User adoption is the fundamental factor that will determine whether or not your company gets a return on your Salesforce platform investment. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how effectively Salesforce matches the needs or potential for growth and profitability if your employees aren’t utilizing it. Fortunately, Salesforce provides a free resource that can dramatically boost user adoption rates and user proficiency: Trailhead.
What Is Salesforce Trailhead?
Trailhead is an interactive tool provided by Salesforce that is designed to teach users step-by-step about different aspects of Salesforce through brief mini-courses, quizzes, and fun hands-on projects. Trailhead is organized into numerous trails based on what the user is interested in learning. For example, there are trails for Salesforce administrators, lightning users, app builders, developers, Analytics, Einstein and so much more. In fact, Trailhead currently has more than eighty trails and each trail is further subdivided into a handful of modules focusing on specific areas of study within the larger subject. For example, users in the Admin Beginner trail will complete modules for getting started with the Salesforce platform, understanding the Salesforce architecture, and navigating the Setup Menu.
What Makes Salesforce Trailhead So Effective?
Based on the description above, it may sound like Salesforce Trailhead is simply a comprehensive online resource that will only benefit those who are most motivated to explore it. While it is certainly true that what a user takes away from it will depend in large part on the time and energy they put into it, Trailhead goes beyond far beyond simply being an online repository of Salesforce information and resources.
Trailhead has been described as the gamification of Salesforce, and that is a good analogy because like any game it draws players in and becomes intrinsically motivating to continue “playing.” Trailhead accomplishes this with its system of badges and points. Each time a user completes a module they win points, and once they complete the trail they earn a badge. This makes it fun and easy to track progress and motivates people to continue working toward their next badge. Trailhead also provides users with a free developer org that they will use for hands-on exercises that shape the environment of their Salesforce instance.
Trailhead also fires up users’ competitive natures by assigning them ranks and showing progress toward the next rank. Users will go from a fresh-eyed Scout, to a curious Explorer, to a seasoned Mountaineer and beyond with more steps along the way as they earn badges. Trailhead even provides a breakdown of users’ skill sets based on the trails and modules they have completed so that they can quickly and easily spot areas where they may want to focus their attention for improvement.
The Power of the Trailhead Profile
Each time a Trailhead user earns points or badges they will have the opportunity to share their success on social media including Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Best of all, users can include links to their Trailhead profiles so that coworkers and managers can track their progress and see their proficiency levels.
Trailhead is a powerful, effective tool for boosting user adoption rates because it encourages users to take ownership of the learning process. It also inspires a sense that the user is investing in their own skills and self betterment and motivates users to continually strive to reach the next level, to complete a trail and earn that shiny new Explorer badge or to brag about all the points they are racking up as they blaze through modules.
The Refinery Source assists clients with Salesforce integration, implementation, and customized CRM solutions.
By Kevin Knight