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Sales Strategy
How can I make my sales people more ready to accept changes to the sales process?
May 31, 2012 | The Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

It’s only natural that as a company evolves, so does its sales process. In order to keep growing, these changes are necessary and will take the effort of the entire team to make them work. However, resistance to change is inevitable. It’s what you do about it that will determine whether these changes will result in success or not.

So what do you do if your sales team seems hesitant to take on a new sales process? The first step is to identify what this resistance looks like. Then address it immediately and proactively.

Is your team…
…avoiding participating during the planning stage of the new sales process?
…complaining about the changes, but not offering recommendations for improvement?
…neglecting to follow new process protocols?
…avoiding actively seeking help on concepts they don’t fully understand?

If these apply to your team, then take the following steps to help your sales team get excited and engage with the new sales process:

Continually seek input from sales team during the planning stage. This will not only give your sales professionals time to get accustomed to the changes, but will also allow them to contribute their ideas as to what those changes should based on their needs and challenges. Having an influence on the improvements to the sales process will make sales people less resistant than if these changes were just imposed on them without discussion.

Ensure availability of adequate reference material and training, with enough time for hands-on practice. This will reduce the anxiety associated with the new process and help your sales professionals see the potential for new sales opportunities and process efficiencies.

Have top performers adopt the new sales process first. Your best reps will be able to share success stories, challenges, and new opportunities as a result of the new sales process, creating an environment of enthusiasm instead of anxiety. Also, this will put in place a support system whereby sales reps can seek out help from their peers, as well as the sales manager.

Publicize updates on gains as a result of the new sales process. This will reinforce to the sales team why the new process is in place. It will also demonstrate which areas of the new process may not be working as expected, and will help you re-evaluate the plan.

Join CPSA’s LinkedIn discussion on this topic.

For more on resistance to sales process changes and a downloadable Sales Rep Resistance Tracker Spreadsheet, read this article from SalesBenchMarkIndex.com.


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Got a sales, marketing, or business-related question? Email us at asksrc@cpsa.com.

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