Planning for long-term user adoption of new Salesforce systems.

So you've made a decision to move forward with Salesforce! Congratulations on that, bringing the worlds #1 CRM into your business is a smart step that can lead to great outcomes with your sales, marketing or services. In the early stages of your project your main area of focus will undoubtedly be designing the system with your consultant, and making sure that the CRM is technically built out, bug-free and to your specifications. It's now time to also think about what happens after you go live with Salesforce.

How do you motivate the team to use it correctly over the long term? 

User adoption of new systems can be tricky. Often the hard work starts after the developers and consultants have left the building. You as a leader is responsible for getting value from your Salesforce investment. At Tenacre, we've worked on 100+ Salesforce implementations in Dubai, and we've observed our clients facing this challenge with varying degrees of success. So what do the successful companies do to ensure that their Salesforce systems are successfully adopted by the team?

Here are our five tips. 

1. It starts in the planning stage

When you're working with your consultant to build out the system design, bring in members of staff from the team or teams that will be using the system. You and your consultant need to hear directly from the users what processes are currently working well, and what is causing them difficulties. 

Bringing the end users in at this stage of the project is not only a good idea from the design perspective, it also gives them a sense of ownership to the project. Remember, we’re planning for the long term here, so giving ownership of this project to as many people as possible spreads the load.

2. Get your Internal PR and communication right

People are generally resistant to change, and an impending CRM implementation can cause anxiety and negative thoughts in the run up to a project like this. That’s why it’s important that the company management communicate early and clearly on

  • Why this project is happening, and are the desired outcomes
  • The impact it will have on peoples job (positive and negative)
  • Give specific details of when the project will start and end
  • Ask for volunteers to work on the project

3. Good data is essential (or 'Rubbish In / Rubbish Out')

When Tenacre builds Salesforce CRM systems here in Dubai, we focus on designing a system that minimises the chance of a user entering poor quality or partially complete data. We do this because we know that when salespeople start noticing that the data that are using isn't actually accurate, that's when they start to switch off from using Salesforce. 

Managers need to keep an eye on the data quality that's added to the CRM to avoid the perception of 'Rubbish Out'.

4. Have a written roadmap for further development

A CRM system needs to grow and evolve with your business. In one way the system should reflect the changes in your environment such as products, prices or new users. 

There should also be a plan to create greater value in the original Salesforce investment by integrating external systems such as ERP, Accounting systems or other third-party applications. As systems are integrated and records 'flow' through your processes, creating greater efficiency and profitability. 

5. Have an ongoing relationship with your Salesforce consultant

At Tenacre, we provide annual support agreements or ad-hoc support packages for our clients. The obvious benefit for the support agreement is that you will have experts on hand to provide help and assistance when needed. 

The bigger benefit is that you can relay on Tenacre as a partner to review your Salesforce CRM for trends, threats or to identify when some users may need additional training or motivation to continue adding data to the CRM. 

As an external consultant that works day in, day out with Salesforce here in Dubai, we have the capability to spot opportunities or threats faster than you may be able to as an internal user.