Training Tips with Dave Derington, Gainsight

Training Tips with Dave Derington, Gainsight

September 20, 2017
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In this edition of our Training Tips series, we asked Dave Derington, Gainsight's former Manager of Educational Services, to share his insights and tips about training customers!

How do you decide between live training and on-demand training when building your content strategy?

Great question! We typically begin with live material as the source, then decide if on-demand is required. Like developers do with software, we iterate. The first pass may be “Alpha” with only internal participants. Then “Beta” continues until we feel like the content is of sufficient quality.

The first sessions are arguably rough, but I believe it’s best to surface material early for customers who are hungry for new content, rather than strive for perfection, which we all know is impossible. Usually I invite customers who are active in our community, helpful, and will give us copious notes (good, bad, or ugly) after training is complete.  

Once we’re done with “Beta” we take this material in two directions. One path is to really mature presentation material (PowerPoint decks and talk tracks) so we can record it for on-demand. The other is to continue to deliver instructor-led training. There’s interplay from there on. On-demand will always lag live, but having it helps give customers ready access to material when they need it!

What’s your favorite type of training content to create and why?

My favorite material involves deep technical learning. In particular, I enjoy virtual or live instructor-led courses with hands-on exercises for participants. These are great because of the immediate feedback loop: if you’re failing to teach well, you hear about it quickly. If you’re doing great, you see attentive learners who (sometimes) are having fun. Having people “get it” is inspiring.

What’s one of the top training challenges you’re currently facing and how do you plan to address it?

We are actively working to refine training for our onboarding process. With our product, there are a lot of things to learn and understand - particularly for the administrators who configure and help their own teams learn. Our goal is to have more “drip feed” kinds of training where learners get what they need in a just-in-time mode, and support deeper learning through more conventional education (classroom, virtual, on-demand).  

And of course, actively getting that data into Gainsight is key!  As we develop, we want to be able to proactively work with feedback to continually improve.


In our Training Tips series, we asked Training, Marketing, and Customer Success Managers what some of their best practices are to get the most out of a customer training program. Stay tuned for new Q&As each month! 

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