Remote Training Challenges

The SVP of Sales and Partner Enablement at Salesforce, Dan Darcy, shares his tips on enabling your team

SVP of Sales and Partner Enablement at Salesforce Dan Darcy shares his tips on enabling your team

December 11, 2020

Making learning manageable by breaking it into small steps

Attention spans are growing thinner and thinner, especially as screen time increases in our remote environment. Research suggests (and our own survey supports) that one of the most common barriers to learning is an unmanageable volume of new information. In order for someone to learn, they need to be able to fully take in new knowledge, and use it a few times to commit it to memory. This leads to Dan’s first tip: instead of a big rollout with a drastic change overnight, break in new processes and tool adoption into smaller, more digestible steps. 

Introduce learning in bite-sized modules and snippets, one step at a time, to make it easier to absorb and apply immediately, converting it to longer-term memory.

Building an enablement team that understands the science of learning

Learning is both an art and science. It’s an experience that requires a thoughtful design to be effective. Build out a team that has the expertise and credentials to create content and design its presentation in a way that makes it as easy as possible for employees to learn. Like any other craft, there are best practices that the pros know are make or break for the success of an employee enablement initiative.

If hiring a full team of learning experts isn’t in your budget (yet!) you’re in luck. Technology has made leaps and bounds since the screen-by-screen click through LMS experience you might have had in the early 2000s or 1990s. Tools like Spekit are designed with the science of learning in mind, to facilitate an entirely digital enablement and adoption process. If you’re not ready to hire experts, do your homework to find a tool that incorporates the principles of learning design into its experience. Key indicators of a learning conducive tool include:

  • Bite-sized content (pre-packaged or custom)
  • Contextually relevant delivery – presenting the knowledge exactly where and when you will use it in your workflow
  • Attaching or linking experts and source of truth docs to help the learner understand where it fits into the larger context and functions of the company

Getting buy-in across the org to ease the resistance to change

Humans are naturally resistant to change. It presents uncertainty and creates an attachment to the status quo because it’s what is familiar. Dan stresses that you need a united front of decision-makers and stakeholders to make any enablement initiative a success.

“Enablement is not just a team’s job. It’s everyone’s job across the company. And the more you align with the stakeholders, and the more you bring enablement as a culture into the stakeholders that you’re working with, the better you’re going to succeed.”

Dan offers four key tips to gain buy-in across your organization:

  1. Alignment: work with leadership to create clear objectives and KPIs around what a successful enablement effort looks like. 
    1. “It’s not just measuring completion of the program, it’s about measuring the impact that you want the program to have…That way you can come back and say ‘look at the success that we’re driving if only we could do more through xyz.’” 
    2. If your resources are very thin, set your scope so that you can do just one thing well by the metrics that matter, as opposed to doing several things poorly. 
  2. Multiplier effect: create an incredible enablement experience. Invest effort early on to create high quality, concise content, and guidance. Aim for a super high NPS score of your first trainees-would they recommend this training to someone else? Their success in the program is critical for it to continue, and they will be the cheerleaders and coaches for the next batch of learners. They are often future leaders with budgetary control over enablement efforts. Investing early in quality experience will make your job easier down the road when you need new resources and buy-in. 
  3. Communication: change should never be a surprise. Relentless communicate and listen across the org to ensure a shared mindset around what’s working, what’s not, and what gaps you can fill, for example with resources like FAQs or office hours.
  4. Persistence: be persistent when asking for business and trying to drive the bigger vision. Momentum is tough to build and requires an advocate that leads by example. Don’t give up!

“People think, ‘oh, Salesforce has this war chest of money’ but even at Salesforce, we have to really fight for the budget and the right resources. And so when I meet an enablement person out in the field, there’s a knowing look that we all give each other that we’re battling, like a battle-tested soul. Many of us have that daunting challenge of enabling all their employees with like two people and a nickel…we all recognize how thankless a lot of that can be.”

Dan understands the challenges of enablement, and we’re so glad he took the time to share how he and his team overcome them. By breaking knowledge into digestible pieces, designing learning experiences with learning science in mind, and creating a culture of alignment around what success looks like, you’re better set up to build out smooth, rewarding employee enablement.

If you’d like to dig into more detail, and/or hear about how he thinks of the future of enablement, check out the full episode with Spekit’s CEO Melanie Fellay.

