Organisations spend considerable time and money implementing Salesforce, but if users don’t adopt the tool, the end result could be considerable time and money wasted. User adoption is important to measure, not only after the initial roll out of Salesforce, but on an ongoing basis.
Read on for five ways to improve Salesforce User Adoption!
What is User Adoption & Why is it Important?
In simple terms, user adoption measures how much users are using Salesforce to do their day to day tasks.
Poor user adoption can result in:
- Low ROI: Salesforce licences will be paid for until the end of the contract regardless of whether or not users use the system
- Reduced productivity: Users will revert to manual ways of working outside the system
- Poor customer experience: a good CRM will enable teams to communicate better, but if teams aren’t using Salesforce, this process could be disjointed and result in a bad experience for the customer
High user adoption depends not only on the configuration of the Salesforce, but more so on the enablement of users. The system can have all the bells and whistles built in, but if users don’t understand how to use it and feel like it adds more work to their plate, they will never adopt it, no matter how many fancy features it has.
Salesforce Adoption Dashboards
Luckily, Salesforce created a free package of dashboards to help monitor user adoption right out of the gate! The dashboard measures information such as login history and login trends (e.g. are users logging in more from one region versus another?) as well as adoption of key features such as accounts and opportunities.
Admins can also add custom reports to the dashboard. Let’s say you’ve recently rolled out Leads in Salesforce. A key metric to monitor will be how many leads have been converted to Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities. It’s all well and good having thousands of leads in the system, but if users are not actively following up and converting them, the leads add little value.
While dashboards provide a good starting point to monitor user adoption and get an understanding of what features users are or aren’t using, there are more ways you can improve user adoption across your business!
Tips to Improve Salesforce Adoption
Salesforce adoption is unique to each implementation, but we’ll discuss five tips that can be applied universally to improve Salesforce adoption.
Change Management & Enablement
If you’re not getting the user adoption you hoped for, the first thing to review is your change management and enablement processes.
What is Change Management?
- Simply put, change management is the process used to roll out changes to both the system and users. It encompasses deployment of features from development to production (both the actual deployment process and the schedule of when the deployments will occur), to communication regarding impending changes to impacted teams, through to enablement of end users.
- Enablement is the process by which users are trained to actually use the system and the ongoing resources available to support them after the initial training, such as documentation and a way to log issues or reach out for help internally.
The communication plan is a key element of change management. Have you engaged the right stakeholders within the business to help communicate the new tool/features?
Communications about changes will be best received if they come from a leader within a specific area i.e. sales leaders to sales reps. Users are far more likely to take notice of changes if they’ve been directed to do so by a leader in their organisation. Partner early with stakeholders to inform them of changes and seek their buy in to ensure a smooth roll out later down the line.
Enablement is not only part of the overall change management process, it also exists as its own process. Let’s say you roll out Salesforce, train users on the platform, and never make a single change again (very unlikely, but hear me out), you will still need an ongoing enablement process in place to handle onboarding of new users as well as support if something goes wrong.
If users are not adopting the system, it could be because they do not feel enabled. Try sending out a survey to gauge user’s current views on the system, and use the feedback to create better enablement sessions/materials.
Enablement can come in many forms:
- Face to face training
- Self guided exercises using documentation.
Everyone learns and absorbs information differently, so it’s best to use a combination of tactics to enable users, and most importantly, keep all sessions interactive! Users should be asking questions throughout the session, if they’re not, it likely means they’re not being engaged enough.
User Experience – Increase Automations
If you have enabled users and they’re well informed about using the system, but they’re still not adopting the tool as much as you’d like, there may be an area of the system with too much manual work required to achieve the desired outcome.
Perhaps users are not logging their activities in Salesforce because they feel like it takes too long. This means you’re missing out on valuable sales activity information to help understand where sales reps are spending their time.
Try introducing a Flow to capture & create activity records faster. Salesforce Flow is an incredibly powerful feature that allows admins to build automations declaratively, meaning you do not need to rely on a developer to write code.
There are five kinds of Flows:
- Screen flow: Guides users through a business process
- Record Triggered Flow: Launches when a record is created or updated
- Schedule Time Triggered Flow: Launches at a specified time & frequency for each record in a batch
- Platform Event Triggered Flow: Launches when a platform event message is received
- Auto-launched Flow: Launches when invoked by Apex, processes, REST APIs and more
Learn more about utilising Flows here.
