6 Techniques to Bridge Your Salesforce Adoption Gap

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Salesforce adoption is what stands between a successful Salesforce implementation and a failed implementation.

User adoption is a factor that has the potential to deliver negative ROI, which makes it a topic that’s hard to ignore.

You may be wondering why. The Whatfix CRM survey 2020 offers up some answers:

  • 40% of users do not regularly use their CRM system since data entry into the system is time-consuming, according to the
  • 35% don’t feel equipped to use their CRM system and need more training – especially considering the regular software updates

Also, according to a recent report by Gartner, sales representatives in enterprises use an average of 14 CRM related applications on a day-to-day basis. The resulting technology overload means users revert to using manual ways (read: spreadsheets) to get their work done.

To break unproductive behaviors, it’s important to offer relevant Salesforce end-user training and change management support.  Read on to learn 6 Salesforce adoption best practices to maximize the benefits of Salesforce CRM.

1. Experience Mapping – Set Salesforce Adoption Priorities

Salesforce adoption can no longer be about a single application. To a sales representative, the CRM is just one ‘node’ in a network of tightly integrated applications such as CPQ, Sales Compensation, Contract Lifecycle Management, Sales Enablement, and Sales Portals.

Navigating through multiple sales and corporate applications is frustrating for sales reps and leads to significant productivity loss. This is why it’s important to first map the average sales workflow.

Mapping the sales workflow involves understanding how much the core users need to move between the ‘nodes’ to get a task completed, how long they take, and where the bottlenecks to productivity are. Through surveys and discussions, try to understand what related user experience issues they face.

Once the sales rep’s digital journey is mapped, Digital Adoption Platforms (like Whatfix) can provide a layer on top of these applications to provide sales reps with a consistent and simple digital journey, as highlighted in the chart below:

Once the core users’ pain-points are identified, you may personalize the Salesforce experience to their unique needs. For instance, sometimes users who are trying to use LinkedIn for sourcing new prospects may not be able to pull the connection’s contact information into Salesforce (from LinkedIn). Here, your Salesforce adoption strategy should focus on training modules that help navigate this workflow.

2. Automating Salesforce Tasks and Data Entry

Too many manual navigation steps, clicks and data entry is a big concern in Salesforce implementations. You can use a Digital adoption platform (DAP) to automate empty clicks, data retrieval and data entry.

For example, changing language is Salesforce is a common use case that requires a lot of navigational clicks. This process can be automated by a DAP like Whatfix as shown below:

3. Create an ‘Adoption Everywhere’ Training Environment

Sales reps can have queries at any moment in their flow of work. To effectively solve their queries, Whatfix DAP provides learning content that is omnipresent by deeply integrating with your LMS and content repositories.

Furthermore, to address different learning styles and preferences, Whatfix DAP automatically converts In-App Walkthroughs into the following formats:

  • Videos
  • Blogs or Articles
  • PDFs or Slideshows
  • Shareable URL
  • SCORM & xAPI compliant LMS course

These can be accessed, tested and viewed within the application via a “See Live” functionality.

Whatfix DAP has powerful Content Aggregation capabilities that crawl and tag learning, training and support content in enterprise content repositories and brings it inside Whatfix Widgets (eg. Self Help) to answer employee questions.

Remember, salespersons would rather spend their time speaking to customers than attending hour-long training sessions on processes and tools. So, ideally, keep the written instructions and video-based training as short as possible – 2 minutes or less. This is also believed to drive over 20% more information retention.

4. Help Users Navigate Change

Most companies hire new sales associates or transfer them to different teams on a regular basis. Users struggle when they are periodically exposed to new sales workflows. To avoid this, plan upcoming changes well in advance and communicate them in a timely manner.

Sales reps can be alerted to changes by putting a spotlight on them using Whatfix’s Beacon and Smart PopUp features. Learning & Development and Sales Ops managers can create interactive walkthroughs and automatically convert them into rich media videos, slideshows and articles that can drive home the reason for the change and alleviate user concerns.

Incentivize users to achieve personal CRM training goals, by assigning them a series of small in-application tasks atop Salesforce by using the DAP’s TaskList feature.

5. Transform Users into Experts

‘Where do I click to enable Einstein?’

‘What fields to fill in the lead generation form?’

‘How can I create sales reports?’

These are the types of common questions that need to be answered before the salespeople ask them.

To reduce the reliance on busy teams such as SalesOps, Sales Enablement, CRM (Administrators) and IT, you could empower Salesforce users to solve these simple queries themselves. This can be done by:

  • Having a well-stocked knowledge base
  • Providing official Salesforce articles and how-tos
  • Encouraging an organization-wide DIY culture to reduce IT overheads

DAPs, such as Whatfix, can offer all of this within the Salesforce app itself by integrating with knowledge bases. The chart below shows an example of how sales reps can use DAP’s Self Help to get personalized, contextual guidance suited to their department, role, in-app location, and Salesforce instance, without leaving the Salesforce Application environment.

This way, sales reps will not raise simple Level 1 support queries, as in those queries that can be easily answered by your knowledge base, and so, the IT team will no longer need to keep following up on simple issues.

6. Use Analytics to Identify Silos

Different teams within an organization may use Salesforce differently, but analytics provide a united view of Salesforce usage. Having a standard set of metrics can help standardise the insight into how different teams work with Salesforce.

Here are some key metrics of Salesforce Adoption that you need to keep reviewing on a weekly or monthly basis:

Salesforce Usage

Using standard (out-of-the-box) or custom Salesforce dashboards, you can measure:

  • User login rates
  • Rate of creating and updating records
  • Effort & time in creating and updating content
  • Opportunity creation/updation
  • Activity completion
  • Open/Closed tasks
  • Chatter usage (using Salesforce Chatter Dashboards that can help track overall adoption, conversation topics, unanswered questions etc.)

Training Effectiveness

Whatfix records all the “unsuccessful searches” which do not return any training content results when users go to search for help articles.

Sales Enablement and L&D managers can build new content for these.

Metrics to quantify training effectiveness are:

  • Training content creation and delivery time,
  • Time to onboard new users
  • Number of Level 1 support tickets raised and associated costs of training & support.

Data Quality and Accuracy

How accurate, consistent, and complete is the CRM data entered by your users? This reflects how well users understand the tool, and if they are convinced of its usefulness.

So, keep tracking data quality reports! You may find that you can increase data quality by 20% – just like some Whatfix customers have been able to achieve!

End-user Feedback

Capture qualitative feedback about the Salesforce change management and training efforts via surveys, Salesforce Chatter groups, or polls.


All these insights can be harnessed to help you figure out what kind of additional assistance users need to fix Salesforce experience issues – and ultimately improve adoption rates.

To learn more about how you can boost Salesforce adoption, check out our article providing 17 strategies to improve Salesforce adoption.

Find out how a Digital Adoption Solutions can help your organization get the best out of Salesforce CRM. Request a personalized demo today.

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