Training and Education During the Exposure Stage of Your CRM Implementation


Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software benefits your organization in many ways, especially when your staff is trained to use the CRM efficiently. Your approach to training and education should empower your entire team to take advantage of every part of your CRM software. 


When it comes to training and education, there are four common stages: exposure, engagement, ownership, and mastery. By using appropriate training and education techniques during each stage of your CRM project, your team is better equipped for adoption, decreasing feelings of overwhelm and burden. 


Here’s some training and education methods to consider during the exposure stage. 

Exposure through Lunch and Learns

Exposing your team to all the capabilities of the CRM helps generate excitement and increase adoption success. The proper timing to integrate exposure is when you’re well into the design—nearing the end of the design phase. Or, at the very least, when you have something well-formed that you can show users like how the new CRM will work, its configuration, and significant decisions. 


We recommend hosting frequent lunch and learns, which is one of the most effective ways to expose users to your new CRM.

Benefits of Lunch and Learns

A lunch and learn event is an opportunity for co-workers from different teams to meet and share their skills and expertise. It could be a one-off session, where a team lead outlines a feature of your CRM, for example. 


Lunch and learns support those not part of the project team and those who have been living and breathing it but haven’t seen the system—on the project’s fringe. Ultimately, they allow the masses to get involved in the activity and see the CRM for themselves. 


Another benefit of a lunch and learn is that it provides the opportunity for socializing the design itself. There are a lot of decisions that representatives have made for the stakeholder population. Remember, everyone can’t be involved in the design and decision-making about the system, so this provides an opportunity to socialize with the users who will inherit the decisions made by their colleagues. And socializing helps ease users into decisions, raise awareness about functionality, and empower them to settle into using the CRM. 


Users need to start learning the new language early in the CRM implementation process, which is essential to true adoption—lunch and learns are a great way to introduce new terminology. 


If the lunch and learn is interactive, (which we recommend)—identify concepts where people might struggle that you can notate for future training sessions. For example, users might need extra time to understand a concept or support to acquire the knowledge and skills in a particular area that you were able to identify through exposure at the lunch and learn. 


Here are three tips to boost the effectiveness of your lunch and learn.

  • Timely: Lunch and learns should be at most 30 minutes. They should require a decent investment of time but be manageable. 
  • Interactive: Lunch and learns should be interactive as much as possible. For example, no-pressure quizzing is a technique that is often used and effective.
  • Fun: Deliver the information but have some component of fun. Users are already going to be very serious about CRM training, so incorporate fun when designing a lunch and learn.