Salesforce User Adoption, Part II: Improving Salesforce User Adoption
Creating a great Salesforce app for your team is only part of the solution; the other part is getting your team to use the app. The best tool in the world is useless if it’s not used! You’ve seen plenty of tips about signs your team has bought into using Salesforce. Your next step is improving Salesforce user adoption, and communication, training, and continuous refinement are the keys.
Improving Salesforce user adoption through communication
Hello, my name is _____.
You’ve heard it before: good communication is vital. Start by identifying your team and especially identifying the power users among them. Ideally, you’ll find one or more power users within each group of people who have similar responsibilities. These power users are your beta testers and your boots on the ground for users’ questions.
Create lines of communication.
Communicating why the team should use their new Salesforce app, how to use it, and how Salesforce will benefit them is a great start. But the best communication flows in both directions. You need feedback from real users in real-world situations. This feedback shows not only how fully your team is using Salesforce but also how well (or poorly) the org setup meets their operational needs.
In a perfect world, users would spontaneously provide insightful and detailed feedback in real time. Since we don’t operate in a perfect world, make it easy for users to submit ad hoc feedback. Salesforce Ideas are one simple way to make this happen.
If you don’t want to rely on users to take time out of their normal work flow to report issues, you can also take the initiative to ask them for feedback. Different methods will work for different teams – one group may respond well to a periodic internal survey, while another won’t really tell you what they think without a face-to-face brainstorming session.
Listen, listen, listen!
Of course, you listen and respond to user feedback. But do you really listen? Complaints are opportunities for growth, either by enhancing user training and support or by improving your Salesforce org setup.
Improving Salesforce user adoption through training
Train the trainers.
As you’ve probably noticed already, Salesforce has a lot of features. Your Salesforce org and apps, even if they’re very well designed, can be a little overwhelming to master all at once. Users will benefit more from shorter, more frequent training sessions than from a marathon.
User training is one place where your power users will play a key role. Train the power users and go into a little more depth about the design of your Salesforce org. They will be the trainers for their respective groups.
This doesn’t let you off the hook for training regular users, though! Create screenshots and/or screencasts of key steps in users’ tasks and incorporate them into basic in-house manuals. This will provide value to the users and save on support time.
Improving Salesforce user adoption through continuous refinement
Does this feature still fit?
One mistake that we see over and over again is that companies think of software as static. Business organizations change over time. Their software tools also need to change. Your Salesforce administration team should plan to evaluate your org setup periodically for how well it fits your company’s operational needs. The three-time-per-year Salesforce release cycle can be a convenient reminder to assess the health of your org.
Rinse and repeat.
- Seek out user input as you gather requirements.
- Explain the benefits of using Salesforce to your users.
- How will it make their work more productive or more convenient?
- Enlist power users as beta testers, ambassadors, and local trainers/helpers.
- Periodically evaluate how well your org setup meets your current needs. Make adjustments as needed.
- Solicit user feedback, even complaints, to identify areas to improve.
- Provide asynchronous training materials like screenshots and videos.
- Hold periodic refresher classes. Why?
- New users
- Evolving business needs
- New Salesforce features, especially with the Salesforce release cycle
Continuous refinement keeps your Salesforce org in top shape and maximizes your users’ engagement and effectiveness.
Rolling out a Salesforce app is not a one-time event. Like any other software application, your Salesforce org and apps need to evolve with your business and its environment. Communication, training, and continuous refinement are keys to improving Salesforce user adoption.