We often expect only the producers to change, when the reality is that managers have to change too. Think about it from the producers perspective. They go to their 'one on one' only to see their manager pull out the same old spreadsheet reports prepared by their 'assistant'. Sound familar? Worse than this are owners who never log into Salesforce.com or hang onto reports from legacy systems even after the agency has invested a small fortune in developing those same reports in Salesforce.com. If anyone in the business should be doing there upmost to embrace Salesforce.com, it should be the individuals that cut the check.
From a practical perspective, this means having managers learn how to use Salesforce.com, especially the reports and dashboards tabs. Leadership should lean on on their administrative staff to develop the reports that managers need and will use. They should identify which reports they use today and recreate those first. Encourage the use of Salesforce.com during 'one on ones'. This might require investment in a flat screen in the location where the one on ones are held. LCD's are affordable. Leadership should encourage their managers not to accept reports from producers created outside of Salesforce.com. Have managers work with admins to develop views to show activity on a producer by producer basis. Make sure managers know how to navigate them. If you hold regular leadership meetings require the same discipline for those meetings. Once the Salesforce lexicon becomes pervasive, this by itself will drive adoption. Do you have departmental meetings? Use Salesforce.com in those. Make your team aware that leadership and managers are logging into SalesForce.com and what they are looking at. Drive adoption by putting the same pressure on managers to adopt as you put on producers. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
The reality is that success comes from executing as a team. Managers are as much a part of that team as producers and if producers don't see their managers embracing change, why should they? Change of any kind is hard. Make embracing change easier by embracing it as a team. So if you are struggling with adoption and I asked you the question "Are your managers adopting Salesforce.com?" what would your answer be?
Andrew Bartels has been recognized by Salesforce.com as one of the leading innovators with regard to implementing Salesforce.com in the insurance vertical. As a CTO for a Top 100 Independent Insurance Agency, he oversaw the deployment of a Salesforce.com system in 2010. Over the next three years, he focused on customizing the system and implementing best practices for the insurance industry, ultimately generating a significant ROI for the firm. Andrew brings years of hard fought experience to our clients so that they can accelerate their ROI in implementing Salesforce.com.