Onboarding and Training Your Salesforce Users
You know that Salesforce is a great investment for your business. But only if your team is on board. And change can be hard. So how do you ensure everyone’s using the system? A great user adoption plan! The suggestions in this guide will get you started, but it’s also important to collect feedback from your users and alter your approach based on their needs. We’ve broken this guide down into two main parts: strategy and tactics.
The Strategy: Managing Change
Humans are naturally resistant to change, so helping people transition to Salesforce is important. Consider leveraging Kotter’s eight steps to change management, developed by Harvard Business School professor John Kotter.
Establish a Sense of Urgency
Paint a picture of a major opportunity or impending crisis to overcome complacency. Send out a series of announcements over a few weeks describing the opportunities for change.
Form a Powerful Guiding Coalition
Create teams by working across departments and layers to improve cross-silo communications.
Create a Vision
Define your organization’s goals for Salesforce and how they align with your overall goals. The simpler, the better!
Communicate the Vision
Share this vision with your users, and refer back to it during training sessions.
Empower Others to Act on the Vision
Use your executive sponsors to communicate and advocate for full adoption, and communicate often about how each user’s participation will contribute to the success of the effort.
Plan for and Create Short-Term Wins
Identify pain points for your users in current processes, and show them how Salesforce adoption will eliminate those pain points.
Build on the Change
Communicate frequently after the training sessions with additional tips & tricks, and recognize those users who are using the platform to its full potential.
Institutionalize New Approaches
Create a culture of accountability by acting quickly when the adoption reports and dashboards show gaps in adoption or data quality.
Tactics to Drive Adoption of Salesforce
Once you have your strategy in place, these 5 tips can help ensure your users are on board and making the most of your Salesforce investment.
1. Executive Sponsorship
Executive sponsorship is crucial for user adoption. Ensure that your management team is fully bought into Salesforce and that they’re modeling and advocating for full adoption.
Establish a policy of “if it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.” Your users need to know that it’s important to keep all data in Salesforce. Reinforce this policy by using Salesforce dashboards to run team meetings (more on that ahead!) and consider creating a quarterly “Salesforce MVP” award to recognize a team member who is using Salesforce well or helping to improve the system.
Organize mandatory, customized, hands-on training for all employees. Meeting at least once per quarter is ideal. Here’s a list of things you may want to cover at each session:
- Note any significant changes to your org as a result of Salesforce Releases (Spring, Summer, and Winter each year)
- Review user adoption reporting
- Review data hygiene reporting
- Train on any new features or updates
After the training, provide ongoing support, including cheat sheets or refresher sessions. Be transparent about how you plan to measure success for data quality and completion. Some resources for training include:
- Trailhead: Trailhead is an amazing free training resource for Salesforce users with widely varied content.
- myTrailhead: myTrailhead allows companies to customize a learning path for their users based on their business needs. Key features include:
- Customized, gamified content that creates a culture of continuous learning
- Public and private Trailhead content
- Slide decks
- Videos and static manuals
- The ability to add your own custom training content and modules
- In-App Guidance: This free app is available in the App Exchange and provides 5 prompts to increase user adoption of key Salesforce features. The prompts include tips on how to:
- Set up a Chatter profile (more on that later!)
- Create shortcuts to favorite pages
- Get help in the app
- Manage records
4. Empowering Users with Data
Create dashboards for end-users that allow them to see how the business is performing and how they are adding value. Make sure these dashboards are useful for your users so that they will see the value in keeping complete and accurate Salesforce records.
Utilizing Adoption Dashboards
To measure your success with user adoption, utilize the adoption dashboards that were created to identify gaps in adoption and address the underlying issue. Who’s logging in (or not logging in)? Are key fields being completed? Perhaps your users will need additional training or page layouts will need to be adjusted.
Utilizing Dashboards for Team Meetings
Speaking of dashboards, using dashboards as an agenda for your team meetings is a great way to encourage adoption. If you use the metrics on the dashboard to drive your meetings, it creates an additional incentive to enter data. This is one of the best ways to reinforce the culture of “If it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist!”
Looking for more tips to get the most out of Salesforce? Check out 5 Business Processes to Automate in Salesforce Today for tips to save time and maximize your resources!
5. Soliciting Feedback
Regularly solicit feedback from your users. Learning what’s working (and not working) with your business processes in Salesforce on a regular basis and responding to changing needs is crucial. If users feel the tool isn’t adding value, they won’t use it.
Use a Chatter group to collect feedback and create discussions around how Salesforce is working for your users. Consider creating Chatter polls to ask users how things are going. These groups can be set up as public or private and allow your users to share and collaborate.
Surveying your users can also provide valuable feedback. Surveys allow you to assess both adoption successes and any pain points your users are experiencing. Here’s a great example from the Salesforce Success Community.