How you can make Salesforce the superstar in your organisation

In our previous webinar of this series, we discussed the six hallmarks of success when it comes to Salesforce adoption. We spoke about how Anit Sharma, CRM Manager from Mount Anvil, increased Salesforce utilisation up from four to 50 users. In this webinar on making Salesforce the superstar in your organisation, we wanted to explore simple ways to help the rest of your business get on board with digital change.

I discussed the different types of “dance partner” Salesforce could represent with Robyn Bechelet, Business Transformation Specialist at BrightGen. Robyn has a background in publishing and guided system changes for up to 2,000 people in her previous Brightgen projects and career. We have both seen the different perceptions of Salesforce among its users across the various customers we have served over the years. We analysed each of the challenges and discussed what companies can do to get the best dancing partner of all: the Superstar!

The Wallflower

There are people who make excuses not to use Salesforce. It just sits on the sideline and gets ignored.

“They’re not using it so why should I?”

To get around this, ask people to write their objections down. Make it visible – then you can deal with it. Look for any quick wins on the list. When you make faster progress, you will win hearts and minds. As you start getting more data into the system, you can start planning the more strategic wins.

Look into your cost per order. Are there too many steps in your data entry process? Are fields not labelled correctly according to your salespeople’s needs? That will hinder productivity, which will put people off trying to use the system. Don’t be afraid to start again – you can always fix this, even if you have to go back a step.

Referring back to our previous webinar, Mount Anvil had a “wallflower” situation. They solved the problem by following simple steps to get buy-in from a broader group. People just want a platform to make their job easier. Mount Anvil implemented ways to reduce people’s effort.

“Salesforce shouldn’t be the work!”

One of BrightGen’s airport customers had a similar issue. Salesforce was being used as a repository. They fixed this by creating dashboards and used a system of gamification. The most productive users were proud to see themselves at the top of the table, while the least productive could be encouraged  into taking action. The dashboards made it easy to visualise user adoption and compare the different departments. When you have something visual, it’s easy to share screenshots with members of leadership or the CEO, which they can then react to. Once the CEO is aware, Salesforce can no longer be ignored!

The Robot

If you don’t feel like Salesforce is giving you any flexibility, don’t give up. For example, when you start using tasks, it becomes like the gym. You have to keep doing it. If you fall off the treadmill, just have a quick tidy up and keep going.

Salesforce is a part of your business. Sometimes it’s the till, sometimes it’s your PA. It’s the method by which you remember your customers. Before Salesforce, people had to write things down or put information in spreadsheets. Customers would speak to your colleagues and tell them the exact same problem they told you a month ago. Nothing would have changed in the time between speaking to each of you. Customers would get frustrated at repeating themselves.

If you’re not seeing value, you might be replicating the past – try a newer metric, such as lifetime value of the customer. When you align Salesforce to that metric, data entry will be aimed towards a different purpose. When your organisation does this collectively, you’ll start to see results and you can set new targets in the system. Your most competitive salespeople will be more engaged when Salesforce shows them how they’re doing over time.

The Dad

Simple solution to this one… move from Classic Experience onto Lightning! 

“It’s a bit like going from the Nokia 3210 to iPhone 5”

Once you’ve moved to Lightning, your Salesforce users will be driving towards activity rather than data entry. Then you can start using Einstein analytics tools, Salesforce’s business intelligence solution that guides your business decisions. Salesforce showed a recent example of how the banking sector used Einstein insights to help their call centre staff suggest the most relevant new products for their customers. They could see customers who were most likely to leave them well in advance, allowing customer success teams to be proactive rather than reactive.

Salesforce and Pardot Lightning together will transform your marketing campaigns too. Use automation to get ahead of customer satisfaction issues, or drive advocacy from your happier customers. 

Switching to Lightning is almost like a relaunch of Salesforce and we’ve seen this drive adoption in itself at many companies. You can re-engage users and reinvigorate the system. On the other hand, be prepared for the users who will miss “the dad” version of Salesforce. Those people may be psychologically impacted by the change, as they’ll feel de-skilled or even worry about losing their jobs. Help those people get ahead by offering training and be available for them. It’s harder to tell how people are feeling when they’re working remotely. Make sure you encourage them to become experts in the new system. 

Transitioning to Lightning Experience from Classic is not actually that hard. Companies we work with usually build it up as a problem but then they find it’s not. Involve your employees, especially your admin-averse salespeople. They might suggest things to introduce that you hadn’t thought of, such as saving recording virtual sales meetings in Salesforce instead of written notes. 

Never watch the show

It’s useful to anticipate the objections for those who don’t even look at Salesforce. One of our favourites: Salesforce is just for sales so finance won’t use it. We would ask: Why would you sell something to someone who hasn’t paid you in the past? Your invoices should be integrated into Salesforce – and this means collaborating with your finance teams. It should be easy for your salespeople to anticipate problems before they arise. 

We’ve seen this issue across all industries. For example, ten years ago in the media sector, and even today in construction, customers exist in salespeople’s diaries or inboxes. Salesforce is just an admin tool to them. Look for the trailblazers within your organisation to combat this. They’ll be your Salesforce Champions. If you recognise a senior person from the user community – people who want to do things properly – get them involved in turning their colleagues around.

Another problem is where people “pollute” the system. The way to get around this is to clamp down on governance. Have a team or person responsible for creating new accounts. Salespeople will have to request to set up a new account. As long as this is a smooth process, this means that you’ll avoid duplication or incorrect data.

“Never use it”

When you hear the excuse that people never use Salesforce at all, it’s really a management issue. Managers should not be relying on data outside of Salesforce. Work with HR to assess your people strategy – to set yourself up for success in today’s digital environment, you need people who are willing to adapt. You might find you need additional team members too. These points were covered in our hallmarks of success from our previous webinar.


This is the Salesforce that joins up your business. You should be able to judge your company’s profitability on Salesforce. Business leaders can get real-time updates on how the company is doing financially. From our own experience and from talking to our customers, once you use Salesforce as part of your day-to-day, you won’t remember how you did without it.

“I’d be lost without Salesforce”

The key to getting to this stage is to break down your business challenges. Don’t try to solve everything at once – control the controllable.

Robyn got involved in technology systems because of her background in evidence-based management. You have to see problems and assess how to solve them. The more data you have, the better the insights you’ll get. If you’re assessing customer behaviour, you need data on what they’re buying or anything issues they’re having. Robyn suggests treating employees in the same way when it comes to using Salesforce. If they’re not using it, work with them to figure out what’s stopping them exactly. BrightGen sets up a simple adoption dashboard for customers, so that when you notice someone isn’t logged in, you know about it straight away and can ask them why. It might be as simple as setting up a single sign on for them. The next step will be to measure their experience once they’re logged in.

Companies using Salesforce as their superstar dance partner are able to drive business from Salesforce, rather than just recording it. They’ll be able to launch new products based on propensity to buy. They’ll see a return on their investment with Salesforce and executives will see increased value. 

If you think Salesforce adoption at your company could be improved, get a free consultation from BrightGen. We’ll set up an adoption dashboard for you for free and give recommendations on steps you could take to make Salesforce your superstar dance partner.

The best advice is to contact us and of course – Keep Dancing.