Just because you and your team have, or are going to, implement Salesforce, doesn’t mean all of your business problems will be instantly fixed. At the end of the day, user adoption is absolutely critical to establishing a working business process on a powerful CRM like Salesforce. It doesn’t matter how much you spent on custom development or if you have the latest plugins and integrations. If your team isn’t using them or isn’t using them properly, you business will suffer.
So with that in mind, here are six of our top recommendations, taken from various points in the Saleforce implementation and usage cycle to help ensure quality user adoption and ultimately, the success of your business.
1. Establish leadership, the project team and empower enthusiasts.
Before the project really gets underway, it is always best to have your teams set and ready to go. Make sure every department is represented among the leadership and project team. Consider how much leadership needs to be involved in the day-to-day, and establish a rhythm and routine.
Next, identify prospective users who are enthusiastic about the Salesforce initiative. These users can be your “Champions” group, and serve as a communication conduit to and from the remainder of the team, relaying messages, sharing success stories and reporting back questions or issues.
Share Salesforce successes big and small, and communicate them outward each time a milestone is reached. At launch, think about celebrating, thanking or rewarding your early adopters and champions. From emails to banners to TV screens, get creative so that people internally can’t help but be aware of the growth and changes, and want to get in on the action.
3. One size doesn’t fit all
It might be helpful for management to take stock of where different groups of people are, and tailor responses and training accordingly.
- Able and Willing – These people are already Salesforce power users.
- Willing but Unable – They’re willing to use the Salesforce, they’re just not able (or not able to fully use it). Focus on solving the issues that are stopping them and encourage them to work through it.
- Able but Unwilling – Often a key group to address. Make expectations clear and continue moving forward while offering them plenty o opportunity to get on board
- Unwilling and Unable – Hopefully there aren’t many of these folks. These people will require a lot of work, and generally, complete unwillingness might be an indicator of a larger problem.
4. Go in Phases
The more complex the system, the more there will be for your team to learn and adapt to. Don’t overwhelm them by doing it all at once. Set up your new CRM adoption plan into phases to make it easily digestible. Focus on small steps and achievable goals so that everyone can see, smell and taste the growth that you are achieving.
5. Move Basic Tasks and Processes onto Salesforce
The idea is that it will become easier for people to do their jobs by using the system, and if they choose to not adopt, their jobs will be more difficult by default. Some examples include:
- Align Salesforce configuration and functionality with the business processes.
- Use third-party applications (ex. electronic signature) to increase efficiency.
- Use Chatter to communicate with the team on deal updates, internal news and important events.
- Conduct performance reviews and team meetings using the information in reports and dashboards.
6. Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Remember that user adoption is never static. It can always be increasing or decreasing. Set regular review periods, ex. 3 mo, 6 mo, 12 mo, and analyze how well your team is doing and what could be improved upon. Then make sure to follow through with fixing any issues.
If you are using a phased approach, try and establish measurable goals for each, and use them to help you know when it’s time to start the next phase. Plus, you can use your quantitative and qualitative data from the first phase to guide your way forward in Phase 2.
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
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User adoption is critical, especially for software that drives your business like Salesforce. At the end of the day, it just doesn’t make sense to be spending money on a system that your team isn’t using.
However, the importance of user adoption is more than “we bought it so use it”, rather, user adoption has been linked to all sorts of business issues, including:
Keeps Data Relevant
One of the most powerful features of Salesforce is its ability to capture, track and analyze many facets of your Sales data. However, if your users aren’t using the system or aren’t entering everything properly, you can pretty much throw all your data out the window.
Avoid Losing Leads
Proper use of Salesforce across all sales team members can provide timely, accurate and detailed information to potential consumers, encouraging higher conversion rates.
Improve the Skills of Your Sales Team
Full adoption and utilization of Salesforce helps team members grow their skills, which leads to higher conversion rates and a stronger return on investment.
Discourage Ghost Users
Ghost users are those who simply log in, and do a few things every so often to avoid being shamed. When adoption is high though, it is more difficult to hide and avoid using Salesforce without being noticed.
When a company has high adoption, each department can contribute their expertise to the benefit of the entire company. Conversely, when a company has low adoption – the data is unreliable and each department must work much harder to find information.
So with all of that being said, how do you increase user adoption? Well, there are a number of ways, from setting incentives to designating internal use champions to working with a consultant to help your team. This article gives a nice example of going at it from the consulting perspective.
There are quick and easy options as well, like Emojis! Emojis can be useful in more than just text messages, and can, in fact, make your org more user-friendly, fun and actually help drive user adoption.
Take a look at this article here, and remember that every bit of adoption helps, even the little things like emoji! 🙂
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
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Proper training is key to business success for both the present and the future. It does require some real investment, but it more than pays for itself if you make the right decisions. With the plethora of options out there for training, you might be tempted to just dive in and create a nifty high-tech training program for your team. However, before you do, make sure you take some time and set out a smart plan to make sure your learners are getting the most out of what you give them. To aid in the planning process, we have a few essential tips that can really make the difference in high-quality results. Avoid these training mistakes below, and get your learners the in-depth, quality training you want, instead of having the information go in one ear and out the other.
