How to ensure a successful Salesforce implementation?

Why is it that a lot of implementations just don’t have the desired success? How come that businesses adopt one of the world’s leading cloud platforms and then fail to make the most out of it? In many cases this is due to a lack of user adoption and user effectiveness. End users simply don’t know how to use the software to its full potential. Hence, adequate training and adoption is key for a successful implementation.

Whatfix is a powerful solution that is available as a browser plugin. It puts a layer on the Salesforce application to allow for interactive content depending on where you are in the application. In a webinar they recently released with Talent Peaks, Whatfix shows you a simple, yet impactful five stage framework for effective Salesforce training and user adoption. Here we share an abstract from the webinar. You can check out the complete recording at the end of this page.

What are the common challenges organizations face when planning and executing Salesforce training?

An important obstacle organizations are dealing with is that most traditional training methods are ineffective and far from user friendly. They are time consuming, costly, hard to understand and they are not available when needed in a way users would like them to. Also, the most important thing we have noticed is that companies forget to set clear goals for training and adoption success and forget to align their key users with those objectives.

Adoption depends on a successful implementation. To achieve this we suggest a 5-step approach:

A five-step framework for implementation success

Successful user adoption can help businesses to use Salesforce to its full potential. Client data show that with a successful approach, companies can reach up to:

To help you set up an ideal implementation process, we’ll give you a hands-on framework. A proven way forward is the approach of strategize, configure, release, train and improve. Let’s elaborate on this a little bit more.

A. Strategize
When preparing an implementation, make sure that you don’t settle for the as-is situation of processes. Describe the ideal ‘to-be’ scenario. Then design a plan for implementation and support and see to it that it is in sync with your business processes, objectives and KPIs.

B. Configure
Implement and configure the Salesforce solution and make sure that is is aligned with your business process requirements. Clean up and migrate old data and ensure a fresh start. 

C. Release
Make the solution available for users. Use a testing (sandbox) environment first before releasing live production environment.

D. Train
It’s important that all present and future end users know how to effectively adopt Salesforce. Create an onboarding and training plan that is focussed on enabling users to derive more value out of Salesforce. Focus on improving results and making work more fun by process automation.

E. Improve
It is a good thing to never be satisfied. Always seek for ways to improve and systematically collect relevant data to support your decisions. Measure user adoption against the tasks and business processes you want to achieve.

What are the key success factors for a thriving Salesforce implementation?

There are three main conditions for a successful implementation. Sure, you need to have a clear strategy with aligned processes. And certainly, you must deploy the right technology for meeting your goals. But the factor of the first and foremost importance is your people. The success of your implementation falls or stands by the way your people adopt the solution and how effectively they know how to use it in their daily business. And this is where onboarding and training come in.

How to set up a powerful training and adoption program?

Once the Salesforce solution is ready to go-live, onboarding and training your people is crucial for success. The main objectives you have are improving user behavior, accelerating Salesforce adoption, driving business processes and increasing the quality of data. For reaching these goals, Whatfix suggests a 5-step training approach.

Step #1 Design a strategy
Describe a clear training strategy that is in sync with your objectives, goals and KPIs. Involve the relevant stakeholders. Think about different types of training depending on various moments in time. For example there should be training available for new hires, for releases of new feature and to brush up on knowledge. Set clear training objectives and describe the training requirements. Do your users prefer to read, watch, listen, go to a classroom or do they want to learn on the job? Draw up a timeline, provide for refreshing intervals, contextual and post training support. 

Step #2 Segment your audience
Based on Whatfix’s experience a proven success factor in training is to segment your users into different groups and target the content to their specific needs. You can segment according to job roles, for example sales reps, account executives and leadership. But you can also segment based on geography or business processes. The best segmentation approach depends on the type of company and their users.

Step #3 Develop the training
The next step is developing a training scope and creating clear, easy to understand content for each segmentation group. Map the content based on the objectives set in step #1. Best practice is to make the trainings available on demand and personalize the content for each segment. Customize the content to the user stage such as new hires, current users and refreshing knowledge of your users.Step #4 Deliver the training
The format of training delivery is critical to training success and the adoption rate. Be sure that the form in which the training is offered meets the needs and the expectations of your users. In their daily practice, Whatfix has found that training has significantly more impact using methods like e-learning, on-demand, in-app digital training rather than using traditional train-the-trainer and classroom training formats.

Step #5 Analyze the results
You can only rate success if you know what your starting point is and to what extend your objectives are met. Create a baseline, focus your data analysis on your goals and objectives. Evaluate to what extent you make impact and finetune the steps in the process wherever necessary. Be sure to use metrics that provide you with relevant information. Don’t merely report on time spent in Salesforce, but analyze the impact of training on user engagement and SF adoption. Develop key training and adoption metrics to measure the effectiveness of your training and onboarding program.

What Whatfix will bring

Whatfix is a simple, yet powerful solution which accelerates product adoption so that you can maximize the efficiency of your business applications. You can create content 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

How Talent Peaks can help

Being a Salesforce Gold consulting partner, Talent Peaks is highly experienced in implementing Whatfix for Professional Services, Staffing & Recruitment and Media Services industry. We’d love to tell you all about the impact this ingenious app can make for your organization. Contact us now.

Watch the webinar here

This blog is based on a webinar Whatfix and Talent Peaks recently released. Feel free to watch the webinar whenever you like in your own space and time.