If your sales organization is struggling to make its number, it’s time to stop the fire drills at the end of the quarter. Remember, creating true change within your sales team takes more than a set of spreadsheets and a simple day of training. If your goal is to truly transform your organization, a quick solution won’t produce the kind of long-term impact you need.
Follow these five best practices to drive lasting change in your organization:
Make It Sales Consumable
Make sure the process, tools, and templates you create as part of your initiative are easy to consume and implement by your sales team. Think one-sheets, not binders full of spreadsheets. For any sales methodology to be successful, there has to be an immediacy of application. Otherwise, you lose momentum. Make sure the content surrounding the initiative is easy to digest and execute.
Enable Your Front-Line Managers
No one carries more of the weight of driving the initiative than the front-line managers. They have their fingers on the pulse of the sales organization. Help your managers succeed. They’re your boots on the ground. Have a plan to delegate and equip your front-line managers with the processes and tools to coach their own reps to success. Expect them to lead and give them the direction and tools they need to do so.
Have a Plan for Adoption and Reinforcement
Reinforcement is a key component to driving successful sales transformation. If you make the investment on a sales initiative, you need a plan to ensure the methodologies are adopted. Otherwise, why waste the money? With any sales initiative, the real work happens after the roll out. To make change stick you need a well-defined plan that will help your entire team inspect, reinforce and manage to new behaviors. That way you’ll know what’s working and more importantly, what’s not.
Lead From the Front
As an executive, you need to be an agent of change. Don’t delegate leadership. You can’t sit back and let others lead for you. Having a few pep rallies isn’t going to drive change in your sales organization. Model the behaviors you want your staff to execute. Actively participate in the initiative. Lead from the front, not the rear.
Sustain Your Level of Effort
If you want something to stick, you need to have a way to repeatedly drive home the initiative. Make sure refresher events are included. People learn in small bites, not big gulps. Limit the information to the most consumable components and then reinforce it over time. A sustained level of effort will help you create lasting impact and drive true change in your sales organization.
Originally published Aug 28, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017