JLL DS is going through a global transformation with a major impact to how they operate globally. Learn how they used Spekit to drive adoption and train employees on Salesforce.
“When you think about something and don’t really know much about it, you will automatically get information.”Larry Page, Co-founder, Google.
As early as 2004, Google’s visionary founders predicted a future in which people didn’t have to search for information.
While this vision is a close reality in our consumer lives where most answers are only a search away on our smartphone, it still feels unattainable for many in the workplace.
In fact, when an employee is stuck on a process, they will often exit their workflow to search for the right folder for the right document, drill down into the right section to locate the exact paragraph they need to answer the question they have – only to find outdated information. This time wastage is not only inefficient but frustrating for the modern-day worker.
With the ever-changing world of corporate training, many trends have come and gone over the years. Improved methods of classroom training created the trend that became continuous sales training.
Most recently, we saw the rise of new corporate training solutions that implement microlearning to solve for the forgetting curve, the rapid rate at which employees forget information directly after hearing it.
But today, the cutting edge is just in time learning — a trend that’s here to stay and might be the bridge to that vision many of us have been longing for.
What is microlearning?
It’s already very popular: according to one study, “38 percent of talent development professionals currently use microlearning and another 41 percent plan to start within the next year.”
While microlearning delivers bite-sized information, just in time learning takes it a step further and delivers it when and where it’s needed — at the point of friction where employees are likely to make mistakes. Just in time learning embeds bits of knowledge into business processes so that users can find answers to their questions without interrupting their workflow.
Why Just In Time Learning?
Businesses of all sizes need to innovate if they wish to survive. Ability to change is so important that some have argued that rate of change should be the single most important business metric. However, merely deciding to adopt new technologies or change processes is not enough; these changes must also be communicated across the organization and adopted by employees.
Just in time learning gives businesses a key tool to enable corporate change. For the first time, companies are able to instantly spreadMelanie Fellay, CEO Spekit
wordabout process changes to all of their employees, in any workflow, giving them access to real-time information when and where they need it.
As a learning and development tool, just in time learning also encourages the 70-20-10 optimized learning model or a “learn by doing” mentality by embedding knowledge at every turn. Employees are supported with bite-sized pieces of information as they go about their work. The greatest benefit is that this embedded process reinforcement is a very effective way to boost retention.
Designing Knowledge and Training for Just In Time Learning
Unlike outdated techniques such as classroom training, just in time learning complements the ways your employees want to learn (and their short attention spans!). Just as you might search Google to quickly find answers for your questions as they arise, just in time learning delivers bite sized pieces of information in real-time.
Some best practices for just in time learning are: embrace different types of learners with rich content, encourage employees to participate in the process, and measure your results.
1. Embrace Different Types of Learners with Rich Content
You can divide your employees into four primary learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. Each style prefers to receive information in a different way: Visual learners like graphs, charts, and whiteboards. Auditory learners prefer listening to information – perhaps via podcasts – or talking things through. Kinesthetic learners learn through experience, getting hands-on with projects. Finally, reading/writing learners like to read long-form text (like this blog post!) and to write out notes on what they’re learning.
What does this have to do with just in time learning? Long blocks of written content won’t appeal to an auditory learner, just as a podcast won’t help a visual learner. To be effective, then, you should display information in a variety of different ways. Along with a text explanation, embed images and short videos whenever possible.
To format your knowledge base effectively, think about how Google displays its results to a search query. Instead of simply showing a long block of text, Google displays a mix of results: a short text snippet, some related videos, and a handful of relevant images. Not only that, Google also links to other similar search terms for further pursuit.
Using rich media has another benefit: each form of information reinforces the training. Employees who are primarily reading/writing learners can benefit from a visual infographic that concisely sums up the key points.
One study showed that people typically remember only 10% of the information they read three days later. In contrast, they remember up to 65% when the information is both visual and verbal. In the context of corporate training, where knowledge retention is very important, this is a huge difference! Combine visual with written content to increase retention.
2. Allow employees to participate in the process
As companies change from a siloed, top-down structure to a more flexible, equal model, so too should corporate learning. You may have already heard of Employee-Generated Learning, which is a bottom-up learning model that employees manage themselves. This model is gaining popularity because it is flexible and adaptable to many learning needs.
