Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find a number of contradictory statistics about the failure rates of CRM adoption: Different surveys keep coming up with different answers. Really, though, that’s no surprise. So many factors play a role in any given adoption success story, it would be a tall task for researchers to land on consistent numbers.
That’s not to say there aren’t any adoption best practices to follow, however. In our experience, there are a handful of steps companies can take to successfully encourage users to adopt a new platform, especially in the early going. If your organization is thinking about implementing Salesforce, check them out below.
Step #1: Involve Users in the Build Process
This probably won’t come as a big surprise, but if you want people to use something, you should ask them how they’d like to use it. Top-down decisions, tempting as they may be for some leaders, are likely to result in missed opportunities and frustration.
As you prepare for your company’s Salesforce implementation, plan on doing the following:
- Gather your team for a conversation about their CRM needs. Find out how they use and analyze data. What are their current pain points? What features would empower them to do their jobs better?
- Make sure your build team gives regular demos. Ask them to present to your end users and say, “We listened to what you wanted, and we’ve come up with this. How close did we get?” If your end users didn’t explain their initial vision very clearly, this is an opportunity for them to see how their suggestions might have been misinterpreted.
- Conduct user acceptance testing. User acceptance testing gives your users the chance to interact with a “finished” version of the Salesforce build. Is everything working how they hoped it would be? Now’s the time to collect thoughts.
For more on each of these steps, read our full blog on the topic: “Salesforce Adoption: Boost While You Build.”
Step #2: Make Sure Leadership Buys In
Poor Salesforce adoption is often the result of an unfortunate cycle: When leadership fails to encourage employees to treat Salesforce as the company’s single source of truth, those employees aren’t very likely to start using the platform. If the boss doesn’t care, why should they? As a result, Salesforce becomes something of an empty container — nobody adds any data. Which, in turn, gives leaders even less incentive to use it themselves: Without good data, they can’t run the kinds of reports that would help them make better business decisions. Bad news all around.
The fix? Leaders must break the cycle. They need to use Salesforce diligently, and those on their teams need to see that use on a consistent basis. The more Salesforce enthusiasm leaders display, the better.
For a deeper dive on this topic, check out our blog, “Salesforce Adoption and the Power of Leadership Buy-In.”
Step #3: Streamline Workflows with Integrations
Depending on your company’s needs, you may choose to integrate Salesforce with other systems — ERPs, accounting software, marketing automation platforms, etc. Integrations are designed to connect disparate business processes and data sources, but they also serve double duty as adoption boosters. Here’s how:
- Integrations add features to your Salesforce toolkit. They can transform the platform from an isolated data silo into a connected information hub. And the more functionality you add to Salesforce via integrations, the more you can engage users.
- An integrated Salesforce platform facilitates work by conforming to users’ usual workflows. An unintegrated platform, on the other hand, forces users out of their way to use it, significantly decreasing their likelihood of adopting it.
- Integrations eliminate the need for double entry. This is important, because double entry is a surefire way to kill adoption. It shows that your disconnected technology is forcing more work on employees.
- Integrations force users to work on Salesforce by controlling how data flows between platforms. For example, let’s say that your company uses Salesforce and Hubspot, with an integration between the two. If you have employees that aren’t using Salesforce because they prefer Hubspot, you can set your integration so that it only syncs updates from Salesforce to Hubspot (not vice versa).
To learn more about each of these points, head over to our blog, “4 Ways Salesforce Integrations Boost Adoption.”
And if you’re looking for even more advice on how to increase Salesforce adoption, make sure to watch this on-demand webinar: