Increasing Salesforce user adoption in nonprofits

If you’re a nonprofit using Salesforce, chances are you are looking for strategies for increasing user adoption among staff at your organization. One element of this is solid training of staff that allows them to understand some essential concepts and get their hands dirty.

But how does one do that effectively and efficiently, and make sure the training sticks? This was a question we were bandying about at the Nonprofit Starter Pack developer sprint.

Naturally, I thought of Van Halen.

Why Van Halen?, you ask? Because of brown M&Ms.

Brown M&Ms got a fair amount of publicity from the band due to the oft-told tale of David Lee Roth entering the dressing room before the show, seeing them intermingled with other colors of M&Ms in a bowl, and promptly throwing an absolute tantrum that included flipping said bowl and canceling the entire gig.

A story of a silly petulant primadona rock star?

Famously, yes.

Also a brilliant check to make sure a complicated set of critical steps was done to the letter?


You see, Van Halen pioneered staging massive rock shows in small venues across the country. These venus weren’t accustomed to hosting such large scale events. With thousands of pounds of equipment, a massive stage, and crazy amounts of electricity pumping through the entire setup, the checklist Van Halen provided was insanely detailed and needed to be followed down to the letter. Not doing so could have disappointing and dangerous consequences for the band, the audience, and the venue.

How did Van Halen make sure that the checklist provided was followed completely? Through M&Ms. They slipped in the instruction to provide a bowl of the tasty little candies minus the brown versions in the middle of the checklist. If the brown M&Ms weren’t in the bowl, they could be confident that the rest of the list was down appropriately.

If there were brown M&Ms, they couldn’t be sure that when Eddie jumped on a speaker to burn through a scorching guitar solo, the entire stack wouldn’t tip over and send him headlong into the crowd and end his solo by burning in a less metaphorical manner.

For those encouraging Salesforce user adoption and training, ask yourself this: what could your brown M&Ms be? What checklist could you create for new users to take them through a series of steps to expose them to the functionalities of Salesforce for your organization?

More specifically, what one little tasty treat could be used to check to make sure they did all of those steps? Whether or not a Contact was setup with a 1:1 relationship with an Account? A Contact Role for a soft credit on a Donation record? A Campaign Description field referencing your favorite character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer? A Website field for a test Account that rickrolls your staff?

Use your imagination! They are your M&Ms after all. And then decide on how you want to throw your petulant prima doma fit of rock star rage.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at 10:23 am and is filed under nptech, quick tips, You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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