Core Enablement is the first step in ensuring adoption. Getting your customer administrators to own the platform creates a first line of sponsors and evangelists within the account. The better and sooner you can create master users of your admins, the more effective you can be in growing adoption throughout the account. While Core Enablement is about helping your administrative users understand how your solution works (behind the scenes), it’s also about taking the first steps to tailoring the solution to fit their needs. From your vantage point, Core Enablement is also a way to form an asset within the account. By establishing pride of ownership with the lead administrator and helping them configure the solution with integrity, they can be an asset to you while creating something for the rest of their company to use and deem valuable.
Core Enablement is conducted by Customer Success (Implementation) teams. Documentation and training materials (as well as new feature updates) may be created by marketing teams and/or product teams. We advise that the training process and materials be collaboratively built so that they are thorough, yet conducive to how customers learn.
Core Enablement happens just before End User Training. As Core Enablement can take some time to do, Rapid Prototyping can be part of and become a blue print for the rest of the training and configuration.
The goal of Core Enablement is to kick off a steep, exciting and independent learning curve for your customers, and to create an asset in your key administrator. The first step is to understand how your customers will most effectively learn and consume training materials. Not every customer requires the same types of training, so consider your options and offer them to your customer:
Depending upon what you and they choose, or your capacity for delivering your training though the above approaches, your Core Enablement may look different. However, there are some basic guidelines for being effective.
Before you step into your product, spend some time educating your customer on your nomenclature, structure and process. A basic dictionary of terms can be useful as well as a few discovery questions to help align their current processes and language with yours.
What are the main screens, terminology, structure of your platform? Begin by providing your customer with the basic structure either with a diagram or within the platform so that they understand how the product is designed, where their data will reside and how it will flow.
Provide a base configuration with the “most standard practices” as a model for your customers. Each customer may have strong opinions or ideas about how they want to use your platform. However, you know what works and what doesn’t. Demonstrate for them what has worked best for other customers. When possible provide for them the templates for this model, and the steps to make modifications.
Remember that learning isn’t always linear. Create modules or training sessions that loop back on what was learned and then move forward. Recognize that customers consumer information in pieces. Take charge of how those pieces are delivered so that they build logically upon one another. The entire process must ultimately allow them to build something sustainable and valuable. Even though you want to be adaptive to your customers’ needs, try to get through the basic building blocks before you become agile and adapt your training to their specific requests. Sometimes customers requests will change once they understand the structure and design of the platform.
It can be very frustrating for both the trainer and trainees if the process continues on while the core teachings haven’t been fully seeded. Be sure to assess how well the admins are absorbing the training. This can be done with mini assessments that must be completed before continuing, or with simple check-ins to make sure they understand what’s been covered.
(Note: This assessment model should also be used by the admins themselves as they share their configurations with their teams. Their goal is to build something that their team will adopt. For this to happen, they must make sure the team has buy-in on how it’s configured.)
Each module should not only iterate and build upon previous ones, but should also incorporate measures that encourage independence. As the admins grow in their knowledge of how to enable the platform for their users, they should also be growing in independence for handling exceptions and making changes. You need someone in the company who can be the point person for questions, adjustments, additions, permissions, troubleshooting, etc. Design your Core Enablement training to build this confidence and independence.
(Note: This is very important. If you fail to establish your admins as confident, independent owners of the platform, you may find yourself upside down in your service/support provisioning.)
Core Enablement needs to establish adoption of the basic building blocks of your solution. However, it should also plant seeds which encourage creative insights for solving future problems and creating additional opportunities. It’s a balancing act. You don’t want your admins to feel as though they are drinking from a fire hose, but you also want them to see possibilities.
WHAT DO WE LEARN THROUGH Core Enablement?
Core Enablement is really the first time we get to see how our primary users (admins) intend to use our platform. While we base our training around basic best practices, we also use this time to encourage them in strategies for best approaches that will ensure their success. By setting our main administrators up for success in our platform, we set ourselves up for a successful relationship by creating an asset and helping make them a hero within their own organization.
Read more about the Blocking and Tackling of Customer Success .