Boost Salesforce user adoption with these 5 user training tactics
Whether your organization is rolling out a brand new Salesforce implementation, new org features, or a new AppExchange application to improve user performance, having an effective training strategy is the best way to ensure successful change management and user adoption.
While different scenarios may require different tactics, this blog highlights general tips and tricks that can be applied to any Salesforce training solution.
User adoption can be difficult to achieve for any organization, large or small. That’s because individuals learn in different ways. Some people prefer group learning while others need individual heads-down studying.
Providing different training options is crucial for helping employees adapt to change. Keep these five best practices for Salesforce user training in mind as you create, maintain, and report on any user training program you decide best suits your organizational needs.
Five Salesforce End-User Training Best Practices
1. Set user training goals
Before establishing a technology user training strategy, it’s important to identify the goals you want to achieve. Many organizations look for an increase or decrease in certain metrics to measure whether the training program was successful.
Determine user training program benchmarks
As you build your Salesforce project roadmap, determine user training benchmarks so you can measure program success and provide users with attainable goals.
Identify key reporting metrics early in your training program so users know what goals they are aiming for. Just like any new challenge, incremental ways to measure oneself drives the feeling of achievement.
Some example goals you can measure include:
A decrease in time required to complete an action (like close a deal)
An increase in activity logged within the system (like completing tasks or closing tickets)
An improvement in data retrieved (like targeted client details)
Set these goals early, and watch your team crush them or identify ways to improve the program in the future!
2. Plan user training strategy
Empower your CRM power users
As you implement new Salesforce solutions, you’ll find that there are people within the organization who are naturally more inclined to adopt technology tools.
These people are typically more excited about technology, innovation, leadership, and change. We call these natural technology adopters “power users.”
There is no hard and fast criteria for being a power user. By accepting volunteers who are interested in learning the platform first and in turn helping to train their peers, you’ll identify your key group of Salesforce user adoption drivers.
It’s a good idea to establish a power user(s) from each department or team. This will allow you to assign logical groups to each power user, based on role or skill set.
By establishing a group of power users, you’re essentially adopting a “train the trainer” technology user training model.
Train-the-trainer user training model
Following a train-the-trainer model suggests it is more efficient to educate small groups of power users and allow those people to pass their knowledge to others by leading training sessions for their peers.
This model emphasizes the need to empower power users with any materials, incentive programs, and resources needed to be successful. By investing in power users’ abilities to gain the knowledge they need, you’ll ensure a richer knowledge transfer to the rest of the organization.
Sweeten the deal with incentives
Oftentimes, organizations struggle to get their employees excited about technological change. People who have been using a specific set of tools for quite some time can get comfortable or set in their ways of doing things.
Organizations with high technology user adoption rates still have people who struggle with adopting new technology tools! Increasing user adoption often takes creativity sprinkled with sweet incentives to encourage users to make the change.
Like the local grocery store rewards program that encourages you to keep shopping in the store, you should find a way to incentivize users to learn and use the Salesforce platform to accomplish everyday work tasks.
Create a point system for actions such as:
Entering data into the system
Increasing conversion rates from leads into opportunities
Completing tasks within Salesforce
Hand out prizes to those who earn the most points or show the most improvement in interaction within the platform. A little friendly competition can go a long way for driving user engagement.
3. Utilize Salesforce user training materials
When it comes to Salesforce training programs, Trailhead is basically the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Salesforce has put an incredible amount of time and effort into making sure people from any background or skill level can effectively learn how to use the platform. From novice information and general how-to's to in-depth training on a specific feature within a Salesforce cloud, Trailhead has it all.
This free training platform is a great way to assign educational topics to Salesforce users, allow them to track their progress, and quiz them on their knowledge gain. Trailhead even provides users with “playground” environments for hands-on challenges to test the skills they’ve just learned.
Identify specific Trailhead goals
The best way to utilize Trailhead for new users is to identify specific trails for the users to tackle.
Due to the large number of optional topics to study, Trailhead can be overwhelming if no direction is provided. Identify a set number of trails for your users to complete each week, and help them build upon their knowledge throughout the course of training. You can even track their Trailhead score as part of an incentive program.
