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Technology Adoption: Stop Making This Rookie Mistake

By: Salesloft Editorial



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Driving adoption of your sales technology is the most important way to be sure you realize a return on your investment (ROI). When we talk with revenue teams, we usually don’t hear many objections. But things get a little fuzzier when we ask about a technology adoption definition. 

Take a deep dive into adoption by downloading How to Drive Adoption of Your Sales Technology Platform.

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding how adoption should actually be defined and measured. And importantly, what sales leaders and revenue operations (RevOps) professionals can actually do to increase it. These aren’t always easy questions to answer. I’m going to share how we think about them on Salesloft’s Value Engineering team.

What is Technology Adoption?

Many customers start their understanding of user adoption by calculating the percent of users logging into the platform’s interface on an average day. In sales technology, that’s a necessary but insufficient measurement. True adoption of technology is contingent on employees executing activities with it: sending emails, making calls, listening to recordings, updating forecasts, and more. 

To arrive at a comprehensive technology adoption definition, your goal is to communicate (1) the type of activities you expect each of your user groups to execute through the platform and (2) the volume of these activities necessary to meet adoption. 

1. Define Activity Type(s)

Adoption looks different for different user types. For example, you wouldn’t expect sales leaders and sales development representatives (SDR) to use technology in the same way, right? You’d probably expect SDRs to use the tech to send emails, make calls, or research prospects. You’d probably want your managers to be updating forecasts, watching recordings of their reps’ calls, and more. 

Your first step in defining adoption is articulating, for each user group, what kind of activity you want users to execute. 

Here’s a list of personas and their daily activity types to get started:

  • BDR/SDR: Emails sent, calls logged, leads contacted
  • Account Executive: Emails sent, calls logged, leads contacted
  • Sales Manager: Forecast updates, call recordings viewed
  • Client Success Manager: Accounts touched

Once you’ve identified activity type(s), you’ll want to identify how much of that activity you expect users to execute. This is necessary for a complete technology adoption definition Again, you wouldn’t expect an account executive to make the same number of daily outbound prospecting calls as you would a SDR.

  • BDR/SDR: 20 emails/ rep/ day
  • Account Executive: 10 emails/ rep/ day
  • Sales Manager: 3 call recordings viewed/ manager/ day
  • Customer Success Manager: 5 accounts 'touched'/ CSM/ day

With our activity types and volume targets identified, let’s answer the first question we posed to ourselves: How do I measure whether a user is adopted?

A user is considered ‘adopted’ if they meet or exceed the volume target associated with their team’s activity type.

Using our example tables above, here are some adoption definitions:

  • BDRs are considered ‘adopted’ if, over the past quarter, they sent an average of 20 emails per day
  • Account Executives are considered ‘adopted’ if, over the past quarter, they sent an average of 10 emails per day
  • Sales Managers are considered ‘adopted’ if, over the past quarter, they watched an average of 3 call recordings per day
  • Client Success Managers are considered ‘adopted’ if, over the past quarter, they touched an average of 5 accounts per day

How Do I Increase Adoption?

Creating a technology adoption definition is a first step. Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: getting people to change their behavior is hard. There’s no way around that. You just need to find some change management strategies and buckle in.  

To increase adoption, I recommend using the carrot, not the stick.

Sellers will resist process change because, at least for a time, learning new processes will distract them from their main goal: hitting their number.

With this in mind, use the age-old carrot and stick metaphor when considering your options for driving adoption. In other words, you can either persuade people to use the tool by demonstrating success… or you can force them to use it through strict weekly reporting. 

I rarely, if ever, see the ‘stick’ work. No one wants to feel micromanaged. Motivating people by showing how technology can help them hit their number is doubly beneficial in that it both drives adoption and increases team morale

To show the sales team how technology can help, you need to determine the difference between the top adopters and the bottom adopters. I call that the Adoption Gap. Motivated sellers will want to close that gap and increase their revenue. Download our free Adoption Gap Assessment.

For more ideas on increasing adoption, download How to Drive Adoption of Your Sales Technology Platform.