloud-based technology that keeps changing every three months with new and improved updates.  It is no exaggeration to say that it has revolutionized the way many companies sell.

But here’s a myth I’m going to debunk right now.

It is not straightforward!

 

Myth #1: Salesforce Training is Simple

Wrong! It’s actually very sophisticated, and it is hard. And it really should be performed by qualified trainers who don’t just get Salesforce, but actually get sales people. Our biggest challenge is finding qualified trainers that (1) understand what Salesforce is all about; (2) understand what sales people are all about; and (3) understand what good Salesforce training looks like. Now that’s a rare combination.

One of my favorite analogies is this.  A neighbor of mine is a pilot for Air Canada. He just completed 4 months (!!) of simulator training to fly the Airbus A-330. I recently asked him how training went, to which he replied, “Oh, it was great. That plane is so easy to fly…it does everything on its own”.  I always chuckle at the comparison to Salesforce training. The people who call us are under the impression that Salesforce is easy.  Well, sure, it’s easy in the same way my neighbor pilot finds the Airbus an easy machine to fly. (Note – that’s one of the reasons we have photos of airplanes on our site – the analogy is apropos). He finds it easy because he’s had about 20 years of experience flying planes, AND he just came out of 4 months of intense simulator training.

So, does that mean we need 20 years with Salesforce (or other CRM systems) and 4 months of Salesforce training before your sales reps will say, “this is easy”. No, of course not. We can likely get your sales team functioning with some basic level of Salesforce knowledge after only a day, provided we have built the system to support your organization’s processes and systems, and we’ve been able to work with your admin or IT (or whomever is your designated Salesforce training champion) to map out a complete project plan. And that takes, time, resources, and yes money.

But its not an impossible task, nor is it un-affordable (depending on what “un-affordable” is to you.) You’ve already made the investment in Salesforce.com. Assume 25%-40% of that annual cost for a realistic Salesforce training budget. Trust us, its well worth it…and not as hard as flying an Airbus!

 

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