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8 Steps to Creating a Culture of Adoption

It’s one of the biggest questions you face as a Salesforce leader: You’re responsible for your team not just using but correctly using Salesforce, how can you create a culture of adoption to make it happen? 

Not to worry, Spekit CEO Melanie Fellay has broken it down in this quick 20-min Q&A session on Salesforce user adoption best practices! Not feeling like a video? We’ve pulled our favorite eight tips for you below.

Step 1: Understand that you are the salesperson 

What? No… 

Yes! You are an internal Salesperson in your organization! It is your job to sell your users on why Salesforce is going to make their life easier and ultimately get their buy-in. Think about it, if you build the most robust and comprehensive solution that should be a game-changer for your org but no one is using it, does it really make a difference? That’s why the first step is to put on your sales hat.


Step 2: Sell the “why”

To sell people on using Salesforce every day, they and you need to understand the “why.” What value will it give to them? What impact does user adoption have on the business? This means talking to all the different teams using Salesforce. Find out what concerns they have, what’s holding them back and what success would look like for them.  Finding out the challenges will lead you to create solutions people want to use.


Step 3: Start from the ground up

It’s easy to assume that your best bet to drive better adoption is to start from the top with the leadership team. However, your best bet is to start from the bottom and work your way up. Why? In order to show leadership why this initiative is useful and how it will make a positive impact when it comes to top-line objectives, you will need to have some buy-in from users first. If day-to-day use in Salesforce is low, how can you convince leadership they should direct more money and resources into it?


Step 4: Make it fun

Creating a culture of adoption does not have to be painful. Make it as fun and easy as possible for users to drive home the value of Salesforce. Start with creative ways to do training sessions or communicate changes. Instead of the same old email packed with details, try having lunch and learns, do an internal competition, or recognize achievements. The sky’s the limit! Get creative, have fun, and make it as painless as possible.


Step 5: Find internal advocates

It’s much easier to get people on board if their coworkers are already excited about the tool. If someone on the Sales team is using Salesforce to crush their number, other reps will want to jump on board as well. Identify someone (or multiple people) on each team who already are perceptive of your adoption initiatives. This will make it a much easier lift and drive usage from within each team. 


Step 6: Identify the quick wins

Start with the low hanging fruit. What would make your users’ lives easier right away? Maybe it’s a dashboard on the homepage that consolidates all the information they need to know at the beginning of every day. Maybe it’s as simple as an email template they can use that will get them to work in Salesforce and not around it. Find out what small action you can take to make their job easier and keep them from falling back on outdated legacy systems.  


Step 7: Leadership buy-in 

After you have buy-in from the bottom up, it’s time to take your initiative to leadership. When it comes to selling the leadership team on a project you are undertaking in Salesforce, lead with math. Yes, math. Identify a top-line objective and tie your initiative to it. Then show them why it mathematically makes sense. For example, if you are implementing a new solution, try something along the lines of the following: 

“By implementing (INSERT TOOL HERE), we can save (x) minutes on every doc that gets created. Every rep creates (5x) docs per week so it will save (x) amount of time per month!?”

The formula for executive buy-in:

Identify a top business objective + showcase how this project ties back to that + why does it mathematically make sense = leadership buy-in!


Step 8: Reinforcement 

Salesforce adoption is a continuous process. Every time you make a change, an update, implement a new tool, etc. you will need to get buy-in all over again. Make it a continuous process. Don’t wait until people stop using it, keep them moving forward and recognizing value with every change that comes. Hold quarterly training sessions, communicate with users face-to-face (or video call!). This will be the difference between short-term and long-term adoption. 


And just like that, you’re well on your way to driving Salesforce adoption in your organization. Get ready to feel like a rock star.

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7 Strategies to Drive Your Company’s Digital Salesforce Adoption

Without the help of platforms such as Salesforce, sales teams spend 34% of their time actually selling. Why? They struggle to keep up with the other mundane tasks of the job, such as data entry and quote generation.

Even after companies work hard to implement digital Salesforce adoption during training and onboarding, there are still questions that arise during the process. Unfortunately, having a Salesforce strategy in place sometimes isn’t enough.