When designing a just-in-time training program, include a quick and simple way for employees to ask questions. Users should be able to request more information about a term they don’t know, ask for clarification on current training, and connect with a subject-matter expert when needed.
Employees should be empowered to participate in their own learning. They should be encouraged to ask questions, identify gaps in their knowledge, and seek solutions. People learn more effectively when they are involved in the process – turning it from passive learning into active learning.
3. Measure results
As with any corporate initiative, good measurement is key to establishing ROI.
Many modern learning management systems (such as
By tracking the questions that employees are asking most often, leadership can develop new training content that addresses those areas. Over the long term, this strategy can save hundreds of hours of search time as the program’s effectiveness improves.
In addition, administrators can see what percentage of the knowledge is already documented by subject matter experts, giving them a comprehensive view of what knowledge their users have access to.
Make Time for Just In Time Learning
In summary, just in time learning is more effective than microlearning as a corporate training strategy because it provides knowledge both where and when it’s needed. When employees can get answers without interrupting their workflows, they can move through tasks more efficiently. To create an effective program, follow just-in-time learning best practices like using rich content, encouraging employee participation, and measuring your results.
If you’re looking for content to help you jump-start your just in
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Fact: According to ATD’s State of Sales Training Report, the United States spends on average $1,459 per salesperson each year on sales training. That’s almost 20 percent more than they spend on workers in all other functions. Much of this training is curriculum-based and conducted in person.
Fact: The forgetting curve shows that participants forget almost 70 percent of the information they were taught in this classroom-style training just one day later.
Put those two facts together, and that’s a tough ROI to swallow, especially given the opportunity cost of lost revenue.
So how can businesses keep up with the rapid rate of change and the need for ongoing training? How can they compete in a world where employee quit rates are at a 17-year-high (based on Bureau of Labor Statistics) and remote work is on the rise?
Simply put, sales managers need to give their teams access to the information they need, when and where they need it. Fortunately, new technologies are making this training easier than ever before.
Curriculum-Based Training Isn’t the Enemy
In many organizations, sales training is conducted during a single, one-off, fast-paced information dump where sales reps are expected to memorize new features, workflows, message maps, and sales tactics. This often occurs in a boot camp style environment or during the early stage of their employment with the organization. Another option is at the annual sales kickoff (SKO) meeting where the company reviews the new years’ quotas, any changes in messaging, new products, and so forth. Typically, these meetings also include motivational sessions by prominent public speakers or senior leaders within the company.
There are some clear benefits, including cultural intangibles from an employee engagement standpoint, to providing curriculum-based training through onboarding programs and annual kick-off meetings. It’s a great time to transfer foundational knowledge about the organization and its mission, as well as baseline expectations around things like pipeline and targeted prospects. It’s also an effective way to gather the collective minds of your team in one place to share ideas and best practices that might otherwise get lost in the day-to-day hustle.
Ongoing Training Is Key
A study conducted by IBM on the value of training reports that just one in five new hires will stay at an organization if they do not receive the training they need for their jobs when they join. But what happens when the internal processes or messaging that they learned changes a few months into their role and the annual kick-off meeting or next training session is some six months away?
To maintain its competitive advantage in a rapidly shifting technological landscape, your company needs to prepare it’s staff by instituting effective change enablement and an ongoing training process. It’s likely you’ve thought about requiring your sales teams to complete a certain number of training hours each quarter—where you can re-emphasize the most important information and address questions that may have come up.
Think about that for a minute longer.
While that may be effective as a start, consider how you, as an individual, gain the knowledge you need to get what you want. If you’re like most people, you search online to find bite-sized, contextual, and timely tidbits of information. Rarely do you seek lengthy training sessions.
Now think about how often your organization updates CRM or sales team policies and procedures. How long do team members spend getting up-to-date on those new policies and processes. No matter what your answer to that question is, it likely takes longer than it should. What’s more, every minute your sales team isn’t focused on actual selling is a minute that your competitor could be stealing away a customer.
A New Era of Learning Technologies
It’s not just your business that’s changing at the speed of light. The technological landscape in the sales, knowledge management, and learning space is evolving at an equally rapid rate. It only takes a quick glance at the Sales Technology Landscape, developed by sales technology expert Nancy Nardin, which categorizes 600+ solutions in this space to realize this.
