Why Do Campaigns Have a Low Salesforce User Adoption Rate?

Posted by Dave Healy on November 13, 2019
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A good program is only good if everybody agrees to integrate it equally. It can be frustrating trying to adopt an effective CRM like Salesforce only for its advantages to fall on deaf ears. Low Salesforce user adoption rates can start to cause problems in the way your company’s data is built and managed. Rather than finding out later on that you’ve lost investments and effective management techniques due to a failing adoption rate, you can become proactive in the way you handle and change this statistic.

Before we get into what causes low adoption rates among users of these programs, it would help you better understand what user adoption is. Let's examine exactly what actions define this term.

What Is User Adoption?

Product or user adoption is the moment in which your team starts to use a product to accomplish its goals. At the most basic level, user adoption might mean the percentage of employees that perform an action better after first adopting the program.

To understand what user adoption looks like for your company, you’ll first need to understand what these actions are and what is being improved. What actions should your team take to show that they’ve begun the correct adoption of something like Salesforce?

To make sure these goals are being met, you need to consider the following factors:

  • How sticky is the product to your employees?
  • Which behaviors match with engagement and whether employees perform these behaviors?
  • Which pre-adoption actions predict adoption the best?
  • How does the speed of adoption affect your business and campaigns?
  • Do employees find the new program engaging?

You won’t be able to improve the adoption rate of a program or its features until you understand these underlying issues that go with adoption. You need to understand the behaviors that define adoption to understand if they’re getting it.

Obviously, the results that a program drives are great indicators of whether adoption is working properly. However, there’s more to it than that and other signs that can be observed earlier to save you time waiting for the end result.

How Do You Track Adoption?

Tracking adoption means the event or result you’re looking for is being met by members of your team. First, you need to know what that event is so you can measure the results.

In the simplest terms, if the program isn’t leading to more revenue and a better ROI, most likely, the adoption isn’t rolling out the way it should. Why is this adoption so important to your company?

Why Adoption Is Vital For Your Business?

Once you understand what counts as adoption, you can begin using certain measures to ensure the process is going smoothly. It’s important to understand that something like Salesforce or any other CRM is bringing value to your team members.

Once you’ve determined what adoption looks like and how you improve upon this, you can continue to use it for the foreseeable future. When your team is successful from the start, the value of the program begins to increase, and you can get new employees to model these same actions. Anything you implement across any organization can be duplicated.

Using Analytics for Adoption

You can use data and analytics to measure how well employees are adopting new programs. Identifying successful behaviors and habits of employees that are adopting these programs will give you key insight into the power of the program and the success it’s having.

Armed with the right analytics and what the adoption of these programs means for your team, you can make improvements to the program. The following improvements can usually be made and can have a big impact on adoption:

  • Employee onboarding, which can have a big impact on the adoption of a program.
  • The design and overall interface of the program will affect how successful your team members can be using it.
  • Messaging and tutorials that come with the program can help in case your employees get confused.
  • Successful workflows, which in the end, are the most important elements of using a program like Salesforce.

Behavioral data helps you make improvements to the program or find out which program will work the best for you. Sometimes, you may need to implement a whole new strategy or program altogether.

Regardless of what the data looks like for your company, these can be some of the biggest signs that Salesforce has low adoption rates among any organization.

Most Common Signs of Low Salesforce Adoption Rates

These are some of the most common signs from any company that their employees aren’t properly adopting a CRM like Salesforce.

1. Low Login Rates

Believe it or not, having low login rates is a common problem among companies first implementing Salesforce. If the login statistics show poor usage rates, surely it must mean that employees are not using it regularly, and the adoption process isn’t going smoothly for whatever reason.

Because of this, it can be hard to determine the value of your new program. When employees still rely on old tools for selling, it becomes almost impossible to determine the worth of a new customer relationship program.

2. Reps Are Slow to Part with Traditional Spreadsheets

Many times, sales reps will stick to the standard spreadsheets they are used to as opposed to utilizing the new ones with Salesforce. What makes things worse in this situation is when management accepts sales reports originating from the original spreadsheets instead of encouraging the use of the new program.

Turning a blind eye is one of the worst things to do in this situation. Allowing just one sales rep to use the old method can quickly turn into a CRM failure for your entire company.

3. Updating Data Irregularly

When sales reps don’t update data regularly, this can be a telltale sign of poor adoption. Whether the stage needs analysis or negotiation, the lack of these regular updates is a huge red flag.

This can make it impossible for sales managers to properly track the progress of customers and analyze data. Sales teams must stay current without changing the data regarding deals, including contact information and purchase history.

