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Technology Adoption: Stop Making This Rookie Mistake

by Will Walker
4 min read
Updated Aug. 19, 2022
Published Aug. 15, 2022

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 an example table to get started:

Persona Example Activity Type
BDR/SDR Emails sent
Calls logged
Leads contacted
Account Executive Emails sent
Calls logged
Leads contacted
Sales Manger 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.

Persona Example Activity Type
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

3. Putting It All together: Technology Adoption Definition

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.

Article By

Will Walker, Salesloft Value Engineer
Will Walker
Senior Value Engineer, Salesloft

As a Senior Value Engineer, Will works with both Salesloft customers and internal stakeholders to create frameworks that demonstrate measurable ROI on investment decisions. Will’s past experiences in strategy consulting and enterprise sales engineering give him a unique perspective on measuring value: he feels strongly that an understanding of both business-wide objectives and technical architecture is critical in confidently projecting and measuring ROI. Will lives in New York City and, in his free time, can be found trying to fulfill his quest to find the city’s best burger. Connect with Will on LinkedIn.