8 ways to improve Salesforce user adoption

by James Campbell - March 27, 2014
8 ways to improve Salesforce user adoption

All organisations that use Salesforce should have a strategy to continuously improve and encourage user adoption. Some large organisations not only have strategy for this, they even have employees solely dedicated to the cause (salesforce.com being one). Here are a few things you can do to positively impact Salesforce user adoption within your organisation…

Use Salesforce to report forecasts, targets and other KPIs – Configuring Salesforce to regularly report these key metrics and building them into performance reviews is an incredibly effective way of driving user adoption. Once employees understand that their performance is being measured using the data they enter, they very quickly change their behaviour for the better. The effectiveness is further increased when visibly benchmarking an individual’s performance against others in their team.
Tip – It’s important to configure the application in a way that stops users from just entering data that will make them look like they are performing far better that they actually are. An example of this is clearly defining your sales stages rather than leaving it to your users’ interpretation.

Optimise Salesforce for the majority of users, not just management – Configuring your implementation so that your users are happy with the amount of information they are being asked to input while at the same time delivering the strategic insight required by management is no easy task. This is however absolutely critical when it comes to user adoption. To get the right balance you must prioritise your reporting requirements, question every piece of data you are asking your users to record, and automate as much as possible.

Expectations from management – Management must establish a culture where not using Salesforce is simply unacceptable. It is important to identify any senior employees that do not hold this view so that you can listen to what they have to say and address their concerns. Having a consistent message from senior management is critical to ensuring organisation-wide adoption.

Training, training, training – Users should ALWAYS receive formal training prior to using the application. The format/length will depend on the complexity of your operation however the most effective training is always tailored to the role of the user and their Salesforce implementation. Hands-on training accompanied with documentation means that your users will leave the training session with all the tools required to ‘hit the ground running’. Offering refresher / advanced training sessions is a great way of ensuring your organisation gets the most out of your Salesforce solution.
Tip – For group training sessions we recommend no more than 10 users per session to keep it interactive.

Power users – Having power users in every team provides an excellent bridge between Salesforce users and administrators. They can often resolve user issues much quicker than administrators due to accessibility and having a much better understanding of users’ core processes. Small niggles that users have with the application often don’t get heard by administrators however regular catch-ups with power users allows these issues to be raised, addressed and fed back down the chain.
Tip: Choosing the right individuals is very important – the ideal candidate should be keen, approachable, tech savvy and most crucially, prepared to devote their time to the role.

Sell the benefits (not the features) – The reason that this is one of the most used phrases in the history of marketing is because it works! Whether you’re implementing Salesforce for the first time or introducing new functionality, it is crucial that you don’t just discuss the features, but also outline the benefits that the system will deliver as this will undoubtedly get them more excited. Benefits might include better customer insight, improved task management, quicker logging of communications, reduction in time spent forecasting/reporting using spreadsheets, etc. In larger organisations, internal marketing campaigns are a great way of communicating this information to large groups of people across numerous locations.

Administrator dashboards & reports – These are fantastic tools that allow administrators to regularly monitor Salesforce users. They can be configured to measure things like the number of times a user has logged in, number of records updated, tasks/activities created – the list is endless. Regularly monitoring this data allows administrators to immediately identify users that are not using the application in the way they should and address any issues before bad habits creep in.

Competitions – Competitions with prizes/incentives are a great way of motivating team members to use the application properly. An example could be to reward the users who update the most leads or contacts in a month. The effectiveness of the competition can sometimes be short lived as you often see an immediate drop off in discipline once a competition ends. Continuously running competitions is one solution. Alternatively you can run the competition to get an idea of what users are capable of, and then set management expectations based on these metrics.

If you have any questions about Salesforce user adoption or feel your organisation requires assistance with anything mentioned in this post, please get in touch.

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