It’s one thing for a manager and a consultant to sit together in a conference room planning out how Salesforce should be integrated. In reality, the users may not take to the system the way you anticipate. The delta between the plan and the reality can be significant when there isn't a clear adoption strategy in place. Aligning with the user’s core needs has as much to do with planning, strategy, communication, and leadership as it does with the technical elements of the system. We have listed out five areas where you can focus on to increase user adoption.
Collect User Feedback inside Salesforce: User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a trial of new system features with a select group of users to ensure that the real-world usage of the system is aligned with intended design. Because the UAT process allows users to provide input, they consequently feel a greater level of ownership because their voice is heard. This makes valued, validated and gives them more motivation to be successful with Salesforce since everyone is on the same team. In addition to the automatic buy-in benefit, you collect crucial feedback that can make the system even better. Pro tip: have your Salesforce administrator create custom "Feedback" custom object in Salesforce to track the feedback all in one place. A field for priority, status, comments, submitting user etc. can be collected in this object. The users will submit their feedback right in Salesforce makes it easy to track and has the added benefit of assisting with adoption.
Keep it Simple: Poor Salesforce adoption is often the result of too many unnecessary things on a user's screen. There are unnecessary fields, old junk data, extra buttons on page layouts, old apps that were never removed, clunky manual processes, and a lack of time saving automation. Salesforce feels like a chore to use when it's bogged down with clutter. Set a solid foundation that users can trust by eliminating anything that isn't crucial to the users needs. Custom profiles, record types, data management, de-duplication tools and hidden fields can go a long way in cleaning up Salesforce.
Document Procedures: Whenever we do a training whether on-site or remote, we always record it to save for future use. We send that recording out right afterwards so anyone can re-watch. The video ca also serve as a resource for new employee onboarding. In addition to the training video recordings, we offer a flow-chart diagrams (we use LucidChart) and training PDFs (we export from Microsoft Word). The flow charts show the flow of the system visually in a step by step process with deviations depending on the path they take with their prospect / customer. The PDF documents combine text with screen shots and arrows pointing where to click to guide the users through the processes. Good documentation saves time and money because it cuts down on the time administrators and consultants must spend onboarding new users or answering questions with existing users.
Reinforcement Training: Training & reinforcement training is an absolutely critical component of user adoption. It is essential that trainings are clear and easy to understand. Implementing new technology solutions require buy-in from users at all levels of the organization. Training is a key time to internally sell the value of Salesforce to various stakeholders. It's the time to show how it will help them sell, service or manage their team more effectively. Refresher trainings to reinforce the fundamentals and build upon previous sessions should aim to turn users into power users. It doesn't happen overnight.
Tracking Adoption Levels: Measuring success is important. We recommend creating a user adoption dashboard. Using reports and dashboards, system administrators and managers can track the number of times a user logs in, number of tasks created, number of records owned, number of record updates and much more. A cursory analysis of the adoption data will help identify which users are not using Salesforce to its fullest potential. A plan can be created from the dashboard data to address any concerns that may arise. Sitting down and asking users with low adoption for feedback about the system is a helpful way to start the conversation about increasing their usage.