Help, My People Are Not Using Salesforce

Salesforce.com can do many things. However, it cannot make people follow process or execute. It is fundamentally a database of information. It can be programmed to trigger logical actions and communications. But it still needs full engagement by your management and your sales team to work inside your business.

If you are finding challenges in user adoption, then focusing on aligning your team around how to use your system and what is expected needs to be an intense focus. Otherwise, your system will have little value to drive forward predictable results.

In our work with organizations that are seeking user alignment with management direction, here are some areas to focus on that can help you achieve higher levels of success:

  • Leadership. Who is the primary leader of your sales, marketing or operations initiative? What is it they want to see? Does your team respect and follow this person? This is the champion and their leadership is critical. Success will rise and fall based on the direction and vision they set. If there is clarity and determination with authority, your chances of success are very high. Anything less can easily create ambiguity and misalignment on your team.
  • Key metrics. What gets measured gets done. It is important to be specific about what constitutes successful metrics. Create reports and dashboards that capture this information in real-time. Make it visible to the rest of the team. In the early days, focusing your lens on activities will drive user behavior. Later, move the key metrics to an emphasis on results as you see behaviors aligning.
  • Culture. There is a way your team works and responds to change. Change management is an art form that needs to be handled delicately and professionally. As you are bringing in change, use culture to reinforce new expectations. Mantras, personal recognition and rewards are great ways to influence culture and behaviors.
  • Great Design. If you overengineer your Salesforce.com system, then users will become frustrated. Make every screen, every data object and every field relevant, simple and easy to use. Think like Apple. Focus on great design to make it a delight to use your system rather than a chore. More is not always better.

There are many other tools and methods which you can apply. Adoption of Salesforce.com is a management issue which can be achieved with careful thought and leadership.

What are the challenges you are seeing with Salesforce in your organization?

Want some help making Salesforce work? Learn how I work with teams for Salesforce success.

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