How to develop product training that sticks with SaaS Employees

Learn how Narmi improved Enterprise-level onboarding with a Product Bootcamp for employees.
Jun 2, 2022
Ananya Indwar
Sr. Associate, Business Operations & Strategy
Taylor Cembalisty
General Manager
Ryan Donaldson
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Things move fast at Enterprise-level SaaS companies. The product develops rapidly with new feature additions, integrations, and enhancements consistently changing the product experience – every 6 weeks in Narmi’s case

Many SaaS companies are good at product development and delivering software to launch, but few provide simultaneous, extensive product training to Customer Success, Marketing, and Sales teams. This leads to a common challenge among high-growth SaaS companies: how to invest in people as quickly as you're investing in product?

Training that focuses on bridging the time lag between product development (on the engineering side) and product knowledge (on the business side) has an outsized impact on company growth and scalability. 

Like a professional sports team, an Enterprise-level company needs to learn and practice each  play before game day to make efficient passes of information, anticipate department needs, and help customers be successful. Everyone on the Enterprise team needs to have a thorough and uniform understanding of the product.

Running product training drills 

A customer of an Enterprise-level company will interface with many different teams throughout their onboarding journey. This is particularly true with SaaS companies where every team “player” must be in sync and have an instinctive and consistent understanding of the play. 

Information needs to make quick, successful passes between Implementation and Customer Success teams and align with the expectations of Sales and Marketing teams to move the customer forward. Speeding up the amount of time it takes a new customer to realize value from the product is paramount for not only ensuring customer satisfaction, but also winning new customers. 

With this in mind, Narmi set out to build a product training program and internal culture that enables everyone at the company to become product experts – learning not only what the product does, but how it’s designed to work.

Here are the 4 principles that guided the development of our product training drills:

Reduce friction with consistent company-wide knowledge
Having the same baseline understanding of how our product works reduces friction at all customer journey stages and equips us to deliver a cohesive experience. If Sales and Marketing do not fully understand a product in the same way, they won’t be able to advocate for it properly and consistently.

Drive more revenue with a knowledgeable Sales team
By giving each Sales team player thorough product training, they are able to better leverage information. They can quickly and independently respond to questions, maximize value to prospective customers, and increase conversion rates. A Harvard Business Review article found that employee’s sales rate increased by 1.8% for every product knowledge training they completed.

Build trust between Customers and Customer Success teams
To help customers trust the product, they first need to trust the people they’re working with. Customer success teams can deliver accurate responses and solve common problems, with minimal back-and-forth and support tickets. This is crucial for increasing customer retention and minimizing costs – acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.

Set up all employees for success
Becoming proficient in the product increases team engagement and, consequently, success. In fact, a highly engaged team can increase profitability by 21% and productivity by 17%. Product training enables all teams to find maximum potential in your product, empowering them to infuse enthusiasm into product descriptions and demonstrations.

Building a Product Bootcamp at Narmi

Our product training drills came together in what we now call the Narmi Product Bootcamp – a learning journey designed to bring all employees up-to-speed on the nuts and bolts of our product and its end-to-end functionality. 

Cover image for Narmi's employee Product Bootcamp.

To build the bootcamp, we first needed to document the inner workings of our product in a digestible way. Over the course of several months we had regular conversations with engineering and product teams to translate technology jargon, demystify every facet of our product, and create robust product documentation for the entire product suite, including third-party integrations. 

We then housed this documentation in a Notion database giving everyone at Narmi a shared knowledge base. After building this internal single-source of product knowledge, we designed the Product Bootcamp as a learning journey to navigate and retain product information.

The bootcamp consists of nine modules that are laid out in textbook-style format. Each module is supplemented with diagrams and videos, including product demos and walkthroughs. Importantly, the content of each module focuses on both the product functionality and also how we speak about that functionality to customers

Each module is designed to take a few hours to complete, and concludes with a knowledge checkpoint quiz.

Set the ball rolling 

In the first two modules of our Bootcamp, all teams learn about the financial institution landscape in the United States, including intricacies around banks versus credit unions and types of banking core systems. Understanding how the target market looks and feels is crucial for understanding the basis of the product, and why we built things the way we did. 

We then review our ideal customer profile: which financial institutions are best served by Narmi’s product? Which financial institutions are ready to digitally transform and grow? Identifying who precisely we target is important for aligning employees with customers. 

And before deep diving into the product, we establish where Narmi sits in the financial institution ecosystem – on top of the core banking system as an abstraction layer that manages the end-user experience for banks and credit unions. 

Learning the playbook of fundamentals

In the next five modules, we build on the fundamentals by covering Narmi’s Tier 1 products: Digital Account Opening, Consumer Banking, Business Account Opening, and Business Banking. We discuss end-to-end workflows, features and functionality, and third-party integrations for each product. 

In just six weeks, new hires become in-house product experts ready to excel in serving our customers:   

  • Customer Success hires gain product knowledge to understand and solve customer issues without consulting Engineering and Product teams. 
  • Implementation team hires learn how to take a customer live successfully and efficiently – the Bootcamp roots all the steps, processes, and integrations required to go from Discovery to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to Go-Live in the product context. 
  • Digital Consulting team hires are equipped to recommend new product features and improvements by making connections between the benefits of each product and the challenges customers are facing. 

Importantly, we wanted to ensure that employees understood not only the core product but also the extensibility of our open platform. 

Therefore, the remaining modules revolve around the Narmi Application Framework, the developer-facing interface with our open platform, and the AppXChange marketplace financial institutions leverage to provide additional fintech services from within the Narmi platform. Both these pieces are essential in understanding the customization ability and future potential of our platform. 

Committing the playbook to memory

The quizzes at the end of each module are designed to test knowledge engagement and retention. As employees progress through the quizzes they receive Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals, and the medal tally for each employee is displayed on the Leader Scoreboard. 

The Leader Scoreboard is also shared company-wide as a way to gamify the Bootcamp experience, create some healthy internal competition, and celebrate completing each module.

Product training can have exponential scaling effects – driving better employee performance, efficient team execution, and increased revenue. Without a program in place for SaaS product training, employees might not be aware of their own gaps in product knowledge. And the more prepared your teams are, the easier it will be for them to execute the right plays at the right time of the customer journey.

Narmi Inc.
3 East 28th St. Floor 12
New York, NY 10016

How to develop product training that sticks with SaaS Employees