The first step is accepting the reality that any significant change in sales behavior and skill will require a minimum of 18-24 months to become a reality.
Sales and Marketing leaders often struggle to come at sales transformation in an integrated, systematic way. Change is often pursued through disconnected initiatives like product training, sales skill development, sessions, leadership workshops, and posters. What leaders need is a sales transformation system, a process for providing salespeople with the “how to” drive lasting behavior change. This begins by thinking of sales transformation as a system that maps out a realistic timeline.
Step two is getting is getting sales, marketing, and product stakeholders in a workshop to establish a shared change in vision – the metrics for change, the initiative for change, the roadblocks to change, the plan to overcome those roadblocks, and specific roles and responsibilities across those requirements. This shared vision for sales transformation informs actions in the next steps.
This third step is the heavy lifting. Coming out of the program design phase, create the content and tools that will enable the sales team to evolve. We found that taking a playbook approach to packaging content and tools can be an accelerator because it makes the complex simple. The purpose of a sales playbook is to boil down the strategy, messages, new knowledge, acquired sales disciplines, and how managers coach into practical guides that make the transformation real for salespeople. Go here for more on sales playbooks.
Step four introduces the sales transformation to the whole team. Everyone goes through training where the new content is deployed through playbooks and the new knowledge, skills, and disciplines are applied in workshop settings. The training should be experiential and focused on real accounts and real opportunities.
Don’t treat the launch event as the end of training; it’s the beginning of implementation. Training is the first step in changing the sales identity, evolving skills, and equipping the team with knowledge.
This last step is what it takes to get through the next 12 to 18 months. It’s the reinforcement and continuous improvements phase we refer to as “Sustain.” At a minimum, we recommend prioritizing the following Sustain activities:
The Accelerate model was built on best practices from years of experience, and using four steps–Define, Build, Launch and Sustain. The result is a sales-ready playbook that provides sales reps with the just-in-time content they need and gives executives the leading indicators they need to accelerate time to results.