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5 Expert Tips for Increasing Salesforce Adoption

Your biggest question when investing in new technology is likely to be: How do I convince people to use – and even embrace – it?

Salesforce is no exception, with Salesforce adoption a top priority for many companies.

Encouraging Salesforce adoption is a big part of Peter Chalmers’ job. The 3-time Salesforce MVP is the CEO of two Australia-based companies – Morphate, a consulting company that specializes in nonprofits, and CEO of Parvero, which focuses on small and medium businesses.

“Technology is at the core of what every company does,” Peter says. “If they don’t have the right tools for the solutions and people are not using them, they get no benefit from what they’re spending.”

User adoption is also so important because of what Salesforce adoption means for companies, including “unlimited possibilities,” says Nintex Technical Evangelist Michael Machado.

“With Salesforce, companies are able to create records and track users’ sales as well as maintain customer data in one location,” he says. “Companies are also able to get apps that are tailored to their needs from the AppExchange. For some companies, they need document generation and reach out to Nintex Drawloop® for that need. Having data in a central area and with many apps available speeds up the sales cycle, raising their ROI.”

Here are five tips to boost Salesforce adoption in your organization:

1.  Change Management Must Include Training

Change management recognizes that most people struggle to adapt to change, including technology changes on the job. Change management is an approach that helps transition people through this change and redirects resources, business processes, budget and other details.

With successful change management, companies adopting Salesforce make the transition more smooth for employees and dramatically increase the chances of widespread user adoption, Peter says.

Without effective change management, companies struggle because employees refuse to learn the new technology or use it as minimally as possible because it’s not what they’re used to. Winning buy-in from employees is a major component of effective change management, and proper training can help. By one Salesforce estimation, training can increase user adoption by 52% and productivity by 37%.

“Almost a third of the days we spend on an implementation would be the days we spend on training,” said Peter. “We get it to the granular level so they understand how their solution works and train them on how to maintain the solution as well. Once they have ownership of that, they’re going to drive it themselves internally.”

2.  Explain the “Why” to Users

Another way to win buy-in is by making certain that the people who’ll use Salesforce understand the reasons you’re implementing it and the reasons you’re asking them to use it.

In fact, providing the answer to “why” can be an important part of Salesforce training. It’s important, for example, to explain to sales representatives that they should invoice out of Salesforce because that’s the data used to decide commissions at the end of each month.

People have trouble backing new technology if it makes no sense to them. Once you provide the reasons for Salesforce adoption, they’ll be more likely to get on board. Also, learning a new technology takes time so it’s especially helpful if you can tell them how much time Salesforce will ultimately save them.

Caring is powerful motivation for Salesforce adoption. If you don’t understand the goal and the purpose, then why do you care? And how can you relate to the end goal?

3.  Involve Users in Salesforce Adoption 

Two of the biggest stumbling blocks to user adoption are end user time and data quality, says Salesforce MVP Eric Dreshfield, the founder of Salesforce conference Midwest Dreamin’.

Those two potential stumbling blocks make it even more important to enlist employees as partners in Salesforce onboarding. These employees help keep the data quality high. They can even become advocates for Salesforce, making it even easier to get new employees to embrace Salesforce.

“Start with the end in mind,” Eric says. “I know that sounds a little crazy but if you start out knowing where you need to end, and involve the users in every decision and in every phase of testing, they will feel like they own the system and by default will want to use it.”

The Salesforce implementation will likely involve looking at current processes, data flows and integration points, and determining where data is duplicated, incomplete or non-standardized, he says. Employees can play a role in helping clean up the data.

Regular reporting can help, too.

If your users see a report and their information is not correct, they will be more likely to fix the issue. So if Field Marketing isn’t using Salesforce correctly in EMEA but they receive a global report each month showing the Americas and APAC are rocking on numbers, it will encourage them to start using Salesforce correctly.

4.  Make Salesforce Adoption Easy

Some new clients want to integrate Salesforce with everything, Peter says. While it can be exciting to adopt new technology, you don’t have to add every possible bell and whistle at once.

“What do you really want to integrate with and how much and why? Start simple,” he says. “Maybe you’ll still have manual processes but you can refine. You can do anything you want in Salesforce. The question is: What should you do in Salesforce?”

Making Salesforce easy also means automating as much as possible so users can quickly move onto contacting prospective customers and other money-generating aspects of their job. A sales rep cannot sell anything while he or she is updating data in the CRM.

Apps can go a long way toward making Salesforce easier.

Nintex Drawloop® Document Generation, available on AppExchange, automates document creation. Instead of manually creating invoices, sales reports and other documents, users can create them directly in Salesforce. Document generation also contributes to data accuracy because people are encouraged to ensure that all the data is in one place – and that it’s accurate.

Ask sales reps to begin putting data in Salesforce, click a button, it generates the invoice and emails it out using a preconfigured email template. It also updates a field automatically. 

5.  Take Advantage of Built-in Salesforce Capabilities

Salesforce includes features that can boost user adoption. With Record Types, for instance, you can control which users gain access to different fields. Without Record Types, your users will have to scroll through dozens of fields to find the ones they need. The result of the latter? Frustrated users who avoid using Salesforce.

Using Record Types helps.

“The result is a highly focused record with the data you need based on Record Type, presenting the relevant fields at the proper time” Michael says. “They don’t see more than they need to see and are not entering more than they need to enter and the byproduct – unbeknownst to the employee – is adoption.”

Salesforce offers several resources to help with user adoption, including:


Try Nintex Drawloop® Document Generation for 30 days and begin automating your document creation processes to help your organization with Salesforce adoption.

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