After dropping my son off at a play-date last week, I called my dad and mentioned my to-do list included writing a Salesforce New Year’s Resolutions blog post. I admitted that I kept putting it off and letting it fall to the bottom of my to-do list and my dad asked, “So, is the first topic going to be about procrastination then?” I laughed but he was right; many of us procrastinate on getting some of our most important tasks done (like planning your long-term financial plan or cleaning out the garage). Fortunately, his joke is the perfect segue into my post–how to stop procrastinating on setting Salesforce resolutions.
As a Salesforce consultant, I routinely see customers that have invested heavily in Salesforce (and not just the platform itself, also in training, integration, customization, re-training…it all adds up) but aren’t really sure if they got a return on their investment. Sometimes this is because they didn’t setup clear goals and measurements in the beginning. Sometimes this is because they’ve been using the system so long they don’t think to take a step back and look at the big picture. And sometimes this is just due to procrastination because it’s a big, hairy question and they haven’t taken the time to ask it.
In 2017, let’s stop procrastinating on reviewing our Salesforce system and resolve to ask ourselves and our teams 3 questions that will determine whether we’re getting our full value from the platform. To make things even easier, I’m going to let you in on the biggest key to getting ROI from Salesforce: User Adoption. With that in mind, here are the questions you need to ask yourself about your users’ adoption of Salesforce and how it’s really going.
Question 1 – Is everyone properly trained?
Sit down with your team of users and determine who hasn’t been using Salesforce and find out why. Get users’ honest feedback on what they like and don’t like so that you can design your next steps accordingly. Frequently the issue comes down to essential education of the system and why it’s setup as it is. If your team has had turnover since implementation, if you’ve been using the system for more than a year, or if user adoption was always shaky, training is the best way to reenergize your team and maximize your usage and value of the system. If you don’t have an internal resource that’s capable of training, you can check out Salesforce Trailhead and/or consider bringing in a trainer that specializes in working with companies to drive user adoption.
Question 2 – Does your company have policies and procedures in place for working with Salesforce? If so, is everyone aware of them and do they follow them?
Policies and procedures are very important when it comes to any technology platform to ensure consistency and efficiency. For Salesforce, this may include procedures and policies such as When a Lead Becomes an Account, How to Add an Opportunity, How to Report on an Opportunity, Which Contact Fields are Mandatory and Why, and the process for amending or changing a policy or component of your Salesforce setup.
With multiple users inputing information and multiple, perhaps different, users pulling it out through reports and dashboards, it’s crucial that you have clear policies and procedures for handling your Salesforce data. Ensuring these processes are accessible, regularly reviewed, and discussed with your team will help make them the living the documents they ought to be.
Question 3 – Is your workflow user-friendly?
One of Salesforce’s biggest strengths is that it’s a flexible cloud-based solution that makes it easy to access and update information as well as to modify every aspect of the system to make it work exactly how you want. The downside of this strength is that over time this can lead to overly complex setups that have unused fields, unnecessary drop-downs, and out-of-date terminology.
Beyond asking about training (question 1) and your policies and procedure (question 2), there’s a very simple question to ask your team: Are we able to quickly get the information we need in and out of Salesforce? If the answer is no, you’ll need to determine what needs fixing, whether it’s your Contact/Account forms or your Reports and Dashboards themselves. If the answer is ‘yes, but…’, you’ll want to take some time to review your policies and procedures to determine where things are inefficient, overly complicated, or out of date, so you can streamline and update accordingly.
At the end of the day, Salesforce is a platform that’s here to make your business and your users more productive. If your users are frustrated, under-trained, or slowed down, you will not see the value of the system (and neither will they). The key to this entire process is to no longer procrastinate on asking the questions that can greatly improve your Salesforce ROI. You might not get the answers you want to hear, but you will get the answers you need and that you can use in setting Salesforce resolutions that work.
The Luxent Salesforce Experts are happy to help you review your system, drive user adoption, and make the most of Salesforce. Reach out to us if we can be of service to you and your team.