Supercharge Your Salesforce ROI With Fast Track Adoption.

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to use the cutting edge Salesforce platform to boost your sales. But now what? Unfortunately, your ROI won’t take flight on its own just because you flipped the switch. To supercharge your ROI, your users will have to use, or “adopt,” your new capability. That means you may have a bit more work to do.  

Why is adoption important? Lots of reasons. For example, it drives lead conversion, forecast accuracy and sales productivity, which all ultimately drive Sales Win Rate. 

So, fundamentally, you’re not going to see your ROI soar until your sales team gets into the habit of entering their information into Salesforce. 

Here’s the catch: Your users are human, and humans are emotional, habitual and naturally resistant to change. Your mission is to move them gently, but firmly, into new habits. Fortunately, the “Fast Track Adoption Cycle” can help you do this by working WITH human nature, instead of against it. It will help you reward and reinforce adoption, supercharge your ROI, and as an added bonus, focus your Salesforce strategy into the future. 

What Is The Fast Track Adoption Cycle?  

At a high level, it consists of four steps: 

  • Plan the Rewards – Build your adoption strategy. 
  • Roll Out – Communicate the plan, and especially the rewards. 
  • Deliver Rewards – Show your users what’s in it for them. 
  • Gather Feedback – Find out what works and what could be better. 

Before we do a deep dive into the four steps, let’s take a step back and talk about the big picture. 

Salesforce is a journey, not a one-time visit. If you are currently using a Sprint / Backlog process to expand your Salesforce capability, consider adding the Fast Track Adoption Cycle to work in conjunction with that process. Since the Adoption Cycle includes collecting feedback from your users, it should not be done on a “stand alone” basis.

Feedback gathered from users should drive your vision and backlog priorities. The key concept here is: Your Adoption Cycle shouldn’t just be an afterthought following each of your deployments. It should be one of the drivers of your overall Salesforce strategy. 

If you are not currently using a Sprint / Backlog process to expand your Salesforce capability, or you’d like to learn more about it, check out our blog, The Ultimate Salesforce Delivery Machine, Part 1: The Backlog

Here’s a diagram of how the Sprint / Backlog process and the Fast Track Adoption Cycle can work together: 

salesforce roi

“The key concept here is: Your Adoption Cycle shouldn’t just be an afterthought following each of your deployments. It should be one of the drivers of your overall Salesforce strategy.” 

Plan the Rewards

Focus on rewards first – “Rewards” can be anything from reducing the number of clicks a user must make to log a call, to a trip to Key Largo for winning a Closed Won challenge. To find the right rewards, ask yourself:  

  • What actions/data elements really drive your sales? 
  • What incentives really drive your sales team? 
  • How will those be tracked in Salesforce? 

Start with high-value quick wins – As you begin to roll out changes with rewards, you want your users’ first experience to be successful so it will teach them it’s ok to “jump in” to Salesforce, the water’s fine! It will also engage them and motivate them to give feedback when the time comes. 

Plan to reinforce rewards with weekly meetings – Nothing ensures adoption better than weekly meetings in which managers use Salesforce data to gauge progress. If a user happens to “forget” to enter their data before a weekly meeting, they may miss out that day, but they’ll remember next week. Think about what data you review in your sales meetings today, and how that may change when you focus on Salesforce data. 

Give your rewards the thought they deserve – Choose rewards that are extensions of the rewards that already exist in your company’s culture. Design them so Salesforce will be the only path your users can take to achieve them. For example, if competitions are already routine at your company, plan to use Salesforce data to determine the winners.  

TIP – Avoid rewards that only recognize data entry, such as logging activities. They are not as effective as rewards that recognize the specific things that make sales happen, like qualifying leads, or logging specific types of activities. 

Roll Out

When your Salesforce changes are ready to be deployed, communicate, communicate, communicate!  

Here’s a list of great ways to share information with your users prior to deployment. When delivering them, do what you can to give everyone equal access so they can start on a level playing field.

  • Trailheads – Provide access and links to specific Trailheads. 
  • Live Training – Provide live training sessions and record them for users who can’t attend in person. 
  • Train the Trainers – Create a group of users who can be internal subject matter experts.   
  • Job Aids and PowerPoint decks – Create materials that users can refer to for the first few weeks as they learn to use the system.   
  • Adoption Reports – Create some simple adoption reports to track your progress, but remember, data entry by itself is not what creates adoption. Adoption comes from recognizing data that leads to rewards and sales. 
  • Deployment Party – Throw a deployment party on the big day and play some fun, challenging games. 
  • Treasure Hunt – Create a treasure hunt game that requires users to navigate to specific information in a Salesforce sandbox. 
  • Quiz Game – Create a Jeopardy-style or other app-based quiz game with questions about the new functionality. 

Deliver Rewards

Training, games and job aids are helpful, but by themselves, they won’t guarantee adoption. Why? Because humans are human. In addition to being habitual, humans are also naturally efficient. If they see their managers in a training session telling them to enter data, but in their weekly meetings failing to mention any Salesforce data, they’ll conclude that it’s not really important. Because they are naturally efficient, humans will typically not expend all that energy to learn a new tool or a new habit until they’re sure their manager really cares about it.  

Again, nothing ensures adoption better than weekly meetings in which managers use Salesforce data to gauge progress. Nothing.  

Leadership is key. Follow through on the promises you made in the Roll Out by delivering on the rewards after deployment. Your users will know you mean business, and they will adopt accordingly. 

Gather Feedback

 There are three rules to gathering feedback: 

  1. Carefully craft your questions. Open-ended questions are better than yes/no questions. If you’re asking the users to describe issues they’ve encountered in Salesforce, remember to ask them what they were trying to accomplish when the issue occurred. Ask a mixture of general and specific questions.
  2. Ask for feedback through different methods, so you can hear from everyone. Provide a way for users to submit their feedback anonymously if possible. If not, take the time to ask the quieter people for their input in one-on-ones or small groups. Introverts tend to think things through before speaking, so their input is often especially valuable. 
  3. Most importantly, listen to the feedback you receive. Users won’t adopt a system that doesn’t serve their needs. Feedback is how you streamline your systems. Your users have the most first-hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, so if you’re serious about maximizing ROI, listen to them. Take action on what they say. Demonstrate that the time and energy your users spent sharing their feedback was not wasted, and that will keep the lines of communication open. 


And then … repeat! Like the chart above shows, adoption is an integral part of a larger process. As soon as you’ve finished one cycle, it’s time to start thinking about the next.  


Although Salesforce is a technology platform, it’s important to remember that Salesforce adoption is very much a human experience. It’s not all “1’s and 0’s.”  It’s about habits, fears and emotions, too. So, you’ll need to do both: build a system that serves everyone’s needs, and base your adoption strategy on your company’s culture, habits and management styles.  

For help with this and other ways to optimize your ROI from Salesforce, contact the experts at EightCloud. We are Salesforce success experts, and available to ensure your success!

Author: Erin Freed, Salesforce Consultant

We engaged EightCloud to assist us with the development and implementation of a custom application. EightCloud provided outstanding service and expertise throughout the life of the project. I’ve been managing projects in the public sector for nearly 15 years and can’t remember an engagement that went smoother than this one. Their expertise and responsiveness was as good as I’ve experienced in the industry. I would not hesitate to partner with EightCloud again."

- Tim Vessey, Washington Department of Natural Resources

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