The complete guide for user adoption on Salesforce

Yousra Mahros, May 2021

Salesforce is the market-leading CRM. Its deployment and maintenance are major challenges for companies. In addition to the technical aspects, it requires the support and involvement of all employees. This guide, designed specifically for Salesforce, will give you the best chance to ensure your project’s success.

Many ideas will be addressed because the topic is quite complex. Here is the summary of the guide:

  1. User adoption, a key success factor
  2. The basics of user adoption on Salesforce
  3. Build long-term user adoption
  4. The checklist to ensure user adoption of your Salesforce application

Here we go, don’t hesitate to contact me at yousra.mahros@weloop.io if you have any questions or suggestions, I’ll be happy to answer you.

1. User adoption, a key factor for the success of your project

As with any CRM, user adoption is a critical component of implementing a Salesforce application in your organization. To get the most out of the tools, it’s essential that users take ownership and use them to their fullest potential, greatly increasing your project’s chances of success.

Successful adoption of a new solution has many benefits. It shortens the deployment time and reduces the associated costs. It leads to a much higher utilization rate of the tools, and therefore to a much higher productivity gain. Finally, it creates a positive business environment, where everyone feels like they have a place in the company and are part of a common project.

Promoting user adoption involves a number of steps:

  • overcoming resistance to change
  • communicating to highlight the benefits of the new solution
  • training users to enable them to take ownership of the technical solution
  • Taking into account feedback to benefit from the collective intelligence and implement a continuous improvement strategy.

2. The basics of user adoption on Salesforce

2.1. Overcoming resistance to change

Human brains are naturally resistant to change. Learning to use new tools requires energy and questioning. The deployment of an application that transforms the way work is organized is therefore often met with opposition. This is even more the case when it involves the massive use of IT tools and new technologies, which are not always well perceived by employees.

To effectively overcome this opposition and ensure user adoption, it is essential to communicate effectively. Your message needs to convince your employees of the opportunity that deploying a Salesforce application represents for them. The first goal is to reassure, while taking everyone’s feelings into account. No employee should feel left out by the deployment or the onboarding part. The ultimate goal is of course to achieve complete user acceptance.

To do this, you can rely on managers, but also on key users carefully chosen from the first phases of the project. Select employees who are comfortable with change management and who are able to understand the technical constraints. Their skills will allow them to guide and reassure their colleagues during the deployment of the application.

2.2. Develop a user-centric approach

User-Centered Design: Process and Benefits

An application only adds value if it is massively and correctly adopted by teams. To ensure this, you need to put the user at the center of your Salesforce application lifecycle. At every stage of the project, it’s important to make sure that the solutions you implement meet the needs of your users. You also need to be able to verify that users are taking ownership of the tools.

Users should not see your Salesforce project as a constraint, but rather as a tool that facilitates their day-to-day work and allows them to be more efficient. Only then will you be able to realize the full benefits of the solution.

2.3 Capitalize on user feedback

Employee feedback plays a major role in the success of the user-centric approach. It offers several advantages:

  • It allows for quick feedback
  • Involve users in the deployment and continuous improvement of their application
  • Identify blocking points
  • Simplify the management of the IT backlog by centralizing information.

This is why it is so important to provide all users with an ergonomic and efficient feedback management tool. Communicate massively about this tool, and train employees to use it properly. The more numerous and well-structured the feedback, the more usable it will be and the more efficient and responsive it will be.

Ideally, a feedback management tool like WeLoop should be directly integrated into the Salesforce application, as shown in the video below. This makes it much more user-friendly, and encourages users to use it. A separate tool that requires you to go outside of Salesforce will automatically be used much less.

Example of a collaborative feedback tool integrated in Salesforce

Asking for feedback from users naturally increases their commitment to the project. However, it’s important that this feedback is really taken into account. So make sure that every piece of feedback gets a response. This does not mean that all requests must be accepted and sent to dev. The response can also refer to training documents, FAQs, or simply indicate that the tool is being used in the wrong way.

3. Build long-term user adoption

Adoption does not happen only at the project launch. It must be continuous to ensure a high level of satisfaction and optimal user productivity. In short, let your project be a success over time.

3.1 Relying on collaborative intelligence

Alone we go faster, together we go further. When you involve all employees in a project, innovative ideas always emerge that would not have been possible with more centralized management.

To encourage this, you can organize users into communities in the feedback management tool. The assignment to the different groups will be done by job category, and according to the access to the software. Encourage discussions within these exchange platforms. The reactions of other users to the feedback can directly solve a significant part of the problems raised. This constitutes a filter so that only qualified feedback that really needs to be acted upon can be passed on to the IT backlog.

Collaborative intelligence therefore enables most problems to be resolved quickly, and eases the workload of IT departments. The result is greater responsiveness, which increases user satisfaction, creating a virtuous cycle.

The implementation of these collaborative structures is particularly motivating for employees. It encourages mutual support and the search for common solutions. It also strengthens team spirit and encourages proactivity.

3.2. Ensure user training

Using a new application is not always easy, especially for users who are less comfortable with computers. By focusing on training, you greatly increase the chances that the tools will be used correctly. On the other hand, insufficient training of users inevitably leads to a poor experience with the software solution. In addition to the obvious loss of efficiency, this creates a frustration that will be difficult to correct later on.

