1. The benefits and key principles of great User Adoption


The benefits of great user adoption are huge. We set out the key principles here, and link to further Trailhead modules. After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Understanding the principles behind User Adoption
  • Access the Trailhead modules that are available for User Adoption and related topics


Whilst some of the benefits are obvious it is useful to understand all the benefits of great user adoption. This will help you craft your user adoption approach and also build the business case for investment. We created an calculator for your user adoption costs. Warning – the numbers can be very scary.

Maximizing the investment in Salesforce

The cost of Salesforce is not only licenses and support, but the investment made to customize Salesforce. The better you tailor Salesforce to support your user core business processes, the more productive it will be.  Ensuring that you are building the apps that the users really need, not what they thought they wanted is the first critical step for adoption.

User productivity, morale and happiness

You have designed Salesforce to make your teams more productive. The newest, coolest time saving features such the Lightning Utility Bar and Path help even more. But only if users understand and can use them.

And if users are frustrated because they don’t understand how to make the most of Salesforce, how to complete a task or how to fill out at a screen, their morale and happiness will plummet. Happier users are more productive and here is a blog with some fascinating research and stats.

Data quality

If a user does not understand how to fill out a Salesforce screen – the implications of a pick list item, the validation rules, the automation that is kicked off – then they are likely to guess or enter whatever satisfies the validation rule so that they can complete the task and leave the screen.  This destroys the data quality, which affects everyone downstream – users, management and Einstein.  Einstein is only as good as the data that is served up.

Speed and cost of onboarding

This is not a one-off benefit when a new user joins the company or starts using Salesforce. Users are essentially “onboarded” every time you release new functionality and after major Salesforce releases. They are having to change the way they work to take advantage of the new features you are making available to them – whether they are minor tweaks or major new apps.  Great user adoption can make this onboarding low touch, point of need rather than expensive time consuming training sessions.


You are asking users to change the way they are used to working – a little or a lot – to use Salesforce and the apps you have built on the platform. Change management is challenging and needs to be steady, relentless and persistent. And User Adoption is at the heart of the change management.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Great user adoption starts with a strategy with executive level support and then a funded plan with clear success metrics. Don’t let user adoption be left to the end and then starved of budget due to project overruns.

Engaging users at design time

User Adoption starts when you start engaging the end users to understand how their business processes can be improved refined and accelerated. This is when you are starting to design and configure Salesforce. You are capturing their business processes and user requirements and really understanding what they need – not what they thought they wanted. Done well, this is also starting the change management cycle.

User Adoption does not start when you have delivered the app and are thinking about training the users.  Training on the Salesforce app is important, but it is just one aspect of user adoption.

Training on the process that’s supported by Salesforce, not just Salesforce screens

You want your users to execute a process efficiently and flawlessly. That business process will have both manual steps and be using Salesforce. It may involve other systems. So you want to train the users on the end-to-end process, not the discrete Salesforce screen or actions.

Point of need training 

We all have too many things to do and remember. Life is busy. Business operation and Salesforce are constantly evolving. So any training that is completed days or weeks before you need to use that knowledge is probably forgotten, or out of date compared with the Salesforce apps. Therefore any face-to-face training needs to be augmented, supported and reinforced by training the is up to date and inside Salesforce on specific screens at object or field level.

Metrics, metrics, metrics

There are 3 types of metrics you need to consider for adoption

  • operational metrics: these drive and reinforce the behavior of your teams. The statement “we act as we are measured” is never more true than for sales teams
  • Salesforce usage metrics: are users logging in? If not, why not?  Are they entering data correctly or do you have a looming data quality issue?
  • Help effectiveness and feedback metrics; Is the help that you are providing the users actually helpful? Are users using the help or are they asking for more or different support?

Each of these areas will be covered in more detail in the next units of the training.


There are a couple of User Adoption modules on Trailhead. You do not need to complete them before you take this training.  We will be referencing sections of these Trailhead modules at the correct times in this training, and we will make it clear where we are using Trailhead material.

Completing these Trailhead modules will give you an understanding of how Salesforce thinks about user adoption. As they are relatively high level, the modules in this Catalyst training will help you apply the principles with tactical worked examples.

It is worth remembering that approaches suggested in the Trailhead modules are delivered more easily and effectively by using Catalyst, since the modules only consider the Salesforce functionality.

We have added the Trailhead modules to a Trailmix called User Adoption and Training

Here are the modules and the order to review them
Salesforce Adoption Strategies (45mins)
User Training and Motivation (30 mins)
User Adoption Metrics (20 mins)

This Trailmix also has additional modules that are useful, but not directly relevant such as Writing for MyTrailhead and Sales Rep Training.


NEXT –  Failing to plan is planning to fail