How to Increase Salesforce Adoption

According to CRM Manager magazine, fewer than 40% of firms implementing a CRM solution have an adoption rate above 90%, and despite the wider industry acceptance of CRM and cloud based solutions, adoption rates haven’t improved since 2005! As full-time, professional Salesforce trainers, Stony Point is working constantly with salesforce.com customers and salesforce.com Cloud Alliance partners like CRM manager to drive end user adoption. It is our pleasure to share Stony Point’s end user training best practices in hopes that they may help you increase adoption and success within your company.

  1. Role Based Training - Training should not be the same for all roles; it should be tailored to each role and should start with the managers. Focus on showing managers the value of the tool and how to get the info they will want from it; they don't need to know how to convert a Lead to an Opportunity as much as they need to know which reports will be most useful to them and how to run them.
  2. Scenario Based Training - End users don't need to know what all the screens and features do as much as they need to know when to use specific tools. Instead of describing each screen in detail, take a real world example and walk through it together. It ends up almost being business process training as much as it is Salesforce training!
  3. Train as Teams - Keep the teams together for training, so they can discuss with other how they will use it best, and include the manager in training with the end users (after making sure the managers see the value of Salesforce, of course). With their manager present, the end users know there is management buy in and expectation, and they are less likely to say or think “this is a waste of my time; I'm not doing this.” In fact, according to a study by Motorola Inc., training that was reinforced by senior management yielded a $33 return on every dollar invested!
  4. Train on Live System - It's tempting to train in a sandbox org with fake Leads and Contacts and other data, but then you have to rely on users to take what they've learned and translate it to the real world. Instead, have them do real work with real data (e.g., bring their stacks of business cards to class and enter some real Leads during training). That way, they have already started using the CRM tool when they finish a day of class; it's much easier to continue using a new tool than to start using it!
  5. Hands on Training - This one may be obvious but needs to be stated: many people don't learn by listening to an instructor or watching videos and e-learning; they learn by doing. Each student should have his or her own workstation or device and should practice every process taught in class with the instructor there to help with any questions or confusion.
  6. Reinforce Training Over Time - A Xerox Inc. study showed only 13% of skills were retained by trainees six months after training if there was no coaching and support as the new skills were being applied. One-and-done training strategy just doesn't cut it, because even your most enthusiastic, sharpest end users may not use everything they learned in the weeks following training; you must review and refresh multiple times. Do a quick survey checklist to see what people remember; then have group Q&A calls once a week for a while, and include a Salesforce trainer or expert who can share his or her screen for review.

End user adoption can be one of the hardest things to accomplish with any CRM, but it is also one of the most important. With the initial and ongoing support of direct managers—along with training following these best practices—any organization truly can expect and enjoy high end user adoption rates.

About Stony Point Stony Point is a leading provider of Salesforce training for end users, administrators, developers and consultants, including certification preparation. Stony Point develops and delivers training classes throughout the world for customers of all sizes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. All classes are conducted by a live instructor, offered publicly and privately, and students may attend either virtually or in-person.   For more information, visit our training page.