Salesforce Training – Where It Fails

Achieving greater degrees of sales success through Salesforce training isn’t only about technology; rather, it is a successful integration of three critical variables: People, Business Processes and Technology Solutions. Getting everyone in your organization to focus on your customers first, will drive the adoption of the Salesforce training lessons into actionable behavior in their selling routines.

Salesforce Training Begins and Ends with Culture Change, at its core, is an organizational commitment to change. Salesforce training begins and ends with the senior management’s commitment to introduce a customer-driven culture into a business. Managers leading training projects need to recognize that employees are sensitive to change, and need to be included in the transition process.

Managers need to make a convincing argument to employees of the benefits of being able to view all customer data in a single environment. People become attached to doing things a certain way, using the spreadsheets, contact managers, simple databases, and even the paper records they’ve always used. Even though they recognize that their methods may be inefficient, they are often reluctant to move data out of the software they’ve become accustomed to.

That’s why the Salesforce training programs need to be intuitive to learn and easy to use. Change is never easy, but easy-to-use Salesforce tools smooth the transition. If Salesforce tools are hard to use, most people give up trying after the first try. Make sure your Salesforce training implementation is focused on how the CRM works in your specific environment first.  This involves an outlining of the various sales, marketing and customer service processes with your business, and documenting them before giving everyone salesforce licenses.

Salesforce Training – Where It Fails

Research group after research group report that an extraordinarily high percentage of Salesforce training projects either fail to meet their goals after completion, are delivered over-budget or late, or are simply cancelled outright.

Studies have shown up to 70 percent of Salesforce training projects fail. What is the source of so many failures? Are there characteristics of Salesforce training that make them especially vulnerable? More important, what are the remedies?

Defining Success

Ask anyone at your company what Salesforce does, and you’ll get your first clue about the source of the frequent implementation failures. Too many people, from staff-level to the corner office, from IT to sales, believe that starts and ends with software (or perhaps better put, “the cloud”).

In fact, the core of good is the same as it’s been for decades: the right people executing the right processes, using the best possible tools at their disposal. And these days the ‘best tools’ means software that support the relationships between companies and clients.

To get your project off on the right foot, you’ll need to embrace a balanced view of the current situation that accounts for people, process and technology. That starts with some self-analysis covering all three components:

Assess and Benchmark your Current Team

What does the organization look like? Who has a customer-facing role, and what do they do? A basic organizational map, along with a list of each team’s assigned roles is an essential first step. If you don’t know what you have to start with, it’s nearly impossible to map out next steps and improvement points.

Define the Process

Map out the basic contours of the key customer-centric processes, including those that generate new business, as well as those that work to support existing clients. Who does what and in what order? What tools do they use to accomplish these tasks? Think about supporting processes as well, like prospect generation, lead qualification, or contract writing. The most important rule? Be honest about how it actually works, not how it’s supposed to work.

Determine the Vision

Create a vision of the future by modeling the way your customer-centric processes ought to be. Now you can set your “AS-IS” information aside and start working through how things should be. For each existing process, you’ll want a corresponding future state. The difference between your CURRENT and DESIRED processes represents your path for change.

Consider the People and Process

While technology is an important piece of Saleforce training, companies that focus solely on buying Salesforce because of its leadership position in cloud computing will too often become another statistic in another research group’s report. Meanwhile, companies with healthy Salesforce training implementations have inevitably taken into account all three of the primary components for success: people, process, and technology.


SalesForce Training is North America’s premier sales training company, focusing on both training, support, and implementation. Our goal is to help firms get more out of, their sales processes, sales management and sales teams.

by   Mark Christie