Product adoption

Everything You Need To Know About User Adoption

For B2B SaaS companies, user adoption is one of the most important elements of sustainable growth.

The time to first value or core value of the product was found to be the most important metric for SaaS growth. Research suggested that a 25% better time to value increase MRR by 9.3% more than the same increase in acquisition and 3.3% more than the increase in retention. This statistic alone tells us how important production adoption is for your bottom line. 

Improving user adoption can help you fight churn, bring in good customer loyalty at the end of the customer journey and easier upsell opportunities. Let us dive into more detail about User adoption. 

Customer Onboarding Template

What is User Adoption?

User adoption is defined as the process new users go through when they start working with your software/product. In this journey, they leave behind an old product or process and adapt your product for the long run (only because your product is better suited to their needs and is more effective).

You have to consider a couple of things before improving user adoption:

  • Onboarding: The initial user set up and welcoming is a delicate part of the process. It is aimed to deliver value as fast as possible.
  • Change management: Understand that new users have just shifted from an old product, service, or method that worked for them to something new because they can get a better experience and results out of it.

Additional Resource: User Adoption Strategies during Onboarding

But Why is User Adoption important?

With the shift to subscription-based software licensing, product engagement –and specifically product adoption – has become much more critical than it was in the previous era. Product managers have always focused on improving the customer experience, but promoting activation early is more important than ever in SaaS, where software products are purchased every month. It is simple, acquiring customers is five times more expensive than keeping an existing one. Losing the money that your company put into acquisition (also the time) is just not a viable business strategy. 

But good user adoption strategies can be a turning point for you as well:

  • It can encourage existing customers to grow their account
  • Boost engagement with the product
  • Improve demo conversion rates

You can see the impact of user adoption on multiple metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Lifetime Value, Churn Rate, MRR, ARR, and more. 

User Adoption Strategies for B2B SaaS businesses

It is all a game of retention. If you want to become a hyper-growth SaaS company, you can’t just worry about the acquisition. You have to make the customers keep coming back for more. For this to be a fruitful customer journey, the foundation or the adoption phase has to be very solid. 

We can talk more about the game and how these strategies can help improve your user adoption. These strategies are tried and tested by CustomerSuccessBox and help drive usage, adoption, and engagement from the time they lay hands on your product.

Quarterly Business Review Template

Understand what draws them to your product

Understanding why customers use your product and putting yourself in their shoes is important. The sales team knows it best because they deal with the pain points of your customers daily. Talk to them and see the challenges of your prospects that get them coming to you. This extends to their motivation and goals, giving you key insights to improve user adoption. 

You can also look to conduct surveys with current customers to understand where you lack and where you excel. 

One of the things we found that worked was using the best customers as an example of product usage. Learn the common trends in how they talk about it, how they share their feedback, and how often they use the product. You can also directly get in touch with them to know more. 

This will help you understand the perceived value of your product in the eyes of the customers. Then during the user adoption, you can pinpoint parts that will benefit the prospect most. 

This makes understanding the first step to improving user adoption. You will be able to provide a much more meaningful onboarding experience and communicate better with them.

Trial Periods are fun

From the marketing background, it is so easy to get into a product that has a trial period and lets me browse through different functions before purchasing. This also helps new users get in touch with your interface and see if it fits them. 

But free trials can be counter-intuitive. Ahrefs cleverly uses low-cost trials to help users learn about their product and understand WHY they are using it in the first place. But if you are struggling with low user adoption rates, free trials might be your ticket to the way up.

Customer Onboarding makes or breaks

As a Customer Success, we cannot help but stress how important onboarding is. Even if you have a mammoth product, if your onboarding is lousy, you will see churn. From the initial sign-ups to activation and first use, it is important that the customer journey is seamless and leads to early value delivery. 

A simple & slick onboarding will contain these steps:

Customer Onboarding Checklist
  1. Sign-up 
  2. Welcome Mail
  3. Log-in
  4. Integrations 
  5. Walkthrough of the product
  6. Follow-up mails

Customer onboarding is the hook that will want them to come back to your product. It is crucial to your user adoption strategy.

We have covered onboarding in this detailed guide to help you. 

Invest in Customer Success

If you are a B2B SaaS company and do not yet have a Customer Success department, get to it right away. Customer Success is a very important function in using your product data. With the product telemetry data, you can zero in on account of health, you can understand how customers are interacting with the products, you can also fill in certain knowledge gaps if applicable. Customer Success brings in a proactive approach to the adoption strategy. 

But how can CustomerSuccessBox help you? Our product is an AI-driven platform that gives you actionable insights that help to retain customers, execute automated customer journeys to streamline the experience, and also gives a holistic customer health view.

With the customer health view linked to your telemetry data, you can understand each user’s adoption journey and where they might be lacking. With CustomerSuccessBox you do not even have to actively search for gaps, the AI platform tells you your best plan of action by itself. HOW COOL IS THAT!

The concept of at-risk users is important to your user adoption strategy. Thus product analysis and bringing in tech or software to help is crucial.

Learn more about Customer Success Box here.

Pindown your activation criteria

What are the activation criteria? It is a set of specific tasks or a task that a new user completes as soon as they are on board. Depending on your product the activation criterion can be like.

  • CRM software: Upload your customer data
  • Mail: Send your first mail

They are very simple examples but the activation criterion is a task that lets your user know they chose the right thing. It tells them that your product’s expertise aligns with the value they want. It also becomes a simple guide and incentive to come back to it. This drives long-term user adoption. You understand how difficult it can be for users to be thrown into a complicated product without knowing what their first step should be.

But do not mistake the activation criterion for just a first step. It has to provide some value that lets the user understand this will work for them. Like with marketing software, new users are shown a full overview that gives the new users information they needed and more after a search. 


Now you understand the basics of user adoption and how to apply it to your business. But knowledge is incomplete without action. Start making the assets you require for smooth user adoption. Adopting these 5 strategies will boost your user adoption. They can also boost the product experience and help promote your features. 

High user adoption will mean that you will gain higher ROI and lower marketing costs. Driving user adoption requires multiple company functions to work together but if you apply your strategy the right way, you will be much more successful as a company. 

If CustomerSuccessBox piqued your interest, start your free trial here.

Jahan Patel is a content marketer at CustomerSuccessBox. He loves languages and loves writing about growth & businesses. On his off time, you can find him sitting in a cozy cafe reading a book.