There is so much focus on change. But not all change needs to be big, strategic sea change that takes months or years to implement. I’m talking about small, tactical sales changes that make you more efficient and effective. Even if you cringe at the thought of stirring up your tried-and-true method of operation, that’s OK. I hear this all the time and I get it. But even the best sales performers change things up from time to time to make sure they are on top of their game.
Groups Require Efficiency and Scale
If you are a small business where you are the only one doing that job − like the only sales manager − and it is all working for you, then change may not be needed. But, if you work for a larger organization and there are more of you − like multiple sales managers – and everyone does things their own way, then small, tactical sales changes may be needed to enable you all to gain efficiency and economies of scale across processes, methodologies, tools and technologies.
How can organizations go about getting to a single way of doing things – that is, getting you all to use the same processes and methodologies, tools and technologies, so that you’re not wasting precious time?
Steps to Making Small, Tactical Sales Changes
As a sales performance improvement consultant, I’m also an agent of change. Here are six key steps to making the transition to a more effective sales organization by making smaller, tactical changes.
- Figure out what percentage of teams are using similar versus different processes, methodologies, tools and technologies.
If more than 50% are doing things the same way, then keep what is working and look at the things done differently to augment what, if anything, is providing better overall outcomes for the sales team as a whole.
If more than 50% are doing things differently, then identify anything that is working better for the entire sales team overall.
- Gather details on what all the different processes, methodologies, tools and technologies actually are with an eye towards identifying what should be best practices based upon the above.
- Create a pilot group of high potential people (in this case, sales managers) to review all the similarities, differences and next steps to get to one way of doing things.
- Bring in an objective third party to help, especially if they have experience solving this type of challenge. They should be able to provide additional insights that maybe no one has thought of and/or test critical thinking of the pilot group.
- Evaluate if you want to internally create new processes, tools or technologies, and/or outsource any pieces to vendors and partners. If you don’t go with a single vendor/partner, then make sure you hire an instructional design person to tie everything together. This will ensure consistency in the messaging and implementation.
- Decide on leadership metrics for adoption and drive the change management process, starting with the pilot group, before rolling out new processes, tools, methodologies or technologies to the entire organization. Take a methodical approach, either region-by-region or vertical-by-vertical for example, to test the metrics. Ideally, you’ll want to have crawl, walk and run metrics with appropriate timelines. By breaking up the metrics and timelines this way, you’ll have the opportunity to pivot if implementing the change doesn’t go as hoped or planned.
Difficult, but Often Necessary
Change can be hard, even small tactical sales changes. But ask any top sales performer, and they’ll tell you that success is all about using your time wisely. And sometimes, that requires making the necessary changes to your sales processes, methodologies, tools and technologies. In what ways have you implemented small yet powerful change in your organization?
Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter