How Can Your Organization Use Salesforce to Its Full Capacity?

By jrichards -

It’s one thing to have access to Salesforce within your organization; it’s another thing to have confidence that you’re using the platform to its full capacity.

With so many incredible features and powerful tools, it can be hard to break the surface and unlock the full potential of a customer success platform like Salesforce.

What happens if you discover that your organization’s Salesforce usage is below the curve? Don’t lose hope. It may take some time to fully capitalize on the many ways that Salesforce can empower your team. Here are strategies to help you develop a workable plan of action to get there.

Identify Adoption Benchmarks

When you want to measure the effectiveness of a tool or system, start by measuring user adoption. How many employees actually use your Salesforce platform? How often? And how fully? It’s important to pick the appropriate benchmarks so you can define both success and under-utilization. If you already devote time to selecting the right metrics for measuring user adoption of your Salesforce platform, you’re off to a great start.

If you haven’t done so yet, here are some benchmarks you can start using.

User Activity

The first metric you should evaluate is the login activity of your Salesforce users on a daily basis. How often are people logging in? Are users updating contacts and records regularly and reliably? Is the activity consistent with an individual’s role or responsibilities? If login rates and engagement are low, you’ll quickly identify the root of the problem: your employees aren’t using Salesforce very often.

Salesforce Adoption Dashboards provide a one-stop-shop for monitoring usage. Included in the app are 42 powerful reports for monitoring whether team members log in, what key features they use, and how they update accounts and opportunities. With Adoption Dashboards, you can take proactive steps to ensure organizational success.

Quality of Data

A second metric to measure is data quality. Are team members completing critical fields with detail and accuracy? Can you trust others in your organization to enter data responsibly according to Salesforce best practices? If your team seems off track, hone in on the type and quality of data in your existing records.

If you’re looking for a quick way to pull reports on Salesforce fields, try the Field Trip app. Field Trip analyzes fields in any object with optional filters for better reporting. This allows you to easily view the percentage of populated records and get a gauge on your organizational effectiveness.

Team Productivity

It’s nice to have one Salesforce guru on your team who knows the process and procedures and executes them skillfully — but it takes more than one Salesforce user to create profitability for the organization. Can users move beyond the basic data entry steps and contribute to the goals of your entire team? Keeping tabs on your team’s productivity levels may help identify pain points in user adoption.

One tool to help you do this is Spinifiy: Lively Leaderboards, which has an impressive 5-star rating on the AppExchange. The purpose of Spinify is to develop team culture through engagement, motivation, and coaching. With Spinify, you can identify high-performing team members without combing through analytics. The app uses interactive features to inspire teams through positive motivation.

Department-Specific Metrics

There are several more granular metrics you can use to measure Salesforce adoption. These include numbers specific to sales, marketing, and service teams, which can be designed around your organization’s operations and needs.

Sales benchmarks include the number of new and retained customers, the amount of revenue generated, and the sales cycle duration. For marketing, examine revenue generated by each campaign, time spent per website visit, and online user goal completion. Service benchmarks include the number of cases handled or closed each day, and complaint time to resolution.

Recognize Symptoms of Under-Utilization

After you develop a set of adoption benchmarks, the next step is to carefully watch for symptoms of under-utilization. Some symptoms will correlate directly to the metrics you’ve already defined. If the adoption of your Salesforce platform is low, stagnant, or in need of a revamp at your organization, you might notice:

  • Users entering data in multiple ways. This often signals that there is a gap in your business process, or that users are struggling to understand the full capabilities of the platform.
  • A lack of engagement from company leadership. While Salesforce offers plenty of analytical tools, they won’t do any good if management is not actively monitoring them. Pay special attention to how many members of your leadership team are using Salesforce regularly — they will set the tone for user adoption throughout the rest of the company.
  • Leads and opportunities that don’t change. If team members aren’t updating leads and opportunities with new data, it’s a sign your team might lack motivation to incorporate the technology into their daily processes.
  • Low participation in Chatter. If your organization has set a standard for activity in Chatter, take some time to evaluate whether users are actively contributing.

See the Signs of Positive Usage

Pinpointing symptoms of poor Salesforce adoption is essential to instigating a plan for change. Equally important is the ability to identify what’s working well. Positive signs that your team is using the platform’s functionality may include:

  • A defined roadmap in place for using Salesforce. Confusion often stems from users who are unsure of the overall strategy. When management provides solid goals and connects the capabilities of the technology to those goals, teams can thrive.
  • Growing sales and closed deals. When cases are moving forward, it usually signifies that your team members have a good grasp on how to use Salesforce data effectively.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. While low levels of satisfaction can point to a disorganized system, high levels generally point to an organization that uses their customer success platform to improve customer engagement.  

Tips for Increasing Salesforce Adoption

Now that you’ve identified key metrics and symptoms to assess your current Salesforce usage, you can craft a plan to encourage greater Salesforce adoption. If you’re in leadership, the following suggestions are especially useful for moving your team from a basic understanding to a place of advanced knowledge and skill.

  • Involve your team as early as possible. If your organization is new to Salesforce, the switch from a previous system may not be quick. Get your team involved from the inception of the Salesforce project, give them channels to provide feedback, and listen to their concerns.
  • Provide ample training. Successful user adoption comes when users are well-equipped to perform tasks within the software. Provide adequate training and expectations from the start, and utilize refresher courses as needed to ensure your employees have the support they need in learning to master the technology.
  • Clean and categorize data. One of the motivations for implementing a customer success platform is to have accurate data available in real time. It’s important to regularly monitor the quality of data in Salesforce — otherwise, it becomes a chore for your team to sift through disorganized and inaccurate data to leverage the information they need. As a result, they’re more likely to not seek the data at all.
  • Create an engaging rewards system. Along with monitoring for any blips, take time to recognize when team members go the extra mile to adopt features of the new platform. Use positive motivation to get all team members moving in the same direction.

When you set appropriate benchmarks, monitor signs of both struggle and success, and integrate best practices for user adoption, you can get your teams using Salesforce to its full capacity. Then you’ll be set to reap the rewards of using this powerful solution to manage your data and strengthen your customer relationships.