The failure to complete uniform updates can result in costly and embarrassing mistakes for an organization. Results of failure to update data can include the following:

  • Inability to reach a customer because of the incorrect updating of contact information
  • Failure to make demos available to interested customers
  • Not sending the proper invoices or failing to send invoices at all
  • Failing to send products to customers in the agreed-upon amount of time

These mistakes can cost money and, ultimately, the business of a customer altogether. This is why it becomes vital to ensure that sales reps are utilizing the new program and doing it correctly.

4. Negligent Data Entry

This goes right along with the previous issue and is equally harmful to the company. Improper Salesforce adoption may lead to sales reps entering data with poor quality. They either enter only a portion of the data or enter certain fields completely incorrectly.

Sales reps may skip inputting the reason for a lost opportunity with a customer since they believe the opportunity no longer exists anyway. They may mark “other” instead of putting the real reason. This information becomes vital later on when data is analyzed and broken down to improve customer relations and sales tactics.

Without this information, there can be no improvement in vital areas of concern and importance.

Let’s take a look at what exactly causes marketing campaigns and marketing departments to have low Salesforce user adoption rates. Knowing what makes rates low will give you the ability to strategize in the way Salesforce is distributed and taught to users. The use of a marketing management platform has an updated approach to changing CRM adoption rates while helping you find tactics that will increase its value.

It Can Be Hard to See ROI

Most tools and resources that you end up adopting for your company’s marketing team can measure their value by how big of a return you get on your initial investment. This doesn’t always equate to a financial return; a good ROI can also mean that you’ve been able to use your new tools to reduce wasted time and make more efficient use of company hours.

If the value of adopting Salesforce is unclear across the board, it may make for shoddy implementation. Employees at all levels need to be properly trained so they understand how to use Salesforce to acquire resources, share information, and collect relevant data. There are those who are not quick to understand the value of digital tools and virtual software, although the measured metrics for Salesforce sucess can be found everywhere. Proper training and instruction on the ways Salesforce can be utilized to increase success will give users a better indication of its value.

Fear of Loss of Control

Dealing with a sales staff with years of experience under their belts can be tricky when the pros aren’t keen on adopting a new system. Many sales representatives fear that they will lose the ability to control the way they do their job. Many veteran reps have been making sales using the same methods and tactics for a long time, and they can’t necessarily see how adopting a CRM system will make their jobs better.

It may be worth it to have a conversation with sales staff about how Salesforce can be used to make deals faster, close sales quicker, and make much more efficient use of their precious selling time. It will motivate them to take a closer look at what these automated systems have to offer.

Another idea is to keep the sales staff apprised throughout the CRM planning and implementation process. That way, they can still feel like they are in control of the way their job is managed.

Ability or Inability to Use the Program

Some staff members may feel a sense of incompetence when it comes to working with a brand-new, complex system. There are others who may simply find their schedules to be too busy to take the time to learn Salesforce. Either way, nobody wants to feel like their specific job duties or skills will become obsolete or replaced by a software program. All of these concerns can cause a general lack of skill when it comes to using the program efficiently.

Salesforce takes some time to learn, especially for those who are used to a plug-in-and-go type of platform – and Salesforce confirms this. The best way to ensure that everybody learns the program in a way that works best for them is to dedicate time to understanding the needs of each department in your company. Everybody is a diverse stakeholder that may want different things out of Salesforce than others, which ultimately leads to everybody feeling unconfident in their ability to use it.

Consequences of Poor Salesforce Adoption Rates

If Salesforce isn’t used consistently or effectively across all of your company’s channels, you may end up losing precious leads and investments. Resources need to be properly managed in order to be used in a way that gives you a good return on your investment. If staff members fail to input data the correct way, for example, you may end up with inaccurate data and false reports that cannot be used.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways an organization can increase adoption.

Ways to Increase the Adoption of Salesforce

The smooth adoption of Salesforce doesn’t happen automatically. Only through a series of well-planned steps can management enable reception throughout the entire organization.

1. Management Efforts

The most effective way for a manager to prove the effectiveness of any new program is to lead by example. This is a characteristic of a good manager regardless of the issue that’s challenging your organization.

When sales meetings are conducted, managers should refer to the data held in Salesforce and use those dashboards specifically to demonstrate the value of the program. This makes it clear to sales reps that using this program is a must among team members.

Proper adoption is always driven from the top down, just like with any other launching of a new product in a corporate setting. The executive is always responsible for cultivating the corporate culture, and the adoption of new programs is no different.