Lack of Concrete Goals
If you don’t know exactly what the goal of the training is, how can you expect great results? Step one to any good training is defining a couple concrete goals, both long term and short term. Once you have your goals, sit down and evaluate what training materials and content you currently have and what additional materials you might need to achieve your goals. You may be surprised to find that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or hire a consultant to get the results you want. Finally, don’t be hesitant to take advantage of the skills your team already has to bridge gaps. Maybe you want to ask around and get feedback on the quality and needs of the training. Keep it open, but always with your concrete goals in mind
It isn’t hard to throw too much at someone new. You want them to get on board as fast as possible, and with all your specific business processes and practices, there are usually quite a few documents to go over. But showing a little restraint at the beginning can actually make things faster in the long run, as people will be able to steadily retain information and not get overwhelmed. One technique is to break your content down into smaller courses, rather than tackling the whole thing at once. This allows people to digest the whole thing over the course of a few sessions and enables them to better retain everything they have learned.
Lack of Hands-On Training
Technology-based training is the primary vehicle for all businesses these days. While LMS’s and other training options are very effective, don’t forget that the hands-on variations are, generally speaking, the most effective form of training for most people. Short, practical, relevant courses will give your learners the best results, and wherever possible, look to give your learners an avenue to ask questions and get quick answers from a qualified trainer.
Do keep in mind though that different people learn differently, and consider making all of the information available in different formats, such as written or pre-recorded in a demo. When training content is all kept to the same style, learners who happen to match well with that kind of content will significantly outperform those who have different learning styles. If you can deliver content using a variety of methods including visual, auditory, written, and activity-based elements, and make them as hands-on and active as possible, you will improve the overall success in all of your training.
Don’t be Boring
Believe it or not, this is one of those things that most companies just don’t think about. They focus on getting the bare bones content into some form of video or document, and then just hand it over to the learner, regardless of how interesting or well presented it is. But think back to those classes we have all have had during our schooling: where a boring, monotone teacher is droning on and on and putting half the class to sleep. Is that what your content is like? If so, can you really expect your team to get focused and learn what they need to learn?
Recent learning trends have been combating this and spicing up that dull old business training process. Gamification is one of the more popular and fun methods, making training interactive and adding a little bit of lighthearted competition. Newer applications and programs are also making it super easy to add videos, images and interactive widgets or icons, to keep variety and break up the content.
Training that Doesn’t Grow and Evolve
Your company isn’t static, so why should your training be? As your company grows and times change, so will your needs, practices and goals. As all of this natural growth occurs, so should your company training. Whether it is training for current employees on a new technology or business strategy or updating your basic content to correctly reflect your current business practices, evolving your training along with your business is an essential component. It doesn’t make much sense to train your employees on outdated practices. Not only will it be confusing, but it will also be demotivating to ask people to learn something that isn’t entirely relevant.
Whether you have a brand new Salesforce system or have just recently upgraded and updated a number of your processes, you will need to train your team. If you can keep in mind these common training mistakes, you should have a solid foundation for creating a better and more effective training, and ultimately get the most out of your investment!
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
Are you considering a new Salesforce implementation? Or maybe you just implemented Salesforce. Great! But before you continue with business as usual, there are a few things you should consider. Salesforce, like most major investments, takes a little bit of love, practice and know how to get the most out of. From a high-performance car to planting your own garden, how much you put into your investments dramatically influences what you get out of them. Whether your Salesforce Org is brand new, or a couple of years old, it’s never too late to adopt better practices and improve your business.
So in that vein, we have put together a short but powerful list of tips, based on research, discussion with Salesforce, and our own personal experience, on how to get the most out of your Salesforce implementation. The tips fall under two categories: things to do before your implementation, and things to do following a Salesforce implementation.
Preparing for a Salesforce Implementation
Think of it as moving into a new house or apartment. You don’t just pick a random place, sign a mortgage and drive straight over. A lot of planning and preparation is needed to make the big move, just the same as it is for a Salesforce Implementation.
Business Process Review
This is your chance for a better system and process. A well designed Salesforce platform should mirror, support, and augment your business process, reflect your internal roles, hierarchies, security, and enable your organization to be more efficient. Take a little time, think about what you have that works, what doesn’t and what you could do to improve. This is your foundation…make a commitment, invest in it, and you’re well on your way to a positive, organization-changing implementation.
Get Advice from Certified Salesforce Expert
Just about any businesses can benefit from receiving expert advice. A certified Salesforce expert can help you develop a deeper understanding of your business goals and advise on best practices or potential solutions. Certified Salesforce experts can help you in just about any area of your business, from figuring out a better system architecture to the strategic guidance of creating a better business roadmap that aligns with your implementation.
