How Smith Became a Trailblazer on User Adoption Techniques

Welcome back to the blog!

If you’re interested in this post, then you might be interested in learning how you can enhance your skills and became a Salesforce guru. And we all want to be gurus. Why? Because it’s a really neat word, and it will make you invaluable to your team!

User adoption has been a paramount issue to tackle as part of our roll-out strategy, and is the main driver of the success of Salesforce. Training is of course, the main road to getting our users to adopt the Salesforce platform as part of their every day business process. No one likes to work on a new tool that they don’t know how to use, right? Take this blog for example, I am still learning how to make it as fun and enjoyable to your eyes as it is your brain. Maybe soon I’ll figure out how to add photos and screen shots from our cool Salesforce environment, but until then- I definitely won’t be calling myself a blogging guru. 

Since I have digressed, let’s bring this post back to the main topic: how did we get our users (~150 and growing) to adopt Salesforce?

Here at Smith we’ve rolled out a user adoption strategy that includes a combination of tools, such as:

  1. Use Salesforce Chatter exclusively for all communication/information related to Salesforce (this means that users are forced to log-in to Salesforce to join the conversation and receive important updates).
  2. The Open Smith Project Campaign (and this featured blog) to provide a space where anyone can come dig in to learn more about our journey and our destination.
  3. I offer 1.5 hr long training modules for users that focus on different Salesforce native features such as Contacts, Accounts, Reports, Dashboards, Campaigns, and Listviews. I’ll be adding more modules on native functionality over time. Other training modules include tackling our various apps we use, like Cirrus Insight, Map Anything, TaskRay, VisionE, and Resource Hero. 
  4. SmithForce is our in-house Geek Squad. They are a group of highly trained Graduate Assistants who will come to your desk to provide desk-side support in a time of need! They will also be adding their own training modules to the calendar to support all of our users. When we are ready to officially launch SmithForce, we will dedicate a blog post just to them! 
  5. We have a dedicated Web Help Desk to support help tickets submitted by users with Salesforce related questions, issues, concerns, or errors. Users just have to send an email to and they’ll receive same-day support/follow-up!
  6. We set-up the Salesforce Advisory Board which is made up of one (sometimes two) stakeholders from every single business unit at the school. This group meets bi-weekly on Wednesday afternoons. If we aren’t playing games and getting to know each other, we are having serious discussions about the direction of Salesforce, where our roadmap should take us next, and debating who should see what data within the org. These board members are KEY to support user adoption across the school because they help customize and shape our journey to make sure the needs of their department’s are included, they serve as Salesforce evangelists, and they provide updates to their own teams to ensure no one is left wondering… “what’s going on with Salesforce?! 
  7. Salesforce Trailhead: This is where our Trailblazers shine! As of today, we have over 100+ Trailhead badges earned from Salesforce’s own Trailblazing community platform where you can take self-directed mini courses on any of the platforms amazing features to expand your skills, knowledge, and expertise. We encourage all of our users to jump in and blaze their own trails! 

You can access Salesforce Trailhead online here and log-in using your Salesforce credentials.

And remember, all of our links to sign-up for training or request support live in the “Open Smith Project” chatter group in the Group Details section of the page.

In case you’re still confused after making it to the end of this post like I am sometimes am…. your big take-away should be: I can become a Salesforce guru if I become a Trailblazer, being a Salesforce guru will make me cooler, and I can’t wait to get started!

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