After recently guiding a client through going live on Salesforce, I wanted to share a few tips in this third and final installation on my blog series for successful Salesforce adoption (click here for the first post and here for the second). I worked with my colleague, Matthew Savage, on capturing these bits of wisdom based on our recent work together for a financial company, as well as a number of other successful implementations.
- Let go of the old, and take baby steps into the new. Understand that it can be hard to let go of old ways of doing work. That is what people know, that is where they have proven their worth and shared in success. Salesforce, when implemented, can feel like a drastic change in the way that old processes and policies won’t make much sense to continue in this new world of cloud technology. A key part of adoption is helping your teams sunset stale and stagnant processes while slowly introducing new methods and ways of working.
- Set the expectation for new behavior in your communications. A key part of a successful implementation is good communication planning. Because there can be a lot of moving parts and new concepts in Salesforce, make sure your communications to the workforce are crisp, clear, concise, and consistent. If you leave gaps in information sharing, people will fill it with assumptions, and that can set you back in progress.
- Performance management matters. In order for adoption take off, people need to be incentivized to use the system. One way to do this is weave in the Salesforce usage metrics into your team’s annual review cycles and quarterly checkpoints. Whether it is closed deals, new opportunities, updated contacts or simply activities tracking, metrics and key performance indicators can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you in bringing your teams along the adoption curve. Adoption doesn’t have to require a complex set of metrics or policy changes – sometimes it is enough for employees to know that executives are going to be using the reports to make decisions and track progress. As a best practice,we recommend that leaders run their regular team meetings directly out of Salesforce Dashboards and Reports.
- Celebrate streamlined business processes or even hold business process funerals. You know the old adage, “out with the old, in with the new.” Sometimes it is important to champion new ways of working to achieve efficiency while mourning and paying respect to the way it was done before. This can be an important step to not alienate the people who helped compose or shape the processes in the past.
- Better onboarding to set the behaviors and expectations early. Now that you are live on Salesforce, the training is complete, right? Wrong. Now is when you need to make sure to blend your Salesforce training into your onboarding process. This is an important step to set your future teams up for success. Make sure onboarding for new staff includes an effective component that addresses the norms and expected behaviors when it comes to Salesforce adoption and support across the organization.
With these recommendations, you post-go live of Salesforce will be an opportunity for continuous improvement and employee engagement.