Do you ever order something online, track the package daily, rip it open when it first arrives, then let it gather dust on the counter for a few months before finally getting around to using it? 

We all do it. Especially if it’s something we have to read extensive directions for or learn how to use.

The same thing happens with new software. Except it usually costs much more than a food dehydrator. 

Even with barriers to entry for using new technology at an all-time low, getting your team to adopt new software can still be a challenge. These challenges are so great that the failure rate, by some estimations, ranges between 50 and 70%. That’s pretty grim, right?

Poor adoption numbers can be chalked up to a range of factors such as a lack of enforced use or training, poor alignment between departments, and a lack of integrations with other essential tools.

When new technology fails, businesses risk:

  • Losing money on the investment
  • Decreasing employee engagement
  • Lowering productivity
  • Becoming less competitive in the industry
  • Risking attrition of resistant employees

Despite these concerns, companies consider new technological components in the workplace every day. This is because technology brings incredible opportunity to counter concerns:

  • Streamlines communication
  • Improves sales
  • Enhances productivity
  • Positively impacts the bottom line

But these benefits don’t come without internal efforts. Getting your team to adopt new technology requires a plan.

When your plan is solid, adoption rates can improve drastically.

The following six principles are rooted in data and proven to successfully help boost software adoption rates in the workplace.

Learn how you can leverage user engagement data in Bigtincan to boost adoption.

Rule #1: Track Software Installation

Create a strategy for getting your team to install the software in the first place. To do this, treat your internal users like customers — sell the value of your app to them, track their usage, and gather feedback to improve your implementation process

Specifically, download and usage data are vital when evaluating the ROI of your application. To improve these rates, it’s imperative to internally promote your initiative. 

How to accomplish this: Opt for a provider who provides analytics so you can track who has installed the app, who hasn’t, and who is actually engaging with it frequently. By having this intelligence, you can reach out to employees individually, request they install the app, and help them set aside time to start learning it.

Rule #2: Practice Makes Perfect

Rinse and repeat. Introducing new technology can be intimidating to your less tech-savvy employees. Even if they already work in the tech industry.

Don’t expect immediate understanding after introducing a new application to your team.

With app fatigue, busy schedules, and varying agendas, it’s essential you provide an opportunity for your team to practice and learn the tool as it directly applies to their job.

Just because your team has experience with a CRM or lead management tool doesn't mean you should take shortcuts in the training process. While training is a significant time investment, it’s unwise to cut corners after spending so much money on the new solution. 

We’ve seen that most employees need to master anywhere from 3-10 actions within the technology before incorporating it into everyday practice. So when you’re training your sales team, recommend 3-10 ways they can use the app specific to their processes. This helps them assimilate in a low-risk way without putting them to the test in front of clients.

If you're training a sales rep on how to use sales enablement software, then your training program might focus on the following scenarios:

  • Cross-selling using a digital catalog
  • Conducting in-person demos
  • Finding sales collateral appropriate for each buying stage 
  • Use for trade shows

Once they’ve practiced with the app enough, it will become more natural for them to use it in the field.

How to accomplish this: Offer online and in-person training sessions (for trade shows and other in person scenarios) which are focused on getting reps to take these 3-10 actions. Just-in-time microlearning sessions consisting of a series of short videos and assessments help reinforce knowledge continuously. 

Get analytics that show who has or hasn’t practiced with the app. Understanding who your early adopters are and who is more resistant can help you customize training and encourage continued use of the software.

bigtincan adoption analytics dashboard

Rule #3: Don’t Disrupt the Process

People don’t like change. That's why high adoption rates are difficult to achieve. So when positioning the new application to your team, make sure to show how it will fit into the current process. Or as we like to say, do no harm.

Reiterate that the goal of the application is not to fix or totally rebuild a process, but to improve it.  

Focus on this messaging for adoption success. If new sales technology can increase commissions, your team will have more incentive to adopt.

Here are some standard KPIs sales technologies help improve:

  • Increasing sales rep productivity
  • Increasing revenue by X%
  • Receiving a measurable ROI
  • Shortening the sales cycle
  • Improving communication and collaboration
  • Increasing visibility throughout the sales process

Learn how each metric is defined, calculated, and how you can improve it in The Definitive Guide to the Most Important Sales Enablement Metrics

How to accomplish this: To drive the message home, get buy-in from upper management. 

Establishing a top-down buy-in model is vital during the process of implementing a new sales technology. Creating evangelists out of upper-level management generates internal excitement. Expressing the value of the solution to lower-level management will eventually make its way down to the end-users. 

They're all thinking, "How does this help me?" Make sure the answer is crystal clear.

This way, when resistance inevitably comes, there is a support team to demonstrate the value of the process enhancement, on-the-fly training opportunities, and decreased friction while acclimating.

Extra points if your technology easily integrates with other platforms you use, like Salesforce.

Rule #4: Update Your Content

If your application becomes stale, your team will lose interest and forget its value.

We have noticed that when companies keep their content fresh, the buzz around the app grows, and adoption rates continue to increase. When reps stop perceiving value, they will neglect the tech accordingly.

pulsatio content hub

Additionally, mobile apps can help you collect qualitative data on sales trends. If you arm your sales team with the right collateral and product information, not only will they have happier prospects and more sales, but you can learn what collateral is working by looking at the numbers. This intel can help you broaden your marketing collateral with strategy.

How to accomplish: Update your app with relevant content at least quarterly. Your specific frequency will depend on the user feedback and data you receive, as well as your team size.

Rule #5: Move and Pivot Quickly

Technology moves quickly, can you keep up?  

When technology moves slowly, it is more difficult to adopt in the workplace. Additionally, companies must be able to pivot and iterate on technology quickly.

How to accomplish this: If a new product releases, a merger happens, or there is a change in regulatory compliance, act swiftly and implement changes to your technology quickly to maintain its value and credibility. Without fast movements, an app can become out-of-date and unusable.

Rule #6: Leveraging Your Resources

Pick a solution that provides customized support throughout your application’s entire lifetime.

A third-party customer success team should:

  • Assist with initial training
  • Provide suggestions for continued use of your application
  • Answer questions that arise throughout the continued use of the program
  • Help answer questions related to reporting and automating

Your customer success manager should be available when you need them.

How to accomplish this: If you need help getting your team to adopt new software, Bigtincan can help.

Technology adoption strategies should help you keep pace with change

Again, adoption isn't a one-and-done affair — it should continue to evolve. Aim to create a culture that embraces, rather than fears, change.  

Combat the challenges of implementing new technology by encouraging team members to read up on the latest trends, educate themselves on industry news, and research new technologies that could help your organization become more productive. 

Support your team as you roll out changes and reinforce knowledge through low-stakes, repeat interactions. 

The end goal isn't just adoption — it's arming your team with the tools they need to become better sellers and more productive employees. While adoption of new technology can be a challenge, adhering to these rules can encourage your team to consider the benefits of the technology and minimize friction during the introduction phase.