Creating a salesforce built for change
There’s often a love-hate relationship between an organization and their sales team. As the representatives of the organization, managing the customer relationship and generating revenue, they’re an essential part of the business, but they’re known for being one of the most demanding teams in the organization.
When every service outage, pricing change, product launch and marketing campaign has a direct impact on your customer conversations, are sales teams being taught the skills they need to adapt, or just getting a hard time?
In our experience, the responsibility for enabling these sales teams is passed around from learning and development, to sales, marketing, channel partners and back again. And often, the solution presented is a product or sales training, which doesn’t quite address the problem.
Sales teams can be so focused on keeping up to date with internal changes that they’re playing catch up on what is happening in their customer’s world. There is a different way.
What is sales transformation, and why does it matter?
Sales transformation is the process of building or updating the sales operation of a business. When a change happens that affects what sales teams sell, or the way they need to sell it, the result is often:
- Sales teams are stretched for time and inundated with materials
- New hires are unsure where to start, even after the onboarding process
- Partners and distributed sales teams are out of sync with the latest messaging
- Ambitious sales reps don’t become successful as quickly as they want, and leave the company
A sales transformation program tackles this head on. More than a product or sales training, it’s about defining a repeatable sales process that enables your sales team to deliver results. It provides teams with the tools, knowledge, and (critically) the confidence to sell something new, or to a new audience.
6 steps to kick-start your sales transformation
Start with your Sales Managers
Involve the Sales Managers in the program design, enabling them as coaches for their team during the transition, and co-facilitating sections of the training in order to make the program really stick. Start here to accurately diagnose how to bridge the gap between the current state of their sales strategy and where they want to be.
Drive customer obsession
Know your customers. Inside and out. Check their organizational readiness, sense of urgency, goals, obstacles, strengths, and weaknesses. This allows you to drive customer obsession and build the right tools to push sales teams to think big, analyze their customer’s needs, scope potential solutions, and ultimately pitch their proposal.
Draw from relevant sales models and methods
Using key concepts from the relevant sales models and methods helps sales teams become customer-centric in their analysis and positioning of their services. Guide sales managers and their teams to transform presentations into effective conversations, so they can build lasting relationships with mutually beneficial outcomes.
Integrate into your existing systems
Build the tools and deliver the courses in systems that are already being used, for example, sales-target tracking in Salesforce and virtual sessions hosted on Zoom. This ensures your transformation is embedded into the existing processes of your sales teams and avoids too much disruption.
Incorporate continued coaching and feedback
In order to drive real change for sales enablement, support your sales team for the program duration — reviewing assignments and giving constructive feedback, coaching managers on how to enable their teams, and facilitating workshops with the same participants through to the end.
Track and measure impact
Pinpoint and measure what works and what doesn’t and embed that continued learning into your sales transformation. Each phase should have a defined success metric which can be measured and analyzed, so that you’re creating quantifiable best practices backed by data as you go.
Change is the only constant — don’t leave your sellers with methods that no longer align with how your customers want to buy.
Ready to change the way you train for the better? Our expert consultants are on hand to help you begin your journey.