Is your company reevaluating or restructuring its go-to-market strategy? Is it changing the way sales people approach customers and position solutions?
As technology progresses and market forces shift, most companies are modifying their sales methods so they can more effectively address changing consumer tastes and evolving needs.
If that sounds like what’s happening in your world, then you’ll want to come to my presentation at the WorldatWork Spotlight on Sales Compensation Conference next week. On Monday, August 21 at 2PM (Central Time), I am going to lay out What Sales Management Needs to Know About Change Management.
How does change impact sales? As we all know from our own experiences, change can be unsettling. But for sales people, in particular, it can be even more difficult to accept, especially among top performers who have experienced a lot of success in the past and are less likely to adopt new ways of approaching customers. In fact, as change takes over an organization, top performing sales people may stop being successful for two reasons; they are stubborn and set in their ways, or they don’t believe in its value and as a result don’t follow the new processes.
Look around the marketplace. Clients are looking for integrated deliverables within a better solution-driven roadmap and they are looking for their reps to guide them through that decision process. Resistance to change not only affects sales results; it creates inconsistencies in how sales people meet the expectations of potential buyers.
The changing marketplace represents a major shift for most sales professionals. Unfortunately, most sales-based change initiatives fall short, and with devastating consequences.
Why is success so elusive? It’s not because the strategic, technical or operational aspects haven’t been thought through. In fact, most companies have given those aspects careful consideration. It’s because planners responsible for the outcomes often fail to provide the targeted employee constituency (in this case sales people) with enough personal motivation to make (let alone embrace) the change.
In other words, sales operations and compensation executives don’t pay enough attention to managing the human side of change. In my session I’ll address that. I’ll explain What Sales Management Needs to Know About Change Management.
Anybody attending is going to come away with some great insights. For instance:
- I plan to outline where the financial benefits lie within the change-planning business case and explain how shortening the acceptance curve across the entire sales force increases revenues faster while stealing market share from your competitors.
- I’ll introduce a formula for success I’ve created. “Reduced Resistance + Accelerated Acceptance and Adoption is a direct byproduct of Ability + Motivation.” During the session I’ll explain how incentives work to support each component of that equation.
- For those of you not worried about change because, “we have resources like training and promotional discounting at our disposal,” I’ll shed some light on two realities. First, training components (by themselves) fail to change sales behavior. Then I’ll follow up with useful tips on how reinforcement mechanisms can put the newly learned sales competencies into action faster. I will then offer a common sense perspective on why promotions and discounts are the worst marketing messages you can send to customers (or sales people) during times of sales change.
- I’ll finish with this provocative reality: motivating all of your sales people to embrace change is best achieved by ignoring some of the most commonly accepted compensation paradigms and I’ll offer examples of how some companies have done just that.
Can’t make the conference? Than read my Performance Perspective on the same topic.