The One Thing That's Missing in the Adoption Plan for your Sales Initiative
Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement
One of the most critical steps you can take after a sales initiative is to execute a well thought out adoption plan. Many organizations say they have a plan to reinforce the critical tools, processes and content that they roll out in training. However, these plans often fall flat and fail to have longevity when it comes to the sales organization. Organizations that nail it are the ones that invest the necessary time, energy and resources to get the critical elements of change management right.
Too often, a sales organization relies on technology to do the reinforcement for them. Don’t get us wrong, there are a lot of great platforms out there. Many of them help expedite menial and manual tasks that impede selling time. However, technology won’t do a thing for you, unless you have the right content within the platform. That’s the one thing people miss when they’re creating their sales adoption plan.
Getting your digital content right is a big part of the equation. Yet, equally as important is getting your sales reps and managers to consume the content and deploy what they’ve learned. Our head of product development, Matt Jordan, often uses a simple toaster analogy. Toasters are great. You can buy all kinds of toasters with all the bells and whistles you want. And they always function exactly how they’re designed to function. However, if you don’t have anything to put in the toaster, you’re left with a fancy machine that really doesn’t provide value. The same outcome happens if you try and use it for a purpose it wasn’t meant to perform. The desired outcomes just aren’t what you had hoped for.
It’s the same with any sales enablement technology. The technology is often great. It’s focused on solving a specific issue within your sales organization. But, if you don’t fuel that technology with the right content and discipline, you’re just going to end up with burnt toast.”
Here are four ways to make sure that you’re linking technology with your content, in the right way.
You are consistently communicating alignment and vision.
One of the keys to embedding technology successfully into your sales adoption plan is to make sure you are consistently communicating leadership’s vision and commitment to the sales team. It should provide forums for you to check in with your managers and keep your team focused and engaged. At the same time, you should be able to use engagement metrics to pinpoint challenges with the learning curve and find appropriate solutions.
You’re using it to provided needed value after the in-person training.
In-person trainings are effective. However, they’re only one piece of changing sales behavior. Repeating and reinforcing the concepts taught in training continuously is critical. When reps start applying tools, processes and content to their day-to-day activities they have more questions and they need a way to refresh their learning. If the right content is accessible in a digital platform they can easily access and review, adoption is accelerated. How are you incorporating that in-person training into the content? Take the extra step to ensure there are clear links between what was presented in the room and the content you're using to reinforce those same concepts.
It’s helping to drive the buyer-focused sales conversations
To close a deal that works for not only your customer but also your company is going to require a team effort. The content and messages you provide to help sellers position your solution should ultimately translate to successful sales conversations at the buyer level. A consistent message at the buyer level means your entire organization is focused on buyer needs, value drivers and desired outcomes. It also means your sales team is enabled to effectively differentiate against competitors, including “do nothing” and “do it internally.” Clarity and conviction around those skills is what builds the confidence your sellers need to move buyers to take action.
Even the most experienced salespeople fall short of executing buyer-focused fundamentals from time to time. The right content should be an effective tool that keeps those concepts top of mind. It also reinforces the discipline needed to consistently driver a buyer-focused sales process.
It enables front-line sales managers to successfully coach their sales teams
Taking on a major sales initiative means you’re in it for the long haul. That means your managers need visibility into how their teams are using the concepts, beyond anecdotal evidence. Setting up measurements around engagement with your reinforcement content is critical. These metrics can help you (1) understand if your adoption efforts are having success and (2) correct if needed.
Technology can be an asset in your adoption plan, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that your platform will do the work for you. You need the right content embedded into it, in order to make it truly successful.