Overcoming Low Salesforce Adoption Rates

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When working on a Salesforce implementation it is easy to become so focused on the implementation itself that you overlook the other, crucial side of the coin: Salesforce user adoption rates. A company that implements an efficient, well-designed Salesforce system that perfectly addresses business needs and priorities will yield little-to-no value from that system if user adoption rates are low. In other words, if employees aren’t using Salesforce there’s no point in having it regardless of the potential it has to increase sales, lower costs, and improve customer satisfaction. So what are the common reasons for low user adoption rates and how can you boost them?

Common Reasons for Low Salesforce Adoption Rates

Companies often dismiss or underestimate the problem of low adoption rates because there is a perception that since employees work for the company, users will automatically be on board by simply being told to use it. While this might be true in theory, in practice it is a lot more complicated. Learning a new system, even a highly efficient, user-friendly system, requires a learning curve that can be overwhelming to some employees. There’s a good chance that they will feel they can do their jobs more quickly the way they have always done them or with an older legacy system. For quota driven sales teams or customer service teams on the frontlines addressing customer concerns, the added stress of also trying to master the new system can be enough to create substantial resistance. Common sources of stress leading to lower adoption rates include the following:

Insufficient Training – Employees need training and resources to learn how to use the new Salesforce platform. If they don’t know how to do something on the new system, they might be tempted to simply continue doing things the way they always have. Thus it is crucial to ensure that all key personnel fully understand how to perform core job functions within Salesforce.

Unclear Value – If you have been leading a Salesforce implementation or have been directly involved in the process then you are already fully aware of the ways that Salesforce can increase profits, lower costs, and make employees’ jobs easier and more efficient. However, the same cannot be said for typical employees at the company who are being newly exposed to Salesforce. Thus the first step is to help them see how Salesforce will improve their workflow.

Poor Interface – If you find that despite comprehensive training and a clear explanation of value, your employees still struggle to adopt Salesforce, it could be because the interface for the system is too complex. Employees may be overwhelmed by too many options or might have difficulty finding a key feature. In these situations it can be helpful to consider redesigning or simplifying your user interface.

Negative Environment – As touched on before, a highly stressful environment can hurt user adoption rates because employees may feel that they are already scrambling to handle day-to-day responsibilities and don’t have the time or energy to learn a new system on top of that. Similarly it may be that you have one or two very vocal naysayers who are poisoning the atmosphere for everyone else. To overcome this, make sure that your employees have the resources they need for success. Consider setting aside dedicated training days and working closely with employees to address their frustrations. Having a few key employees on the team who are excited about Salesforce can also be an effective motivating force.

The Refinery Source Can Help

The Refinery Source provides comprehensive Salesforce design, development, and implementation services. We work with clients every step of the way to ensure that once their systems are set up they have a smooth transition and adoption process. We will work with you to come up with a personalized plan to boost and track Salesforce adoption rates while taking the unique needs and culture of your company into consideration.

By Kevin Knight

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