In our research on sales force transformations for our new book, 7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation, the greatest challenge we heard from our interviews, as well as the survey was the difficulty in achieving sustainable change within a sales team. Even though sales teams and leaders excel at convincing others to change, they are typically highly resistant to change themselves. It’s no accident that there are five steps required to complete in our sales force transformation approach before moving to implementation, and this blog focuses on the third step: building your case for change.
Our experience and research have taught us that you should handle a sales transformation effort just as you would a hard-fought, drawn-out sales campaign; but in this case, it’s focused internally on your organization. Like an external sales campaign, you need to have not only a sales strategy, but also a relationship strategy for capturing the “votes” of the key stakeholders, be they the sales star or key members of the executive team. As with any sale, you’ll need a strong and compelling value proposition that is tailored to each group of stakeholders. What is the compelling need for change? Be able to describe it in terms to which your audience will relate and find engaging.
We’ve identified six core components of common customer-facing sales strategies that should be applied internally in selling a sales transformation:
- Clearly Articulate the Value Proposition
- Develop Executive and Organizational Sponsorship
- Equip Sales Managers to Lead the Change
- Gain Buy-In from the Sales Team
- Show Immediate Value
- Leverage a Program/Project Plan
In the book, we provide details, examples and action steps for each of these components. Successfully positioning your internal sales strategy (or case for change) will require you to leverage each of these key change management principles.
In our next post, we’ll highlight step 4, building alignment with other functional areas to support and enable your sales transformation.