By Pat Hinds
Recently I was having coffee with a friend of mine and I was updating him on my progress in helping a customer grow market share. I expressed how in order for this particular sales team to achieve market share growth, they need to make adjustments to their current sales process that will require a willingness to change. My friend asked the question as to whether the sales team is adopting my recommendations. My response was the adoption is slow and it will take time for the sales team to embrace change.
Change can mean: The process of becoming different.
To foster change I have found three activities that are effective: Training, Offering Incentives and Leading by Example. Listed below are few comments on the value of training, incentives and leadership and definitions from Wikipedia.
1. Training: Training can be implemented in a classroom or a less formal one-on-one process. The most important aspect is you commit to train the sales team to understand the product and how the value of the product will translate into sales success.
Definition – The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. People within many professions and occupations may refer to this sort of training as professional development.
2. Offer Incentives: Trips, money, points – you have many options on how you get the attention of the sales team. However, never forget they need to “show you the money”. All good reps are making money; you need to show them that if they are willing to change, they can make more money and this is done with incentive plans.
Definition – In economics and sociology, an incentive is any factor (financial or non-financial) that enables or motivates a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives.
3. Leadership: If the project has the budget, putting a full time person on-site to work in a sales or sales support capacity can be effective tool to implement change. You do not want the person competing with the sales people; you want the resource to help the existing sales people be more successful by supporting their actions with the new plan.
Definition – Has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. A definition more inclusive of followers comes from Alan Keith of Genentech who said “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.
Topics: Sales Consulting