A Proven Sales Transformation Process
Step 1: Commit to a 24-month Timeline
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 2: Program Design
Step two is getting sales, marketing, and product stakeholders in a workshop to establish a shared change 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.
Step 3: Content & Tool Development
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 4: Launch the Program
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.
Step 5: Post-Launch Reinforcement
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:
1-on-1 sales leader review calls focused on execution and challenges
1-on-1 sales insight calls with top salespeople to find out what’s working & find successes to celebrate across the team
Update playbook content & tools based on what’s working & new insights learned
Measure and report on leading indicators & key performance metrics
Certify salespeople on their new knowledge and new skills
Monthly senior leadership progress, review and planning calls
Monthly on-demand presentations & quarterly webinars to share progress, celebrate and reinforce sales transformation with the whole team