Build an action plan for employee improvement to develop a new tech culture
You’ve invested in new technology to future-proof your business and improve your sales revenues, but you aren’t seeing the results you expected. In fact, your sales are sliding. You can’t figure out why. The technology does everything needed:
- It integrates with your existing systems and processes
- It does everything that your sales team needs it to
- It provides a direct communication channel to customers, which should increase feedback and empower your sales team to take advantage of opportunity to upsell
It may appear that you have considered everything needed, but there is one key ingredient for which you haven’t accounted: your salespeople. They’ve been doing things the same way for years. Suddenly they’ve been asked to take on board new technology. Your organization’s efforts have been so focused on integrating the technology to future-proof your sales, you forgot about integrating your new technology with your sales team.
When you build new technologies to support your sales in the 21st century, it’s imperative that you build an action plan for employee improvement to support the embedding of the new technology. Design it specifically to help your employees to let go of the past and embrace change.
Here are five steps to ensure that your salespeople engage with your new sales technology.
Step 1: Make sure your sales managers are on board with the new technology
Whenever you undertake change, including embedding new technologies to support sales, it’s imperative that your senior people are on board:
- Ensure that your managers understand the power of the new technology, and that they have been coached comprehensively in the benefits it produces
- Make sure that senior sales managers lead from the front, and walk the walk as well as talk the talk
Step 2: Identify the issues that new technology causes to your salespeople
Speak to your sales managers and uncover what the key issues are. There will be clues, such as:
- A lack of feedback posted by customers
- Salespeople still using defunct processes
- A back office that is over worked
- Rumblings of discontent with animated discussions at the water cooler
Ensure that salespeople have a forum to properly discuss their issues, employing techniques and tactics to encourage open and honest conversation with colleagues. You may be surprised and learn about problems that you hadn’t anticipated.
Build a picture of the needs of your sales team, and the individuals within it.
Step 3: Instigate appropriate group and one-to-one coaching
Having pinpointed the issues encountered by your salespeople, the next step is to put in place formal training and one-to-one coaching sessions. These should concentrate on developing the new culture and behaviors needed to unleash the power of your new sales technologies.
Use workshops to focus on a single problem, and identify those people who could help you energize the team in using the new processes.
Step 4: Shadow salespeople to develop their skills
Create opportunities for sales managers to shadow salespeople, ensuring they are embedding the new behaviors needed to power sales, integrating front and back office processes, and engaging all stakeholders (including customers).
Step 5: Adjust sales targets to aid cultural adoption
While your action plan for employee improvement is in place, adjust individual and team sales targets. Make these targets challenging, but also supportive. This adjustment will help your salespeople gain the confidence that will be needed to reinforce the capability of your new technology to transform future sales.
To maximize the benefit of new technology in the sales context, ensure that your rules of engagement include an employee improvement program. Contact us today, and discover how we could help salespeople understand their own cultural biases and embed the new behaviors needed to boost sales revenues.