Continually Evolving CRM Training: Barriers to Consider During Planning


Technology-based learning remains a staple, especially with Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) training. But organizations are left wondering how they can adjust to accommodate evolution and keep users engaged. 


The first step is to stop looking at training as a one-time event and start considering it as a process.


A training process includes three phases: planning, implementation, and evaluation. But even with the training process, there are barriers to overcome. Here’s what to consider during planning. 


Technology-based learning is often exclusively hosted online (e-learning). This differs from computer-based training, where training takes place on the computer. As you’re planning your CRM training program, it’s important to acknowledge the impacts of e-learning, especially with remote team members.


For example, one of our clients uncovered incongruencies during the training planning phase regarding internet connectivity. They quickly realized that for those working remotely, internet connection speed might be a barrier—something non-existent for those working in person. 


But you must also account for the technology savviness of your team. 

  • How comfortable are users with technology?
  • Do they know how to seek help when faced with technology challenges?
  • How would technology challenges impact their ability to operate within the CRM?

Technology can be a powerful tool, but it can also cause difficulty for some. Be sure you’re looking at technology from all angles to ensure members of your team don’t get left behind.


As the world grows more distant, thanks in part to the connectivity of technology, the issue of isolation rises. Research says that when someone feels isolated, they’re less likely to absorb new information and lack motivation to learn.


Isolation can be a significant barrier to CRM training, which is only compounded for team members experiencing technology challenges. 

For example, our client had team members struggling with technology—like logging into a new system outside of their current system—which was worsened by the lack of a peer group to support them.


Eliminate isolation by adding a coaching component or an accountability system that requires co-workers to check in with each other. A coach or accountability partner can offset the challenge of qualifying and quantifying engagement.

Learning Styles

Before designing your CRM training, assess your learners and understand their characteristics, preferences, and goals. You can gather this information through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or observations.


Then, evaluate their current CRM knowledge and skill level, learning objectives and expectations, preferred learning modalities, motivational factors, barriers to learning, and cultural backgrounds and values.


There are four predominant learning styles to consider as you move through planning: visual, auditory, read and write, and kinesthetic.

  • Visual: Someone who prefers visual learning is partial to seeing and observing things, including pictures, diagrams, written directions, and more. This is also referred to as the “spatial” learning style. Those who learn through sight understand information better when it’s presented visually. These are your doodling team members, list makers, and those who take notes.
  • Auditory: Auditory learners tend to learn better when the subject matter is reinforced by sound. These learners would much rather listen to a lecture than read written notes, and they often use their voices to reinforce new concepts and ideas. These types of learners prefer reading out loud to themselves. They are fearless in speaking up in class and are great at verbally explaining things. Additionally, they may repeat things a teacher tells them.
  • Reading and writing: These learners prefer to learn through written words. While there is some overlap with visual learning, these types of learners are drawn to expression through writing, reading articles or books, writing in diaries, looking up words in the dictionary, and searching the internet for information.
  • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners, sometimes called tactile learners, learn through experiencing or doing. They like to get involved by acting out events or using their hands to touch and handle to understand concepts. These types of learners might struggle to sit still and often excel at sports or like to dance. They may need to take more frequent breaks when studying.

While most individuals have a general idea of how they learn best, learning styles often come as a surprise, especially when faced with absorbing complex material. By assessing your learners, you can create CRM training tailored to their needs and preferences and increase engagement and retention.


If technology-based learning is done correctly, you can often satisfy most learning styles because there is a visual component, an auditory element, and activities for the individual to apply their knowledge.


 Finally, here are a few pros and cons of e-learning.

  • Pros: self-paced, ongoing resource, scalable, and convenient for scheduling.
  • Cons: isolation, difficulty qualifying and quantifying engagement, and information retention may be minimal without follow-up.

E-learning is a powerful tool, but it should act as the base layer for your CRM training program. If you truly want your CRM training to evolve, consider adding methods delivered offline to make sure you’re reinforcing learning in as many ways as possible.