The tech landscape continues to evolve at an ever-quickening pace. Adapting to these changes requires a deeper focus on how tools are rolled out internally and to our customers. As enablement practitioners, we often find ourselves asking, “are our colleagues using the tools optimally and adopting them at high rates?” Or, “what if we’re collecting flawed data from customers about our products due to improper usage on their end?”
Fortunately, we can prevent and swiftly resolve issues like these with a strategic approach to tool enablement. No matter the size of your enablement function, we’ll gladly show you how to create an effective tech tool enablement plan and overcome any roadblocks that come up along the way.
Common challenges associated with new tool launches
When rolling out new tools, companies are often confronted with some degree of employee resistance. Even if a new tool can improve the lives of end-users, a disjointed change management plan can lead to it being poorly adopted. Also, companies may feel they lack the resources needed for a proper tool launch or struggle to align cross-functional leaders in the rollout.
These risks can negatively impact your business — not only can subpar tool rollouts frustrate colleagues and make them hesitant to adopt new tools in the future, but companies can receive a poor R.O.I on their purchase due to clumsy tool usage.
As daunting as these challenges may seem, they can be surmounted by incorporating specific practices and tips.
The features of a successful tool enablement plan
As a best practice, we recommend a five-step enablement plan to ensure the new tools you implement are widely adopted, end-users receive guidance and support throughout the entire launch process, and leadership is aligned on the rollout.
1. Identify stakeholders and executive sponsorship
Launching a new tool may require multiple business lines (IT, GTM, etc.) to operate in lockstep to ensure broad adoption. Aligning these business units on the tool’s value will encourage them to support each other in resolving pre-launch issues. Having executive sponsorship is crucial as well, as it can generate momentum from the top-down and unify leaders across the board.
2. Identify the roles to be supported and the scope of change management needs
It isn’t enough to view change management as “telling end-users about what’s to come.” The tool’s value must be clearly articulated to targeted users, and strong examples of how it will make them more productive should be offered pre-launch.
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3. Determine enablement needs & finalize a communication plan
Before deciding what type of training to offer customers or internal users, perform discovery to determine the medium they prefer. Would they rather learn about the tool via live sessions or through an LMS? The purpose of the training should be for the learner to demonstrate observable and measurable behaviors to help them optimally use the tool.
4. Ensure launch support is in place to support each rollout phase
Launch support encompasses three separate phases: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. Pre-launch support involves addressing any risks that could impact the go-live date and having a pilot group test the tool for any unexpected problems. When the tool is officially rolled out, enablement resources such as FAQs and e-learning documentation should be readily available.
It is recommended that multiple avenues exist to support end-users post-launch. Dedicated communication channels and semi-weekly office sessions will help users better acclimate to the tool.
5. Track adoption, and measure specific KPIs to share with leadership
Now that the tool is officially live, we must ask ourselves, “what metrics are we using to gauge adoption and the tool’s efficacy?” To paint a complete picture of the tool’s overall business impact, baseline metrics such as engagement and user satisfaction should serve as the foundation, then adoption metrics (i.e 30-60-90 day trends on user log-ins) and R.O.I metrics (i.e influence on revenue and productivity) should be created afterward.
How Seismic can help
To assist you in your tool enablement journey, we’ve created a Tool Enablement Process Checklist for you to refer to as you prep for new rollouts. You are welcome to reach out to us at Enablement@seismic.com if you have any further questions.
The recording of our “Building a Flawless Enablement Tech Stack” webinar is available here.
We wish you the greatest of success in all your future tool launches!