Process automation in Salesforce is a powerful thing. It eliminate dozens of email and let the system tells you when is your turn to do work. This month I have pushed about 3 new process change onto Salesforce, all required training and adoption, and I can already feel the hate and resistant from the "old-timers".
To be fair, nobody likes change. Or should I say, nobody likes change that doesn't benefit them. But selling the benefit to the users during training is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspect of process change. Management - or the producer (according to Seth's blog today) - said go, and I - the director, the star, and the star's assistant - got it done and now had to sell it to the users. Most of the time we just introduce the change and train them, the concept of "well they will have to use it so I don't really have to care if I have their buy-on" turns the training process into a task, or a grind. Too often I hear "The way we used to do it was fine." or "well what if I have this scenario...". In the later case there's a sense of fishing for design flaws of the new process that yield a "HA, gotcha! You haven't thoughts this through!" moment, and proceed to talk their way out of taking part.
Don't "train" them... "sell" them
Imagine for a moment you are a salesman, and the users are your customers. The new process is the product you are trying to sell. How would you engage in that process? If you're not quite sure, go ask someone in sales and you may get some ideas.
A good salesman have qualities that makes them good: knowledge, integrity, and persistent. They are knowledgeable not just about the product they sell, but they are also knowledgeable about their customers. Understanding the users and their pain points goes a long way in getting their initial buy-in, knowing their habits and their preference helps you craft a selling strategy that speaks to them.
Integrity. This is the quality that makes a salesperson attractive, and makes a salesperson relational instead of transcational. We can't treat our users as mere transactions, we have to build relationships. In a relational setting the users are more likely to give you their ears when you introduce a new process, rather than putting up emotional fence the moment you start. It also gives you an easier path towards a buy-in.
Persistent. A good salesman always call, follow-up, and follow-up. The time to start selling is when the customer says "no". Perhaps "the agent of change" should consider proactively reaching out for follow-ups with users just like a sales call list. During the group training sessions, observe users reactions and note that those who have push-backs, or having difficulties. Check in with them after the session, and do a follow-up 3 days later to check-in, and offer one-on-one training if needed. I've found the follow-up to be the most effective way to get the users buy-in. Sure it is additional time you have to allocate, but it is time well spent as it is the time where much insight and information can be gained for building relationships and future projects.