The true cost of Salesforce integration in high-tech: #4 The cost of true training

by Ryan Christensen

According to a 2016 Forrester survey, 38 percent of business professionals encountered problems while implementing CRM technology due to “slow user adoption, inadequate attention paid to change management and training, and difficulties in aligning the organizational culture with new ways of working.” Even if the technical implementation goes perfectly, your success will be limited if you ignore the human element of your business.

“It doesn’t matter how great your Salesforce solution is if users don’t—or won’t—use it,” says Jean-Baptiste Minchelli, Senior Director of product management, lightning enablement, and adoption at Salesforce. “It’s not enough to just give your team a great app, you also need to train, support, and give them a sound reason to adopt it. In other words, you need to plan your rollout strategy just as carefully as you planned design, development, and testing.”

In this article, let’s explore what training will cost you in terms of user enablement and onboarding, time, and culture.


User enablement and onboarding

Ideally, new technology should make internal processes faster and easier. However, while technology adoption has risen, general user productivity has leveled out. This isn’t the technology’s fault, though: it’s user engagement. Users simply aren’t using the technology made available to them. A 2015 survey by Knoa Software found that only 8.4 percent of enterprise software errors were “system-related,” while 91.6 percent were “related to the user, design or process.”

This is one core reason that user enablement and onboarding are so crucial to a successful Salesforce implementation and integration. You must “show and tell” with your employees as to how and why the new tech investment will benefit their work lives, or they aren’t going to start using the tech of their own volition. You need to invest in an onboarding plan.

When Simplus oversaw Salesforce Sales Cloud implementation for Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, our advisory services and change management teams focused on providing training courses and outputs (such as company communications, calendars, and adoption metrics) to onboard MEAA end users. The end result was a 30 percent increase in opportunities approved and 95 percent faster quote delivery to customers—because users knew how to use the platform.


Cutting to the quick

When you begin your Salesforce journey, you’ll want to jump into integration immediately. What you likely aren’t anticipating is the amount of time you’ll spend talking implementation strategy and best practices. Typically, this is only the case when you’re going about your integration without a qualified advisor. This is certainly not advised as the best approach whatsoever.


Shifting culture

Ultimately, any new technology, merger, policy, or other change will have to blend and respond with your company’s culture. If the culture is conducive to the change, great! It’s more common, however, that these changes will clash with your established status quo. If your investment in Salesforce is to succeed, your company culture will need to shift.

Salesforce, well aware that its adoption requires a cultural shift, advises that “if leadership is not committed to an organizational initiative, that initiative will fail. . . . The best way to demonstrate this commitment is by example. This is also where you want to start: at the top.” Management must be united on the changes being enacted and lead the way for the employees.


Your integration is too large and too important to expect your business to simply hit the ground running. Proper enablement of your staff should be factored into your total investment, and Simplus is prepared to offer a customized approach that is unique to your needs.



Ryan Christensen is the Director of Vertical Sales at Simplus. He has over 12 years of technology sales experience and a diverse background ranging from start-ups to industry-leading enterprise organizations, specializing in SaaS and its services. Ryan recently participated in the CEO keynote at Dreamforce 2017, focusing on the success Adidas is having using Salesforce globally. He is travel-obsessed, fearless on the dance floor, and bilingual in English and Italian.

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