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The field of the sales organization is always the biggest priority of investing tools and technology which often cost consumer goods manufacturers millions of dollars annually. Nevertheless, if the sales department does not fully use it to its potential or rejects the change or refuses to adopt the solution, then the investment’s return is seriously diminished. Implementing change is a consistent struggle and the price of non-existence or poor change implementation plan is due to each deployment being distinct. The changes in implementation plan are often affected by new products, new sales strategies, and key changes in the market and new leadership which always conflict with the organization’s calendar or fiscal year. A well-designed implementation plan is good for a business. By Reinforcing entreated selling behaviors and increasing sales motivations, sales compensation plans aids organizations improve their profitability and increase productivity.
How it works
Deployment of enabling technology in sales organizations can bring unique complications because they are a large body that always works remotely, relatively to the other departments in the organization. The nature of work they do is very critical i.e. driving revenue and engaging with customers. Considerable money and time are sacrificed to the deployment, configuration, selection, and integration of a sale technology. The technology must be leveraged as a last step or chance by the salespeople who are required to drive the behavior for change by use of a conscious strategy. These sales technologies can lead to the complete rejection of other field force. Trade promotion implementation is a very complex capabilities’ set. Being able to control the application and focusing on the fundamental business is what is called real change management. In this document, we will discuss the ways to change management in humans that are required not only to improve the basic process but will also be automated and be fully leveraged to the investment in technology. We will divide it into three sections, i.e. before the advancement of the project, during the ongoing process and after the deployment of the technology. These are the basis of the approach to change management process.
Section 1: Gearing up for change/ Pre-deployment
a) Limit the extent of change
This is done by focusing only on the volume of the required change so as to achieve what you believe to be reasonable. These extents are distinct in every organization and require some sensing and testing. Rather than implementing a whole range of functional applications in one project, the most successful sales organizations limit their volume of their incipient implementations. This allows the sales departments to achieve their progress faster, therefore, creating a momentum to progress further. Supporting technology and the full adoption of a piece of the current processes works better than the incomplete adoption of the full volume. After the first wave of change, there is always some people who refuse/reject this changes, these people are limits to the future change. People’s ability to change their attitude, processes, and behaviors is a factor that limits their ability to be educated or to learn how to utilize a new application.
b) CEO Buy-in or Consistently Senior Management
This is like endorsing a project. When seeking change, there is no need to search for the replacement for leadership. Habit and culture are huge obstacles during the implementation of change in sales management. A leader who is strong in the change management process is required to educate project team leaders, technical staff, project managers and end users that require discipline, in addition to the global business change’s effects.
c) Listen often and listen early
Before you venture into the project, comprehend on the concerns of people of about how the recent processes are going to work with the new technology. This gives an individual time to address and diffuse any objections or rejections that may come up so as to reduce internal sabotage. In addition to, it provides time to create a comprehensive sales change implementation approach for the final deployment.
d) Learn to communicate
Most organizations do not communicate well concerning even routine business events and activities in spite of them having tools such as company meetings and intranet. This ineffective communication is created during sales application deployment where individuals form project teams that are temporary which need them to spend some time away from their established interpersonal networks or normal locations. Effective change implementation needs openness and may not occur if a new process or application has elements of uncertainty or mystery.
e) Use appropriate incentives
Individuals focus on more acceptance of change and garner long-term change than on short-term perquisites and incentives. When the application value is established and the momentum is achieved, the incentives impact is lessened. Providing motivation is an intrinsic value of creating a change to a new solution or process.
f) Measure what matters
Measuring improvements and establishing baselines is a good way to get results of quantifying change implementation. The metrics’ number should be kept to a manageable few that are broadly accepted and comfortably measured. For example, the duration and frequency of use, the accuracy, and speed with each process that are related to sales, the number of individuals utilizing this application and the satisfaction of the systems by the end users.
Section 2: When focus is needed most (During the deployment)
a) Lead from the front
At all levels of management of sales, the change mandate should be demonstrated. Old processes should not be allowed to be utilized or never give lip service to the requirement of change after the discontinuation of the new application has already occurred.
b) Don’t skimp on training
The last step to a project plan is often the formal act of giving the training to end users. Sometimes training gets underemphasized and rushed for a couple of reasons: companies/organizations not comprehending that human learning is achieved at distinct rates and leaders underestimating the significance of training. Using of distance-learning tools reduce the burden of downtime and travel which are often associated with training. Also, distance learning may preside over various styles of learning. Reducing the associated time demands of learning new processes ensures associated time-related objections are effectively removed during the implementation of a new technology and process.
c) Facilitate interactions among sales individuals
This encourages the end users to say out their interests. Most cases, individuals may lack any key interests but the fact that the question was asked, will make them give you their support.
Section 3: Facilitating lasting change (Post-deployment)
a) Listen to the very end
Never stop listening and taking notes after the application for sales is up and running and every individual in the organization has gone back to work in their departments or territories. Getting them and engaging them so as to tell you how the project can be improved is important because the project can be enhanced over time.
b) Evaluating on opportunities that will have a constant improvement
This needs an exclusive focus on the aspects of the behavior of the project and it is the change management leader’s responsibility.
c) Set adoption expectations
Every new project or policy in an organization will always have some rejections. Even after the exhaustion of all options, some people just would not embrace change. These individuals must comprehend that the need for change is as a continued employment condition. This step (harsh love) will aid those who reject/refuses the change to embrace it. It will also protect some employees from being terminated when it becomes necessary. Employees who refuse/rejects to change in spite of the efforts engaged in them should be terminated. It is better to let go of some employees who will pull down the whole effort with backsliding or dissension.
The major success factors that enable change in sale management are supportive leadership, effective training, measuring success and intrinsic incentives. When enabling the processes of sales with technology, many changes will occur in terms adopting new processes and technology. Change management should not only occur among end users but should be done at all level. One can gain user adoption, ultimately increase successful deployment chances and achieve lasting behavioral change, if the change management is considered throughout the project.
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