People tend to resist change. Employees may feel more comfortable working with an older tool simply because they are used to it — no matter how many managers sing the praises of a new system. Learning to navigate new software requires staff to step out of their comfort zones and embrace a new way of doing things. This is often easier said than done; it requires careful planning and skillful execution.
According to this white paper published by Deloitte, 70% of the barriers to a successful Salesforce implementation can be traced back to change management. Consequently, the importance of having a strapping transition plan in place cannot be overstated. Below is a list of helpful tips and tricks to bolster the adoption of your implementation — setting you up for success right from the beginning.
1 — Identify Salesforce Users
The first thing to consider is precisely who will be using Salesforce at your organization. Will sales representatives and service agents be the primary users? Does management require access to Salesforce to run reports and analyze metrics? Identify stakeholders across each level of the organization, as each group of users will use Salesforce in a unique way, depending upon their role.
2 — Assess Implementation Impact
Now that you know who will be using Salesforce, it is crucial to understand how each individual carries out their daily tasks — and how Salesforce can enhance performance and efficiency. For example, identifying how sales reps currently manage their leads allows you to better understand their processes and how they can be improved. Next, imagine how day-to-day activities will change post-implementation. How can Salesforce enable sales reps to access leads and manage accounts? Perhaps creating a lead can be done with fewer clicks, or generating quotes is more efficient. When staff sees the concrete benefits of a new software implementation, they are more likely to get on board.
3 — Outline and Assign Responsibilities
A successful implementation requires leaders to delegate distinct responsibilities to each team member. When every employee understands what they must specifically do, they are more motivated and aware of expectations. Creating and circulating a chart with each person’s responsibilities facilitates a team environment where everyone has a valuable role to play.
4 — Unlock Data Flow Across Channels
Syncing data across various channels allows teams to see a holistic view of operations and share information across departments. This information exchange aligns staff, increases employee collaboration, and kick-starts a free flow of information, leading to greater efficiency and employee buy-in.
5 — Deploy Proven & Personalized Training Methods
A Salesforce implementation is new and technical. It is unrealistic to expect your entire team to understand and be up to speed straight away. Management should provide teams the resources they need to train employees effectively — and group training is not the only answer. In-App Guidance allows admins to create prompts and walkthroughs for your teams using clicks, not code. Customizable, bite-sized pieces of information can be attached to various buttons and processes, helping to guide users through their learning journey. Admins can also create training videos, FAQ sections, tip sheets, and more. In-App Guidance has been proven to boost productivity and resolve training gaps by placing resources directly in the hands of employees.
6 — Lead by Example
Leadership buy-in is vital for a successful Salesforce adoption. All leaders on the team should have a thorough understanding of Salesforce’s strategic value. Most importantly, they must demonstrate a personal commitment to Salesforce and use it — day after day. Employees will be motivated by leaders’ investment and integrate Salesforce into their own practices.
Below are some practical strategies to demonstrate a commitment to Salesforce:
- Move away from requesting Excel reports; only review analytics in Salesforce
- Only use Chatter for internal communications and encourage others to follow suit
- Read out adoption metrics at larger meetings
7 — Encourage and Consider Feedback
While executive buy-in is a necessity, bottom-up feedback is equally as important. Hence, it is critical to thoroughly understand and respect employees’ needs. Establishing user committees and meeting with them regularly can provide executives tremendous insight. Discerning which processes can be improved, which are working well, and exploring potential solutions to issues can increase Salesforce adoption and improve processes across the board.
8 — Commit to Simplicity
Salesforce configurations often have hundreds of fields, and a large portion is often not required. An endless number of options can overwhelm users, and most importantly — they are usually not all necessary. When designing processes, less can be more. Only showing the fields being used can clean up the software and reduce a great deal of confusion.
Further, data cleansing is imperative during a Salesforce transition. Typically, companies find they no longer require a substantial amount of their data. You can task your teams with data clean-up, as it can take a great deal of effort. Integrating only the data you need keeps end-users organized and ensures they can find what they are looking for faster. To be on the safe side, executives can save unnecessary data outside of the Salesforce system in case they need to refer back to it.
9 — Customize User Experiences
Put yourself in your employees’ shoes — what valuable processes can be added to Salesforce? Creating unique formats and dashboards specific to the different roles within your organization goes a long way. For example, identify which features are helpful for sales representatives and configure a sales-specific interface. This type of personalization will motivate sales reps to take advantage of their customized solution, since it was specifically tailored to make their jobs easier.
10 — Put Salesforce to the Test
Quantifying the baseline levels of effort required to perform various tasks before implementing Salesforce allows you to measure its efficacy and gauge improvement. Once end-users can see that Salesforce saves them time and makes their jobs easier, adoption sky-rockets.
This guide is a great place to start — but if you are looking for specialized, one-on-one support, we are always happy to help. We deeply understand the challenges related to Salesforce adoption and implementation, and just how to solve them. To learn more about how we can help your company thrive in its digital transformation journey with Salesforce, please visit gerent.com.