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I have been working with a client to help them roll out a new CRM solution to 150 users. Their objective? To help them work towards their company goals and help transition their business into a national recruiter with a standardised methodology of working. All great stuff.

We have delivered the training to them, so I thought I would share my thoughts on how to train new tech into a business.

Throughout the configuration phase we discussed the training aspect of the solution and how best to roll this out.  We came out with a number of suggestions which I have outlined below:

  1. 121 Face to Face training – great for each individual who gets very focussed training specific to their job. Very time consuming and expensive but end result should see a very confident workforce ready to use a system when its released.
  2. Group Classroom training – probably the most common way to deliver training on a new system. Groups tend to get a good overview of the system and some or most of their answers are resolved. 
  3. Video Conference training – Useful if you have the technology to do this. Systems such as Skype can be useful for 121 training, but class sizes are generally limited and the tech can often cause an issue if not setup correctly.
  4. Webinar training – The new kid on the block since the advent of fast broadband. GotoWebinar works well for this. Class sizes can be larger than typical Classroom based training, there can be some limited interaction (but this depends on number of attendees) and these can be recorded to help with Online training. The difficulty is keeping people engaged and hence people’s attention may wander. These are great for simple training or for discussions/meetings.
  5. Online training – good for self starters who want to learn, but not everyone has the discipline or enjoys studying in this way. Have a think about whether your industry is known for being a population of self-starters though.
  6. Email training – great for hints and tips and maybe the occasional “How To…” but not a sensible way to roll out as some users can get email fatigue earlier that you’d like.

Your training requirements will depend on a number of factors:

  • your specific project goals.
  • how complicated the system and what tech you have available.
  • how “switched on” your staff are.

In the above CRM project case I argued that a mixture of the above would be needed. A standardised platform from which everyone in the business needs to start from is important, followed by specific training to individuals that needed more help / had more responsibility on parts of the system.

This has to be followed up with “reinforcement training” which could utilise a number of the above options to ensure consistent usage across the business.

Remember when launching a CRM or a new piece of tech or social media, the key is to not try and train / launch it to everyone all at once and you will be fine.

Plus your use of it needs regular reviewing and reinforcing, so please don’t think that the end of the project is the go live date… it’s the beginning!

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