For instance, consider the evolution of learning management systems (LMSs). Most LMSs on the market are cost-effective and relatively easy to manage, while providing end users with easy access to a modern, multimedia learning environment that learning developers can personalize to help drive home the knowledge sales leaders need to make a difference to the business.
The problem? Many of these LMSs live in a portal that’s completely separate from your team’s workflows and processes. So while it may be helpful for a one-time lesson or onboarding, it’s not helpful for the day-to-day application of that knowledge.
As a result, we are starting to see an emergence of new learning and knowledge sharing solutions designed specifically around the way modern day workers learn behaviors in their consumer lives. Need same-day grocery or toilet paper delivery? Click. Need a ride to the airport? Click. Access to what people need, when they need it is easier than ever. Yet in the workplace, employees often will find themselves searching for the right folder for the right document, drilling down into the right section to locate the exact paragraph they need to answer the question they have. Not only does this lead to a significant amount to time wasted, the frustration of constantly feeling stuck can be crippling to employee engagement.
That’s exactly the problem that just-in-time learning and knowledge sharing technologies are solving: small, easily understood, and accessible bites of knowledge embedded directly into workflows or CRM. This approach gives employees road signs, complete with videos and images, every step of the way to ensure that your team has the knowledge they need. Not only does this sort of quick and easy access to knowledge minimize friction during onboarding, it allows organizations to effortlessly drive process changes and maximize productive selling efforts at the same time.
No doubt, business is always evolving. Fortunately, the learning market also is evolving to respond to these changes. Better yet, the number of knowledge sharing tools is rapidly growing. Indeed, 2019 will be the year for just-time-in learning—just wait.
A few weeks ago we tried something new: we ran a poll on Twitter asking our community to vote, based on previous requests from our clients, on which feature they would like to see us include on our roadmap for Spekit. The winning vote? A Print-to-PDF functionality.
We were really excited to see the number of responses and activity around the tweet, but we were frankly quite puzzled with the outcome. While doable, Print-to-PDF felt like a step back from our cloud-based, digital just-in-time learning and knowledge sharing solution.
In fact, two of the driving principles behind our product are ease-of-access and relevancy. Simply put, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for employees to get relevant, up-to-date information and content in the workplace, exactly when and where they need it. On the other hand, PDFs are stagnant and external to a company’s systems and processes. Often times, PDFs and Word Docs are stored deep inside folder storage systems that require employees to drill down into the right section and “Ctrl F” until they locate the exact paragraph or bullet point they are searching for to answer their question. For that reason, a Print-to-PDF feature felt like a step in the opposite direction from our vision. But that was before we spoke to our clients and understood the use cases.
What we hadn’t considered: the Flexibility of Print-to-PDF
Another core value that drives our product is flexibility. Flexibility in customizing to fit your organization’s needs, flexibility to invite both Salesforce users and non-Salesforce users, and now flexibility in format.
We recognize that different employees and roles access and retain information best in different formats. For example, while a sales representative might gain a better understanding of a process by watching a 2 minute video, a developer will grasp it best by looking at a process map or graph.
As such, we decided early on that in order for Spekit to truly eliminate the redundancy of information within an organization and to be the single “source of truth” around a company’s processes and data, it was critical that we provide different ways for users to view and interact with shared knowledge:
- Data Dictionary: Ideal for analysts and developers alike, Spekit allows you to sync to Salesforce, customize and describe your metadata and relationships (mappings, dependencies etc.) in a tabular format with easy searching/filtering to see a full picture of the “data about your data.”
2. Wiki: Spekit’s expanded wiki view allows users to view content in a long-form rich text format, complete with images and videos for easy reading — think flash cards on steroids.
3. Just-in-time learning: While the wiki view may be ideal for your initial “deeper dive” overview of the process, from our own experience, we know that it’s only once you’re doing the process that you will realize what you don’t know. That’s why our integrations allow users to access this same information in small, easily understood and accessible bites of knowledge embedded directly in their workflows or CRM for instant reference.
