As a customer relationship management (CRM) system, the goal of Salesforce is to help you effectively manage client relations, enabling cross-functional teams to work from anywhere. While Salesforce is used by many B2B companies to help improve digital marketing, sales, e-commerce, and customer service efforts, the platform isn’t focused on Customer Education or end-user training.
What is End-User Training?
End-user training typically refers to training employees to use the systems and products your company implements to keep it running smoothly. But customers are end-users too — of your product. And they also need training to ensure they are thoroughly familiar with your product or software and can use it to its fullest extent.
Benefits of Effective End-User Training
Thoughtful end-user training not only sets your company up for success by ensuring customers get the most out of your product, but it also presents opportunities to create a loyal customer base that can become brand champions. i.t.Toolkit Magazine describes the likely benefits companies receive from end-user training as:
- End-users will spend less time seeking support and more time on required tasks and deliverables.
- There will be a measurable reduction in redundant, remedial technical support requests, lowering IT support costs.
- End-users will make fewer errors and mistakes leading to faster, more reliable results.
- End-users will feel better about their skills leading to improved morale and better results.
- More detailed knowledge of systems functionality will lead to improved workflows and internal procedures
In addition to focusing on internal end-user training, most tech platforms now enable dynamic and compelling learning sessions to achieve these advantages and more to augment Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success efforts. These are typically known as Learning Management Systems (LMS).
What is an LMS?
Learning management systems, or LMSs, are online tools created specifically to enable end-user training. These platforms support remote learning and teaching by sharing data, voice, and video. Mobile, interactive, and real-time interaction simplify the educational process and increase customer engagement.
The best LMSs can support students with diverse learning styles. To adapt to your audience’s preferences, you can create various original content in different formats, as video may be more appealing to some than audio or text-based format, for example.
Besides these capabilities, an LMS designed specifically for end-user training will offer various features you can leverage that coordinate with the data you have about your customers in Salesforce.
How Does an LMS Enable End-User Training with Salesforce?
When a new account opens, Salesforce only registers the information on the Sales and buying contacts at an organization, not necessarily the ultimate end users of the product. This presents a significant challenge for professionals who are focused on end-user training, success, and enablement.
As customer bases grow, companies can benefit from integrating their CMSs with an education platform focused on end-user training to maintain customer engagement and satisfaction. By integrating a customer training platform with Salesforce, you can glean behavioral data on your customers to measure how end-user training can enhance product adoption, time to value, customer success, and long-term customer health.
A Closer Look at Accessing End-User Training Data
LMS software platforms like Skilljar focus on customer onboarding, training, and certification, with the ability to launch onboarding as soon as possible after closing a new account.
Since Salesforce doesn’t “know” who the ultimate end-users are, it can’t invite them to your training program automatically. That’s where Skilljar comes in to automate the process, lessening the burden on your Customer Success Managers (CSMs).
Here’s how it works:
- An automated Salesforce email workflow provides the user’s account administrator with a link to the training and/or access codes keyed to the customer’s account.
- Users self-register into training. Skilljar offers just-in-time user provisioning, which doesn’t require the user to “pre-exist” in either Salesforce or the LMS.
- User data is sent back to Salesforce via a sophisticated integration to create or annotate contact records.
An alternative is typically to provide users with your product, sync your product data with Salesforce, and invite users to train, however, this isn’t always possible from a product or timing perspective.
Similarly, your account administrator could collect all the end users for you to upload into Salesforce and/or the LMS, but this is also slow, manual, and clunky.
What End-User Training Data in Salesforce Can Tell You
CSMs and Account Managers (AMs) should be able to view training utilization – both at a contact and account level – in the tools they use every day.
Connecting the best end-user-focused LMS to your CRM is a great way to ensure your Customer Success team has access to all the data they need in one place. As a result, your stakeholders can:
- Optimize their workflows
- Accelerate product adoption
- Deepen customer engagement
Skilljar and Salesforce for End-User Training
Integrating customer training data into Salesforce is essential for creating an automated, smooth, and effective experience for your end-users, CSMs, and administrators. This powerful integration has empowered joint customers to easily view training data, build consolidated reporting dashboards, and trigger smooth training workflows – all from directly within Salesforce.
By integrating Skilljar into your Salesforce platform you can track course payment details, subscription access activity, live training attendance, and group analytics. This data is available to training, finance, and customer success teams, enabling enterprises to integrate historically siloed business systems and better evaluate the impact of training on the overall customer journey, including:
- The impact of training on product adoption
- How training affects customer health scores, churn, renewals, and expansions
- ___Additional details on training revenue generation and retention
- Reach and response to promotional training activities
- Deeper integrations with Salesforce-based customer health tools, such as Gainsight and Marketo
Since Skilljar is purposely built to maximize customer and partner training, our workflows are optimized to solve common end-user training problems and create a seamless workflow that saves time and costs. Skilljar customers can work with their Salesforce admin to ensure data cleanliness and completeness, and consider the best approach during implementation.
Interested in implementing an end-user training program in conjunction with Salesforce?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021.