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How To Get Employee Salesforce Onboarding Right First Time

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve seen it a million times. Eager employees keen to do everything right get poor Salesforce onboarding (or no onboarding at all) and before you know it, their desks are covered in notes and post-its while your expensive CRM gathers virtual dust.

Salesforce onboarding can be a tricky process to navigate for employers as well as employees, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are five of the most common employee onboarding mistakes and what you can do instead.

How To Get Employee Salesforce Onboarding Right First Time

Mistake #1: Failing to set the employee up for success from day one

Whether onboarding new hires or supporting existing employees, many organisations inadvertently sabotage the process by failing to facilitate productivity from the get-go.

As they begin their Salesforce journey, employees are trying to simultaneously learn the tool as well as the company’s sales strategy and CRM guidelines. They need to remember it all a week, a month, a year later while attempting to meet their goals and KPIs.

The result?

But there’s a better way

Put in place an interactive, in-platform onboarding process that gives the employee actionable information at the very moment it’s needed. Not just help using Salesforce, but the internal processes to follow, and useful tips and tricks for ease and efficiency.

For example, if a sales agent enters a competitor against an opportunity, you can use this as a trigger to provide them with competitor-specific content and key selling points that have helped their colleagues to win similar conversations.

Add a further nudge with helpful notifications that encourage your employees to be proactive; for example, by providing a link to a relevant white paper and an email template to send it to the prospect, or by suggesting a new sales opportunity, based on data entered.

That way, you’ll have tuned your Salesforce environment to help employees succeed from day one. You’ll improve engagement and digital adoption by offering support where it’s needed, rather than leaving people to flounder or make up their own processes. And you’ll see the results as you smash your sales and customer success goals.

Mistake #2: Sticking to conventional training methods & detailed, off-platform knowledge bases

Every Salesforce environment is unique to the organisation and the teams who configured it. Even its purpose can vary radically for each company, with a different scope, objects, workflows, processes, and more.

If an employee has had previous experience with Salesforce, these differences can be confusing. Meanwhile, for new starters who have never used Salesforce before, it’s a whole new world to get used to.

If you’re making them go through intensive training courses, detailed how-to guides and powerpoint presentations, consider this:

As hard as they try, your people won’t be able to retain all the information they’ve heard and read. Nor will they have the time to comb through extensive LMS every time a question or doubt enters their mind. It’s so much faster and easier to send an email to the support team… or leave that Salesforce data field empty.

onboarding mistake 2

The problem

Without all that data readily available, accurate, and up to date, a business won’t perform at its best. Not in the long term, and especially not in rapidly changing market conditions.

There’s no way to track opportunities and SLA deadlines, evaluate remote and hybrid sales processes, analyse results, projects, team performance, to optimise or plan effectively.

You could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

The solution

Serve your people ‘golden nuggets’ of help, focused on the task in hand.

Imagine if, instead of searching through notes and help docs to verify the definition of a prospect, you had a quick explanation with key concepts right next to that Salesforce data field. If, instead of checking (or giving up on) the process for closing an opportunity, you only needed to click on the question mark next to the contact to find a short note outlining the criteria and steps for doing so.

You would save time while completing your tasks accurately.

After working with dozens of companies across industries, we’ve seen dynamic, in-app training reduce onboarding time by 20% and the amount of support requests by a staggering 60% – 70%.

employee onboarding Bite-sized insights tailored to the employee and specific task or record

Mistake #3: Approaching onboarding as a chore rather than an opportunity

As much as 20% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment.

Source: Urban Bound

Onboarding is a prime opportunity for employers to win the hearts and minds of new hires. It’s an experience that motivates new employees to stay engaged…. or to check out.

Many organisations fail to exploit this unique opportunity. They know onboarding is important but it’s hard – they don’t know what works and what doesn’t, so they do the same as they’ve always done: give the employee the handbook or send them on a training course. Instead of increasing team productivity, they set the stage for low digital adoption, poor communication, confusing compliance, and even early exit.

