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On this week’s Salesforce Admins Podcast we’ve got Shannon Gregg, President of Cloud Adoption Solutions and author of It’s About Time. We discuss the ins and outs of adoption from her unique position as both someone who consults in it and also as a researcher studying it for her Ph.D. dissertation.

Join us as we talk about what you can do as an admin to position Salesforce in your organization to make it successful and help your users become more efficient.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Shannon Gregg.

That feeling when you fall in love with Salesforce.

Shannon first encountered Salesforce because she was running the Sales department of her company. “They were like, ‘Here you go, you run sales operations, therefore Salesforce comes along with it,’” Shannon says. “Once I started digging around inside of it, I was instantly hooked,” she says. A lot of the work she was already doing used Excel to track things like RFIs and pricing volumes, but Salesforce took that to the next level.

The organization Shannon was working for was acquired by another company, which didn’t have a true Sales Operations department. “When I got to work for that company, I came in and said, ‘Now let’s look at the power Salesforce can give us for collaboration, for communication, and find the best way for us to sell,’” she says. That approach worked great, and as the business continued to grow and make more acquisitions, Salesforce use just kept growing and growing. “Our board of directors just loved it,” she says, “they loved the ability to look at their phone at 2 o’clock in the morning as see what’s happening with their business.”

How a governance committee can give you support for broader adoption.

“One of the things I love the best about adoption is opening somebody else’s eyes to help them see the power of the platform to help them be more efficient and effective in their workday,” Shannon says. If you want someone to commit themselves fully to Salesforce, they need to understand what’s in it for them. It’s a simple goal to shoot for, but takes a lot of effort and thinking to make it happen.

Beyond that, establishing a governance committee can be a big help towards encouraging broader adoption in your org. Shannon recommends figuring out which executive ultimately is responsible for the Salesforce spend at your business and getting them involved. Get them on Chatter, help them get the Dashboards they need, get them to better understand the platform and they’ll be a big mouthpiece for you. Look at people in Sales, Finance, Project Management, the people who are involved in Salesforce every day or who require the outputs, and meet regularly to go over what’s working and what’s not.

Balancing your Awesome Admin goals.

Managing all of the demands on your time as a Salesforce Admin is tricky. “You could be doing this job 24 hours a day, and many of us would like to because we love it that much,” Shannon says, “but for me, I like to say what am I managing by metrics and what am I managing by objective?” Look at your own metrics as a Salesforce Admin to make sure that you’re getting your bigger goals done, and find a way to visualize it, whether that’s Calendar View, the Kanban Board, or a custom Dashboard.

The research Shannon is doing on adoption.

“My Ph.D. dissertation is really focused on engagement and time-to-mission,” Shannon says. She’s looking at how nonprofits use Salesforce to allow them to improve productivity while also being more controlled with what they’re doing day to day. She’s working closely with nonprofit user groups to learn the challenges of engagement and implementation, which ultimately affects how effectively they can reach their goals.

Shannon’s research combines IT theory, change management theory, and adult education theory, all three of which combine to create engagement. “Engagement is so fantastic for us internally,” she says, “because it gives us time for critical mission work; and it’s also so important for communities because so many people are using Salesforce in an external way as well.” It’s that special mix of technical tools that help organizations get their real-world goals done better that makes Salesforce magical.

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