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Three Ways to Make Sales Process Changes Stick

Three Ways to Make Sales Process Changes StickThis week, I’ve invited Traci Curran, director of marketing for Revegy, to share her thoughts on sustaining sales process changes. In any transformation where a company is attempting to change their sales model or sales culture, instead of simply providing some “tools” to improve efficiency/effectiveness, there is a big helping of “change management” needed. There are many models and theories defining change management and what it should look like. All seem to have a common factor that, paired with some frightening statistics, may inspire you to a take a closer look at your own company’s change initiatives: the “how to make it stick” factor. Some scary stats:
  • Only 55% of change projects are initially successful, and only 25% are successful in the long run
  • An estimated 85% of companies fail to achieve their change objectives all together
  • 50-80% of Fortune 1000 companies’ change efforts fail
Once your company has decided to adopt a new sales process, what should you do to ensure that it STICKS? Here are three suggestions: 1.  Measure Metrics and tracking are critical to creating a lasting impact. Your ability to demonstrate the results and benefits of the implemented change will motivate and validate the new process for everyone involved, from sales reps to stakeholders. Salespeople need to regularly see their progress visually, not just numerically. Use visuals to guide their selling and to display results (i.e. line graphs, bar charts, etc.). Visual aids improve understanding up to 400%. Why not use them to your advantage? 2.  Coach Providing ongoing communication/support/reinforcement while identifying gaps and resistance in performance is also important when a recent shift in direction has occurred. Everyone needs to be coached, even at the highest level of leadership. There are countless ways to provide coaching, from workshops to 1-on-1 sessions. Whenever possible, use tools that can automate your coaching and sales process. You never know what your sales reps may be up to when left to their own devices. 3.  Adapt Once your new sales process has been implemented, and the “make it stick” factor feels secure, guess what? A new need for change arises. The highest level of success in change management, beyond the “make it stick” factor, is the increased capability to quickly and effectively make future organizational changes when needed. Therefore, your change initiatives should not only focus on your new sales process, but also on the culture of your sales team. Develop a team and a sales process that is highly adaptable, and choose tools that will adapt with you – that will work with ANY sales process. If you decide to adopt something new in the future, it will eliminate the need to learn new technology and the resistance that often comes with it. Traci Curran is responsible for the strategic direction of Revegy’s marketing efforts, including public relations, analyst relations, demand generation and program management as well as corporate branding. Her many skills include the strategic alignment of sales and marketing teams, product marketing, go-to-marketing strategy and lead management programs. Traci brings more than 13 years of experience in the Atlanta technology community, working for companies such as Internet Security Systems (now IBM) and CDC Software (now Aptean). Traci has also held leadership roles in the EMEA market as Director of Marketing for Transoft, part of IRIS Software, the UK’s largest privately held software company.

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

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