Review Your Data
Do you know where all of your data currently is? Are you planning/preparing to move from silos to one system of record? Once you’ve taken the time to review your data the best thing you can do it simplify! Not everyone on your team or inside of Salesforce needs to see every bit of minutiae, so be smart about your permissions, security and how everything is divided. If you do it right, not only will you avoid your team from feeling overloaded with data, which will negatively affect adoptions, but you will also set the foundation for a more secure and streamlined database.
Designate an IT project manager
As you prepare for a new implementation, you absolutely need to designate an individual who can work across functions, quickly gain consensus, make decisions and remove obstacles, and serve as the overall project champion. Having an IT project manager significantly improves both the quality of the implementation and the speed at which the implementation progresses. In addition, having continuity and leadership throughout the duration of the implementation will help immensely to ensure all goes smoothly and ensure that all your expectations are met. If you are working with a certified Salesforce developer and Consultant, this will be one of your primary contact points with the Salesforce expert.
Be Ready to Get Involved
Even if you are working with a developer or consultant to install Salesforce, you need to be ready to get your hands dirty. The more you participate with the implementation team, the better everyone can remain in sync, and generate the best results. Too little participation often leads to project delays and misaligned expectations.
Be Ready for Change. Expect Change
And set aside some extra funds for just in case you want to make additional changes. No project goes perfectly smooth from start to finish. Understanding this from the beginning will help ease any tensions or stress later on.
Post- Implementation Tips
Following your successful implementation, you need to remember that everything isn’t done yet. You still have plenty to do to make sure your system is optimized and stays that way.
Train, Train, Train
Training is one of the most critical points in ensuring user adoption and the long-term success of your Salesforce implementation. It’s crucial that users not only learn how to use the system, but that they know how to make the most of it. If you can make the commitment to effective, ongoing training, you’ll end up with a confident and effective user base. And remember to keep on training as time goes on. The more you invest in your team’s knowledge, the more they will be able to do!
Plan for Support
Having a plan to support your user base is important to the continued growth of your platform. If you have a consultant or developer working with you, discuss with them a support plan that meets your needs to ensure any unexpected issues are covered. Make sure you have a plan ready to go for how you are going to support your user base.
Make sure your users have a way to submit support requests, make suggestions for improvements, and request additional training. Engagement with your team is critical to make sure your users know you’ve got their back and that they’re going to be heard. This will significantly improve user adoption, and of course, the better your user take to the new system, the better they can perform their jobs.
Automate All the Things
While some automation may be better left to the Salesforce partner who did your implementation, there are plenty of smaller tasks that you automate yourself. Things such as auto scheduling emails, workflows, and task notifications, can all significantly streamline your day and give you more time to focus on your most critical tasks.
Download Apps from the Appexchange
Why build when there is a marketplace of over 3000 pre-built apps. Need an email marketing client? Check. Want a better call center. Also check. Need to put fun quotes and emojis into your org? Yep, got that too. Need advice on the best app to use for a particular pain point? Our Salesforce consultants are happy to help.
Reports & Dashboards should be relevant for the business. Take the time to learn how to utilize and build proper reports and dashboards. If they are showing irrelevant information, or the information they show isn’t easy to understand, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Finally, think about adopting Salesforce1. With Salesforce’s mobile integration, you can carry all your vital information with you anywhere you go, and access it from any device. Essential for any business that goes on the road regularly!
Whew. How’s that for a short list? No matter what stage of the Salesforce journey you are on, hopefully these tips have given you a little something extra to improve your experience.
If you are still hungry for more, stay tuned for our comprehensive guide to getting the most from a Salesforce Implementation, coming out in the next few weeks.
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
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Whatever your needs, we have you covered. Contact one of our Salesforce experts and we will find you a better business solution.
So you just installed new software in your company to boost productivity and growth? Great! But how do you get everyone on your team to really commit to adopting and using the new features? Poor adoption can lead to a fractured and dissatisfied team, as well as potential business setbacks and losses. Whether you have made a significant change, like moving your entire operation onto Salesforce, or a smaller one, like adding a group messaging app such as Slack, encouraging software adoption can be challenging.
For each user, the adoption arc will be unique, but the following practices are a great place to start:
- Transparent Communication: Talk to your team openly. Make sure everyone understand what change is being made and why. Take some time to spell out the benefits.
- Early Adopters: If possible, make the new software available for experimentation prior to the official launch. Give your team a risk free opportunity to explore
- Success Stories and Super Users: Do you have any early adopter wizards? Super users who immediately pick it up and run? Share their stories to encourage the team. Explore what is working well and let them share tips from personal experience.
- Appreciation and Recognition: Little rewards can go a long way. Simple shout outs to a new successful adoption, or a quick thank you message can keep the adoption rolling.
- Support Structure: If anyone is struggling, make sure you have the resources readily available to help. Make it easy to get help, and push the message that it’s ok to ask for help. Nobody wants to be ostracized for struggling with a new system.
-Ryan and the CMB Team