improved apps for salesforce user engagement and digital adoption

The 3 Roadblocks to Salesforce Adoption

— and how to fix them

For over a decade, digital adoption — the state of all digital tools and assets being fully leveraged within a company — has been the driver of everything from process optimisation and productivity to business growth, change management, and digital transformation. It fosters innovation and enables agility.

As great as it sounds, digital adoption is not easy to achieve. In fact, over a third of all CRM  adoption projects still fail.

But that’s no reason to give up.

With remote working on the rise, hybrid selling is expected to become the dominant sales strategy by 2024, enabling deeper customer engagement and driving up to 50% more revenue.

To get the most out of Salesforce, you should be aiming for at least 90% of active users logged in each month, and at least 75% creating or updating records.

We’ve been helping businesses of different sizes and industries drive Salesforce adoption for over ten years.

Here are the main roadblocks we’ve seen time and again — and the remedies for fixing them.

Roadblock #1: Resistance to change

Your employees, for the most part, don’t really care about digital adoption or even Salesforce adoption. And that’s OK.

It’s not their job to care. Their job is to close new deals, ensure a great customer experience, and grow existing accounts. They care about meeting their quarterly and annual targets, about overcoming challenges quickly and efficiently.

They don’t want to be slowed down by yet another app. They don’t want to spend time on training to use a new tool when spreadsheets and email work just fine. They’ve got the process down; they know how long any given task takes.

All of which is before we factor in our innate human resistance to change – any change. Just think of the last time Facebook redesigned its user interface or how the public reacted to Google’s new logos.

To drive Salesforce adoption, you don’t need to turn to elaborate gaming solutions to convince your people they care.

The solution is much simpler than that.

Your employees, for the most part, don’t really care about digital adoption or even Salesforce adoption.

The Solution:

Start from a people-first mindset. Evaluate your employees’ user experience.

Successful digital adoption requires a cultural change that means organisations must continually challenge the status quo. It calls for an entire mindset shift.

You can’t force or trick it into existence.

So, if you’re struggling with Salesforce adoption in your organisation, start by asking:

  • Do teams perceive it as a useful addition to their tech stack?
  • What is the main Salesforce-related narrative doing the rounds of the workplace?
  • Is it seen as a management-imposed solution?
  • Is anyone sharing early success stories or exchanging useful tips?

You may find that one of the core problems is the lack of a convincing answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Or a lack of general understanding as to why the company needs this new tool.

You may discover a mismatch between expectations and reality. With Salesforce seen as the creator of cloud-based CRM and one of the most popular CRM tools today, people may imagine there to be low to no learning curve.

While Salesforce does offer one of the smoothest user experiences, there’s still a certain level of engagement needed to move business processes to the app and get the most out of it.

It may mean talking to a few team members, sharing an internal survey, or organising a quick workshop with sales and customer success teams.

But, whatever the answers you get, they’ll highlight your best course of action to achieve widespread Salesforce adoption.

Start or reset your Salesforce adoption road map with carefully planned internal communications.

Before giving you their buy-in and support, employees will want a clear understanding of

  • When and how you’re planning to adopt or change the use of Salesforce
  • What processes will be affected
  • What the expected outcomes are
  • How teams and individuals (as well as the company) will benefit from the change
  • What needs to happen to reap the rewards

Answer their questions, address existing skills gaps, share inspiring use cases.

If you can, select a few Salesforce “champions” in each team – who are already expert users or simply more tech-savvy and keen to adopt the tool.

They’ll be able to answer FAQs, share success stories, and build motivation through their enthusiasm for the Salesforce platform – an essential prerequisite not only to digital adoption, but to mastering the tool.

Make Salesforce an intrinsic part of your workflows so that employees aren’t able to close a deal or onboard a new customer without updating their Salesforce account.

  • Set rules within the app, link it with other tools and processes, such as lead generation and product development.
  • Make data collection and analysis part of individual, team, and project reviews – not only for better, data-based decisions, but also to demonstrate the value of data accuracy and process compliance.

You’ll find that this will improve cross-team collaboration and turn Salesforce into a natural part of the employee’s workday.

