Organizational change is hard, especially within the sales function. In some instances, it is extremely difficult to implement strategic transition even if it promotes growth. This is often due to employee pushback or decreased interest over time. The good news is that there are best practices management can implement to make transition easier and a permanent part of a company’s culture.
Make Change Clear And Quantifiable
A good first step to drive change within your sales organization starts with outlining goals and defining your definition of success. This helps make each tactic clear and quantifiable. Change agendas are a great tool that make the process easier for the senior sales management team. Change agendas can be used to breakdown specific programs, projects and initiatives that are going to be key sales drivers during the change.
Commit to Clear, Consistent Communication
Once you have articulated the desired change, it’s important to communicate the importance of that change to your employees before anything shifts. Make time to meet with your sales team either individually or in a town-hall-type forum to build “the case for change.” Create employee buy-in by using team-building exercises and encouraging feedback. This approach not only fosters increased communication, but also helps identify a reward strategy whether it’s company-wide recognition or monetary incentives. Remember, communication fails when it becomes a box-checking exercise. Instead, create an environment where your employees are acknowledged or celebrated for being agents of change.
Change isn’t easy for most employees, even your strongest performers. That’s why it’s important to regularly check in with your sales team. Ask probing questions to ensure they are clear on goals and also know how to access any resources available to them. Real change doesn’t happen overnight so be understanding and supportive. With clear communication, continual training and consistent check-ins, your people will adapt to the new normal.
One of the biggest challenges that organizations face when implementing change is consistency. At the start, mostly everyone is focused and committed. However, employee buy-in may start to wane months after a change agenda is rolled out. This isn’t the time to get discouraged, however. Push forward with continued communication and regular check-ins. This will ensure that the passage of time doesn’t interfere with a successful transition.
Change is necessary for any organization that wants to grow, but learning how to drive change is the determining factor for success. If your sales organization lacks resources but wants to make a big transition, consider hiring an outside sales consulting firm. Contact one of our experts to guide you through the change agenda process.