Make Change Easy

It’s good to see Harvard Business Review promoting the idea that if you want to get employees to change, you need to make the new behavior easy to do. If you want people to eat fruit, give them a banana and not a mango—or else they’ll grab a muffin.

The same logic applies to customers, since they’re people too. 🙂 When we build Salesforce apps that ask salespeople to do extra work, we always push hard to get extra attention focused on the ease of use of those features. Salespeople can usually ignore your app if they close enough business, leaving you with an “adoption problem.”

Stanford professor BJ Fogg has a great Behavior Model that explains the forces at play more completely. Essentially, it’s a question of motivation vs. ability: if the salespeople are unmotivated to log their activity or use your app, you better make it easy. On the flip side, no one ever had to set an alarm to eat dessert. People will endure great pain to become famous in Hollywood.

Bottom line: when you’re building and selling products, you’re generally better off ignoring motivation and instead focusing on reducing any friction involved in buying or using your product.