Roadblock #2: Too many tools

Whether it’s adapting to the rise of hybrid sales, remote working, or digital transformation and agility, organisations run the risk of overwhelming their workflows and budget with an extensive list of tools that distract from core business needs.

The menu is already impressive: tools for project management, customer service, email, chat, digital brainstorming, hybrid team meetings, content creation, knowledge bases for learning and development… And somehow new ones keep getting added to the list.

There are too many apps to learn and adopt. Your employees crave simplicity. They just want to get their job done. If the Salesforce training they’ve received doesn’t stick, they’ll only use the platform occasionally – when there’s more time to search for answers.

What does that mean for you? Incomplete data, unreliable reporting, and a lack of the insights and information employees actually need to accomplish their tasks.

The Solution:

Evaluate which technology to invest in when, and whether it’s better to optimise your existing tools instead.

1. Start by eliminating the apps that perform similar functions.

For example, take a closer look at Salesforce. From call scheduling and messaging, to triggered marketing campaign actions, or the new Subscription Management feature, it may be able to replace other tools on your tech stack that have more limited functionality.

2. Audit your employees’ user experience.

Do your people need to use several applications to get account history and sales enablement content for an email? Or to gather key buyer insights like purchasing history, user activity, and their influencers? Address these critical productivity barriers:

Evaluate when and which technology to invest in and when to optimise your existing tools instead.

Sometimes battling with digital adoption can make you feel lost in the woods. When that happens, go back to the start.

  • What was the original use case for Salesforce adoption in your organisation?
  • What behaviours and experiences do you wish to improve on?

A German manufacturer we worked with felt like they had tried everything – to no avail. Having complete and accurate data in Salesforce was crucial to their three businesses.

The challenge? Each business had very different requirements.

In their effort to drive Salesforce adoption, the manufacturer even attempted to streamline processes by deploying a one-page layout for all commercial lines, but only ended up creating more confusion for their employees.

Once we looked at the manufacturer’s original driver behind Salesforce adoption – digital transformation of the three business lines – the solution became clear: a business-specific core linked to their existing systems and with common functionalities and methodology applied to separate Sales Clouds, one per business line.

That helped us integrate Salesforce into the business’ workflows where it was most needed. It also highlighted the key performance indicators (KPIs) we’d need to track in order to evaluate the success of our solution.

A strategic approach to Salesforce adoption pays dividends. It helps you with:

  • Process compliance
  • Data accuracy
  • Data completeness
  • Sales methodology
  • Employee, customer, and partner experience
  • User onboarding
  • Training costs (reducing them!)

The “trick” is to make sure your goals and expected outcomes are clear: you’ve got the right set of metrics and KPIs to evaluate progress, and a reliable way of tracking them.

A login doesn’t necessarily point to successful Salesforce adoption. You need to look at the extent to which the platform has been incorporated into the employee’s daily routine, for example:

  • time spent on tasks
  • the accuracy of data entered
  • in-app interactions, such as engagement with support content
  • the perceived value of the platform itself

When working with the aforementioned manufacturer, we looked for success metrics in the use cases driving the project. They included:

  • Salesforce admins’ ability to create content without IT assistance
  • User feedback and sentiment
  • Task completion rate
  • The success of new recruit onboarding delivered exclusively within Salesforce

An effective digital adoption tool can track and report on this data. With Improved Apps, for example, you get Salesforce-native reports and dashboards that, among other things, cover:

  • usage 
  • comments
  • feedback
  • searches
  • sentiment

You can filter data by user or activity and cross-reference help usage during high-priority tasks, competitor research, and case management. It’s like Google Analytics for Salesforce.

Measuring KPIs helped the German manufacturer to finally succeed with Salesforce adoption and expand the Improved Apps solution from 100 to 2500 users.

It has helped other companies reduce onboarding time by 20%, increase Salesforce user engagement, and successfully roll out new features and workflows.

Roadblock #3: Complex internal processes

Almost no organisation implements Salesforce out of the box. Whether it’s just terminology or entire sales and customer support processes, each company uses the software differently.

That would require training… Except that people don’t want to be trained anymore. They just want quick answers a la Google.

According to a study published by Harvard Business Review, employees spend an average of 22 minutes a day trying to figure out how to accomplish tasks while working with new applications.

