Salesforce user adoption problems can quickly derail a successful Salesforce implementation. Low Salesforce adoption not only negatively impacts Salesforce ROI but also signals that the organization likely has major problems outside of Salesforce with data quality, their sales processes and key performance indicators. These impact the organization’s success in reaching objectives, as well as cause CRM implementations to fail.
Many factors should be considered in determining why users are not adopting a new system. We compiled a list of the top Salesforce user adoption problems faced by a variety of organizations.
1. Poor communication
Salesforce implementation is an ongoing process, which makes the importance of communicating that much more important. Make sure you regularly revisit and address these key questions:
1. Why did we implement Salesforce?
2. How do I use Salesforce?
3. What’s in it for me?
4. What are our biggest Salesforce problems?
5. What do our users need Salesforce to do?
Also, be open to feedback from your user community. Keep their interests close at heart because they are the end user, and the system must work for them in order to adopt it. Meet regularly with users to determine what is and isn’t working. If a sales rep has to fill out 20 fields before they can save a record, this will discourage adoption. It’s important that users view Salesforce as a tool they can’t live without.
2. Lack of support from executive stakeholders
The concept of leading by example is important to eliminating Salesforce user adoption problems. Good adoption is driven from the top down. Although the organization as a whole is ultimately responsible for the application’s success, executives have a role in cultivating a culture that Salesforce is the one-stop application that people should be working in all day long. Executives should reference data in Salesforce and use Salesforce dashboards in meetings to further demonstrate the value of Salesforce. Training is even more crucial for executive stakeholders.
3. Resistance to change
Salesforce only works when people use the system. It sounds simple but it’s not always easy. Getting someone to do something in a different way than they are used to is difficult in any situation, even if the change will ultimately improve their work leaps and bounds.
Salesforce not only changes how contact data and sales pipelines are managed with technology but it also typically changes a lot of organizational processes that can be difficult to sort out. Again, emphasize the value Salesforce will have for users. Ensure they know and understand how to use the system. Users who are especially resistant to change will likely need additional support and training to minimize Salesforce problems.
4. Failure to recognize that Salesforce is constantly evolving
Executives and administrators should keep their long-term Salesforce roadmap at the forefront of conversation. Just like any other technology, change and advancement happens quickly. Salesforce is not a tool that can be turned on and left alone. It must be continually adjusted to fit the organization. User needs change quickly and so do business goals. Your cross-functional team and key stakeholders should meet at least quarterly to evaluate how current needs are being met and to forecast future needs and how they will be implemented.
5. No Salesforce champion
Your best weapon in improving Salesforce user adoption problems is the person who has strong buy in with the technology. In most cases, this starts with your Salesforce administrator. A good admin will go a long way in promoting adoption throughout the organization. But you should also identify a champion among your user base. For Sales Cloud users, for example, it makes sense to identify a salesperson to serve as your “guinea pig.” This salesperson should be ready to jump onboard with the tool and complete more advanced training. Once others see how well the tool is working to manage opportunities and drive sales, they will instantly see the value.
6. Inadequate or no Salesforce training
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, you will need Salesforce training for sales and administrators to avoid Salesforce user adoption problems. There are free tools available but your best bet is to leverage the consultants in the AppExchange for guidance tailored to your organization. Work with your Salesforce rep to identify a good consultant in your budget. Online Salesforce training classes are also a quick and effective way to train your end users and administrators. And you can join a free local user group to get insight and feedback from other users who have traveled the same journey as you.
7. Processes not clearly defined or that no longer work
Investing in a new technology almost always means adjusting business processes to align with that technology. Depending on the size of business, business process improvement with Salesforce may take a considerable amount of time and resources. But, it will be necessary no matter what technology is implemented, and the investment will set the organization up for long-term success. Processes such as how your sales team manages and routes leads; how data is managed; how orders are entered; how data flows between departments; and what performance metrics are used to measure success are a few examples of what organizations often need to tweak to avoid Salesforce problems.
8. Poor Data Quality
When data is clean and accurate, users will know they can trust the data and this helps eliminate a major Salesforce problems. Have a strategy to maintain clean and accurate data and use data cleansing tools such as RingLead or DupeCatcher. Make sure data is being mapped to the right fields and that there aren’t more fields than what you need. The Salesforce Labs’ Data Quality Analysis Dashboards app also can be used to identify the completeness of your records and deficiencies in record data. You can even use this app to incent your users to maintain complete, accurate records.