User adoption is where it all starts. It is the foundation for gaining all the benefits that Salesforce offers to your company.
Before we get started, let’s talk about what we mean by Salesforce user adoption. The definition of adoption, according to Google, is very simple:
The action or fact of choosing to take up, follow, or use something.
But Salesforce user adoption isn’t as simple as it sounds. It isn’t like opening a box or flipping a switch. In other words, it doesn’t happen in an instant—it takes a series of decisions over a period of time. It takes adapting your day-to-day schedule, your decisions, your operations, and more. It might not be easy for everyone in your company to make the change, but we can assure you that the results will be worth it!
So, let’s get into the 7 best practices you should keep in mind for better Salesforce user adoption. Pay attention to these rules and common mistakes and your company will be far more likely to get the most out of its investment into Salesforce.
1. Respect Your End Users and Their Wants and Needs
You want your end users to see the value and benefits of Salesforce, but it isn’t going to happen in an instant. People may be resistant at first. So, it is important to show them that you understand and respect their wants and needs. Allow end users to give feedback from the very start. Here are a few ways to generate feedback from your end users, according to Salesforce:
- Plan user group meetings. Ask them what is working, what isn’t working, and discuss possible future changes.
- Create a survey in Salesforce. This lets your end users give you anonymous, candid, helpful feedback.
- Use your Salesforce adoption dashboard. You can get easy-to-use adoption dashboards on AppExchange to help you track your progress.
Great user adoption requires great communication with your end users, so make sure that their feedback is important to your leadership team!
2. Keep It Simple
Salesforce can get fairly complicated. Keep it simple! Your end users will thank you. Everyone will be more productive. From the very start, when designing your configuration, remember that less is more. While it’s true that Salesforce offers an overwhelming array of features, you need to think critically about which users need which features and don’t clutter up your configuration with unneeded tools.
There are a few ways you can do this in practice. One way is to use personalized page layouts and profiles. Each Salesforce user can have a different format based on their job title and job duties. If the person designing the layout doesn’t understand how to do the user’s job, that’s a problem—and that is one place where user feedback can come into play, as we’ve already discussed.
Another way to keep Salesforce simple is to use the Optimizer tool regularly. This tool helps you find unused tools and layouts, extra unneeded fields, and reports that go unused. You can remove anything that slows down performance, distracts users, or clutters up the layout.
And finally, you can simplify and streamline Salesforce by making team emails a part of Salesforce. You can easily connect it to Gmail or Outlook, which can save significant amounts of time each day for your end users!
3. Get Your Leadership Team to Use Salesforce’s Tools
It’s important to remember the concept of leading by example. Salesforce adoption should come from the top down. In other words, leaders need to be ready to jump on board with Salesforce enthusiastically! Your leadership team is responsible for cultivating a culture of using Salesforce, so they should receive training early on, so that they can demonstrate Salesforce’s value to the rest of the organization.
People in leadership positions will need to regularly use Salesforce and demonstrate how it manages opportunities and helps drive sales. Otherwise, your other users will struggle to see the value of the tool. Leading by example is one of the very best ways to drive user adoption throughout your organization! We’ve seen its power in every company that we’ve worked with.
Here are some tangible ways you, as an executive, can demonstrate your support according to Salesforce:
- Instead of requesting Excel or PowerPoint reports, review your organization’s analytics in Salesforce.
- Send messages and collaborate through Salesforce’s Chatter tool and keep it positive! Use it to share good news—maybe your organization has landed a big deal or has met its goals for the quarter.
- When you hold organizational meetings, display Salesforce adoption metrics for all to see.
These are just a few examples—there are many more ways that you can demonstrate your personal investment in Salesforce and encourage employees to do the same.
4. Stay Away from Redundancy
Salesforce will—and should—change the way your employees conduct their day-to-day activities. Not only that, but it should streamline and simplify their day-to-day activities. Their time is highly valuable! So, don’t allow them to waste time with redundant tools. There should be one way to do things, and you should put everything your team needs to do its job all in one place. Make it easily-accessible. Determine what information your team needs on a daily basis and add it to Salesforce.
5. Maintain Open Lines of Communication
Throughout the entire adoption process and beyond, you should maintain open lines of communication with your entire team. Implementing and adopting Salesforce is an ongoing process, and you’ll have to revisit your key questions over and over throughout that process. Here are some great key questions to keep in mind:
- Does Salesforce add value in [insert specific process here]?
- Why did our organization implement Salesforce in the first place?
- What are our biggest problems regarding Salesforce?
- Where is Salesforce currently working the best?
- Where can Salesforce help us the most?
Not only should you be asking these questions, but you should be constantly making adjustments based on the answers to these questions. It’s the only way to learn, grow, and succeed with Salesforce adoption!
6. Realize that Salesforce is Always Evolving
Sometimes, a business adopts Salesforce without fully realizing that Salesforce is always evolving. It’s not like buying a static, stationary object. Like most technologies, Salesforce is rapidly evolving—it advances quickly, and you can’t just leave it alone. You’ll need to make regular adjustments to ensure it still fits your organization.
Not only does Salesforce change, but your business is probably changing, too. Your end users’ needs will evolve over time and so will your business’s goals. On a quarterly basis, your team should meet up to evaluate whether your current iteration of Salesforce is still meeting your needs. Task someone with staying up to date on Salesforce or stay in touch with a knowledgeable Salesforce consultant who can assist you in this area.
7. Prioritize Salesforce Training—Don’t Make End Users Figure It Out on Their Own!
No matter the size of your business, if you want to improve Salesforce user adoption, it’s critical to provide good training. Failing to provide targeted, adequate training is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. While there are free tools available for you to use, it’s best to prioritize Salesforce training by getting targeted guidance that’s tailored to your organization’s needs. At Vantage Point, we offer tailored training and change management that drives adoption and improves productivity.
Salesforce is already a significant investment in time and money, and it might seem like tailored consulting adds unnecessary expense and time to the onboarding process. However, it has been proven time and time again to be an effective way to train end users and administrators alike. It can greatly decrease frustration and wasted resources that occur due to people not understanding the program.
Need Help Improving Your Salesforce Adoption Strategy?
At Vantage Point, we’re here to help you improve your Salesforce adoption strategy! We understand that it’s a complicated process and that proper training and consulting can help you avoid a multitude of user adoption problems. Are you having any of these user adoption problems?
- Your sales team isn’t logging in regularly and are relying on old tools for selling
- Your advisors are still using tools like Excel and Powerpoint in areas where Salesforce would work better
- Advisors and admins aren’t entering all their data into Salesforce
- Team members are complaining about the difficulty of using Salesforce (whether it’s inconvenient, too complicated, too slow, doesn’t fit their role, etc.)
If you’re having any of those problems or other issues with Salesforce, Vantage Point is here to address your unique needs, solve your issues and make Salesforce a worthy investment for your company! Contact us today to discuss how we can help your company.