Minimum Viable Training for ERP Adoption
You have a company. It’s all growing. Now you have finally decided to buy some kind of business software to run your business. Let’s just assume for simplicity that it is a CRM system.
But how do you help them to get used to the system? How do you help them to perform even better using a newly bought CRM software?
Don’t want to be the company which bought a subscription to a software and then forgot about at all until the subscription expiry date comes? How do you involve others to actually use the system and benefit from it?
The answer is simple. It’s all about training. Training, providing information, and even more training.
But here’s what most companies do wrong:
- Executives/decision makers do not involve actual users from the beginning
Make sure to involve your users while you are in the free trial subscription period. Let them look through and test the software properly. If your company needs more customizations about using the software, they will tell you first about it. You will know what exactly you need at the beginning. Your users will be likely to use it when they have designed it.
- Not learning enough documentation/materials prior to adopting the software
Ask your CRM provider for training materials, videos, how-tos, etc… Although it may seem that the software is as simple as it sounds, there might be hidden features that you don’t know that will be very useful for your company. Spend at least 1 week to look through those materials.
What are the best strategies for training?
Should you just show everything to your users, and let them try it all out on their own, or should you have separate training sessions? Should all training sessions be conducted with the vendor?
After 10 years working in CRM projects for different companies, we learned that training sessions are really, really important.
Especially at the beginning.
Let’s assume that you and your team have asked for 2-3 times of demo trainings from your Vendor. Demo sessions are over, all questions are answered, if there is a need for customizations, it has also been addressed. Customizations are already implemented, ready.
What is next?
It is better to appoint someone as a CRM champion from a team or department. CRM champion will be responsible for implementing the project for your organization. By having someone whom everybody trusts, to spread the goodness CRM, users will be more likely to use it.
Have small training sessions to groups of 4-5 people. Answer their questions. Let them try it out.
Show some case studies or test scenarios. Demonstrate some best practices. Show workflows. Ask the vendor to help.
And the most important thing: repeat. Repeat it daily, weekly, whatever works best for you until everybody is comfortable to actually using the system. Address the problems when they appear. Motivate the most active users by making them CRM champions and giving some bonuses.
One more point:
People will make judgments
Be ready to face a lot of critics. It’s guaranteed that people will be afraid of change.
However, as easy as it might sound, it’s completely ok. Winners will always be criticized. Always. Let them talk. And use their resistance to your advantage.
If you continuously work with your team on adopting the software, even those who criticize and resist will have to give up. If you as a manager, put a real effort on managing those change processes, everything will be great! They will get used to the system, eventually. Yes, it takes time. Avoid wasting time on totally useless remarks and complaints.
Contact the vendor when there are issues
We are not born perfect. Contact the vendor frequently if there are problems.
Greatness comes with time and diligence. Greatness does not come in one day.
You and your CRM vendor will be partners for a lifetime if you learn to listen to each other and learn.