Change. Salespeople really hate it, don’t they? You’d think by the way they respond to you that they’re on a yearlong sales hot streak that you’re about to disrupt with your new sales operations.
The crazy part is, most salespeople have already accepted that change is inevitable. According to Salesforce, 71% of salespeople believe that their role will be radically different in 5 years. They aren’t necessarily opposed to change, they’re more opposed to the way most sales managers spring it on them.
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If there were a way to more seamlessly introduce and integrate sales ops modifications through complex change management, it would go a long way towards achieving an appropriately adaptive sales team. Whether you are adding new software, business processes, or products, getting full buy-in from your reps is the only way you’ll see it succeed.
Instead of installing your new sales solution and expecting your reps to leap with joy and give it full acceptance on day one, ease into the change in a way that increases the adoption and success of new solutions.
Here are a few tips to do so:
Involve Sales Reps Early on in the Process
When you are evaluating a new sales solution or thinking about changing your sales processes, don’t wait until after the decision is made to loop-in your sales team. Instead, get your reps involved as early as possible. If the CPQ solution you’re considering allows you to “test drive” the software, invite your sales reps to give it a try.
In the case of Skybox, their sales manager shared the progress of their CPQ deployment with all the key sales reps on the team. After taking a few days to create an initial mock-up, the sales team was involved in the discovery sessions and adjustments. This allowed them to give vital feedback and buy-in for the playbook and configuration changes. Going forward, that feedback allowed for the construction of a data-backed process to progress complex change management.
No matter what change you’re making, your sales reps will have an opinion about it. Learning those opinions as early as possible will help you design a sales enablement project with the sales reps in mind. It will also make your reps feel as though their comments and concerns are taken into account.
Train, Train, Train
Be honest – you don’t do enough training. I probably don’t have to tell you that continuous sales training yields 50% higher net sales per employee. If your reps don’t understand something, they won’t use it.
That goes for new products, CPQ solutions, and processes. If you have a variety of complicated products or configurations, sales reps tend to focus on the few products that they understand and completely ignore the others.
With a CPQ solution, you can limit this by providing your reps with intelligent guided selling for automatic upgrade, upsell and cross-sell suggestions with little training needed. However, your sales reps won’t know how simple that solution is if someone doesn’t take the time to sit down with them and go through the solution.
Share Progress with Your Team
“If they would just listen to me I could double how much they’re making!”
Instead of abstractly mentioning how your changes have improved the sales organization, you need to put your money where your mouth is. Collect sales process insights and metrics before and after the change is made, and regularly share those results with your sales team.
Did your team’s average deal size or contract value increase by 49% after deploying a CPQ solution? Tell them! Not only will this ensure that they stick with this new change, it will make them more receptive to the next change you implement.
Change is a scary thing, but if you ease into it and show the benefits they’ll receive when they get to the other side, you can ensure much more success with your complex change management.
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