If any of that sounds familiar, here’s what you can do:

Don’t make your people go through the painful process of learning from their mistakes. Set expectations (such as data quality and timeliness) and clarify what the employee can expect from the organisation via helpful notifications and calls-to-action within Salesforce.
Combine onboarding with data analysis. Use a tool that gives you insights on what your employees do and don’t know; where they need more support, and what the biggest obstacles to Salesforce adoption are. That way, you’ll know upfront what the onboarding process needs to entail and how to support your staff to drive engagement and productivity (more on that in the next section).

Onboard and teach in a way that adapts to each employee’s existing knowledge and natural pace. For best results, use an automated, Improved Apps-based onboarding workflow that personalises the learning experience and delivers information based on each individual’s Salesforce usage.

It won’t take long for the employee to realise that their Salesforce onboarding is not static. Help and training content will change based on their activity, assisting them to do the right things first time.

They’ll be motivated to use Salesforce because they’ll see the results of their work in the platform quicker. Just like that, Salesforce onboarding becomes less of a chore for everyone.

Mistake #4: Not having the data to optimise the employee onboarding experience

Here’s a client story we’ve heard more than once.

They invest in a new CRM tool. It’s a big-ticket investment, but the business case is compelling. They’re thrilled to finally have one tool for all the sales and customer service needs, prospect and customer data, conversations, analysis, and more.

What could go wrong?

But half a year later, engagement with the tool is practically non-existent and the employees are less than happy with the move. Most have returned to their old systems, digital or analogue, and the company continues to struggle with data accuracy and process compliance.

The one thing that helps every single time?

Using data to analyse and improve the onboarding experience.

You won’t have to wonder whether video or written documentation is more helpful and in which situations. You won’t have to guesstimate the score of employee satisfaction with the training and onboarding process or invest in employee surveys and follow-ups to get responses. You won’t have to speculate whether critical communications have been received, understood, and implemented.

When you have a dynamic learning tool that automatically logs user interaction with content and notifications and allows them to give instant feedback, you’ll know exactly what questions arise most often, which content is downvoted and by whom, where the explanations provided are unclear, and much more.

You’ll be able to make informed decisions and optimise any element of the employee Salesforce onboarding process to pave the way for successful digital adoption and engagement.

onboarding mistake 4

Mistake #5: Keeping content all over the place

There’s so much to take in: a new tool, a new CRM process, and a to-do list longer than the hours in a day.

That comes with a lot of content – the company’s sales strategies and processes, sales enablement pieces, pitch decks, demos, Salesforce user guides… the list goes on. Having to look for it all in different places – team folders, subfolders, wikis, project management sheets (oh, and which one was the latest version?)… Let’s be honest, it’s a pain.

Worse still, most of it never gets read, and many of your employees probably don’t even know a lot of it is there.

You’ve invested so much time and money writing and designing strategies and how-to guides, trying to implement an optimised sales & CRM process, setting up an elaborate LMS, only to see virtually no engagement.

onboarding mistake 5

The good news - there’s a simple fix.

Combine all that amazing content in one place – the very tool where it’s needed the most: Salesforce.

Cut it into easily digestible, bite-size chunks, served exactly when needed, where needed, as needed, and as often as needed.

With Improved Apps’ in-platform solution, you can embed any content directly in Salesforce pages, so that your staff have all the key information at hand – whether they’re using a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.

The question mark is always there next to the data field, ready to be clicked, regardless of whether it’s their first or hundreth week using the app. And when they do click it, it’s a five second digest of the definitions, relevant processes, and a reading/playlist for more detail and context.

Best of all, the employee can choose the format that works for them – scan through a brief of core concepts in rich-text formatting, see it illustrated in images and GIFs, watch videos outlining every step of the process, or read a how-to guide.

The result?

The content is right where my users need it… I love it!

Learning Design, Dev, and Imp Tech Lead, Tax & Legal (USA)

In today’s digital world, we expect a digital solution to onboarding. Employees getting to grips with a new Salesforce environment should receive onboarding that works for them, rather than onboarding that makes them work – wasting time they could be spending on sales and customer service.

Created by experienced Salesforce specialists, Improved Apps was built to provide just that: a personalised and highly effective onboarding experience that slips seamlessly into the employee’s working day, helping them accomplish their tasks while providing the employer with essential data insights for continuous improvement.

It was born out of user frustration that Salesforce had so much to give; it just needed a key to unlock its full potential.

Improved Apps can be that key

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