Salesforce Adoption Strategies

Accelerate Salesforce Adoption

Define adoption. Explain the benefits of having high adoption. Identify the best time to address your company’s adoption.
  • In the business world, Adoption is all about getting someone to use a solution that is available to them
    • Salesforce adoption means a company has Salesforce, and someone wants to make sure end users (IE, sales reps) use it
  • Adoption Matters because ROI Matters
    • You won’t see a return on your Salesforce investment unless your team actually uses it. Prolific adoption leads to strong ROI.
    • Benefits to your reps:
      • Enhances productivity
      • Strengthens customer relationships due to better customer info
      • Creates mobility - reps can work anywhere
    • Benefits to your company:
      • Boosts revenue
      • Enables real-time visibility into sales pipeline
      • Greater transparency
      • Provides a more complete perspective on the customer base
  • This module presents tactics that have proven to increase Salesforce adoption, organized in a way to make adoption simple and seamless as possible

  • Technology adoption is getting people to use the solution or software their company has purchased for them
  • Companies should focus on adoption rate because high adoption leads to high ROI
  • You can take steps to improve adoption at any point in your company’s Salesforce journey - during initial rollout or after using it for years

Prepare to Build Your Salesforce Journey

Identify ways to secure alignment from executives. Explain why it’s important to document current processes before implementing a new technology.
  • This section is specific to companies just getting started building their Salesforce instance
  • Secure Executive Alignment
    • Generally there are several departments and stakeholders involved in a Salesforce rollout, all with different ideas of what the goal is
      • Best to have frank conversations about what can be delivered in what timeframe, to set reasonable expectations from the start
      • Crucial to establish trust with your stakeholders from the start
    • Important to secure executive buy-in on certain tactics to promote adoption. Examples:
      • Require that sales reps log in to Salesforce a certain number of days/month
      • Participate in launch emails/videos
      • Only use Salesforce for forecasting/pipeline, and require that sales team does the same
      • Enforce a rule that repos are only paid commission on deals entered into Salesforce
  • Document Processes
    • Next, establish a baseline by documenting current processes, then generate ideas for how Salesforce can improve upon them. Steps:
      1. Document the current sales process. In particular, ask a sales leader:
        • What happens at each stage of the sale process?
        • What are we coaching reps to do at various points in the sale?
      2. Get a detailed look at what’s working and what’s not. Consider:
        • What’s working for everyone
        • What are some best practices that are working well for some reps, but not all? Can it be replicated with Salesforce?
        • Are there any manual processes that can be automated?
        • Are there steps that require interacting with multiple systems?
      3. Work with sales leaders to revise the process - a shift in technology is a great time to revamp processes as well. Consider:
        • Automating manual processes
        • Get rid of unnecessary steps
        • Make processes faster/easier
        • Integrate data that reps need so it’s in one place
      4. Document the improved process that will be created in Salesforce

  • Before you start building your org, ask executives to commit to supporting Salesforce by being part of communications or requiring participation from teams
  • Most important thing you can learn from documenting current sales processes is where the process needs improvement

Create the Ideal Salesforce Org for Your Company

Assess what salespeople want and need to do their jobs effectively. Host a successful pilot of Salesforce.
  • Build in Adoption as You Build Salesforce
    • Early stages are crucial for setting yourself up to achieve long-term adoption
  • Learn from your Sales Reps
    • Conduct a survey: quickest way to get a variety of perspectives
    • Go on a ride-along: accompany a salesperson for a day, going to meetings, listening to calls, observing the tools
    • Host a focus group: choose a variety of participants and make sure everyone has a chance to speak up. The focus group can become Salesforce champions later on.
    • Use the information gained via the steps above to set up Salesforce to be as seamless as possible
    • Convey the key insights and management opportunities to leadership
    • Specific features that Sales Reps likely want include:
      • Einstein Activity Capture
      • Macros
      • Sales Path
      • Salesforce for iOS and Android
  • Pilot Your New System
    • After Salesforce is set up and the feedback from the previous step is incorporated, pilot the system
      • Gather a small group of end users to be guinea pigs - they take Salesforce for a spin before anyone else does
    • Best pilot group people are:
      • Great with technology: if they can’t figure it out the average bear likely can’t either
      • Natural leaders or trendsetters: their conversations with coworkers will help generate excitement
      • Excited to make a difference: for example, more junior reps
      • Of all types: across all departments and levels
  • Other tips:
    • Don’t ignore survey scores: Especially consider responses to questions like: “I see value in Salesforce” and “I understand how to use Salesforce to do my job”
    • Assess usage statistics: such as how many participants logged in, ran a report, made a Chatter post, created a new account, etc
    • Track feedback: whether bugs or new ideas, make sure there’s a process for collecting feedback, whether a form they fill out or an object in Salesforce.

