As a marketing manager
or a marketing stakeholder, you have just spent months collaborating with a development team, providing requirements, testing the system and making sure everything runs smoothly (or at least as smooth as possible!)
The project is starting to wrap up now
and the last item on the agenda is the training session(s) where you on-board your team and get the formal final training on how to use the shiny new system.
This, sadly, is one of the areas where we have seen the biggest gap. Everybody usually focuses all their energy on getting to this point, so when the time comes, the planning for the training session usually gets overlooked. As a result, unfortunately, not everybody on the team gets the most out of the sessions, which could have a few quite negative effects, such as:
- Frustration levels go up, as end-users don’t know how use the system so suddenly, they are in a position they don’t know how to do their day to day job anymore;
- Confidence levels go down as they feel uncomfortable asking for help;
- Mistakes are made;
- Everything takes longer due to lack of experience
Such an unfortunate situation to be in, which is so easily avoided with the right preparation and the right attitude.
What can we do?
Let’s have a look together at the most important points to focus on when planning and preparing for a marketing training session, so that we get it right the first time.
1. The importance of engagement
Arguably, the biggest point is making sure end-users in your team understand the importance of the training and the impact they have when participating in the workshops.
Last place you want to be is where your team is sitting in the sessions thinking this is not immediately relevant to them and checking their day to day emails and tasks. Because ultimately it is very relevant to them. You want to empower them; you want to inspire them and make sure they understand that what they say and think matters. You want them to want to be engaged with the system. After you get this right, you are more than halfway there.
2. Get the right people in the room
Establishing the right audience is crucial as this will ensure you won’t have to expend the effort to re-train others later.
Spending some time identifying the best people to be advocates of the change could go a long way towards the positive perception of the new system in your organisation. In the end, you could design the best system in the world, with the most advanced features, however, if your people don’t know how to use them and don’t embrace them, it doesn’t really matter.
3. Encourage people to speak up
Create an atmosphere where people feel encouraged and comfortable enough to ask questions and speak up.
This is our best chance to identify gaps in the requirements or even note down new ones for the next phase of the project. You don’t want to miss out.
4. Visualise the journey
Nothing beats the added value of everybody in the room being on the same page and visualising the journey they are on. Sometimes you just need to let go of the mouse pad and the PowerPoint presentation and go back to the white board and just draw it out or write it down.
You will see how the atmosphere in the room changes when you get people on board with what we have done and where we want to get to. People who understand are much more engaged and comfortable to share their opinions.
5. Get others to play back what they have learnt
Sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know. And that’s absolutely fine. Getting end users to playback what they have learnt helps them structure and consolidate it.
Repeating it out loud also gives everybody the confidence that they have mastered what they need to and can now do it on their own.
That’s how in just 5 simple steps, you can have a great marketing training session, which will make you feel proud and will help you (rightly so) take the credit when months later people are still talking about that fantastic Marketing CRM system you delivered. Because ultimately the success of any good project all lies in the perception others have.
This blog is part of the non-strictly technical Dynamics 365 for Marketing series. Also, in the series:
- Personalise your marketing – D365 for Marketing overview
- What’s new in the 2019 Release Wave 2 (October release) – Early Access
If you want to know more or just want to discuss your own experience, do get in touch.
More About This Author
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and experienced Technical CRM Consultant with demonstrable experience as the functional lead in numerous projects throughout their full life-cycle. A highly ambitious, competitive and creative individual, who is analytical, proactive and has strong interpersonal skills.
Passionate about D365 for Marketing.
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