The average company spent $343,000 on SaaS in 2018, up 78% from the previous year. With this level of investment, it’s more vital than ever that employees are taking advantage of these ever-increasing purchases. A user adoption strategy becomes a necessity.
Last year around a third of companies had user adoption rates for their CRM platforms below 75%. That means that there is a quarter of their investment which is being underutilized. Given this, it should be a top priority for managers to figure out how to increase user uptake of such tools and achieve maximum return on investment.
The most frequent cause of employees not using software is a lack of buy-in and resistance to change. Due to a lack of change management, they don’t see why the software will help them work more effectively than they do at the moment or don’t feel like they want to spend/have the time to learn how to work in a different way.
SaaS products are often bought at a relatively senior level and then presented to employees once the purchase has been completed. SaaS purchases usually take a while to complete, so the senior team members will have had time to achieve buy-in and pose any questions they might have. Junior employees may not have had that chance and as such are starting on the back foot with product familiarity.
If insufficient time and effort are invested into explaining the utility and value of a SaaS solution to individual users then user adoption rates may struggle as employees continue to work the way they previously had, or make minimal usage of the platform.
How can it be prevented?
1. Have a Change Management Strategy for user adoption
When undertaking any change in business there should be a change management strategy in place. And SaaS adoption is no different. Thinking ahead about potential objections and ways to encourage long term adoption will save future problems and allow a far more streamlined internal launch.
2. Build Awareness Early
Once it becomes clear that a SaaS solution is going to be purchased, involve those who will be using it as soon as possible. Ensure they understand the reason for the purchase. This way they have time to adapt, prepare and ask any questions they might have.
3. Find Your Champions and Create a Desire for Change
There will always be people who adapt better or are more excited by a new way of working. Identifying these people and then encourage them. Let them show their colleagues how using the SaaS platform improves their daily work. Informal training such as this can often be just as influential, if not more so than a more formal method.
If there isn’t a proper training program in place, be that video tutorials or in-person training, then potential users might not know how to use the platform properly or even understand all of the functionality it could bring them. That’s why it’s essential to set aside time to fully explain how to make the most of a platform and how it will provide value to them as individuals.
5. Reinforce Your Change Strategy and Monitor User Adoption Rates
Even once you’ve achieved good adoption, it’s important to keep an eye on who is using the platform, when and how. Employees and their habits change, so before long it might be the case that adoption slips. That’s why it’s important to have an effective way of monitoring how users are interacting with your SaaS products in order to determine where additional training may be required.