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Why Training is an Important Part of your User Adoption Strategy  

Your Salesforce Journey

I remember my first time walking through IKEA. It was magical. Every room was staged and decorated perfectly. Even their kitchen area inspired me to think I could become an excellent chef (truth be told, I even struggle with making scrambled eggs). If you have ever completed an IKEA trip, you know the journey to the checkout can get a little messy or even leave you feeling overwhelmed. Even more so when you get home and decide to try to put it all together.

This process reminds me of the first time I saw Salesforce demoed. It is stunning, efficient and just made me want to jump on a computer and transform my day-to-day using this transformational tool. While Salesforce is an incredibly powerful tool that can help make your job easier, a Salesforce implementation can sometimes feel like that IKEA journey. The discovery phase can be a little overwhelming. You must be strategic about how you reach this stage, ask the right questions that will translate into the solution you build, test the platform you created and eventually roll it out to your entire organization.

Whether you are shopping for IKEA pieces to re-do your entire kitchen, or you are migrating to Salesforce, strategy, or the “how” you will accomplish your goals and mission can consume the entire process.

Why is Training Important?

Salesforce is an amazing tool that can be customized to meet your organization’s unique needs. I am a true believer in the value Salesforce can bring to organizations. BUT – if you do not equip your team and the departments within your organization with the knowledge of how great Salesforce is, how to use the tool and how it has transformed your business processes to make their lives easier, increase their productivity, save them time and frustration, you merely have a Salesforce system that looks good but is never used. Much like the IKEA kitchen I had to have. It sure looks nice all set up in my home, but I sit in that kitchen and order take out each evening as the idea of using what I bought overwhelms me.

Imagine though if after I purchased my dream kitchen, IKEA provided a how-to manual for simple and easy meals that tasted delicious. What if IKEA trained me on how to add fun knobs to my drawers or paint the trim of my cabinets in my favorite color to personalize my kitchen experience. This would have added value to my experience, thus encouraging me to share with others what I learned, ignite my desire to become an IKEA super builder and push me to engage with IKEA in the future.

Training as part of your Salesforce implementation strategy can do the same! It can fuel user adoption and encourages your users to become Super Users, or those who want to expand their knowledge and grow in Salesforce. Your implementation strategy is based on the “how”, and if you do not incorporate training into your strategy, the how you develop it and how you build it will not matter.

Encouraging User Adoption

Encouraging user adoption through training sounds like a great idea, but where do you start? Some good questions to ask yourself, whether you just started on your Salesforce strategy or have been using Salesforce for a while, are:

  • How will I drive user adoption?
  • How will I encourage the growth of Super Users?
  • How can I engage with my end user to ensure they are fully equipped to perform their day-to-day tasks on Salesforce?
  • How will roles change with Salesforce?
  • How do I transition the change of roles and ensure each employee has the tools they need to excel?
  • How accurate is the data in my system?
  • How efficient/effective are the users in my system?
  • How are managers/directors using the data in the system?
  • How will users stay up-to-date on current Salesforce releases?
  • How will I encourage users to stay engaged on the platform?
  • How will I provide training to my end users?
  • What resources do my end users need?


Learn from Your Peers

To increase user adoption, one of our clients, Blue Star Families, created a “Teach Me Tuesday” office hours. They only had Salesforce for a short time, but training is an ongoing initiative to equip their users with confidence and Super User abilities so that their investment in Salesforce is at its full return. It is a time for staff to come together with their Salesforce Admins and me (their Salesforce consultant) and ask questions about anything and everything Salesforce.

Sometimes we will ask the users to walk us through what they do in Salesforce. I can then assist them in creating a list view, report or adding a tab. This not only helps enhance their use of Salesforce and increase their efficiency, but it also trains them to on how they can make these changes themselves. Other times we do how-to reviews on tasks that can help increase their productivity. How to upload data so that they are not wasting time with manual entry, for example. From time to time we review how their Salesforce is connected to other applications. Other times still we’ll meet to review how the users can change their chatter or email notifications.

The point is, when users leave these trainings, they feel empowered and individually own how Salesforce is going to enhance their role. Blue Star Families gets to see their entire Salesforce Strategy realized, as their users are engaged, empowered and using the system as it was intended.

Empower your team by first ensuring they will get adequate training and support from the beginning. Later implement a way for them to learn from their peers, such as “Teach me Tuesday,” and truly adopt Salesforce, utilizing the software to it’s fullest potential. I can only imagine the meals I would be stirring up if IKEA had a user adoption strategy and weekly tutorials.

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