How to Accelerate the Product Adoption Curve for New SaaS Tools

Disha Gupta Uncategorized

Ninety-four percent of large organizations use cloud SaaS applications, so enterprise companies that want to move through the product adoption curve quickly need to be prepared to address SaaS adoption.

The product adoption curve, sometimes referred to as the technology adoption curve or lifecycle, shows that people adopt products at different rates, depending on their adopter categories. For example, innovators are the first to adopt new products; laggards will hold out for as long as they can.

In a previous article, we discussed how to motivate each type of adopter. Here are four ways to further accelerate the process. In this article, we cover Four Ways of Accelerating the Product Adoption Curve:

  1. Get Ahead of Technostress
  2. Leverage Behavioral Analytics
  3. Use Process Automation
  4. Listen to Feedback

Get Ahead of Technostress

Technostress — stress caused by constantly working with technology — is a major barrier to product adoption. Because employees already use an average of eight SaaS applications, they aren’t always enthusiastic about tacking on more. Plus, the COVID-19 crisis led to more people working from home, which means teams are adding tools for remote work to their tech stacks as well.

Resistance to adopting new tools shifts more people into the laggards section of the product adoption curve. People get overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications. As a result, they either don’t use new tools at all, or they fail to use them to their full potential.

While cutting out unnecessary tools is a great way to minimize technostress, it’s not always an option. When you can’t eliminate applications, focus on training. People won’t stubbornly resist tools for long if they know how to use them to their own advantage.

Whatfix’s digital adoption platform (DAP) lies on top of SaaS applications and acts like a GPS, showing people how to navigate around new tools. Not only does this allow for more personalized training, but it also lets people learn in the flow of work.

Bite-sized, contextual training sessions prevent information overload by guiding people through the most relevant features of an application first. And because people are practicing tasks by actually completing them, they’ll retain more information than they would from reading instructions.

For SaaS tools, training is an essential step in speeding up the product adoption curve, but companies struggle to prioritize it. In fact, 31% of learning and development (L&D) professionals say training employees to use technology more effectively is one of their top three challenges.

But with Whatfix, creating and administering training is quick and easy. Companies that use Whatfix reduce training time by an average of 60%.

Leverage Behavioral Analytics

About 50% of CRM features that businesses pay for go completely unused. Behavioral analytics can show you which features get ignored or used infrequently. Armed with that data, you can design solutions to speed up the product adoption curve.

Start by looking at parts of the product that people aren’t accessing often. This can help you determine whether a particular feature is irrelevant to your team or they just need further explanation. SCI Global Services, for instance, used behavioral analytics to see which tools their newly remote team favored. Leadership then used the data to adjust the user onboarding process and reduce friction in the product adoption curve.

Behavioral analytics also show you where people are getting stuck. If people tend to bail on an application after accessing a specific feature or attempting a certain task, that tells you something is off. Address the issue head-on by providing more detailed walk-throughs or more self-help trainings.

Lastly, use behavior tracking to find opportunities for automation and/or limiting clicks. People want products that make their lives easier — so find a way to simplify your team’s daily duties. Take Salesforce, for example. When you dig into user behavior, you may find that something as common as creating a new contact forces employees to input the same data multiple times across five different screens. If you streamline that process, you reduce friction and, in turn, encourage faster adoption.

Use Process Automation

After you analyze your behavioral analytics, you can identify opportunities for process automation. Automating manual tasks is an efficient way to speed up the product adoption curve by making common tasks easier and faster for your employees.

People in the laggards section of the product adoption curve are skeptical and resistant to change. In our article Technology Adoption Curve: Traits of Adopters at Each Stage of the Lifecycle, we explained that to motivate laggards, you have to answer “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) questions.

Remember — people want products that make their lives easier. Automating repetitive data entry or getting a five-click task down to two can make a SaaS product a lot more appealing to your team. In this case, the WIIFM for employees would be that using the new tool allows them to leverage automations and avoid mundane manual work.

Whatfix’s DAP has two types of process automation: flow and autofill. Flow automations trigger while people are working within the application. As the name suggests, flow automations improve the flow of work by helping people accomplish tasks faster, often with less effort.

You can use flow automation to speed up adoption by doing the following:

  • Automating parts of a workflow to decrease the number of clicks needed to get from point A to point B
  • Sending nudge reminders and walk-throughs to users who have not accessed features recently
  • Triggering more advanced walk-throughs after a user has logged in more than X times

Autofill automaton reduces manual data entry by automatically filling in fields. This is especially helpful for processes that have a lot of required fields with standard information. For example, if a sales agent needs to add multiple contacts from the same company, autofill automation can speed up the process. Instead of manually typing out the company name, industry, and office address for each contact, the sales agent can use an autofill automation to fill in the repeat data.

Listen to Feedback

You can’t speed up the product adoption curve without considering the people who use the product. Whether feedback comes directly from your team or through behavioral analytics, it’s an invaluable tool.

After you roll out a new SaaS tool, send out anonymous surveys to learn more about what your employees like and don’t like about the product.

Ask questions such as:

  • Are there any tasks that you would like to see automated?
  • Which parts of the tool do you find most useful?
  • Which parts of the tool do you find confusing?
  • Do you feel that the tool makes your job easier or more difficult? Please explain your answer.

Keep in mind that initial reactions will likely be critical because people don’t like change. Send surveys out biweekly or monthly to check back in with your team as they adjust.

If you use Whatfix’s DAP to provide guidance, you can also monitor self-help searches. Search queries can show you what people need more help with and whether or not the instructions solved their problem. You may also discover searches that did not yield results, which means you need to address gaps in training.

Dimensions UK had great success with this method. Its team used Whatfix to gather information about user behavior and preferences and used the data to provide personalized help. As a result, the three-month user adoption rate rose from 10% to 50%.

Accelerate the Product Adoption Curve with Whatfix

Companies spend more than $40 billion each year on underused software. If you aren’t focused on finding ways to speed up product adoption in your organization, you’ll end up paying for it — literally.

Whatfix’s digital adoption platform provides contextual, in-app guidance so that users can explore new products while they work. When you simplify the onboarding process, your team can focus on completing tasks while they learn the ins and outs of a new tool.

Sign up for a demo to see how you can leverage Whatfix to improve product adoption in your company.

Disha Gupta

Disha Gupta

Content Marketer at Whatfix
An engineer turned Content Marketer with insights into technology and the world of marketing. Disha helps organizations accelerate product adoption by spreading awareness through her content. She has a great passion for writing anything and everything from poems to blogs. Leave your comments on her blogs and let her know what you think. She is all ears!
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