I recently shared some best practices on importing your data into a new CRM, but no matter how clean and organized your data is, it won’t matter if your brokers and staff don’t know how to use it.
We’ve all been there. It can be difficult to learn and adopt a new technology. To alleviate the growing pains, it often helps to provide a thorough training.
Below you’ll find out how we handled the new CRM training at SVN-RICORE Investment Management, Inc.
About our 7-week training schedule
As the system administrator, I managed the training for about 10-12 brokers and other staff who will use the new CRM on a regular basis. Full disclosure: we’re still in process, but it’s been going very well so far. I’ve used a similar training structure before and found that it is the best way to get your team prepared.
We set up a seven-week training schedule, one hour each week, and each week we cover a new topic.
CRMs differ, but the basic elements are the same. This setup works for us, and can be adapted to other technologies as well.
- Introduction: This covers the basics—how to access the tool, navigate each section, edit listings, search, manage activities, etc. Make sure to keep it simple.
- Data import: In this session we review a simple contact import, sometimes walking through a few individually and having everyone import their own in real time. I teach them how to group clients and contacts, personalize their tabs, and set up a few shortcuts. We also download the mobile app.
- Detailed views: Here is when we start to dig a little deeper and get into detailed contact views, as well as different reports and dashboards.
- Reports and analytics: This session covers pipeline and commission reports in the tool, as well as an overview of the analytics that can be run.
- Advanced: Once we cover the basics, we delve into some of the more advanced parts of the CRM system. This covers more sophisticated views, searches, and reports you can run.
- Advanced, part II: A continuation of session five. We also try to walk through a few specific tasks together in class.
- Recap and questions: The last session is a high-level review and a chance for Q&A. We also go over the master pipeline view, which provides a forecast for the brokerage on the first of the month (a handy feature in our CRM).
This structure works well for us, but there are a few important things to do to make sure each session is effective.
Don't dumb it down. Some brokers are more tech savvy than others, and you should be thorough as you explain the tool and each step needed to complete a task. If the less-inclined brokers need to catch up, then you can focus attention on them separately, but you should avoid boring the advanced users.
System admins should be available at least 30 minutes before and after each session. I schedule the conference room accordingly and make sure to be there with my computer before and after each session to answer questions. Otherwise, fielding individual questions throughout the week can become overwhelming.
Our office is also considering setting up extra training every other week for more advanced users, but the seven-week program is a good place to start. It's long enough to cover everything, but not too burdensome. The upfront time investment pays off in the long run.