Your teams work hard every day to hit targets, close deals, and ensure client success. But they can’t do any of that if they’re stuck in front of a laptop hunting for sales and marketing documents or trying to translate the compliance requirements for yet another data field.

At the end of the day, if software is hard to use, people won’t use it. And if a process is too complex, you’ll see high levels of non-compliance.

The Solution:

Help staff to become more effective and more efficient when using Salesforce. Then you won’t have to search for motivation strategies.

Digital adoption and enablement tools like Improved Apps can help you keep the momentum and flow created during user onboarding and remove friction to effective use of Salesforce day-to-day.

Typical outcome after 1 month
of CRM go-live

Only 30%

Power or Aspiring Power Users

Typical outcome after 1 month of CRM go-live + digital adoption platform


Power or Aspiring Power Users

  • Serve helpful information based on their role, familiarity with Salesforce, and even language preferences.
  • Surface bite-size snippets of useful information at the point of need and relevant to the task at hand. Cover terminology, required and suggested next steps, policies, and procedures.
  • Signpost existing resources from any location, with contextual usage notes.
  • Embed content and links to relevant videos and reading lists.
  • Allow users to log feedback easily with a single click (or tap). This will allow admins to publish content based on employee needs as well as to improve and optimise the user experience. It’s how Netflix keeps you engaged – by monitoring your engagement and adjusting content suggestions accordingly.
  • Adopt a zero-training approach. Your people won’t be able to retain even half the information provided during training and onboarding, no matter how hard they try. So why make them?

Just-in-time learning with a zero-training approach can be invaluable when addressing the skills gaps created by new technology or process change. It makes Salesforce easier to use, improves employee productivity and, by extension, engagement with the platform.

This approach allowed Brambles to maintain high usage and Salesforce adoption rates from the start, as well as to significantly reduce overhead cost.

salesforce adoption with digital engagement

Product delivery running late? Add a notification that goes out to all account managers whose clients will be affected and need to be informed.

Up against a new competitor? Trigger a notification with useful tips, tricks, and sales enablement content.

Implementing operational changes? Send a push notification to those affected, clarifying the next steps and whom to turn to for additional information.

Simple and efficient. No context switching, learning curve, or shooting in the dark with emails and group Slack messages.

Improved Apps allows you to send push notifications right from within Salesforce on anything you need, choose the type of response you require (such as RSVP or action), and monitor engagement.

The admins and managers know exactly what has been read and by whom. The teams know what their next steps are without feeling overwhelmed.

“We have called it the Manager's Corner and placed it on our user's homepages. Now managers and the CRM Team in particular, have a better and more pinpointed way of addressing managerial communication, training information, release notes, sales promotions etc. etc.”

Morten Vejsig

Send useful notifications and targeted alerts within Salesforce

The fastest and easiest way of driving Salesforce adoption is by using a Salesforce native tool that supports both digital adoption and sales enablement.

Improved Apps is the only 100% native Salesforce solution that fully integrates across all Salesforce environments without any browser extensions or technical complexities. Besides ease of use, native integration means advanced security and reliability for your business.

There is no requirement for data mapping and syncing, user profile management, integrations, or APIs. Which means less to manage, less to learn, and far less risk involved.

Born out of a desire to provide a personalised, highly effective onboarding experience, Improved Apps unlocks the potential of Salesforce with up-to-date, personalised, contextual information that answers questions as they arise and delivers critical alerts when they’re most relevant.

With the ability to link to content from anywhere within your Salesforce pages, action-orientated banners you can position directly in front of end users, comprehensive native analytics, and bundled reports and dashboards, Improved App helps you to:

  • Understand Salesforce usage, adopt data-driven improvements, and provide reliable end-user experiences
  • Increase user satisfaction, productivity, and engagement
  • Reduce or eliminate change management related training
  • Enforce process compliance
  • Demonstrate Salesforce ROI
  • And lots more!

“There are many benefits of Improved Help around performance support and digital adoption for remote workers. Your products have helped a global deployment successfully go live remotely (in Poland) this week with new systems, processes and ways of working, meeting the challenges of the pandemic while still doing business.”

Paul Duggins, CapGemini

boost digital adoption

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