The Connected Non-Profit: Change Management and Driving Adoption On Salesforce

One of the most commonly overlooked components of any Salesforce project is ensuring successful change management practices and driving ongoing adoption across the platform. Since this is such a hot-button topic with many of our Non-Profit clients at Plative, we brought together some like-minded Non-Profit leaders and workshopped the topic.  The desired outcome of this discussion was for these Salesforce customers to walk away with new and exciting ways to drive their Salesforce environment forward.

What became evident in the session was that the organization’s struggle when administrative roles aren’t defined, when a cohesive vision and outcome orientated work plan isn’t in place, when Executive leadership is not engaged and that it also can be difficult to maintain hype and momentum in a project. We break this down below in more detail.

Who will be the Admin – what is their role?

Technically speaking, a Salesforce Admin is a user with a special permission set which gives them unregulated access to the Salesforce environment. An Admin is tasked with administrative duties and maintaining the general health of the system. Every organization will have a different method of bestowing greatness on this key user, some people volunteer, some people are hired due to their skill set, others just emerge as the Admin because they enjoy learning and take to the system well. 

  • Tip: The best Salesforce Admin are typically people with a strong business analyst mindset, rather than a strong Tech/IT skillset.
  • Tip: Make sure they are engaged from the outset – restructure their day-to-day activities and KPIs to reflect this
  • Tip: Invest in their learning. Trailhead is a great place to start. Salesforce Admin Certification is better!
  • Tip: Incentivize the role with leadership opportunities, salary, and recognition. Did you know the average salary of a Salesforce admin in the USA is $87,000? Data from Glassdoor
  • Tip: Get your Admin involved in community-based learning via meet-ups and networking events


Who is the Executive sponsor – what is their role?

The Executive sponsor is a crucial role that must not be overlooked if an organization is going to see success on the Salesforce platform. The strength of the Executive’s decision-making power and their ‘behind closed doors’ understanding of the organizations mission/vision and strategic plan, makes them the perfect candidate to drive top-to-bottom stewardship of the platform and its rollout across the organization.

  • Tip: Give your Executive their own view into Salesforce via a custom profile. Surface C-level reports and dashboards so that they can keep their finger on the pulse of the organization and get daily value out of Salesforce
  • Tip: Find ways that your Executive can sponsor roll-out events with catering, drinks or anything fun the team likes to do. This could be useful for demo showcases, lunch and learns, gamification rewards and incentives.
  • Tip: Articulate the value to your Executive sponsor on being involved in the Salesforce rollout. Are their opportunities for the Executive to speak at Salesforce customer events like World Tour or Dreamforce? Paint a picture for how their career could benefit from being involved in the Salesforce story.


How to build hype and momentum around your Salesforce rollout?

Project fatigue is a thing. If timelines aren’t understood and project expectations are misaligned, a Salesforce rollout can get derailed really easily. A Salesforce implementation partner and  your Salesforce Account Executive might know the Salesforce environment better than you, but there is no way they will know the ins-and-outs of your own Organization better than you. Take charge of your own project and maintain hype and momentum by leveraging your unique organizational IP.

  • Tip: Listen to your users and understand how they like to learn – there are so many different approaches to learning Salesforce! Identify these styles and then curate a thoughtful learning plan based on it.
  • Tip: Incentivize learning via Executive sponsored recognition and gifts
  • Tip: Use a mantra: ‘If it doesn’t live in Salesforce it doesn’t exist’
  • Tip: Give the users a forum for giving constructive feedback. This could be in the form of a Case or Group in Salesforce whereby users can log their feedback, take screenshots, add priority status and communicate directly through chatter.


How do we make sure everyone is on the same page?

Employees are more engaged when they understand and support the goals and strategies of the organization and can clearly see their role in achieving the company’s overall vision. The use of Salesforce at your organization is not excluded from this statement. The V2MOM is a Salesforce-coined management methodology that can be implemented to execute any size of the project, from a one-day event to a 10-year strategic plan. It’s ideal for making sure everyone in your organization is on the same page and aligned.

  • Create a V2MOM. Trailhead module
  • Vision: Defines what you want to do or achieve
  • Values: Principles and beliefs that help you pursue the vision
  • Methods: Actions and steps to take to get the job done
  • Obstacles: The Challenges, problems, issues you have to overcome to achieve the vision
  • Measures: measurable results you aim to achieve


A Salesforce rollout should be an enjoyable opportunity for transforming your Non-Profit by utilizing the world’s #1 CRM. Hopefully, with these quick tips and pointers, you too can see the results shared by 40,000+ Non-Profits globally that use Salesforce.

To hear more about our client success stories in the Non-profit space and learn about how Plative can replicate that success, don’t hesitate to contact us

Written by

Damian Le Brocque

Non-Profit Specialist

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