28 Oct 2019

How to nail adoption of your new Salesforce solution

By: Christoph van Balen

Why is it that many Salesforce implementations just don’t make impact you expected?


As a gold Salesforce consulting partner we are, of course, a huge fan of the Salesforce solutions. Innovative, robust, scalable and user friendly. And those are just a few of the assets Salesforce has to offer. A sure recipe for success. So why is it that many implementations still just don’t make the expected impact? In this blog we will focus on this topic and illustrate them with best practices in the Professional Services industry.

Pave the way for success

Take any random implementation project. You did everything in your power to pave the way for success. You ensured full management support, selected the right solutions, and designed powerful journeys and processes. You imported relevant data, ensured an awesome user experience and created customized dashboarding for all relevant KPIs.

But after having rolled out the solution to your team, things keep on dragging and more and more issues emerge.

So what went wrong?

A successful implementation requires three conditions. First, you need to have a clear strategy and set aligned processes to achieve them accordingly. Second, you must select and implement the technology that supports your goals. But the third condition is perhaps the most crucial one. You have to catalyze your people. Your implementation success falls or stands by the way your users will adopt the solution. Results are directly connected with their readiness and ability to use the new technology in their daily business. And this is where onboarding and training play a crucial role.

How to promote adoption of a brand new Salesforce solution?

How can you make sure that your users will be just as enthusiastic about the new technology as you are? Successful adoption can be reached in 6 steps.

1. Formulate clear goals

This one goes without saying. Before introducing new solution to your team, you must be clear about the purpose and expectations. So what do you want to achieve with using the new technology? The main objectives you might have are improving user behavior, accelerating Salesforce adoption, driving business processes and increasing the quality of data. Determine your goals, specify how you will evaluate success and make clear when you expect the team to be fully up to speed.

2. Engage key users in the implementation

Having the support of your management is essential to accomplish a successful project, but don’t forget the people who are actually going to work with the new technology. Be sure to engage key user representatives in your project team and involve them in preparing and executing the implementation. 

A great example of high level involvement of all stakeholders is our customer Attentia. When they started a large scale multi cloud digital transformation project, they also focused on the internal branding of the project. They branded the project by choosing a meaningful name, Foundations, set a project mission statement and installed a grassroots project structure to assign the different project roles. This approach secured that they involved everyone at Attentia in the purpose of the project. Read more about the way they handled the project in our customer case Attentia.

3. Show, don’t tell

Do you want to convince your users of the benefits of Salesforce? Don’t give them a top-down lecture. Give them the opportunity to experience the ease of use for themselves. It is so much more powerful to let them discover how the new solution works  first hand. Make them feel how efficient the new workflows are set up, how cool the user interface looks, how all activities are aligned and how they can get a complete overview in just a few simple mouse clicks. 

4. Use your sprint sessions to test and taste

If you are working with scrum in your implementation project, the different sprints can be used to have your users try and test the applications. This way you can directly optimize workflows and fix problems as they occur. After that, you can proceed with the implementation and configuration.

Involving your key users in your project team has another advantage. It gives them an opportunity to get a sneak preview of how the solution will work in daily practice. If they have a good experience, they will surely pass their enthusiasm on to their colleagues on the floor. We've seen best practices at our customers of users making videos with their phones to show their colleagues how cool the new solution looks and how it saves them time and frustration.

5. Create a dynamic training program

Once the Salesforce solution is ready to go-live, onboarding and training your people is crucial for success. Setting up an effective training program requires a systematic approach. You start with specifying your training goals, defining key metrics to measure the effectiveness of your program and creating a baseline.

Next, you determine who you want to train and segment your audience. You might want to specify different content for different user groups according to the type of work or the stage users are in. For example, you can develop training programs for new hires, current users or for refreshing knowledge.

Rather than organizing classroom training, it is usually far more efficient and effective to use methods like e-learning, on-demand and in-app digital training. This way users have access to the training program whenever and wherever they want. Plan periodical evaluations and finetune the steps in the process where necessary. This way, you program gets better and better.

6. Make the new technology mandatory

The sooner everyone adopts the solution, the sooner they will get used to the new technology. So integrate the solution in business processes and make sure to remove workarounds and cut access to duplicate sources. Show why working in Salesforce is better and how it advances team efforts and personal performance. Some of our customers go even further and apply the principle: "if it isn't in Salesforce, it didn't happen". This obliges all employees to work in Salesforce so that everyone can collaborate and data is centralized.

Whatfix training and onboarding

To make maximum impact with Salesforce implementations we frequently collaborate with our Salesforce partner Whatfix. Whatfix training and onboarding technology is a simple, yet powerful solution which accelerates product adoption to maximize the efficiency of business applications. It allows content creation in intuitive steps with an omni-channel presence with zero coding. Using Whatfix for training and onboarding can easily lead to a:

  • 45% less support queries
  • 35% cost reduction for creating training content
  • 25% less time spent on knowledge discovery

We’d love to tell you all about the impact this great app can make for your organization. Let's explore the opportunities!