A solid, performing salesforce is one of the most crucial elements in any organization. However, many salespeople tend to exhibit a strong resistance to change even when it’s called for. Change can cause a dramatic increase in your overall sales success but you have to make sure you did the right change.
So I’m bringing in Warren Shiver today to share some great insights into bringing change or transformation within an organization, why it’s needed, when it’s needed, and which parts of the organization need to be involved.
Warren is the author of the book 7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation. He is also the founder of Symmetrics Group, where they specifically focus on B2B sales effectiveness around sales forces, sales processes, skills, and training.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Warren:
The inspiration behind Warren’s book:
Most salespeople are more resistant to change than other functional areas
Change versus transformation:
- Most sales organizations are doing well.
- Change can be done through training, technology, or tool improvement but not a wholesale change.
- Companies that are a result of a merger or a competitive change, have a relatively outdated sales force where transformation is needed.
What do you need? Change or transformation?
- Look at what’s driving your need for change.
- How compelling your driver is will dictate the level of change you should undertake.
- Treat your transformation or change effort like an internal sale
Should you change even when you’re hitting quota?
- Look at the top performers in the organization.
Identify what they’re doing well and use that in terms of the change you’re driving (ex. process, methodology, etc.)
- Look at your current state and where you want to go.
Look if what’s making a top performer successful today is sustainable.
What parts of the business need to be involved in the sales transformation?
- Marketing (#1)
- Operations and supply chain
- HR (recruiting profiles, competency & talent development, compensation)
Creating a vision
- What is the value you’re going to bring in the future?
- How is your sales force still relevant in 1 or 5 years time in maintaining relevance with customers and maintaining competitive differentiation?
- The mindset of consultative selling
Building a personal brand versus relying on a company brand:
Build a brand around your expertise through blogs, white papers, etc.
How to know the right metrics to best predict sales success:
- Depends on your selling model, company, vision, current state, and what you’re trying to drive in terms of change
- Get down with a critical view
Communication of status and results:
- The need for sustained, committed, and authentic leadership
- First level sales leaders – the lever or linchpin of your change
- Equip your first-level leaders to model what it could look like
- Be able to coach and reinforce it and communicate it
Success as a barrier to sales transformation:
- Difficulty to create a “burning” platform among your top performers
- The challenge of finding that leader with a transformational mindset
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