As a CRM, Salesforce’s goal is to help you effectively manage customer relationships. However, when a new customer account is signed, Salesforce only has 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 in the customer training, success, and enablement industry. How do you get behavioral data on your actual customers (the product’s end users) into Salesforce to better personalize customer messaging, understand adoption, and report on customer health?
Continue reading to learn more.
What is your customer contact strategy?
Skilljar’s software platform focuses on customer onboarding, training, and certification, so we have a unique perspective on how companies address the challenges of getting customer data into Salesforce.
One of the first questions is typically - how do you invite product users into training based on a state change in Salesforce? It’s a great goal to launch onboarding as soon as possible after closing a new account, and to use an automated process that makes things easy for your Customer Success Managers (CSMs). However, the reality is that if Salesforce doesn’t yet know who the end users are, it’s impossible to automatically invite them to training.
Skilljar solves this dilemma in several ways. The most common path is as follows:
- An automated Salesforce email workflow that provides the account administrator with next steps, typically a link to training and/or access codes keyed to the customer’s account.
- Self-registration by the student into training. Since Skilljar offers just-in-time user provisioning, this doesn’t require the user to “pre-exist” in either Salesforce or the LMS.
- Sending user data back into Salesforce via our AppExchange integration to create or annotate contact records.
The alternative is typically first provisioning users in your product, then syncing your product data with Salesforce and inviting users to training. 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.
So, what can you do?
Customer Success Managers (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. However, getting this information to their fingertips is not easy with the traditional LMS, which was designed for compliance and to integrate with HR systems.
Connecting Skilljar 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
- And deepen customer engagement.
Once you’ve connected these systems, there is still the challenge of “orphaned contacts.” Orphaned contacts are Salesforce contact records that are not associated with an account record, which is typically a company or subdivision of a company.
There are two ways to approach the “orphaned contact” issue. First, you could use Skilljar’s default custom student objects with NO link to contact records. Your Salesforce admin can then cleanse your data by linking Skilljar student “groups” with corresponding Salesforce accounts.
Alternatively, you could automatically annotate or add new contact records with Skilljar’s training data. Your admin can then run a simple process to look for orphaned contacts and assign them appropriately according to your organization’s business rules.
It’s challenging for an external system like Skilljar to auto-assign new contacts to accounts, when it’s unclear what your account logic is, or even if the account is being used in Salesforce’s default manner (many companies have highly customized Salesforce and account instances). Reverse lookup of email domains isn’t always effective, since companies can have multiple emails based on subdivision, regions, products, brands, and more. Our approach is to provide maximum flexibility and clarity so your team can choose the solution that makes the most sense for your Salesforce setup.
Integrating customer training data into Salesforce is important to create an automated, smooth, and effective experience for your student learners and for your CSM team. Yet, this is difficult or impossible to do with most learning systems, since Salesforce doesn’t know the end users in advance. Since Skilljar is designed for customer and partner training, our workflows are optimized to solve this problem. Work with your Salesforce admin to ensure data cleanliness and completeness, and to consider the best approach during implementation.