As a Salesforce administrator, you’re in the trenches every day making sure your company’s users are sufficiently trained on how to use the platform. While at this point in your career you’re likely quite comfortable with Salesforce, remember that most tools take some getting used to at first. With so many options and capabilities, Salesforce may appear quite complicated to your new users, and that can lead to resistant or disengaged users.
Fortunately, there’s plenty that you can do as a Salesforce administrator to streamline the experience for your users, ensuring its usefulness and efficiency across the whole organization.
1. Share the Big Picture
Whether your users are new to Salesforce or are more experienced users, one of the best ways to improve user experience is by sharing the full story behind how and why your organization uses the software.
A team member in sales, for example, might be comfortable managing customer accounts and communications but have a fuzzy idea of what actually happens with all the data they’re collecting. By sharing what information gets used by other departments and for what purposes, that member gets clued in to how they contribute to the company’s big picture.
This type of transparent communication can result in breaking down data silos, improving data entry, and increasing overall usage of the platform.
2. Use Salesforce in Meetings
An effective way to build on the step above and familiarize users with Salesforce is to use the software in meetings. Try integrating Salesforce as much as possible when presenting research and data, addressing specific events, processes, or clients, and for any planning activities.
When you showcase Salesforce in meetings, it offers team members the opportunity to see it in action, ask questions, and get used to all of its functions.
3. Onboard New Employees
New hires will be learning how to use Salesforce as they figure out other parts of their role. This means that from the beginning of their time with the company, new employees will understand their position in the context of Salesforce’s various functions. As a result, they may even speak the Salesforce language more fluently than someone who had to switch CRMs.
Make sure to offer new employees significant support and opportunities to learn Salesforce in their first few months to optimize their use of the platform. Some popular and effective resources include:
- Trailhead, an online skill-building tool and community with modules and training on everything from Salesforce basics to admin to data protection law
- Trailblazer Community Groups, which can connect new users to other Salesforce users in similar situations
- Chatter, where new employees can stay up to date and engaged with other team members
4. Create a Consistent Experience
In terms of improving your users’ day-to-day interactions with Salesforce, it’s important they have a consistent experience. This means ensuring actions and functions within Salesforce itself are predictable and intuitive.
Here are a couple ideas to try:
- Use 1-2 different Lightning page templates to help keep the same components in the same places; for example, you want your Activities and Chatter to show in the same place on every page.
- Build Actions and Flows to reduce the number of clicks that it takes to perform a function.
In general, it’s a best practice to create clear patterns in how your Salesforce instance is organized and appears — and maintain those patterns across its various components.
5. Install the Right Apps
There are thousands of apps on the AppExchange and while all of them are useful and innovative in their own ways, finding and using the right ones is key.
Cirrus Insight, for example, is a great tool for inbox and calendar management, and Conga Composer, the flagship tool of the Conga suite, allows you to create templated documents straight from Salesforce. While both of these tools are powerful in their own ways, it’s up to you to decide if you need that particular functionality for your business.
Don’t forget: Salesforce makes it easy to create your own apps. If there’s not an existing app that meets your team’s needs, consider developing one of your own.
6. Know Your Team
Finally, in the same way that market research can give you a window into the wants, needs, and behaviors of potential customers, getting to know your users can help you learn what’s working, what’s not, and where your opportunities lie when it comes to their Salesforce user experience. One Salesforce admin coined the term Salesforce Administration by Walking Around (SABWA) for his approach; checking in with people regularly helps drive user adoption and can bring to light issues that wouldn’t otherwise be on your radar.
Make time to shadow your users and see firsthand how they’re using the platform. Ask your team how the infrastructure is working for them, take a look at how they’re using (or not using) the platform, and consider holding regular quarterly or monthly meetings for all the Salesforce users at your company to see how it can be adapted to their needs.
At its core, Salesforce is designed to meet user needs. With a little research and planning, it can become a highly customized and straightforward platform that is easy and enjoyable for your team to use.
To learn more about how to get the most out of your Salesforce experience — or if you have questions about implementing Salesforce at your company — reach out to RelationEdge. As a Platinum Salesforce Consulting Partner, our expert team has experience implementing and configuring the software, as well as providing user training and user adoption guidance to businesses.