If you're rolling out dynamic books to your sales team, there's going to be an element of change management.
Some sales teams thrive in changing environments. Sales is one of the more adaptable professions in an organization, and sellers are used to new product, new sales motions, and new technology.
But right now, sales teams are being asked to deal with more change than they've ever experienced. From team reductions to new markets and new messaging, sales teams everywhere are trying everything they can to grow in a tough economic environment.
This means many sellers are feeling tired. 89% of sellers are feeling burned out, and 54% are actively looking for a new job (Gartner). So how can you help your sales reps feel more supportive and productive, even in times of steady change?
The fundamentals of change management for sales teams
"If there's one thing I learned in sales enablement and operations over the years, you can explain something 20 different ways, you can over-communicate, but a lot of reps, who are focused on their day job as you want them to be, aren't really going to understand something until they're actually living it and experiencing it."
Andrew de Geofoy, SVP Global Revenue Platform at Quantive
A few of the key aspects of change management for sales teams include:
- Frequent communication
- Comprehensive training and enablement
- Continuous validation
- Involving managers early
- Celebrating wins
- Clear goals
- Resilient culture
The biggest determining factor of success for a new program is communicating and involving the frontline sales managers early. Bring managers into the process and explain what the change will be, and get them bought in early. Include managers in the process as much as you can.
And at first, the team may not be aligned with the new idea. Produce the data; show them how you decided to make this change. Having the data to be able to show the team that the new concept works is important. Continuous validation that the approach will drive results is key. Find ways to celebrate, validate and educate.
Even after you've deployed the new program, you have to show them the wins. Amplify them so people continue to believe in the model. Share them in Slack, announce them at standups, update the team via email. Constantly reinforce with proof points that it works, because reps may get doubtful when things aren't going well. Reinforce it every time you get a win, small or big.
Build a culture of resilience. Change management can be met with resistance or reluctance. Building a culture of resilience involves showing that change is good, supporting the team throughout a change, and reinforcing results. Sales leaders should be empathetic, address resistance proactively, and create a supportive environment that encourages innovation and adaptation, both now and in the future. This is closely related to a culture of continuous improvement, which many sales teams already emphasize.
The positive benefits of good change management
When done well, change management can transform a sales team for the better. By embracing change, sales teams can proactively respond to challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Change management enables sales organizations to adapt to shifting market conditions, emerging trends, and customer demands. It allows sales teams to stay competitive and relevant in a constantly evolving landscape - especially important now. It fosters agility and flexibility within sales teams.
Change management initiatives can lead to improved sales performance and productivity. By implementing new processes, sales teams can enhance efficiency and achieve better results.
Involving sales team members in the change management process can boost employee engagement and morale. When sales reps are actively engaged and included in decision-making, they feel a sense of ownership. This, in turn, increases their motivation, commitment, and overall job satisfaction.
Read more change management tips from Salesloft here.