Make sure that all your employees are well trained from the start of the project. Do not hesitate to multiply the sessions if certain notions are not sufficiently acquired. Also set up detailed and complete user manuals and tutorials, as well as FAQ-type tools. This will allow your teams to continue their training independently, thus improving their use of the tools.

4. The checklist to ensure user adoption of your Salesforce application

You’re no doubt aware of the importance of developing an effective strategy to promote acceptance of your Salesforce application by your employees. We’ve developed a checklist that covers all the points you need to take on this challenge in the best possible conditions.

4.1. Properly define user roles and profiles

Many employees with similar profiles will have very different missions and different positions in the company. Not everyone will need access to the same features, so you’ll need to set up very specific roles. A user faced with a lot of useless Salesforce features and screens may feel lost. Conversely, an employee who doesn’t have easy access to features that would be useful to him or her loses efficiency and perceives the software’s impact negatively.

Before you even begin deployment, it is therefore essential to clearly define the different user roles you need for your organization. This definition requires the involvement of the different business units concerned, in order to clearly identify their needs and expectations. To learn more about this, I suggest you read this article from Kicksaw.

4.2. Ensure continuous active communication

We always accept a change better when we understand the reason for it. From the very first stages of the project, and then at each update, it is essential to communicate effectively on the reasons for your decisions and the various changes. This communication must of course insist on the expected benefits for the company, but also on the improvements of the work processes from the employees’ point of view. Ideally, it should be able to arouse curiosity and desire among the users.

Communication should also be honest and transparent, without trying to hide the challenges of deployment or upgrades. Legitimate concerns that will be raised should be addressed as soon as possible. This will allow you to identify new lines of communication to best prepare for future updates.

4.3 Identify key users and ambassadors

Relying on your team members is also very important to ensure the success of your Salesforce application. There are three roles for these key users. Even before the project is launched, they participate in communication by becoming ambassadors to their colleagues. They make them aware of the upcoming changes in a positive way, and bring up questions and concerns.

They will then be the first to test the tools, and their feedback will help solve the majority of problems before deploying the solution to all users. In the third stage, they will act as key people to whom their colleagues can turn before they need IT support. It is often much easier to ask a question to your office colleague than to open a ticket with a helpdesk!

4.4 Ensuring managerial support

Managers play a major role in the acceptance of a process change. They must therefore adhere to the proposed solution and be able to understand all the issues at stake. It is also important to encourage them to adopt a positive attitude with their employees. Their role must be to support the change within their teams, while listening to them and alerting them if acceptance is not optimal.

4.5. Implement an effective feedback tool

Gathering user feedback is critical to the success and adoption of your Salesforce project. This feedback helps you quickly identify issues. This requires the implementation of a real feedback management tool. It must be ergonomic and contextualized so that everyone can use it on a daily basis. It must also be centralized, and allow users to consult the feedback of their colleagues. This is a good way to limit duplicate and not relevant information.

By providing a contextualized way for your employees to provide feedback, you increase their involvement in the deployment of the solution. Each user is encouraged to be proactive and contribute to the implementation or improvement of a Salesforce solution that brings real value to everyone.

4.6. Ensure that user feedback is taken into account

Collecting feedback is not enough; it must be taken into account to optimize user adoption. It is therefore important to put in place feedback management processes. The first step is to sort out the feedback and focus on what is most relevant to improving the Salesforce application, in order to optimize the IT team’s backlog.

Feedback related to poor handling of Salesforce rather than real bugs should not be ignored. It allows us to identify weak points in communication and to define training areas to improve the use of the various features.

Analyzing the feedback well really helps to capitalize on the phenomenon of collective intelligence. This leads to the implementation of more efficient solutions, which correspond perfectly to the needs of each business and are therefore better accepted and used.

By valuing their feedback, you reinforce the support of your employees. Knowing that their opinion is truly taken into account is naturally motivating. It reinforces the feeling of participating in a collective adventure, and of having a full place in the new work organization that is being set up.

4.7. Create a complete and comprehensive knowledge base

At the beginning of the project, create an FAQ knowledge base that allows users to quickly find the answer to the most common questions. Make this FAQ easily accessible in Salesforce. Communicate as much as possible to encourage users to look for information before asking key users or IT. This will increase efficiency, while forcing everyone to be proactive in finding solutions.

4.8. Communicate to keep employees informed of new developments

Communication should not be limited to the preparation and launch phases of the project. It must continue throughout the deployment. This can be done in a variety of ways: company events, employee information from managers, newsletters, etc.

This communication should focus on the successes already achieved and show the benefits that the new Salesforce application has already brought to the various departments. It should also transparently address the remaining challenges and set the next milestones of the project.

After the rollout is complete, communication around the application should be a way to spread the word to ensure continuous improvement in practices and support.

4.9. Get user feedback

For the success of your Salesforce project and future projects, it’s a good idea to regularly solicit user feedback. This can be about their overall satisfaction, and allow you to react in case of dissatisfaction.

You can use different tools for this: Teams, or even Slack. Managers will play a major role in convincing their employees of the importance of using these tools.

You can also ask for their opinion on specific subjects in order to redirect certain decisions. The more you listen to all users, the greater the chances of success for your project. The benefits for you are obvious: a well accepted application will be better used, and happy users will be more motivated, more productive and more loyal to the company!

Do you want to implement these Salesforce best practices in your company? WeLoop has developed a feedback management module that integrates directly into Salesforce. Discover its features and benefits now!