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How to Successfully Drive Change in Your Organization

by Rachel Clapp Miller /

Taking on any change initiative can be logistically overwhelming.

  • Who needs to be involved?
  • When can we line up schedules?
  • What will we do to ensure success?

Whether it’s improving sales messaging, your talent management process or overall organizational effectiveness strategies, you can start mapping your plan for success with some simple action plans. First, define your outcomes. Then, consider the kind of execution strategy you need to achieve these outcomes.

1. Determine Your Goals

Where do you want to see the most improvement? Is it in margins? Deal-size? Overall
revenue growth? Start with the end-game in mind. To determine where you need to
focus, work backwards from what’s most important.

2. Determine Your Bandwidth

Once you’ve decided on how aggressive your goals should be, take a look at your bandwidth. Do you have the staff available to execute a new initiative and continue to manage your in reaching their quarterly goals? If you don’t, what areas will need the most support from possible outside resources?

3. Determine Optimum Alignment

Alignment across an organization is key to the success of any true transformation program. The more people you involve from the start, the greater your chances of achieving the alignment that’s necessary for true sales transformation. Who do you need to align behind your new initiative? What additional departments do you need to bring into your discussions? (e.g., product teams, marketing, etc....) Who will champion your efforts internally?

Adoption and Reinforcement

Top management is the driving force behind the adoption and reinforcement of any sales initiative. Sales leadership has a key role in making it a priority. Without executives to champion your initiatives, sales reps will have no incentive to execute new methodologies and your results will probably fall flat.

There are three driving principles of managing successful sales adoption:

  • A short list of factors determine the outcome of any change initiative.
  • Given those factors, the outcome of the change initiative is predictable.
  • Leadership is in control of most of them.

The Factors

1. Background

Past behavior determines future success. The organization’s culture and experience with change can foreshadow roadblocks to successful sales transformation.

2. Priority

Priority comes from the top. Will corporate leadership stress the initiative's importance? Is there buy-in from top leaders and is there alignment with their top initiatives?

3. Project

You’re connected to change, when you’re connected to the content. Is leadership taking ownership in developing the content around the initiative? Are top executives involved in the planning of the initiative?

4. Accountability

Sales leaders and front-line managers need a process to hold their direct reports accountable. Is there a process in place for inspecting and coaching on the new initiative?

5. Execution

To successfully drive change, there needs to be an execution plan. How will the initiative be integrated and adopted within the organization?

Manage successful adoption by identifying these factors in advance. Develop a plan to address them and monitor them throughout the process. As a leader, you have to be ready to right the course, and take action if needed.

 

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