Change Managment Spekit Drive Adoption

It’s time for organizations to lean in to change

It’s now or never for companies to lean in to change and start taking proactive steps to ensure they continue to scale with new employment and technological environments.

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Spekit Announces Salesforce Partnership and AppExchange Launch

Since our launch at Dreamforce 2018, we’ve had one North Star: Helping companies maximize the adoption and data quality of their applications by delivering the most efficient learning experience across their technology stack.

Today, we’re excited to share our new Salesforce partnership:
Spekit is now live on the Salesforce AppExchange, the World’s Leading Business App Marketplace.

 


 Read what our customers have to say on AppExchange or Chrome Store

What is Spekit?

A 100% Female-owned company, Spekit is a dynamic knowledge and learning platform centered around the CRM and designed by former Sales Ops and Salesforce Admins. Inspired by the founders’ own challenges around adoption and data quality, Spekit was purpose-built to help companies effortlessly onboard new hires, train employees and contextually communicate changes to their applications to drive maximum adoption.

Today, Spekit counts thousands of users across global 500 companies, universities and non-profits alike and gives businesses a key tool to enable corporate change. For the first time, companies are able to instantly communicate process changes to all of their employees, in any workflow or application, giving them access to real-time information when and where they need it. 

Our experience with Spekit has exceeded our expectations. Spekit has helped us dramatically reduce our onboarding and ramp up time for new hires and newly promoted employees. Spekit has also been a key part of every new feature or business process we deploy to our user community – everything is documented and presented to our users with Spekit. 

Marshall King, SVP IT Solutions

How is Spekit unique?

Inspired by both walkthrough solutions and traditional LMS/Knowledge bases, Spekit creates an end-to-end learning experience that combines customer favorite features from existing learning solutions on the market, but specifically designed with applications (and remote learners) in mind.

In fact, Spekit was born as a result of the frustration felt by Spekit Founders, Melanie and Zari, around the fragility and manual effort required to build silo’d digital walkthroughs and the ineffectiveness of traditional Learning Management System (LMS) courses for training employees on their applications, especially on small changes. 

Spekit uniquely integrates with Salesforce and uses your data model metadata (Fields, Picklists, Objects) as a baseline to build your training. While all of the training and documentation is stored in a centralized knowledge base (with separate Data Dictionary UI), Spekit uses a suite a extensions to automatically and contextually surface your knowledge to employees everywhere they work so that they can learn as they go.

  Knowledge Base + Data Dictionary

    Extensions (Chrome, Outlook)

 

The ability to have a data dictionary and a wiki is priceless for my team. A one-stop-shop for keeping documentation and training materials up to date with ease. This product is a true gem and worth its weight in gold. Your user adoption will sky rocket and you will be a true #AwesomeAdmin !

Rod Tyler, Salesforce Admin

Zodiac Pool Systems

 

Knowledge embedded automatically where your users need it

 

Spekit automatically surfaces your knowledge and training, right where your team needs it in any application.

 Relate Speks to Objects for easy reference.

 

 

Improve your Data Quality by eliminating confusion around your data. 

Spekit can be added to any picklist, field or object in Salesforce to bring context to your data. 

 

Add context to your stages or picklists to eliminate confusion

 

 

Effortlessly roll-out process changes to your team

Forget the days of hoping that someone read your email. Now your users will instantly get a notification about your update through the Spekit Chrome Extension, right in their workflow for easier than ever Salesforce change management.

 

 

 

Explore more of our features for Spekit for Salesforce  or watch the demo below!

 

Communicate Process Changes Where Your Team Needs to See Them.

Think back to last month, how many process changes took place in your company? What about in your Salesforce org or other applications?

Whether it’s a change to how you define one of your stages or something as simple as a new approval process for a deal exception, every single change requires some sort of communication and training to be adopted. 

In fact, without the right Salesforce change management process in place, even a small change is a recipe for bad data, frustrated users and the failure to see operational gains from that change.  According to McKinsey only 14% of transformations lead to success.

What makes micro-changes (new fields, new approval processes) so hard to manage today?

The answer is simple: time is money. 

I know first hand from my prior life managing Sales Ops (which included owning Salesforce and all productivity tools) that driving change – especially micro-ones – is painful.

It’s one thing to migrate to lightning, it’s another to add a new field to your Opportunity object. For most small changes, it’s hard to justify taking your sales team away from selling for the 10th time that quarter to train them on a simple new workflow in Salesforce.

That’s why it’s common practice to over-communicate changes by repetitively posting them in every channel possible (Email, Slack, Chatter + Team meetings) just to be sure everyone sees it. One word: Noise.  

Same goes for documentation. Most teams have Google Docs, Sales Process PowerPoints, LMS courses, cheat sheets…no wonder employees have a hard time keeping track.

New: In-App Notifications to Accelerate Change

With Spekit’s new Notifications, these micro-changes no longer need to give you or your team a headache (or data to cleanup).

Whether your users are in Salesforce or in their email, they’ll never miss another update.

 

 

Notify Your Team Where it Matters Most

Forget the days of hoping that someone read your email. Now your users will instantly get a notification about your update through the Spekit Chrome Extension, right in their workflow for easier than ever Salesforce change management.

The best part? It’s really easy to notify your users of a change. 

When updating or creating a Spek, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to notify your team.  More importantly, it’s up to you if you want to send them an email, just send in-app updates or both!

Analytics to help you monitor who has seen the change

With Spekit Analytics, keep track of which updates your users have viewed and make sure everyone is informed – whether it’s for compliance or just to give your team a hard time for saying “they read it” when we both know (now for sure) that they didn’t.

This is all included with Spekit Boost for free! 🚀🚀🚀

You read that right, this is all included as part of our free plan. What are you waiting for?

Interning at a Startup: Keys Takeaways to Maximize Impact

Eric Ries, the creator of the Lean Startup Methodology, defines a startup as “a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”  At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant but now, after ten months at Spekit, an early-stage SaaS company that is revolutionizing the way that companies drive change across their tech stack, I understand the uncertainty that comes along with creating an innovative, category-breaking service.

Whether you’re considering working at a startup or already are a member of a fast-growing startup team, there are several questions you should ask yourself: Can you operate in a working environment with minimal structure and established processes? Are you willing to step outside of your comfort zone to learn completely new concepts and skills? Does working at a startup align with your career goals?

As a senior in college, my time as an intern with Spekit has helped me answer these questions for myself and given me insight into the inner workings of a small, high growth team.

By sharing my learnings, my hope is that I can help others in the startup realm avoid some of the mistakes I have made and implement the methods and mindsets that I have found to be effective.

Since there are countless ways to succeed and contribute as a startup employee, I’ve grouped my learnings into the categories that I’ve found to be the most critical.

Dreamforce 2018

Step out of your comfort zone to learn new skills

I think this may be the single most important practice for anyone working at an early-stage startup because of the wide range of tasks that need to be done and the limited amount of resources (people) that are available on startup teams. Large enterprises have entire departments for sales, marketing, design, and so on. Startups, on the other hand, must use their current resources to maximize returns which inevitably leads to employees stepping outside of their skill set and learning new things.

There have been many occasions where I have been assigned tasks that I had little to no experience with. These projects have included things like “create a Google Adwords campaign” or “design a sales drip sequence” or maybe even “write a blog post.” It can be intimidating to take on these projects, but my advice would be to embrace these moments of uncertainty as opportunities to learn.

Here are some tips on how to do this:

Be willing to take a deep-dive

Simply put, your job is to make the life of your managers or founders easier by taking work off of their plate. This means going out of your way to see where you can help and taking full responsibility for your work. In other words, you want to build the trust with them that once you’re done with the project at hand, there will be no better expert in the room and you’ll be able to troubleshoot when needed.

Get started with high-level research

To get an understanding of the most important things you need to learn about, do a few quick Google searches and take note of what terms and concepts are important. Try to include the words “how” and “why” in your search and be as specific as possible. I’ve also found that phrasing the query as if you were asking someone sitting next to you such as “How do I integrate MailChimp and Salesforce?” works well. Following these guidelines will help you avoid ads and catch-phrase blog posts and get down to the real answers. Here are some more tips on how to get the most out of Google search.

Get your hands dirty

Once you have gathered a foundation of knowledge, immediately jump into the project and start creating, building, or tinkering with whatever your project might be. This will force you to confront the area where you have knowledge gaps early on so you can go back and do more specific research or ask for advice.

Use the MVP Approach

Most of you are probably familiar with the concept of an “MVP” or minimum viable product. This approach generally refers to a watered-down version of a product or service that a company can release to get early feedback from customers and demonstrate future value.

During the first month of my internship, I had a lesson that showed me that the “MVP” approach can be extremely valuable when applied to small-scale deliverables. I was assigned to create a landing page for one of our first webinars and was completely lost. I was trying to figure out the page layout, sign-up flow, and what content to include all before building out the page. After spending several hours on the project with minimal progress, I showed it to my manager and our CEO, Melanie Fellay. She immediately pulled up this image.

She encouraged me to get the essential features of the project in place as soon as possible and save perfectionism until the very end. This approach has allowed me to get more done, get early feedback from others on my team, and save a whole lot of time which is one of the most valued resources at a startup.

Effective time management

Effective time management has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced during my time with Spekit. During my first semester, I was struggling to balance college courses, leading a student group, and “fitting in” 15 hours per week of work for Spekit wherever I could. There was no real structure to my time and this ultimately resulted in a loss of productivity. My manager and I both noticed this so we sat down to make a plan to address the problem. What we came up with was a game changer for me and I hope other managers and startup employees can learn from it.

Create a schedule and stick to it

While this may sound obvious to some, it wasn’t initially for me and my manager. By scheduling out the hours I would be working on Spekit-related projects, the hours I would be in class, and the time I would have for school work, I saw some huge improvements. Friction was removed because my team always knew the hours I would be available and I was able to hold myself accountable. By having a clearly defined and communicated schedule, I was able to complete projects on time, communicate effectively with my team and manager, and balance my class-work.

Maximizing productivity

Working on a small startup team allows for a lot of creativity when it comes to creating processes, ideating new product features, and writing copy. While this freedom is part of why I love working for Spekit, it also makes it easier to get distracted from high-priority tasks. Structured time management techniques like time blocking can be a great way to solve this problem and stay on task.

Time blocking

Elon Musk plans out his entire day in 5-minute increments or “time blocks” that are each assigned a specific task or activity. This strategy relies on the theory that work generally fills up the time we allot to it, so by setting shorter increments we will get more done in a shorter time period. While 5-minutes may be too small for us normal humans, it still can be highly beneficial to add structured blocks to your day even for activities like “eating lunch” or “commuting.” Doing this will give you a better idea of how long tasks take and allow you to plan better in the future.


While working at startups is not for everyone, I hope that these ideas can be applied by people in companies of all sizes to make the most of their every day and most importantly, treat everything as an opportunity to learn and grow.


Just In Time Learning – the future of workplace training.

“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?

Defined simply, microlearning is a corporate training method that delivers knowedge in small, digestible bits of information to employees. As opposed to long, intensive classroom training sessions that occur a few times a year, microlearning focuses on providing information continuously.

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 spread word about process changes to all of their employees, in any workflow, giving them access to real-time information when and where they need it.

Melanie Fellay, CEO Spekit

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.

Just in time learning in Salesforce
Just in time learning gives knowledge when and where the employee needs it in any application or workflow.

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.

Just in time learning in Salesforce
Just in time learning in Salesforce with Videos and Images

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 Spekit) include built-in measurement tools. Administrators are able to see which pieces of knowledge are being accessed the most, which helps them prioritize which content to improve. They can also see how much time employees are spending learning and referencing the content.

Spekit’s dashboard provides insight into where employees are hitting roadblocks in their workflow.

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 time training program, we’ve created some in a variety of formats that is free to the public. Take a look:

For quick, informational walk-through videos, visit our Youtube Channel or head over to our Video Learning Center.

To download our Free Salesforce Training Manuals for Lightning and Classic, head to our Resources Pages.