Congratulations, you’ve decided to implement a brand new admissions CRM solution for your institution! Users and decision makers are on board with the new system in hopes that it will increase staff efficiency and productivity, provide better data security and visibility, set your campus apart from the competition and improve the student experience.

Whatever you do, do not let that momentum die at the implementation phase of your CRM strategy — all of those benefits are only attainable if your users actually adopt the technology you’ve spent thousands of dollars and endless hours on acquiring. With so much to gain, you’d think your team would be studying all the handbooks and knowledge base articles they could get their hands in anticipation of going live. However, we’re only human. And as humans, we tend to be creatures of habit, so it’s hard to embrace a brand new CRM solution when you’re used to working in a completely different technology every day. Inevitably, this causes frustration and resistance among your users.

But, alas! There is hope. Fortunately, us humans are designed for learning and adapting to new environments because we’re fueled by growth and opportunity. Hard to believe because your colleague, Diane, has been working in your school’s Registrar Office for the past 30 years, but it’s true. Even Diane can learn a new system if she’s given the proper tools, knowledge, and support (we’ve heard donuts act as great motivators, too).

Let’s take a look at some strategies for successful TargetX CRM adoption to maximize your ROI and keep your users engaged in the long term.

TargetX CRM reporting on a laptop

Data is your friend — don’t be afraid to use it!

The key to successfully using data to enhance adoption is to ensure that there’s something measurable in your team’s use of the CRM. Should your users be regularly logging their activities? Logging in daily? Creating reports or report types? If you answered yes to any of those three questions, you can report on those data points in the CRM! In fact, a dashboard conveniently titled “Adoption Dashboard” is included by default in each Salesforce org we provision, so you have a great starting point to measure the ways your users are interacting with the platform from day one.

If you haven’t already decided which metrics are indicative of your team’s adoption progress, start there! Sometimes the hardest part is quantifying your daily use of the platform, so discerning which areas of the CRM should be seeing traffic is the first step in holding users accountable for their use of the platform. 

Crowdsource your continuing education.

In the first year of being live with the TargetX CRM, you’re navigating through new territory, so it can be challenging to make time to bring yourself up to speed with fun or exciting new features that benefit your end users. Consider using the TargetX User Community and knowledge base to source some ideas for mini-trainings for your users to make the transition more seamless.

TargetX team members make weekly “Tip of the Week” posts and other CRM Admins host their own end user trainings, often asking for feedback from the Community on fun product features. TargetX also sends a monthly client newsletter, which features a new tip or trick for both SchoolsApp and the CRM.

You can also ask your users which products they use frequently or wish they knew more about, and build a targeted session meant to address those specific needs. Continuing Education is a great way to maintain excitement around your institution’s use of the CRM, and that positivity is essential for long-term adoption.

Offer professional development opportunities.

One of the main constraints in higher education is resource availability. It seems like we’re all doing more with less these days. After all, you can’t always be in 10 places at once! As your training needs evolve, and you think more about how to approach adoption strategically, consider how this may become a professional development opportunity for your team.

Speaking of professional development opportunities, TargetX now offers an Xpert Certification program. This certification serves as evidence of your CRM skills – helping you grow within your current institution, or potentially become a stronger candidate for one of the hundreds of institutions using TargetX!


If you have staff who have mastered the art of the invitation-only event, why not tap them to lead a quick session on creating and managing those events? Or ask your reporting wizard to host an “office hours” session where your team works through report troubleshooting as a group? Having a theme or focus to the mini-trainings allows for a very specific focus, and showcases those users who have worked hard to attain mastery in that area.

Need more adoption support? We’re here to help.

As always, TargetX can help support your training needs and initiatives. If you’re looking for a refresher on how to train your team, consider attending the TargetXperience. This two-day session in one of our offices brings together clients in all stages of CRM usage to discuss best practices in training, how to train your users, and guidance in deciphering your business needs and processes. We like to think of the TargetXperience as a course on “training the trainer,” so that you effectively can do more with less and (hypothetically) be in 10 places at once.

In addition, clients who subscribe to our Premier Support offering have immediate access to bi-weekly webinars led by TargetX staff on a variety of topics, and PremierX Clients can schedule Xpert Sessions, which serve as personalized training sessions on the topic of their choice.

For more information on the TargetXperience and our additional support services, contact Leah Ackerman, Training Specialist at