How do I Increase Adoption in Salesforce?

You’ve just converted over to Salesforce from another CRM or implemented this awesome new feature to your existing Salesforce Org – now what? Well, I’m sure one of your top concerns is ensuring you didn’t just waste your money. Making sure that does not happen AND taking full advantage of everything Salesforce has to offer is not an easy feat. Whether your team has embraced Salesforce and you need to increase adoption in Salesforce or you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to work on user adoption in order to achieve the highest ROI from your Salesforce investment.

For the sake of it, let us fly through the 5 stages of grief and go straight to acceptance – change management is hard! Because you are doing an implementation you’ve just disrupted the status quo in some form or another. There are countless change management studies and research out there on the internet and I encourage you to read a few to make sure you have a plan and, at the very least, have thought about it.

I cannot provide better information from what is already out there when it comes to Salesforce change management in general but through my experiences hopefully, you’ll find some value in my top 5 tips to increase adoption in Salesforce and the ongoing utilization of Salesforce post-implementation – we’ll call them Colbo’s Fab 5!

Best Practices to Increase Adoption in Salesforce

  1. Buy-in from the Top
  2. Monitor End-User Adoption
  3. Provide Post-Implementation Support
  4. Focus on Continuous Improvement
  5. Take Advantage of the Salesforce Community

Tip 1: Buy in from the Top

You’ll see this in almost anything you read related to managing change, but it really is true. I have not seen one successful project without a member from the executive team being part of the process and believing in what we are doing. Their energy can be contagious and carries down to other team members. It is a case of leading by example.

In a post-Salesforce implementation sense, this means that in company meetings making sure the leadership team is using Salesforce reports and dashboards to present company metrics and KPIs – if it didn’t happen in Salesforce it doesn’t exist! If you are trying to close an Opportunity and need assistance from upper management – reply in Chatter on that record and get the conversation going there. These are just a couple of examples, but if you continue to use Salesforce and all its features they may seem small in a vacuum – but collectively they make a big difference.

Tip 2: Monitor End User Adoption

There are a number of ways to set up reports and dashboards to track user activities inside of Salesforce and making sure people are actually using it. This can seem a little ‘Big Brother’ and is a bit of a forcing function – but it is important to know that people are adopting the changes which have been implemented. Again – change is hard and in the short term, it is probably taking people longer than it used to complete their tasks while they learn the new way of doing things. Don’t use this monitoring as a punishment (at least at first) – it may be they need more training, don’t feel supported, or it doesn’t work and we equally need to know these things.

Example Reports & Dashboards for Monitoring End User Adoption

  • Activity Report: Showing sales activity logged in Salesforce. Including calls logged, emails sent, and tasks completed. You can see how many activities have been completed by a user.
  • New Accounts, Leads, Contacts, and Opportunities created this week by the salesperson.
  • Opportunities past due: This would either show you have too many opportunities, which would be a great thing, or that your sales team isn’t following up on Opportunities in a timely manner.
  • New Opportunities created by week/month. This would help you to understand whether your sales team is adding Opportunities as they uncover them or if they are just adding them when they are about to close.
  • End-user login activity: You can create a report that shows when your end users are logging into Salesforce.

Additionally, make sure you are collecting feedback. This can be through surveys, weekly team meetings, etc… Understanding what is going well, the blockers people are facing, and having an open conversation to work through the new features is critical. People like to be heard and it is important to not just hear it – but take action when necessary (see Tip #4).

Tip 3: Provide Post-Implementation Support

Clearly define where people can go to get answers. It can be power users, documentation, video tutorials, or my personal favorite – office hours! I have found regular office hours where employees can hop in to get their questions answers are very effective. Depending on the internal Salesforce knowledge at your company, it may be a good idea to keep your implementation team on for the post-implementation support as well.

The main goal here is to make sure your employees don’t feel left on an island. Actively find ways to get their questions answered and over-communicate where/who they should reach out to.

Tip 4: Focus on Continuous Improvements

Hopefully, you set clearly defined goals for all stakeholders involved prior to your implementation and now we can evaluate what went well and where we missed the mark. It is impossible to always nail every goal you set but your users will feel more involved and buy into future changes if they feel listened to. We’ve already mentioned the importance of gathering feedback – now it’s time to take action.

Not every implementation has to be big. As you gather feedback and evaluate how you did against your goals – search for quick wins! Listen for when people are doing repetitive tasks or something takes a lot of clicks, this is an opportunity for automation that may be solved in a short amount of time.

While quick wins are important, don’t forget what is next and what you’d like to accomplish in the next 3, 6, or 12 months. Create a roadmap for your Salesforce journey and make sure you always have a continuous improvement mindset.

Tip 5: Take Advantage of the Salesforce Community

I learned what the software Salesforce was and then I chose to dedicate my career to it when I learned about the Salesforce community. The Salesforce community goes out of our way to clear any roadblocks you have because we’ve all been there, been helped, and want to pay it forward.

There are an endless amount of resources out there (almost all for free) that will help you with any problem you have. You can learn and get hands-on experience about a new feature with Trailhead, check out which questions have already been asked and answered on the Trailblazer Community or log a new case with Salesforce Support (the links to places for support really are endless).

To continue reading, feel free to check out my next article on Reports and Dashboards, best practices for increased end-user adoption. There is really one more piece to all of this in order to increase adoption in Salesforce and I’ve saved it until the end as this will be my shameless plug. There is no overcoming, however, you want to define it, a failed implementation. One of the tools at your disposal (and part of the community) is the use of a Salesforce Partner. I’m obviously biased on who you should reach out to, but find people who have been there and done that and can guide you through your entire Salesforce journey.

If you’ve just gone live with your Salesforce implementation, be sure to check out this helpful post on what you need to do after implementing Salesforce. If you still have some questions feel free to reach out to us.