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The world is adjusting to a new reality that was unimaginable three months ago. COVID-19 has altered every aspect of our lives, introducing abrupt changes to the way businesses and communities operate. Everyone is adapting to virtual work and plans have certainly changed for in-person conferences, trainings, and seminars across all industries.
The COVID-19 crisis offers an important reflection point for CRM trainers to question the status quo and explore new, virtual approaches for delivering quality training programs. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your virtual CRM session or class.
Virtual CRM Training Tip #1: Set a strategy for format and questions
- Unexpected questions should not create undue pressure. Call on other resources within the training session. If there is a participant who can answer a question better than you, ask them to answer. Adding in a new voice also makes the call more interesting.
- Hypothetical questions can also be answered by those on the call who understand their processes better than the host of the virtual training session. Redirect the question to the asker or other participants with something like, “Excellent question; how would you handle the situation?”
- Clarify your strategy before the training by providing attendees with guidelines at the start. For example, ask for questions to be submitted in the chat window after designated sessions, while leaving enough time for Q&A.
Virtual CRM Training Tip #2: Reduce the Training Time
Virtual meetings should not go for more than an hour or two at a time. What would’ve been a day-long training might need to be shortened into several 2-hour sessions over a period of several days. Always include breaks for those exceptions where you need to go over the 2-hour mark.
Virtual CRM Training Tip #3: Murphy’s Law – Plan Accordingly
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” – Murphy’s Law. Technology works most of the time, but it seems like the ideal time for things not to work is when you have 100 participants tuning in to your virtual training session. Test well in advance to resolve issues before showtime:
- Internet connection: If you have poor connections, consider plugging in. Invest in long ethernet cables and if possible, secondary WiFi access points.
- Mic quality: Computer sound or headphones can be unreliable. Ask someone to listen as you test prior to your go-live session. Purchase an external plug-and-play mic to ensure the best quality possible on important calls and videos. This inexpensive investment can make all the difference to your participants.
- Computer updates and notifications: Calendar reminders or external chat notifications can be distracting and can impact the overall effectiveness of your virtual training session. Eliminate these distractions in advance by shutting down the necessary tools and turning off notifications. “Focus Mode“ is available on most PC computers and helps to automatically mute most notifications.
- Computer updates: How often do you click the “update later” button when a computer software or application update notice pops up? Yeah, me too. In fact, I once delayed these updates so long that my computer initiated an automatic restart in the middle of a call. Take my word for it, go ahead and make those updates well in advance of your online training session.
Virtual CRM Training Tip #4: Get to Know Your Virtual Platform
The virtual platform you will use for your training session will include features you need to know to run the call effectively, such as: mute all participants, mute SPECIFIC participants, attachments, group chat, whiteboarding, presenting only specific programs, etc. Understand where the presenter options are and how to use them. If possible, secure a facilitator to assist you who can be responsible for muting / unmuting people and tracking incoming chat questions.
Virtual CRM Training Tip #5: Embrace the Unexpected
In any virtual training call, you are sure run into unknowns. Just go with it and embrace the unexpected. Be confident and handle any hiccups calmly.
Apply these helpful presentation tips from AKA, and you are sure to host a successful virtual CRM training session. Want more tips for your virtual workforce? Read these blogs:
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Article by: Matthew Case | 212-502-3900
Matthew Case has worked with CRM for 9 years and with Microsoft Dynamics since CRM 2011. Specializing in CRM architecture, interface design, user adoption, and change management, he is driven by the desire to help users find ways to easier, more efficient work through software innovation.