The Number One Reason Your Sales Software Wasn’t Adopted

June 25, 2019 | Michele Wilkins

Sales Meeting

Blogs listing the various reasons why your sales software wasn’t adopted are a dime a dozen. But, for the most part, there is one critical reason why 90 percent of the sales software a company purchases fail to gain critical use. That reason? There was never an adoption plan put in place.

Most organizations take a set it and forget it mentality to their software acquisition. They purchase a new tool only to find it catching dust months later. Not only is this annoying to your procurement/IT department, but it’s also costly as money is spent on subscriptions and licenses for technology that’s never used.

We’re here to help you circumvent this very common roadblock. Read on.

How to Create and Rollout a Successful Sales Software Adoption Plan

Step #1: Determine an Adoption Owner

Start by charging a specific person or department with owning the adoption process. It’s no secret that plans without owners rarely get implemented. Your adoption owner doesn’t have to be someone as senior as your VP of Sales or CSO, but it should be someone with enough seniority, clout, and experience to identify potential bottlenecks and adoption risks proactively. 


Step #2: Create a Sales Software Adoption Plan

Once an adoption owner has been selected, it’s on them to create an adoption plan. This plan should outline how the new sales software will be rolled out to the team, where it will fit in the sales process, how it will be accessed by the sales team, and other adoption-critical information.

Here are a couple adoption plan best practices to keep in mind.

Interview Stakeholders 
As a first step, when creating an adoption plan, take the time to meet and interview any key stakeholders that will be using the new tool. Take the time to understand their insights and recommendations on what THEY need from the adoption process to successfully utilize this new tool. Be sure to incorporate their feedback into your sales software adoption plan.

Keep Your Plan Simple
The easier your plan is to follow, the more likely it is to be executed. Avoid complex multi-step software rollouts. Instead, work to refine your adoption plan and ensure there is absolute clarity around each step.

Include a Communication Strategy
The most successful adoption plans don’t just inform, they inspire. It’s human nature to question change. If a new software or sales tool is being presented to your organization, people are going to ask, “Why?” Be sure you answer this question as part of your adoption plan. Talk to your sales team about the benefits of the new sales software tool and tie those benefits to something they care about, like spending less time on administration tasks or reducing the time to close.


Step #3: Designate a Pilot Team

Easy there hotshot, we know you’re itching to roll out your new adoption plan to your entire organization. But before you go singing the praises of your newly procured software to the sales masses, give your sales adoption plan a test drive.

Sure, your adoption plan looks great on paper, but how does it hold up in the field?

If you want to ensure a strong adoption rate, you need to first designate a pilot team that can help you work out any kinks in your adoption strategy. As a best practice, your pilot team should represent the entire spectrum of your sales organization (not just a single product line or experience level). You should also aim to recruit individuals that are excited about testing a new sales tool.


Step #4: Take Your Pilot Team Through Your Adoption Plan

Once you’ve recruited your pilot dream team, it’s time to test your adoption plan. Remember, the whole reason you have a pilot team is so that you can field test your adoption strategy, as such you’re going to want to follow your adoption plan to a tee as you train your pilot team on the new sales software.


Step #5: Garner Feedback From Your Pilot Team

As your pilot team starts to implement and adopt your sales tool, you can start gathering their feedback. What’s working in your adoption plan? What isn’t working? What insights and additions is your pilot team bringing to the table? Use a mix of anonymous surveys and in-person interviews to ensure you’re getting the good AND the bad of your proposed adoption plan.


Step #6: Revise and Iterate Your Adoption Plan Based on This Feedback

Update your adoption plan based on the feedback you receive. You only get one shot at rolling out a sales software, so take time to work with your pilot group to ensure you’ve got a plan that guarantees success.


Step #7: Roll out Your Adoption Plan to Your Entire Team

Alright, the big day is here. You’ve tested, iterated, and refined your sales software adoption plan and now it’s time to put the pedal to the metal, the paper to the table, the… well… you get the picture. It’s time to roll out your adoption plan.

As a best practice, do everything in your power to address as many anticipatory questions as you can as part of your rollout communication plan. Questions like:

  • How does the new sales software work?
  • How the new software fits into the current sales process?
  • Where to learn how to use the new sales tool?
  • Why did this new sales software get purchased?
  • Why should a sales rep use this tool?


Step #8: Provide Ongoing Support and Training

Now that the team is aware of the new software, training can commence. The sooner your sales team can become comfortable with using the new tool, the more likely they are to adopt the new sales software.


Final Thoughts

Just because you purchase a new sales tool, doesn’t mean your team will automatically start using it. Adoption doesn’t just happen. Successful sales software adoption is built on a strategic foundation that takes into account the individual needs of your sales reps. The more relevant you can make your adoption plan, the more likely your sales team is to use the new sales software.

Wondering how to leverage a platform for breakthrough sales conversations? Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more. 

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