With that in mind, we realized the Print-to-PDF was no longer a step in the opposite direction, but instead a way to accommodate more use cases and learning styles:
With so many notifications, emails, Slack messages and more in today’s modern work life, it’s hard to stay focused on a single task. It’s no wonder that even some of the most tech-forward executives take handwritten notes and that many people, like myself, still indulge in the pleasure of reading paperback books rather than digital ones: to avoid distractions and disconnect from the digital world for even just a brief moment. By allowing you to generate a printable PDF from any given set of definitions or knowledge cards, Spekit makes it easy for anyone to tune out the noise and focus on a single task: absorbing the knowledge the old pen-and-paper style.
Bootcamp style training
While Spekit’s digital knowledge and just-in-time learning solution may be the ideal tool to accelerate the on-boarding process of new hires in small to medium-sized organizations, in larger organizations or call centers where entire “classes” of new hires are made at once, there are often more elaborate “training bootcamps” in place. Using our Print-to-PDF feature, training managers can create a printed manual within seconds that is customized by role or department and that can be distributed to new hires for note-taking during their classroom-style training sessions.
Consultants: Statements of work
Our Salesforce implementation partners love Spekit because it has allowed them to replace spreadsheets, Powerpoints and 80-page long documentation on their implementation with a single solution for both training and system documentation. Not only does Spekit drive adoption of their implementation with end-users, it simultaneously provides them with an easy hand-off to admins and development teams. Taking this a step further, consultants can now select all of the fields, objects and processes that were part part of their implementation and within seconds, provide the executive Sponsor and client with a document that details “everything we did and why” to compare to the Statement of Work.
How does Print-to-PDF work?
- Using the multi-select functionality, simply select which Objects, Fields, Picklist Values or Knowledge cards you’d like to include in your document. Next, select “Print to PDF” from the Bulk Actions menu to the right of your screen.
2. Next, you have two “Print” or “Save to PDF” options:
- Print Summary: Ideal for training manuals, includes Definition, Business Process, Owner
- Print Everything: Includes all of the details around the knowledge, including any custom metadata.
And done. In just two steps you now have a training manual or statement of work that you can print or use at any time.
Do you have any other neat ideas around features that would facilitate the ease-of-access to knowledge in your organization? Send an email to email@example.com. We are all ears!
Interested in seeing how Spekit can change the way knowledge is shared in your organization? Sign-up here for a demo.
In today’s highly competitive landscape, it’s critical to the success of a consulting business to deliver results that meet, or even better exceed, customer expectations. Timeliness of progress, adherence to customer scope and budget are key components to customer satisfaction. But with hundreds of consultants in the Salesforce ecosystem, how can you stand up in the face of serious competition from other big-name and boutique consulting shops?
Here are 6 ways to help you deliver an unparalleled experience to your clients that maximizes their ROI, and yours, and ensures that their CRM investment and your relationship continue to grow in the future. Happy Clients = Repeat Business
Under Promise and Over Deliver
Sure, that sounds a little cliché, but it’s really one of the keys to success. To put it in a way that’s more palatable, control expectations – not only yours, but those of your clients. Make sure your Statement Of Work is clear and concise, and written in a manner your client agrees to. Then, as a consultant, it’s your duty to make sure the project stays on track, and on the agreed-upon plan. It’s OK to tell a client that a request of theirs, while certainly valid and beneficial, is outside the original scope of the project and will have to be considered as an add-on or additional phase of the project, to be completed at a later date. Your client will respect you for keeping them on task, as well as keeping to the original budget without time and cost overruns.
Measure Progress & Report Regularly
As a consultant, it’s your job to track your progress toward the project milestones and deadlines. Be sure to do that in a manner that is transparent and available for the client to access, whenever and wherever they want. Tools that operate in a collaborative manner are great for this. As you update information, your clients can see your progress in real time. Be sure to include budget versus actual data here as well. For many clients, the total cost of a project is one of the most important metrics they want to maintain control over, so if any specific items are running heavy (or light) on time/dollars, be sure to highlight that as soon as possible.
Open communication is a major factor in project success. For those looking to encourage adoption of Salesforce by senior leadership, a great way of doing this is by utilizing a modern project management tool like TaskRay that’s native to Salesforce throughout the course of the project.
Specialize in the Hottest Technology
A quick review of market demand in the Salesforce ecosystem will tell you that certain areas of business – Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics – are expected to see significant growth over the next 5 to 10 years, and beyond. Additionally, there is an increasing trend towards a remote workforce and the use of offshore developers.
