Measuring Adoption: Is your CRM solution healthy and growing?

By Salesforce.org | November 13, 2011 | | Products and Services, User Tips and Tricks

Adoption Dashboardsby Alicia Schmidt, Customer Success Evangelist
So, you’ve successfully set up your instance of Salesforce CRM, or you are newly responsible for managing your organization’s Salesforce CRM instance. Now what?Your salesforce.com org is living animal, getting fed data by a diverse group of users and growing and changing constantly over time. How do you know if your CRM system is healthy? How do you know if your users are really taking full advantage of your salesforce.com instance? One of the best ways to tell is to proactively measure user adoption rates.Tracking user logins is a good start, but it’s only scratching the surface. Try developing a framework of key performance indicators (KPIs) to really measure your system’s effectiveness. To come up with these metrics, we recommend involving your key organizational stakeholders to determine KPIs based on your unique organizational goals. If you don’t define and regularly monitor KPIs by incorporating them into reports and dashboards in your Salesforce CRM, you may find that adoption, consistent usage, and data quality will suffer.If you haven’t done so already, head over to the AppExchange and check out the FREE adoption dashboards from Force.com Labs to help track login activity, new records added by users, and lots more.

Adoption Metrics

When you are choosing metrics to monitor adoption, you might consider these three key areas:

 1. Usage
2. Data quality
3. Organizational effectiveness

1. Usage

Your first measurement of adoption—and a basic indicator of success—is login rates. You also need to ensure that beyond logging in, users are actively and consistently updating data and creating new contacts and other records, depending on their roles in the organization. Below is a list of suggested baseline metrics to track usage. Which metrics to use and how often to track them depends on your unique requirements, but we’ve provided a couple of examples to get you started:

Users logged in – last 7 days – monthly
Weekly Users not logged in by last name – last 7 days – monthly
Contacts created by owner role – last 120 days – monthly
Opportunities (or Donations) created by owner role – last 60 days – monthly
Open tasks by assigned role – current and previous Quarter – monthly

2. Data quality

Data quality is a vital metric for measuring adoption. If critical fields are not filled out, or are filled out incorrectly, it may compromise the ability for your organization to be effective. In addition to requiring that users enter data into Salesforce CRM, ensure users fill out all fields in a consistent and accurate manner by providing training and continually reinforcing data entry best practices. This will help you maintain reliable data, which translates into higher user confidence and, ultimately, adoption. You can also use picklists and validation rules to enforce your data best practices. Finally, you can use the free data quality analysis dashboards (part of the dashboard pack mentioned above) to analyze the quality of the data your team enters and keep everyone on track.

Below is a list of suggested metrics to get you started in tracking data quality:

Opportunities (or Donations) with a close date – last 60 days – monthly
Stage opportunities are entered – monthly
Contacts with all key fields populated  – monthly

3. Organizational effectiveness

Usage should also reflect your ideal organizational process. Ensure that your users are not just logged in, but are using the application in a way that enhances your overall organizational effectiveness. For example, rather than just tracking the number of “won” donations, track the types of activities or the level of engagement that is leading to those “won” donations. You should also build analytics that will uncover patterns and trends that track performance levels and identify trouble areas.

Here are some suggested metrics to get you thinking about tracking organizational effectiveness (what salesforce.com calls “business performance”):

Donation or grant pipeline by owner or owner role – monthly
Monthly donation or grant trends – monthly
Activity type by assigned owner – monthly
Quarterly “win” – (closed donations or opportunities or custom object) ratio for current and previous fiscal year  – monthly

Unfortunately, user adoption doesn’t happen without strategic support and attention. Measuring user adoption will help you determine if your adoption strategies are working, and/or if you need to revisit those efforts. The Foundation wants you to squeeze every ounce of value out of our product, and high user adoption is a great sign that you are doing just that.