3 Simple Steps to Boost Your User Buy-in on SharePoint

It can be very difficult to get users to buy-in on SharePoint for a number of reasons. For starters, not very many of them are familiar with the platform, even if it is made by Microsoft. Gartner analyst, Mark Gilbert, writes that “end users rarely love the platform, but at best accept it as something they need to use”. While it may feel like you are fighting an uphill battle, there are a few tools that you can use to grab the interest of your users and get them to buy-in. All you have to do is be aware of these 3 simple steps and you’ll be on your way to success. Help your users see what’s great about SharePoint!

1. Think About User Needs

The first thing that you need to do is consider who your audience is. Your users will be using SharePoint for a variety of reasons, and they need to understand how the platform affects them personally.  The software could have all of the best features in the world, but that won’t mean a thing if it doesn’t help the user. Take the time to highlight what the benefits are for the user and why they should consider taking the jump to SharePoint. Don’t try to impress them with flashy effects and sugar-coated words. Users know when they are being lumped into the general population and they would much rather prefer information that was designed specifically for them.

While it will take a little bit of extra effort on your end, you need to make sure that users see the benefits that affect them. Take a moment to think about how the users would benefit from SharePoint and go from there. If you can win over the user by letting them see the personal positives they will obtain, you’ll have a much easier time convincing them to buy-in.

2. Take Baby Steps

You want to take the right amount of time to inform and teach your users about SharePoint. You really want to take baby steps here because going too fast and being too intense will have a very negative effect on your users. Introduce one piece of information or feature and let them understand it before you move on to the next step or benefit. While it may be tempting to just lay it all out there for your users to see and get excited about, you may end up causing the opposite effect. People often feel overwhelmed when there is a lot of information to digest at once. Instead, provide them with little bits of information and then create a solid foundation that users can build upon. Once you accomplish this, you’ll have a much better chance at explaining the intricacies of SharePoint and encouraging buy-ins.

3. Use the Best Training Tools

Never underestimate the power of having the right tools in your arsenal. Some people like to learn by seeing the platform in action while others want to be more hands-on. Be sure that you have the best learning tools for your users so that they feel like learning about the new platform is as simple and painless as possible. Whether you use training videos, teach in a classroom setting, or take advantage of digital guidance systems, everything can help you impact a user’s decision. Think about who your users are and create a learning plan that will be the best for them.  Once these tools have improved adoption rates, take advantage of users that have already bought in. For example, Mick MacComascaigh- an analyst for Gartner, recommends having “power-users” within an office.



SharePoint is a very powerful and versatile platform once you master it, and it’s up to you educate users about the benefits. If you can get through to your users and help them understand why they will benefit from using SharePoint, you’ll have a much easier time getting people to buy-in. Don’t scare them off and lose out on sales, take the right steps now and see the difference in the future!

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.