Prepare your teams now by gaining knowledge in these rapidly growing lines of business and invest in technologies that make collaboration with remote and offshore colleagues, or even clients, easier. The benefits of the remote/offshore model include a lower cost to do business with, which allows consulting companies to be more competitive in the marketplace. If your team is already stretched thin, consider forming alliances with companies and solutions that already leading the way in these areas and making this internal and external collaboration effortless.
Documentation is a deliverable of any project and critical for a proper hand-off. Your clients will expect you to build out a complete set of documentation that you hand over to them when the project is complete. If your clients don’t ask for that, deliver it anyway! They deserve it. They should have all the knowledge and reasoning behind why you built their solution the way you did, what the purpose for each and every field and object is, how things relate to others, etc.
As a consultant, your primary job is to look out for what’s in the best interest of your client. Remember, you want them to have a great feeling about the work you did for them so they will not only recommend you to others, but also ask for your help in the future.
Rather than delivering the typical spreadsheet of metadata mappings and powerpoint of end-user documentation and training, which are outdated the moment you deliver them, Spekit provides a solution that’s specifically designed to be a Salesforce data dictionary and that will automatically update with any future changes that are made to the client’s Salesforce org.
It’s easy to get started with Spekit, no hoops to jump through, no high-wires to walk. Just four easy steps:
- Connect Spekit to Salesforce: Import the objects, fields and picklist values you want to document.
- Create Documentation Dynamically: Spekit makes it easy to document your metadata with rich text and videos or through the use of Knowledge Cards and customized how-tos in the Data Wiki.
- Don’t Do it Alone: Centralize your team’s collective wisdom by assigning subject-matter experts to areas you want documented to crowdsource knowledge. Assign Data Experts on your client side to help fill in the gaps on the history of fields and objects during the initial audit period, then assign experts to any new fields/objects you’re creating to have them fill it out with the training material they’ll need for maximum adoption.
- Make it Accessible: Access your customized documentation everywhere, in context, or via a searchable sidebar in any window, thanks to the Chrome Extension.
Build a Repository of Resources and Knowledge
Do you find yourself re-explaining the same thing over and over again to different clients? Or do you have go-to formulas or workflows that you document in similar ways for various clients?
Create a resource center on your website with How-To Videos and Quick Guides that all of your clients can access.
Even better, with Spekit’s unique Knowledge Cards, you can create your own set of proprietary Knowledge Cards for each type of implementation you specialize in that you can then reuse to deliver a consistent, proven experience across multiple clients with ease. Saving you time (=more deals) while setting your client up for success faster.
Tie it All Together for Better Adoption
Completing a project under budget and on time is great. But did you provide your client with a solution that they will actually use and will result in them coming back for more services? User adoption is a challenge that nearly all organizations face when implementing new technology & new solutions. And as an expert in your field, your job as a consultant is to help companies ensure that this major investment they just made was worth every penny.
One area where there’s a lot of room for consultants to stand out, and even extend their professional services, is with and training. Many clients fail to understand the importance of properly investing in it, and may even be reluctant to paying for it. But as a trusted expert in your field, it’s your job to educate them and help them understand how critical training is to the success of any Salesforce implementation and ultimately, good data. To frame it differently… they just made a major investment into a new system, how can you help them maximize their ROI to ensure that this investment continues to grow in the future so that everybody wins?
As research shows, the standard one hour or day-long end-user training session you delivered won’t move the needle much on adoption given that as much as 80% of training is forgotten within 90 days. In other words, training and learning are circular, requiring time and repetition to be properly absorbed and understood. Giving end-users easy access to this training content and knowledge, directly in their Salesforce workflow is one way of maximizing this learning and adoption.
Luckily, with Spekit’s Chrome Extension, there’s no need to do any additional work on your end to achieve this. All of the documentation (field details, knowledge cards etc) that you created can be surfaced right in Salesforce. In other words, Spekit becomes an invaluable, in context, training mechanism for your clients. They have easy access to their data dictionary, the details behind calculated fields, the business rules built into processes. And your clients can access this information inside Salesforce or from any browser-based application including email, making providing support and answering questions of colleagues that much easier.
To be successful as a consultant, you must consider your own scalability. Partnering with Spekit gives you the ability to build documentation that you can share with and customize for any of your clients. Spekit helps you create the building blocks you need to win.