Super Users. Champions. Platform Whisperers. Whatever you call them, Salesforce power users are the backbone of every team, making sure the proverbial trains run on time and advocating for improvements that benefit your team and your customers alike. They’re everyone’s go-to source for questions about obscure workarounds and who you call on in an emergency when you’ve GOT to get it handled yesterday. Your Salesforce power users are an integral part of running your business, and they’re essential for a successful Salesforce implementation.
Whether you’ve been using Sales Cloud for years and are finally expanding to Salesforce Field Service, or you’re taking that first step to level up your customer support with Service Cloud, you’re implementing Salesforce to solve a problem. And what better way than with those home-grown problem solvers right at your fingertips?
Before you can begin to roll out a new Salesforce instance – something that’s going to impact your team’s day-to-day – you’ve got to fully understand where you are, and where you want to go. We (Roycon) know Salesforce, but YOU know your business – and no one knows your business, platforms, systems, and processes better than your Salesforce power users. Prioritize bringing power users into the process early – at the requirements-gathering stage, so your delivery team can get a clear and accurate picture of the current state, and how it could be made better. Beyond improving the accuracy, depth, and breadth of our knowledge about your processes and systems, involving Salesforce power users early gives you a secret weapon come time for implementation.
It can be easy, when you’ve been working with your delivery team for weeks, getting into the nitty-gritty of your new instance, testing, providing feedback, and finally signing off on the completed build, to view “go-live” as the finish line you’ve been focusing all your energy on to get across. And in one sense, it is the end of the line. But for others – your end-users – it’s just the start of the race. While it’s essential that your instance works as designed – that triggers fire when they should, and leads convert to opportunities at the right time – that customers get the right emails, depending on where they are in your fulfillment process, and that campaigns target the right audience – none of that matters if your users don’t understand what they’re doing, or worse have no faith that these changes will make their lives better or easier, and they just don’t use the implementation you’ve cheer-led guided through to completion all these weeks.
Your implementation is for your users to … use. Without that, it serves no purpose. When you bring Salesforce power users in early in the process – often as SMEs – you create organic advocates and champions of the change (and improvements!) you’re bringing to your team’s lives.
It may not always make sense to bring in all your power users into the process as subject matter experts – power users are amazing resources full of specialized knowledge, but sometimes that specificity can bog down the process of extracting those requirements that are relevant to your new path forward. While you may only choose one or two hands-on users to share or demonstrate their processes and any pain points when gathering requirements, it can be invaluable to include your power users in demonstrations of the work the delivery team completes throughout the life of the project, as well as testing. They can point out any elements that might be improved, or functionality that might not reflect the expected behavior.
Setting the stage for a successful implementation needs to happen early on in the life of a project. Letting your team know that a change is coming, well ahead of go-live, prepares them, and sets them up for success when you deploy. Your Salesforce power users are already trusted sources for tips, tricks, and workarounds. Making sure those power users are bought into the new implementation, understand it, and can help support their teammates will give you a huge advantage in managing this change.
As consultants, we are your partners in ensuring that your Salesforce instance is built to meet your requirements and improve your business. We can build the house with you and get you to the door, but you’ve got to walk through and live there – power users make the move-in experience much smoother for everyone.
- Find your superheroes Identify your power users at the start of your project: users who have experience, provide consistent feedback about the current systems and processes, sources of knowledge for the rest of the team, they’ve probably created their own documentation and workarounds for existing pain points
- What do you require? Depending on the size of your project, identify power users who can act as subject matter experts (SMEs) during the requirements gathering stage of your project
- Make time, not obstacles Prioritize adjusting your power users’ workload and responsibilities to allow them to work on the project when they are required – asking them to support this implementation on top of all of the regular responsibilities will foster resentment instead of growing enthusiasm for the new implementation. You don’t want to turn your super-powered advocates into sources of resistance working against the project’s successful rollout.
- Test it out. Include your power users in testing, and if there are any pre-testing demonstrations, make sure they are part of the audience and have a clear channel for providing feedback. Your power users are super-sleuths who can find and bridge any gaps before you deploy.
- Turn your superheroes into champions. Announce far and wide that your Salesforce power users are “official” go-to resources for questions about your implementation and new processes. Make them easy to find – with a T-shirt, a sign, an icon next to their name in the group chat. And give your power users clear channels to ask questions that they might not have answers to, and get timely answers – when one of your users has a question, it’s rarely theoretical – they need an answer now, so they can get their job done. Make sure your Salesforce power users can get them those answers and keep disruptions to a minimum.
Clare is a project manager and change management professional with over a decade of experience. Long ago, she started out as a customer care rep who loved using Salesforce to help customers, and now she loves to help clients get started on or expanding their own Salesforce experience. Clare’s focus is on building strong relationships with clients and making each engagement not just successful but enjoyable.