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In May, we sat down with Christine Marshall, author at Salesforce Ben, Salesforce MVP, and regular event speaker. Christine has been in the ecosystem since 2014 when she “accidentally became a Salesforce admin.”
She spoke about making sure you’re building the right solution for users from the start and saving time for teams in the long run. Here are just three of the questions we asked her during our discussion.
Want Salesforce adoption? Bring everyone along for the ride.
Skuid: What's the best way to bring stakeholders along for the journey to make sure they're happy with what's being delivered?
CM: It's all a case of communication and getting people on board as quickly as possible. And I think you've got multiple ways of doing that.
I always like to have a super-user community by my side. They're the ones that really translate the day-to-day user requirements to me, and give me very honest feedback on what people need.
But then you also need a steering committee or governance committee as well. And that's where I would say bring your senior stakeholders on board. And get them to communicate with you what the business is trying to achieve, what their aims are, what their vision is for the future of Salesforce, so that you can then bring all of those things together.
And again, it's about educating people and appreciating that they have their roles and their jobs, and their job is not to understand everything that Salesforce can do. It's our job to communicate all of the possibilities and then to translate their requirements into a technical solution. And then, communicate it back to them in layman's terms that they can understand and appreciate.
Sit with the user.
Skuid: Do you have any tips and tricks for when you’re working with a new customer?
CM: Yeah, absolutely. And let's be honest, people don't understand what a Salesforce admin does most of the time.
They have no concept of how long anything takes or the complexities if you start creating something and then you have to unpack it. Once you start getting into objects and relationships and creating things, it's much harder to go back and undo that and redo it, then if you start it properly the first time around.
I think what you need is really good communication with your users and your key stakeholders to really sit with them and watch what they're doing.
I know when we've had a conversation before, one of the things that we've talked about is actually getting them to record what they're doing—so you can really understand their user journey. And from there, identify what are the sticking points? Where does it go wrong? How much manual work is involved?
Because one of the things that we think about when we roll out an app is getting that core functionality in there. But actually, if you can solve some quick wins at the same time, then that's great for user adoption of any new apps and new features as well.
Use failure as a tool.
Skuid: Let’s talk about the concept of “fail fast” as it applies to Salesforce user adoption. Why is this getting so much attention?
CM: Sometimes you have to get something out there, roll out a minimum viable product (MVP), and get feedback on it to know that you're heading in the right direction. And there’s this whole concept of failing fast. And that just means identifying missing features or identifying problems sooner rather than later, before you've got really in the weeds of what you're doing and it becomes very hard to unpack.
So I like the concept, but it can be quite hard to sell to people who are very worried. When they hear “fail,” they think disaster. I think it means launching something, launching your MVP and then gathering feedback quickly to say, "Actually it needs to do this, or it's missing this feature."
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