  • A good way to determine what features your salespeople need in Salesforce is asking them via surveys or focus groups
  • An outcome of a successful pilot is that you get feedback from your end users about what can be improved before launch

Deploy Your Salesforce Technology

List what should be included in launch communications. Explain when you should use different training methods. Describe how your execs can sponsor your Salesforce implementation. List ways you can drive adoption through recognition.
  • See this blog post for a practical set of five steps to launch a new Salesforce org
  • Communicate the Launch to your Company
    • Medium?
      • Email: which can include links to resources
      • Video: best to include an executive so the team understand support for this is coming from the top
      • Live Event: can be great for building excitement
    • What to include?
      • What’s coming: including descriptions of Salesforce in clear and simple language, such as “It’s a system that keeps your customer information in one place, so your team can manage your contact with your customers with this full history in mind”
      • What’s in it for users: such as a list of benefits of the system
      • Training: if live, tell the when and where. If recorded, include links.
      • Support from execs: would be a bonus, as it would boost excitement and momentum
      • Success stories: from the pilot program, again to build excitement
  • Train All Your Users
    • Everyone (salespeople, managers, execs) need to understand how to use Salesforce - if the system is perceived to be hard to use, they won’t use it
    • Possible training methods:
      • In person: most time consuming but also most hands on, allowing real time Q&A
      • Train-the-trainer: teach a small group to teach their local teams, which is a great way to scale and has the added benefit of turning local leads into Salesforce advocates
      • Webinar/video: can be shared as a recording. Doesn’t necessarily need to be high production value, the info is what matters.
      • Documentation: something created by admins for the team, or links to the Salesforce help website
      • Trailhead: create a trailmix for reps to start with so they don’t get overwhelmed. Ideal modules to include:
      • Help Menu: add a custom section to the Help Menu with links to training documents, custom trailmixes, help documents you want to highlight. Train users to go to the “?” at the top of the page when they have a question
      • In-App Guidance Prompts: create small pop-up windows to highlight configuration changes, introduce features, provide tips.
        • Write the content, specify target audience, and duration it pops up.
        • Add links to internal wikis, training, PDFs, other calls to action
        • Use built-in metrics tracking to measure success of the prompt
    • For each feature you train users on, include:
      • What it does
      • How it helps them
      • Step-by-step instructions to use it
  • Remember Your Executive Sponsors
    • Very key that executives use Salesforce and expect everyone else to
    • For example, executives can ask their direct reports for a report on Salesforce information and if they show a spreadsheet, they can tell them its outdated and that they should use real-time data from Salesforce
  • Recognize Great Behavior
    • Consider creating a dashboard that shows how frequently each person uses Salesforce. Example reports:
      • How many days/month each rep has logged in
      • How many opportunities they’ve created in Salesforce
    • @mention users on Chatter that are doing a great job and include a positive comment

  • Launch materials should include how Salesforce will benefit your sales reps and where reps can find training
  • An advantage of video is that the training material can be saved and used again for repos hired after the initial training
  • Executive can support adoption of Salesforce by using Salesforce exclusively for reporting, and asking their teams to do the same
  • Encourage reps to use Salesforce by publicly recognizing reps who use Salesforce frequently

Drive Long-Term Adoption

Describe how and why to gather feedback on Salesforce. Understand how to tell users about new features. List adoption resources available to you.
  • Gather Feedback
    • Gather feedback from reps on ideas for improvement and reports of things that aren’t working properly
    • Create a process for reps to submit this feedback (can be a simple Google Form, or an app built in Salesforce)
      • Salesforce uses a Salesforce app to track its own feature enhancements
      • This ensures reps feel heard and keeps everything organized
  • Innovate
    • Check the Salesforce Release Notes periodically to see what changes with each release
  • Maintain Excitement
    • When new feature are added to Salesforce, shout it from the mountaintops
    • Train reps on new features using the same formula discussed earlier: What it is + what it can do for your reps + how to use it = adoption
    • Benchmark sales performance pre-Salesforce, then track how performance changes afterward

  • Gather feedback on Salesforce by creating a process you can easily manage and track, like a survey
  • After adding a new feature, generate excitement by announcing the news and train users how to use the feature
  • Trailhead and “Adoption Webinars” are two adoption resources available to Admins for free