The Power of Certainty – Why Simplicity is Important in Salesforce User Adoption

*  This article is part of a Whitepaper called “How to Increase Salesforce User Adoption.” The Challenge Choosing and purchasing the right CRM are important decisions within the life of any enterprise company. Once you have decided on Salesforce, discussion and strategizing turns to how to effectively implement the software and onboard new users. To be clear, I am talking about a difficult, complex and time-consuming process, one which is far from a guaranteed success. Even in the cloud era, when cloudbased software like Salesforce has become a dominant force in enterprise software, the implementation process is not a walk in the park. iStock-Unfinished-Business-1 For example, here are some statistics related to ERP and cloud-based ERP implementation success rates: Success Rates: ERP & SaaS-based ERP Implementation Panorama consulting ERP (26% cloud) success rate survey from September 2012 to January 2013:
  • 50% of project had cost overruns
  • 60% did not meet their schedule
  • 60% did not receive half of their expected benefits
Diginomica draws this conclusion from other observations: In reality, the cloud has not changed the difficulty of bringing new practices into any organization and bringing team members up-to-speed with new ways of working. They cite the main reason as lack of skills with the products and the lack of professional services from companies due to the fact that these are new and have not had time to grow that part of their business. Furthermore, 63% of CRM initiatives fail, according a survey of of senior-level U.S. based executives conducted by Merkle Group Inc. A Couple of Starting Points:
  1. Keep it Simple; Focus on What is Important; Dump the Rest
The best approach is the simplest approach. One can look at the field of statistics and adopt the Pareto principle (also called the 80/20 rule) or look at rapid development methodologies like Agile or Scrum. These approaches do not spend time on every desired feature. Peripheral or nice-to-have functions do not yield measurable gains over sticking with what is most important. Focus is important when going through complex processes, or introducing new software. In order to familiarize your team members, enable them to keep an eye on the prize and learn the essential elements. Save less common processes and less critical knowledge until later.
  1. Focus on Effective User Onboarding and Knowledge Management
It is important in training your team members on how to use Salesforce that, it take as little time as possible, but also that it leave a lasting impact. Part of the challenge of user adoption on a new software is, fear – that is the uncomfortability of having to learn something new and unfamiliar. The way to get over that fear is through good communication and training users in how to use Salesforce in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them with too much information right away, as well as delivers key knowledge when they need it the most. Knowledge equals confidence, and you are responsible for fostering that confidence. The idea of the Pareto principle is very much relevant to Salesforce onboarding and knowledge management in the long term – focus on what is most important. How to best ensure that happens we will discuss in more detail. The Take Away The take away from these methodologies and the Pareto principle is to sort the workload based upon what is most important, taking into consideration benefit versus cost. Keep a list of the most common and critical business processes (work tasks on Salesforce) that users will have to perform. As one selects tasks and assigns resources given timelines, anything pushed to the side could be tossed out completely. This helps to keep the process of adopting and implementing the new software simpler, thus more likely to succeed. This article is part of a Whitepaper called “How to Increase Salesforce User Adoption.” Claim your free copy by filling the form below.
The Whitepaper covers a range of topics including:
  1. Data Migration and Conversion
  2. Strategize Training
  3. Reward and Gamification
  4. The Power of Collaboration
  5. Documentation and Support
  6. Monitoring and Analytics
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.