Instead, it makes sense to drive Salesforce adoption by utilizing a documentation platform with extensions that provide you with training tips in any application. It makes life easier for your employees and guides them through questions and concerns.

On top of that, however, what else can you do? Here are seven strategies to drive your company’s adoption of Salesforce software. It’ll help make training, onboarding, and even everyday tasks easier for your sales team.

Onboarding with Spekit (1)

1. Develop a Salesforce Strategy for Onboarding

Developing a strategy for onboarding and training is crucial. And, it should always be complemented by post-training resources. These resources should ensure employees always understand what Salesforce software is and how to use it.

Part of an onboarding strategy includes figuring out what third-party applications you’ll be using to go with Salesforce. Integrating other applications into a sales team’s workflow is crucial in setting them up for success. Think about this early and often.

Think about the functions and features they need to succeed and how you can provide then with the tools to facilitate that success. Then, update those tools as often as necessary for constant improvement. 

Companies that adopt technology such as Spekit find that it offers their sales representatives a constant stream of support. And, this is both during and after the onboarding process. This makes it easy to learn how to use Salesforce.

2. Automate Salesforce Tasks

Most sales representatives spend just over a third of their time selling because they have to tackle other tasks such as data entry. This is a waste of their time and, up until recently, it’s been a necessary burden of the job.

However, Salesforce allows you to automate tasks. This is to ensure a more streamlined process for everybody involved.

How? Start early with documentation integration.

You should be able to enjoy one-click integration during the onboarding process. Also, it should automatically map your documentation to where it belongs in Salesforce.

And, that’s just the beginning of it all. Automate everything from transferring data from an email chain into the software to embedding knowledge into the very framework of daily tasks and processes such as browsing on Google Chrome.


3. Customize Training Documents

Training new employees is difficult enough. You’re introducing them to new jargon, technology, and even workflow processes. To make Salesforce adoption easier, customize your training documents to fit your business needs and goals.

This ensures that your employees will be able to understand the value of each function as it relates to their job role specifically. Implement this customization across all documentation, including learning sequences, and PDF training manuals.

A tool like Spekit makes this easy, offering you free customizable training material that ensures you don’t have to start from scratch. Build on what’s offered and tailor it to fit the needs of your employees in order to meet expectations and goals.


4. Have Leadership Demonstrate the Value of Digital Salesforce Adoption

Salesforce notes that buy-in from management is crucial from the beginning. Ensure that your leadership team understands the value of Salesforce so they can effectively communicate that to employees.

However, simply communicating the value isn’t enough. You’ll also want them to demonstrate that they know how to effectively master the platform and harness its power.

To accomplish this, have them engage in activities such as reviewing Salesforce metrics instead of asking for reports in PDF format, making adopting metrics a part of weekly meetings, and collaborating via the platform itself.


5. Implement Adoption Measures Everywhere

With software updates and changes in the business world occurring nearly constantly, it’s easy to see how salespeople and employees, in general, can forget how to use something or be slow to adopt a new update feature.

To make life easier on everybody, implement adoption measures everywhere and caters to different learning styles. This means using videos, documents, and other types of media to help users navigate the software.

Integrate this with a digital adoption platform that allows you to enjoy things such as a Lightning Component, Outlook Extension, and Slack integrations. Wherever your employee is working, they should be just one click away from answers.


6. Make Salesforce Easy to Use

It’s going to be hard to get employees to buy into a Salesforce adoption process if you don’t make the software easy for them to use.

While we’ve essentially been talking about ways to make it easier for employees to use, the best way to find out is to simply ask them.

Figure out which areas your employees are struggling with and work to provide them with more comprehensive training documents and integrations.

Install an extension in Outlook to make accessing content from an inbox easier. Or, provide them with a data dictionary to make managing Salesforce definitions easier, there are ways that you can allow them to almost enjoy learning the software.



7. Install a Digital Adoption Platform

The easiest way to drive your company’s digital Salesforce adoption? Install a digital adoption platform to help you do the heavy lifting. Spekit was built by sales professionals, so we understand the challenges you face.

Spekit is the only Salesforce Certified Partner that works to embed knowledge into the Salesforce process to help you do things like build training processes, facilitate onboarding, drive adoption, and help you stay up to date with changes.

The best part? You can try it our digital Salesforce adoption tools for free by signing up with a work email at