Recorded user training sessions
A great option for repeatable training is through the creation of recorded technology user training videos.
Videos can provide:
Visual walkthroughs of typical scenarios users may encounter
Information and solutions for possible challenges they may face
Materials the user can reference again in the future
Recordable training sessions can be as broad or as detailed as necessary. They may focus on specific actions, roles or tasks. They are also wonderful assets to provide to new employees who may have missed the larger initial training programs during rollout.
4. Determine user training program focus
Role-based user training
Determining a focus for technology user training programs can affect the outcome of how the training is received.
People are generally more interested in learning new skills or approaches that apply directly to their everyday roles. For instance, sales teams are more likely to engage in a lead conversion training session than a service-oriented training on support tickets, and vice versa.
If a broader understanding of the Salesforce platform is required for certain roles, spread those not-so-applicable topics out over time. Keeping your team engaged with relevant training topics is critical for obtaining the outcomes needed for each department.
Skill-based user training
It is also important to keep the technology users’ unique skill levels in mind. Some departments and positions may be more technically capable than others.
Choose training topics and exercises that feel challenging, yet attainable for individual skill levels.
To ensure all users feel encouraged to learn, task the power users with identifying users who may be stronger than others. Perhaps those users can offer assistance to those who may be struggling.
Training programs can be an excellent opportunity to encourage team building activities in addition to CRM user adoption!
5. Measure results of user training initiatives
User training reporting and dashboards
Here is where those training goals we mentioned earlier are handy. What were those metrics you decided to strive for when creating your organization’s training program?
In your Salesforce org, you can turn those metrics into reports and dashboards. If you were intentional when setting KPIs or goals for training, it should be easy to turn those results into meaningful reports.
You can create reports for metrics like:
Lead conversion rates for the sales team
Campaign activity completion for the marketing team
Task completion for the support team
Work with your Salesforce admin to create and display your user training reporting metrics in a visually appealing dashboard that your management team can reference at any time.
User satisfaction surveys
Maybe you’ve created reports and dashboards that indicate good adoption rates, but you still aren’t confident your users are happy with the technology change.
One great way to measure user satisfaction is through surveys, which you can create internally or use a third-party service like Google Forms. These user surveys can be anonymous so you can gain honest feedback.
Ask your users questions like:
Is the user training useful for them?
Do they plan to continue using the system when the training program ends?
Do they have suggestions for improving the experience?
This type of information can be beneficial when determining the potential for long-term success of adoption.
Salesforce user training checklist
Creating a solid training program may seem like a daunting task at first. But, if you keep your end users’ experience in mind, it can be a promising and smooth ride.
Here’s a quick checklist of the topics we covered:
Set user training goals. Choose goals and metrics that are meaningful and measurable, and make those goals known throughout your user base. Envision what success looks like and strive to obtain that level of user adoption. Most importantly, encourage users to embrace the change.
Plan user training tactics. Identify your training tactics and find a group to train that will help spread their knowledge. Training the trainer is a proven and powerful tool!
Utilize Salesforce user training materials. User training materials will be your best friend throughout this program. Leverage what’s out there on Trailhead and create material to augment or customize the training experience.
Determine user training program focus. Keep roles and skill levels in mind. Don’t assume everyone thinks the way you do. The fastest way to achieve great results is to foster the feeling of accomplishment.
Measure results of user training initiatives. Don’t forget to measure your hard earned results. Insight into the goals and metrics you set can drive better results through adjustment and modification as needed.
With these technology user training tips and tricks, you will have a foundation on which to build your Salesforce user training program.
Keeping up with new technology enhancements to improve business performance is possible for every industry, not just in tech. Establish new ways to empower and educate your Salesforce users to see your business outcomes soar to new heights.
Salesforce User Training Resources
The following Trailhead modules provide the perfect starting point for new Salesforce users.
Use these Trailhead modules and resources as you build your user training program.
Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants
Each CRM Science client is assigned a dedicated project manager who guides them through the Salesforce project roadmap. CRM Science project managers work closely with client teams to develop effective Salesforce user training strategies that maximize technology ROI by ensuring high user adoption rates.
Contact CRM Science Salesforce consultants to chat about your Salesforce project or learn more about Salesforce user training strategies.