In this blog, we share a lesson learned when using a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement online data source connector, called Instance Web API, for Power BI reports.
Training, who doesn't need it? Whether you're a customer service representative, manager, salesperson, director, or even a CRM administrator, at some point you will need some kind of training on Microsoft Dynamics CRM based on your role within an organization. Training involves three major components: timing, audience, and content.
Each of these characteristics play a crucial role in training CRM users. It's important to get the timing right when deciding when it is most appropriate to initiate the training. Making sure you know your audience is critical when determining the level of expertise or exposure to CRM. In order to have a successful training, you must have the right content for the right audience and deliver it to them at the right time. There are other factors involved in successful CRM training, including the method of training and whether it is going to be remote or onsite. In today's blog, we will take a closer look at each one of these factors so that you can make be as effective as possible when training your CRM users. Now that you are warmed up, let's get started!
Training is typically done after a CRM implementation is completed and before it goes live. In our experience, many clients have chosen to execute their training during the beginning of the project to serve as a preview of CRM. This is most common in scenarios when an organization has never worked with Dynamics CRM before or they are upgrading to a newer version. Training Planning needs to begin early in the implementation process. More often than not, you'll have to work around your end users' schedules, so it's never too early to start planning dates for training. Your project plan must include the time and budget that will be required for the training. This will help ensure a successful user adoption of your new CRM solution.
With its extensive role-based features, each user can access different functions in CRM depending on their job role within an organization. This means that you may have to organize training into one or multiple groups. In the simplest scenario, training is divided into two groups, end users and administrators. End users are those who will use CRM on a daily basis to perform their job based on their role within the organization.
If you're upgrading CRM with no changes to current business processes, then you may not need end user training at all. An exception to this may be if you are upgrading from 2011 or earlier, as the user interface changes dramatically from CRM 2011 to 2013. On the other hand, no matter what kind of CRM solution you are working with, your CRM administrator will need training so that they can manage the system effectively when the project is completed. Many organizations use the CRM administrator to train other users within the organization in what is referred to as a "Train the Trainer" approach.
So now that you've scheduled the training and you know your audience, what's next? Now it's time to determine what to train the users on. The goal should be to help users discover what's new, what's changed, where to find it, and how to reach someone for help if needed.
"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it." - Galileo Galilei
Base your training content on your audience regardless of whether you are training end users or administrators. If you're trying to build a foundation on Microsoft Dynamics CRM for a new project team working with it for the first, then your training would focus on things like how to navigate CRM and overview of out-of-the-box business features to prepare the project team for planning the implementation. If you're training end users at go-live, you'd focus on their particular business processes. CRM training may also be needed after an upgrade, especially if you're implementing new features or upgrading from an older version of CRM. For a new deployment of CRM, administrators will be interested in things like how to configure or modify various components CRM, learning what the options are for customization, using OOB features versus custom code, etc. If the project is focused on adding new business functionality to an existing CRM deployment, then your training should focus on that specific functionality and your target audience should be users who will be directly affected by this change.
Remember, your training content should be concise. The last thing you want to do is bore the user so they stop paying attention and miss out on important information. Keep a mix of PowerPoint slides and live CRM demos and make sure to provide CRM how-to labs for hands-on experience.
Location and Method
Deciding between doing a training remotely versus onsite can be tricky. Onsite training is always the best choice but it's not always possible. Remote/online training is harder to facilitate and it's more difficult to stay focused as a learner. Despite the fact that online training saves time and travel costs – it's not always the best answer for promoting user adoption. Whichever option you choose, the most important thing is still the delivering the appropriate content and to the right audience at the right time. Some things to think about:
Even though training often viewed as a distraction from the learner's real your real job, you can make sure it stays fun and informative by making sure you follow these basic principles.
Don't be afraid to get users' feedback after the training, as it can help to drive how to change course in future trainings if need be. And beware, not just anyone can be a trainer. Use discretion when choosing the trainer and don't just assume that anyone on the team will be able to pick it up and run with it – it's a good idea to include your in-house trainer in the project team early so they get familiar with the new CRM solution long before go-live. Having the right people involved makes all the difference and can make or break the training's effectiveness.
There's a reason that education is one of the four pillars of CRM success at PowerObjects. Organizations that invest in Microsoft Dynamics CRM education have vastly increased user adoption, which in turn ensures they get the best return on their investment. Our education team has many resources to help you get the most out of CRM, including events, trainings and workshops so don't hesitate to take advantage of them by reaching out to us for your training needs, anytime!