Hi there, I’m Chris Moore, Managing Consultant. I’d like to share a common experience of mine, in the hope that I can shed some light on an issue: Poor Salesforce.com User Adoption.
One day I received this email with a request for help:
I’m Lucy Swan, Sales Manager at Great Service Inc., and I seem to be in a bit of a pickle. I was recently tasked with looking for a new CRM system and successfully implementing it. The CRM tool had to be very flexible, highly customizable, and relatively low on costs. It also had to increase the productivity of my sales team and increase customer satisfaction through the service team.
After doing all of the research, there was one clear choice – Salesforce.com! It ticked all of the boxes in my checklist and was widely used. Not to mention that the company is seen as the leader in its ability to execute and its completeness of vision as per the 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant.
So we implemented Salesforce.com.
One week later, I checked on the stats. Sales were low! Something surely was wrong. I sat pondering what could be the cause, and decided to send a survey to the Sales team.
And oh boy! To my surprise, the survey results showed that only about 10% of the Sales team were using Salesforce. It didn’t make sense!
The question I am now facing is how to improve my users’ adoption of Salesforce. It is such a great system! So why are people not using it?
Lucy could not afford to waste any more time and money with Salesforce not being used; paying for licences and the fees for the implementation, and now loss in sales due to the lack of use.
After assessing the situation, I found that Lucy was experiencing the all too common user adoption issues when a new solution like Salesforce is introduced:
Lack of intrinsic motivation
Many people find it difficult to adapt to using Salesforce as it is the unknown (change is scary after all). They do not fully understand why they are using it and how it will benefit them.
Lucy and her executive team had to motivate their employees to use Salesforce by speaking to their fundamental needs. They had to increase their intrinsic motivation – motivation that stems directly from the relationship between the task and its benefit to the worker. This meant demonstrating how using Salesforce lets them work more efficiently, and better manage their leads, opportunities and contacts. This in turn helps to increase their sales. Once the employee recognizes these benefits, they will be more motivated to use Salesforce.com.
Forgetting the ‘when’
When is the best time to train employees on Salesforce as their new CRM system? Before go-live or through post-implementation support? This is a question that is often not asked and, therefore, training is not often optimally timed. Why is the when important? Well, when training is provided at the best possible time (taking into consideration things like the company’s culture, climate, and individual preference) this encourages employees to more quickly and easily adopt Salesforce.com into the company’s business practices.
For Lucy’s team, training was provided well before Go Live. When the time finally came to use Salesforce, the employees had forgotten a good part of what they had learned. What they needed was post-implementation support to help make Salesforce a part of their daily tasks.
Too much information
When providing training for new users, remember to KIS (Keep It Simple)! Most of the time, companies focus on the elaborate use of Salesforce.com right off the bat and heavily miss the mark on basic and simple Salesforce training.
Lucy’s employees did not even have the knowledge on how to navigate around the system because their training had focused on the intricate capabilities that Salesforce can provide. This is great for an advanced user, but not so much for a new Salesforce user.
Not cultivating a learning culture and climate
All too often, corporate training stops at the training room door. When it comes to users not adopting Salesforce, this is a leading cause. Companies need to cultivate a learning culture and create an atmosphere that facilitates transfer of training; that is, fostering the application of the training on the job and therefore promoting continued learning outside of the training room.
In the case of Lucy’s company, I pointed out that it is essential to encourage the use of Salesforce by supporting learning after the fact. I stressed the importance of over-learning – continuing to practice even after trainees have mastered a task so that their behaviour becomes automatic.
With Chris’ learning expertise and invaluable recommendations, Lucy’s team was able to significantly increase adoption of Salesforce and soon saw an improvement in their Sales.
Has your organization experienced similar challenges with Salesforce user adoption?
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