The 4 Best Practices for Salesforce CRM Adoption

  October 14th, 2015  
  Sales Productivity
salesforce crm adoption

The decision to make the hefty investment in a new CRM platform is not made lightly by your business.

Your team spent hours pouring over each option and their individual capabilities and drawbacks. After all of that deliberating, you decided to join the more than 1.5 million raving users and adopt Salesforce CRM. Your business needs to make the most out of its new CRM to experience the maximum return on investment.

How do you maximize ROI? Take direction from firms that have enjoyed the highest user adoption rates and return on investment. While these firms differ in business focus, one thing is agreed upon amongst all: user adoption is essential for success.

After reviewing Salesforce’s scores of best practice materials, we’ve compiled a comprehensive view of 4 best practices for Salesforce user adoption.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Understanding the common hurdles, four core practices for user adoption and measurement strategies, your business will join the ranks of those firms that have experienced huge success with Salesforce.

Hurdles in CRM Adoption

Any team-wide new process or technology roll-out is met with challenges. While you’ve spent hours pouring over the decision to invest in Salesforce, your sales team has not. There needs to be a solid approach to communicating the importance of utilizing the CRM from the moment you decide to roll it out to your entire team.

First, you’ll need to understand the possible hurdles and address them before they trip up your CRM adoption rates.

Not having clear goals and expectations. This is the by far the most common issue regarding user adoption. Ensure that you have very clearly defined goals in place and make these expectations clear across your entire sales team. The sales team needs to understand what is expected from them. Furthermore, they need to understand what they can expect from the application itself.

Not communicating the benefits. With all of Salesforce’s capabilities, your sales team should be nothing less than ecstatic about this new tool at their disposal. Show them how their once tedious administrative work, cumbersome reports and convoluted sales forecasting models are now streamlined into amazingly simple activities.

Learning curve anticipation and trepidation. Changing habitual behaviors is not easy. Furthermore, as with any comprehensive CRM platform, there is a new set of jargon and process that can cause intimidation amongst your sales team. Mitigate this by creating helpful FAQ content and process overviews they can review on-demand.

Keep the above common stumbling blocks at the forefront of your mind as you’re planning to roll out Salesforce to your team and you’ll avoid them altogether!

4 Best Practices To Follow For CRM User Adoption

Now that you’ve prepared for the common adoption hurdles, your business is already set up for increasing user adoption rates. Make the adoption rate soar even higher through training, mobile emphasis, process customization and incentivizing the team.

1. Train, Train, Train

Training the sales team on Salesforce is mandatory.

Give your team hands-on training with real data and scenarios. When you use data they recognize, it allows them to understand and internalize what you’re teaching them with ease. Don’t stop training after onboarding has come to a close! Successful training is a long-term investment. After the team has worked with the system for their actual sales interactions, they’ll have a new set of questions and insights best addressed with ongoing training.

2. Emphasize Mobile Use

You’ve already explained to your sales team how Salesforce is going to make their lives easier. Mobile accessibility underscores this point and allows you to get the most out of your initial investment.

When everyone from field sales teams to executive teams are able to access CRM data with their mobile device, user adoption rates improve. It boosts productivity, improves the quality of data and keeps even remote team members completely in the loop.

3. Customize To Simplify

One reason you selected Salesforce is most likely its customization capabilities.

As you move forward with customizing to your business’s specific processes, make sure simplification is a priority. Collect examples of mobile uses cases that display clear and simple processes. Define the tasks within these processes and what data users will need to access and input while in the field. For example, will your sales team need to be able to do the following via mobile:

  • Log phone calls, emails and/or visits?
  • Process orders?
  • Update customer cases?
  • Access sales enablement content?

List and prioritize exactly what your team needs to be successful and customize Salesforce to meet your specific needs.

4. Incentivize The Team

The right incentives can do wonders for user adoption rates, especially when you harness the power of a little competition!

Rewards programs, gamification, team competitions, monetary bonuses and other prizes serve as powerful motivation drivers. After a team member has achieved an incentive, encourage them to participate in your crowdsourced content efforts and share what led to his or her success with the rest of the team.

4 Key Measurement Metrics

In order to know if your efforts to increase user adoption are effective, you first need to master the measurement metrics.

Your business will have its own unique set of key performance indicators, or KPIs. Choose your KPIs carefully and focus on desired process performance. Below are four measurement metrics Salesforce recommends to properly assess user adoption.

1. Login Rates

Login rates are the most basic metric to track during your ongoing adoption efforts. It’s the best place to start, but you need to track more than this to see the full picture.

2. Usage

Usage is the metric that takes login rates a step further and allows you to glean more insight into actual engagement. Select the measurements that best represent your sales teams’ activities. For example, these measurements may include the frequency of client case updates and new contact creation volume.

3. Data Quality

Take usage measurements a step further by performing quality control. While an individual’s new contact creation volume may be high, is the data inputted complete and correct? Identify these measurements for your business and create process around ensuring quality data input.

4. Business Performance

Choose additional measurements that reflect the impact of CRM adoption on the business itself. The whole point of your investment in Salesforce was to impact the bottom line, so it only makes sense to monitor indicators that express this. What types of sales calls are producing the highest amount of conversions? Use that knowledge to then reorient focus and drive more sales. Alternatively, what activities are the least fruitful and how can you eliminate or improve them?

Maximizing Your CRM Investment

The road to complete Salesforce adoption requires a strategic path. However, it is a road that leads to maximum ROI. In no time you’ll feel comfortable assessing the metrics above and what that means for your business. When you master those metrics, you’ll be able to prioritize initiative optimizations.

Remember, you’re walking this path alongside your sales team, not separated from them. Encourage feedback, questions and comments from them every step of the way. Incorporating their thoughts will not only improve their experience, but also user adoption rates.

Additional CRM Resources

Here are some great links from Salesforce with tips and best practices for CRM success:

Getting your sales team to consistently use a CRM can be challenging. To learn more about how providing the right training content and incentives can help, contact us today.

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