The largest difference that can be made regarding adoption is through communication between sales managers and their teams. Managers should be pointing out the benefits of using the platform to team members on a regular basis.

Outlining issues regarding sales and highlighting the benefits that Salesforce has in solving those issues will build trust between management and their teams. Executives must take on the attitude of “if it’s not Salesforce, it’s not relevant” when discussing data and tactics.

At the same time, it’s also important that managers give the perception that they’re open to feedback as well. Keeping a listening ear to sales reps allows managers a chance to address concerns. This may seem like a problem, but it actually presents an opportunity to highlight the benefits of a program.

Challenges with sales reps must be treated as an actual sale with a customer. Any objections that take place are just another opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of the product.

The reports in Salesforce can also be used to track KPIs among the sales team. Examining usage reports can be a way for managers to encourage the use of the system. Using performance reports will encourage sales reps to input data correctly within the CRM.

Using data within Salesforce solely when it comes to measuring KPIs will force team members to adopt the program to meet their quotas. Disregard the data from old spreadsheets as they won’t be a factor anymore.

2. System Convenience

The goal of any CRM manager is to make sure the system is properly adjusted and is in line with the way employees work. Otherwise, there’s no convenience level for your team members in using the new program.

Ensure the platform makes the employees’ lives easier and not harder. After all, this is the reason for the rollout of the program in the first place. It’s never enough just to ensure that adoption is taking place; management must ensure that the adoption is also benefiting the sales team.

Make sure interfaces aren’t cluttered and that the entire process of using Salesforce is more user-friendly for the team. This will simplify the adoption process and make the usage much smoother over time. Management should make sure that the program contains the following characteristics:

  • Proper customizations. One of the main benefits of Salesforce is the ability to customize the program beyond its normal functionality. Customizing records and changing page layouts are just a few of the main highlights of the customization side of Salesforce. Additionally, the ability to customize the interface can make the initial adoption much simpler if things aren’t cluttered or hard to navigate.
  • Useful add-ons. Salesforce can be powerful enough to use on its own. However, with the available add-ons, team members can really take it to the next level if adopted properly. These add-ons can provide a substantial number of advantages for sales reps when using the program. There are sales intelligence solutions that can be added, such as ClearBit and InsideView, that allow for the enrichment of customer data. Another useful add-on is DocuSign which is designed to make the closing process much easier. Deals can be closed on a remote basis by making use of add-ons like this. When you teach sales reps to properly implement these tools, they will start to gain an appreciation for using the new program.
  • Performance tuning. If Salesforce becomes slow, you may end up working backward and defeating the purpose. Your sales reps cannot work efficiently when they’re using a slower program. The system may need tuning to improve the performance. This is best left done to specialists or with help from the support team. Professional tuning will help you quickly identify and correct the problem so reps can return to efficiently using the program.
  • Integration solutions. When Salesforce is smoothly integrated with other programs, it makes adoption much smoother, as well. Using other systems helps to reduce manual input for your sales reps, which can end up saving valuable amounts of time. Integrating Salesforce with a contract management system drastically reduces the time of the quote-to-sale process. Accelerating the contract management process allows your sales reps to close deals faster, in turn allowing them to earn their commission at a much faster and efficient rate. Anything that gives proven results regarding a sales rep closing their deals will be better adopted. This is a clear instance of when demonstrating the benefits of a product for your sales reps will increase the adoption process. Changes can also be made quicker regarding the contract process, such as changes in pricing and other elements.

You and your organization needs a system that will keep ease and simplicity a top priority, along with increased work efficiency. Improving work quality is a principle that everybody should be able to get behind.

How A Marketing Asset Manager Can Help

Using a MAM that seamlessly integrates your CRM system can make it faster and easier to get your stakeholders up to date and excited about new technology. FuseBox One’s Marketing Management Platform involves a CRM integration feature that links directly with your Salesforce account. Your lead generation and data organization will continue, while your users will be able to work with a personalized layout and array of key features that are relevant to their own job duties.

Combine Your Marketing Tools ASAP

Get your MAM and CRM all in one spot with our useful marketing management platform. Every tool is user-friendly and easy to access, including branded portals, asset templates, lead generation, marketing automation, and business intelligence collections. The single sign-on allows for a true blend of Salesforce and marketing asset management, so departments don’t have to deal with different login credentials for different tools.

Plus, you can get custom-made content that complies with your brand guidelines to generate new material each and every day.


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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Asset Management, User Adoption, Salesforce