Preflight Conversations: Four Strategies to Improve Product Adoption

Tips from Preflight members on how to handle it when your customer's team is slow to adopt your product
Mohana Valli Prabhakar
June 29, 2021
Preflight Conversations
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

Preflight Conversations: Four Strategies to Improve Product Adoption

Tips from Preflight members on how to handle it when your customer's team is slow to adopt your product
Mohana Valli Prabhakar
June 29, 2021
Preflight Conversations
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

In This Post

The main goal of software companies is to build great products that create successful outcomes and value for their customers. Success occurs when customers experience that “aha” moment that transforms your product from a trial or PoC to a core part of their day-to-day work.

But not all users experience these “aha” moments quickly. Sometimes your customers’ employees might resist this change which makes product adoption a change management challenge.

So how would you move your customer from POC to a daily user?

In our weekly topic teardowns, we asked Preflighters what change management measures they will take to convince their customer’s mid-level and low-level members to adopt your product during implementation. Preflighters shared the most sustainable product adoption strategies, and interestingly, they all had one thing in common - understanding your users.

TL;DR

  1. Empathize with your user
  2. Understand the “why” 
  3. Educate customers on benefits
  4. Find your product advocate

1. Focus on users

Gaurav Pansari, Customer Onboarding at Pando Corp

To improve product adoption, you can focus on:

  • Retraining
  • Mapping user benefits with product hook
  • Top-down reviews through platform
  • Team-KPI alignment
  • Celebrating small wins
  • Better/clear communication with team

You can also approach this tactically by:

  • Doing a small-scale POC and from the results, building into a larger POC
  • Empathizing with the user by observing them daily and bridging the small gaps in their experience which are most often the easiest fix to this problem.
  • Sharing best practices from other successful clients 

2. Understand the “Why”

Sudheer Goda, Director of Professional Services at Gainsight

Firstly, CSMs need to check why the customer’s employees are not adopting the product during implementation. For instance, you need to gauge whether the product seems difficult for them to use or if they are comfortable with the current processes.

Once you get the accurate picture, you can strategize on the next steps. First, defining your customer base into three categories - high-touch, low-touch, and tech-touch, and understanding which category this customer falls under is crucial. From there, you can move with playbook strategies for product adoption.

3. Educate customers on benefits

Michael Rokos, Director of Customer Success at Stradigi.ai

Start from the ground up; you need to dig into the dissatisfaction with the status quo. Collect the pain points directly from the non-adopting users either through group or 1-1 conversations. They may be the same or different from those that led to the ultimate purchase decisions. Then, follow up with them by leveraging existing resources on how certain product features or attributes solve their problems. Share relevant content based on their feedback, and use this outreach with other users who haven't provided any feedback. Keep a record of this misalignment and bring it up in an upcoming strategic review with the customer because it is valuable information.

4. Find your product advocate

Srikrishnan G, Co-founder of Rocketlane

Firstly, it is crucial to find out why they are resisting the change. A few possible scenarios:

  • They believe the change creates more work for them and focuses only on the benefits for the management.
  • They believe the change will lead to more monitoring and measurement of their work.
  • They are asked to continue their current process and also work on the new platform.
  • They aren’t convinced with the “why”. 

Now, here are some measures you can take:

  • Communicate the value of the product/platform to the mid and low-level team members. Explain why they should care, what the product does for them and their business, what they are learning, and how they can grow using it.
  • Find a few of their team members who have a “growth mindset” and can influence to understand how to position the product to the rest of the team. Get them to share why the new platform is the way ahead, and let them lead adoption by example—by sharing what they love about your product with the team.
  • Create some excitement around your product adoption. For instance, reward the best early adopters.
  • Make the product adoption an OKR goal for some of the mid and low-level team members if possible. (see this Implementation Stories session with Pando)
  • Take a look at your training material. It should talk about their problems and how your product will aid them in doing their job better and shouldn’t be an explanation or a walk-through of your product features.
  • Having other company testimonials about how they got value from your product or how their customers benefited by adopting the solution can be a decisive, influential factor over non-adopting users.

Adoption is the ultimate test for your product. Regardless of the strategies you use, it’s important to prioritize your product adoption as one of the foundations of your business.


If you’ve any additional strategies you want to share, we’d love you to join our Preflight Community and share it with all our community members!

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Mohana Valli Prabhakar
Marketing Analyst @ Rocketlane & Community Manager, Preflight

Introverted, but willing to discuss books. Follow me on Twitter @Mohanavalli96


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