To be successful, especially in these times, you already know that you need to :
- Make your people successful and do more than ever with less than you’ve ever had
- Get everyone to perform like your all-stars
- Align a decentralized, remote, and international workforce
- Scale the expertise of your subject-matter experts
- Ensure that your brand and messaging don’t get diluted or misrepresented in the field.
Because you’ve lost enough sleep over it, you decide to turn to a sales enablement solution. So, a show of hands – as you prepare to make that investment, or perhaps you already have and are in the process of rolling it out, what is keeping you up at night now:
- Will people use it?
- How will I ensure value and ROI so that it is not viewed as “the next big thing” until the next “next big thing”?
- What does success look like?
- Is this too different from the way people work today?
- What if we miss the mark?
After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Failure is not an option.
Regardless of the tool, the initiative, or what you’re rolling out, a successful launch and widespread adoption are the goals, but how do you achieve success and reach the goals?
Following, you will find 10 key success factors for your adoption initiative and see firsthand how these best practices can help you achieve outstanding success at launch and beyond. It can be done and it is easier than you may think.
1. Failing to plan is planning to fail
My father always told me that failing to plan is planning to fail. As usual, he was right. In order to be successful at anything, there is a certain amount of planning required. It is critical to consider the big picture and, most importantly, the results. Who is your audience? What resources will you need? What are you trying to achieve and how will you know you have achieved it? Mapping your goals and your plan to achieve them is a necessary first step.
2. Involve a cross-functional team early and often
Getting early buy-in from key stakeholders throughout your organization helps to ensure that you have considered all of the angles. These relationships will help you build a network of internal advocates that feel invested in the success of your rollout.
3. Never lose sight of the end-user…your customer
As you build your network of internal advocates, be sure to include representation from the end user – your customer. At the end of the day, what you rollout needs to be valuable for them. If it is valuable they will use it – value drives adoption.
4. Treat rollout like a new product launch…be thoughtful
Generate excitement! Create buzz! Launch day should not be the first time people hear about your rollout. By creating awareness and driving home the value your users will realize, adoption becomes a natural next step. People will be asking you for access!
5. Be prepared to adapt based on early feedback
Feedback ensures that you have visibility and insight into what’s working and what you can do to improve and add value. The challenge with feedback is that you have visibility and insight into what is working well and what you can do to make improvements and add value. While this is a critical step that can take your results from good to great, if you don’t keep an open dialogue with those contributing that feedback, it can backfire. Not all ideas are going to be good ideas and that’s okay. Let the contributors know you’re listening and help them understand why you may not be able to implement the suggestion. If it’s a good suggestion, choose to incorporate and celebrate it.
6. Incent users to behave in desired ways
It’s not good enough to simply launch and tell people to log in and use it. Explain what you expect from your users and make it easy for them to get started. You will see the results and the behavior that you incent so think about what that behavior is and how to accomplish it.
7. Establish and support a culture of measurement
What does success mean? How can you tell if there is value? These are very important questions and should be asked early. Success can vary from client to client, rollout to rollout, and even within your subsets of users.
What are your sales enablement goals? What outcomes do you want to achieve on day 1 and long-term? What is that point of arrival and how do you know when you’ve achieved it?
There are no magic numbers here. Your initial goals may need to be refined for day 1, day 30, day 90, and so on.
Success is measured when you review your results. It is important to define quantitative measures, as well as qualitative metrics. In some cases, the most powerful evidence of success is not a statistic, but an endorsement from a user.
8. Establish and maintain executive-level sponsorship
This is an investment. Realizing a return on that investment is key. The project needs to have the right level of priority and visibility in the organization, and that starts at the top. Why did you invest? What outcomes are you enabling? What initiatives are supporting? And how are you demonstrating commitment?
9. Identify and leverage key spokespeople in the sales organization
Salespeople like to talk. Salespeople like to be successful. There is no better endorsement than a successful salesperson talking about how the platform contributed to their success.
10. Engage strong program managers with broad credibility
A strong and engaged executive sponsor is important but the program manager who pulls the strings and brings the vision to reality is equally important.
Adoption is a journey, not a destination, and the journey doesn’t end on launch day. Initiatives change, priorities shift, and new needs arise. Being responsive to those changes and keeping things fresh will ensure adoption over the long haul. A few final tips:
- Know your audience and market to them
- Define parameters – what the tool is and what it isn’t
- Create rules of engagement – what can users expect and what do you expect of them
- Remember the 10 keys to success
- Make this fun
Have questions about how you can apply this information to your own organization? Reach out to your customer success or account manager to discuss company-specific strategies!