User Experience – Salesforce Classic vs. Lightning
Salesforce launched in 1999 and as you can imagine, the interface has gone through numerous iterations, ending with the interface we know today, Salesforce Lightning.
Salesforce launched Lightning back in 2015 at Dreamforce, but it wasn’t adopted by everyone right away for various reasons. It was slow to load (still can be with a slow internet connection!), very buggy, and users simply liked Classic. They were used to Classic. It had been around for a long time and it never failed them. Switching to Lightning was almost like learning Salesforce from scratch, because it was such a departure from the old interface, and this was too much for some users, so even when their Salesforce admins enabled Lightning in their org, they would toggle back to their beloved Classic interface.
This causes problems in organisations though. Certain features are only available via Salesforce Lightning; Screen Flows can only be launched in Lightning for example. Lightning Record Pages and dynamic forms are only available for users on Lightning. The list goes on.
For users who have been using Salesforce since the early 2000s, switching to Lightning might feel daunting for them. Help them by offering enablement sessions on Salesforce Lightning – show them it’s not so different to their beloved Classic interface, they just need to learn where to find certain things again.
Once users have been fully enabled on Lightning, turn off the ability to toggle back to Classic for good. Users will become familiar with Lightning and they will have access to all the cool features you, as the admin, have built!
Prompts & Walkthroughs
Salesforce offers the ability to notify users of changes that occur in your org through a tool called In- App Guidance, delivered to users via prompts & step by step walkthroughs.
Prompts are a completely free feature which any admin can take advantage of, and Salesforce offers up to three (3) active walkthroughs for free; for more you must purchase a MyTrailhead license.
Prompts are simple. They pop up for users when specific criteria is met, or if there is no criteria, they will pop up for all users upon login.
See the example below:
When logged into a developer org, I’ve been notified about some changes to the org that may affect me. You see the blue text box, this is walking me through each update and the panel on the right hand side has more information that I can read through and click through for more information.
Imagine you are doing this for all of your users as and when changes are released into Salesforce that affect them. You can create criteria, so that only users who are affected by this change are notified. This means other users are not bombarded with messages about changes that do not pertain to them.
In-App Guidance is simple to set up. You will start by creating a new type of guidance, either a prompt, or if you have the license for it, a walkthrough.
Prompts are more informational, whereas a walkthrough can guide users step by step to do something. This is especially useful if you have a new more complicated process you need to train users on. Even if you do an in person training session, having a walkthrough to reiterate the concepts learned in the session is a good idea to improve adoption of the new process.
Once chosen, you will define what the guidance should do and what it should tell the user. If you choose “Prompt”, you will need to select what type of prompt to use. Salesforce have defined when each type should be used with examples.
Select the prompt type, and start adding your details.
You can distribute small amounts of information through individual prompts.
Walkthroughs help reinforce concepts by showing users what to do. In the example below I’ve created a targeted prompt to show my user where to click to start creating a new list view.
The user can follow along and do the steps as described.
In-App guidance is a great way to improve adoption and increase user engagement with the platform. Since prompts & walkthroughs are free (up to 3 active ones), there is no reason not to try them in your org!
The final tip for improving user adoption is taking In-App Guidance one step further and signing up for a MyTrailhead license. MyTrailhead is a fully native, Learning Management System which organisations can use to train users on all their systems, not just Salesforce. MyTrailhead content can have text, videos, knowledge checkpoints, badges, and most importantly, it’s gamified.
Gamification is one of the best ways to get users to engage in training. Nobody wants to be at the bottom of a leaderboard and most users tend to enjoy adding badges to their collection. Trailhead users have completed millions of badges between them and in doing so, have created one of the most skilled workforces on the planet. One user has even completed every badge available on the platform, talk about successful gamification!
In MyTrailhead, admins will create trails for their users to cover any and all training required. This could include onboarding, HR/Security required training, as well as Salesforce training.
MyTrailhead can help to increase user adoption across not only Salesforce, but other platforms in your organisation as well.
In summary, low user adoption can be an issue in some organisations, but by applying the right changes to the areas that need it most, low adoption can become a thing of the past!
Understanding what is driving low adoption is the first step to improvement. Successful change management can only start once the pain has been identified. Admins who work closely with users to understand challenges will be much more successful when they introduce changes to the system.