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The Complete Guide to User Adoption

The Complete Guide to User Adoption

So your company just implemented Salesforce and now you’ve reached the last part of your project: user adoption, a critical if not the most critical piece of your Salesforce implementation. And getting it right from the beginning, can make or break your successful return on investment (ROI).

In this blog post we’ll break it down for you and explain the WHY and the HOW of User Adoption. To make it easier, we’ve split up the process into 4 stages-

1: Design

2: Develop

3: Deliver

4. Measure

STAGE 1: DESIGN

Design a transition, not a change 

People generally resist change, that’s why your user adoption plan must be designed as a gradual transition instead of a sudden change. You can’t implement Salesforce and expect your team to learn how to use it overnight. Doing so, will only frustrate and overwhelm your users, making it harder for them to welcome the new Salesforce platform.

Instead, design your user adoption process to be a long term project. The Harvard Business Review notes that “a period of overlap, running two systems simultaneously, helps ease transitions.” We recommend slowly moving your business processes to Salesforce one by one, so that your team can get familiar with and ease into using Salesforce.


Align your Executive team

Get your management team onboard and establish sponsorship at all levels of your organization. One way to do this is to give ownership to a senior stakeholder and to have that person roadmap and prioritize the user adoption process based on business goals. Ask them to make training mandatory and to set Salesforce as a job requirement for all users. We highly recommend that you adopt the mindset “if it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist”.


Show the value of Salesforce

Before you begin training, show your team the value that they can expect to get from using Salesforce and answer the “what’s in it for me?” question by providing insight on the benefits of using Salesforce such as its data management, analytics, automation tools, collaboration tools, and other features designed to simplify their jobs.

Below you can see the results of how training can improve adoption and usage rates.

STAGE 2: DEVELOP


Design your training strategy

Training your team is the most important element of your user adoption process. This ensures that they not only adopt Salesforce, but that they do so effectively and efficiently.

Before you deliver your training, map out your overall training strategy and delivery schedule, making sure to keep your business objectives top of mind. Develop clear, concise, easy to understand training material for your users to study. Choose how often you’d like to host in-person training sessions and identify which users will require training. If you need help designing your training plan, check out our post on The 8 Elements Your Training & User Adoption Plan Must-Have.


Train your team

Develop a training curriculum that’s relevant and tailored to your users. Make sure you train the whole team, and that your training sessions are interactive and hands-on. We recommend breaking up your training sessions to help your different users understand the material. For example, you can host different training sessions for your administrators, developers, end users, new hires, etc. During your training sessions, teach your users the different processes your company will use and the many ways they can use it. You can run through common scenarios based on your users’ roles so they can get a real understanding of how they can use the Salesforce platform.


Make Salesforce a part of your culture

You can get more of your team members involved by ingraining Salesforce into your work routine and daily life. Establish all business processes and operations to be made on Salesforce, following the philosophy “if it isn’t on Salesforce, it doesn’t exist”.

In addition, you can use Chatter to communicate with your team, and make announcements, share knowledge, post common problems and solutions, access files and data from your organization, and share and view updates. Position Chatter as the only way for your users to be aware of what’s happening in your company. Not only can you communicate important information on Chatter, you can also be informal with it and share company updates, exciting milestones, birthdays, and funny memes.

STAGE 3: DELIVER

Motivate your team

As a leader, you’ll need to acknowledge the hard work of change by rewarding and recognizing your team members. Continue to support and engage your users by promoting user adoption and celebrating their achievements. You can encourage participation by creating contests and offering incentives such as free meals, paid time off, gift cards, etc. We also recommend that you encourage your users to dive deeper into the platform and become Salesforce certified, that way they’ll gain tremendous knowledge and be a greater asset to your company.

Create a powerful advantage to using Salesforce 


Make it easier for your team to use Salesforce, and harder for them not to use it. You can create a powerful advantage to using Salesforce by aligning Salesforce configuration with all business processes. You can also make your users’ jobs easier by integrating third party applications from the Salesforce AppExchange into your organization such as Outlook, Google Drive, electronic signatures, and more. Having everything in one place will help accelerate user adoption.


Deliver training materials and resources 


Apart from in-person training, you will need to deliver training materials and resources so your team members can continue studying how to use Salesforce on their own time. Make sure to document your support process and share it with your team on Chatter. You can also share Trailhead modules to help your users train on their own.

STAGE 4: MEASURE


Measure your progress


Define metrics so you can measure your user adoption process and see how your team is performing. Some great KPIs to analyze your performance include:

  • Login rates
  • Types of created and/or updated records
  • Number of opportunities with close dates in the past
  • Sales rep opportunity scores


Not only do we recommend looking at these metrics, but we also recommend measuring your data quality to ensure your data is accurate and up to date. Once you’ve analyzed your performance results, you can make all the necessary adjustments to your user adoption plan.


Assess user satisfaction

Get a gut check on how your team’s feeling by asking them for feedback. Walk the floor and sit with your users to assess how they are interacting with Salesforce. Conduct a survey or poll on Chatter and use it to discover their pain points and common issues. Ask them to rate the delivery of training, communication, and how well-versed they are on the platform. This’ll give you a better idea of how your team is handling the transition, and will allow you to identify areas that need improvement.


Empower with data


Keep your data frequently updated so it can help your team make better decisions. Allow your end users to view reports and dashboards that are relevant to them so they can drive performance with actionable data.


Next steps


Once your organization reaches full user adoption, you can begin to extend Salesforce functionality to improve performance and productivity. Identify opportunities for enhancement, and optimize wherever possible. Keep your training ongoing and in conjunction with every Salesforce release so your users can stay up to date with all the latest features and changes. You can also reinforce training with webinars, office hours, email communications, etc.

If you’re currently struggling with your user adoption plan, no worries we’re here to help! From designing the right plan that fits your needs to ensuring full user adoption for your team, we’ve got you covered. Get started today by calling us at (305) 814 -7597 or saying hello@theskyplanner.com

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