Defining CRM Value Series – 1 of 4 – Break Through The CRM Plateau

Mar 6, 2015 | General

Break Through The CRM Plateau

#DontFearTheFist | #BreakthroughResults | #ResultsWithCRM

Other Topics In This Blog SeriesReduce Costs | Target The Right Market | Protect Company Assets

You’re doing the right things to grow your business – hiring the right people and using the right CRM system geared specifically to your needs. Yet you’ve found that you’re not getting everything out of the system that you expected.

Your staff is using the CRM – and probably to great effect, at least you think they are. But you know that there’s something missing, a step further that could make the difference between doing business well and doing business amazingly well.

By creating a specific CRM training program for your staff, you ensure, your staff will utilize the best of your CRM so that it works for you the way you intended.

Successful CRM training goes way beyond pointing out where to click.  It helps your team incorporate all the major processes of their day into your CRM system.

The certified CRM training experts at AspenTech suggest the follow be considered when planning your training.

What Defines “Success” When Using CRM?

When creating a CRM training plan, it’s important not only for the users but for the company leadership to define what “success” means. Talk to your CRM trainer in advance to outline the course and relevant material you want to touch upon. Take a look at your big picture, as well as the details. Answer the following questions to provide focus areas for your trainer:

  • What are the key elements of our CRM that all users need to know?
  • What are specific areas or processes that each different departments needs to know?
  • Will managers or executives need specialized training to evaluate metrics for their departments’ use of CRM?
  • Do we need a “CRM Champion” within the company to support other users?  If so, what knowledge of CRM do we need this person to have?

Make sure your CRM trainer understands your answers to these questions as well as how you will evaluate success of the training effort.

When are we doing this?

It’s important to start training early in the adoption of your CRM. Bad habits are hard to break. CRM systems can be deceptive and appear to be easy to learn.  While it is fun to spend time noodling around with your new CRM applications and software, once you get used to doing things a specific way, it’s hard to unlearn. You should have your team start using the CRM the right way with training set for the first week of use.  In so doing, you are emphasizing the importance of CRM to the company and showing your team how to leverage this new tool in a productive manner

Where are we doing this?

It’s a good idea to have the training take place away from the usual workstations, so there aren’t any distractions. Check with your IT department and facility coordinator to set up the right space. By having the users in a specific place, you’ve made their training an event which has significance. They’re there for a specific purpose, and ready to learn.

How are we doing this?

Small groups focus better. They are more interactive. If you can keep the number below 10, that’s good. Around 5 people per session is even better. This gives each person the opportunity to learn in an interactive, focused environment that is open to questions without the worry that too many questions will slow the pace and leave material uncovered.  Also, make the training “hands on” whenever possible to encourage participation and maintain focus.

Is this training relevant?

That’s the question in a nutshell. Effective CRM training uses your own data that helps to make the training extremely relevant.  What’s more engaging than seeing your sales figures up on the screen? Or looking at a current customer and quickly realizing that you don’t have all the information you need? By making the CRM training personalized, it not only draws in the users, but helps with retention. The needs of John Doe, Businessman, aren’t going to concern your staff. The needs of your actual clients will!

By creating a professional training program that shows how using the CRM system effectively can actually help them in their work, you can engage your staff.  Who doesn’t want to learn how to close more deals? By closing more deals, your staff will increase your returns and, more important for them, increase their commissions. That’s training that will stick.

What’s next?

Effective training at the start of your CRM implementation is important, but that isn’t the only time you should consider training.  Consider each of these milestones as opportunities for you to use training to further leverage your CRM and increase its ROI to the company:

  • New Hires:  Having a fellow employee spend an hour or two pointing out how to point and click is a sure fire way of diminishing the value of your CRM. Have a plan for your CRM trainer to conduct “on-boarding” training sessions for each new hire. (More about this in a future blog.)
  • Start of Company Fiscal Year:  With the start of the fiscal year, you have an outline of what you want to accomplish.  Make sure CRM training is a part of that plan.  This can include a targeted focus on a specific aspect of the CRM such greater use of email marketing or it could be in the form of a Q&A session to polish everyone’s skills.
  • Implementation of a new version of your CRM:  A new version of your CRM will include new functionality that, very likely will increase the productivity of your team.  This new functionality is seldom displayed for all to see.  Your CRM trainer will be able to train your users on how to leverage this new capability to their advantage.
  • Managerial turnover: When new sales and marketing managers or regional managers are hired, you must ensure they are understand the value and necessity of your CRM system.  Their CRM training is critical to the ongoing success of the organization.

Other Topics In The “Defining CRM Value Blog Series”

Help Protect Company Assets With The Right CRM System

Reduce Costs With Act and Zoho CRM Systems

Targeting The Right Market with Act and Zoho CRM

At AspenTech Consulting Group, Inc. we’ve been successfully training CRM users since 1994. We know what works, and we want to share that information with you.

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