Imagine for a second that you’ve just been hired as a new sales leader at a fast growing start-up. You’ve been told that you have a solid team, and after meeting everyone and seeing the company’s strong performance up to this point, you couldn’t be more eager to build on those successes. The only potential hiccup is that you’d like to adopt a completely new sales methodology, one that you’re very familiar with and will help you create a clear direction moving forward.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your stamp on a sales organization that you’ve just inherited, especially if the previous methodology was informal or non-existent. But so much change right off the bat can be tremendously disruptive.
- Everything your team once knew is changing.
- Top performers can suddenly find themselves struggling.
- Underperforming staff might fall even further behind.
You need complete buy-in — from the most junior salesperson all the way up to your veteran performers. And as we all know, there’s little margin for error. How do you ensure that your new sales methodology will be adopted successfully?
4 Ways to Improve New Sales Methodology Adoption
There are so many sales methodologies to choose from, and that’s really been the case since the dawn of time. But assuming that the methodology you’ve chosen to adopt has the right structure and principles, is not a one-size-fits-all, and is aligned with the way buyers want to buy, you’re already off to a great start.
From there, here are four tips to consider:
- Realize that it’s not going to be easy or quick — You have to be consistent and persistent and realize that it’s going to take longer than you think to gain buy-in and get everyone up to speed, including yourself. Even the best and most proven sales methodologies don’t happen overnight. Persistent and consistent communication is the best way to push forward. Eventually, everything simply becomes the way you do things in the organization.
- Lead from the front — You can’t promote a new sales methodology and then not use the language or ask the questions that speak to the key phrases. You can’t imagine how powerful it is for a leader, particularly a VP of sales, to ask a question that relates to the application of the methodology. Clearly, using the language is extremely important.
- Give your people time to learn it — Your staff is used to the old way. It can be incredibly disruptive, even to the most optimistic employee. Give them time to learn, and coach them every step of the way.
- Practice, practice, practice — The one thing that gets overlooked almost every time in so many sales organizations is creating space for people to practice. Take a golfer, for example. Even if you asked Tiger Woods or Hideki Matsuyama to turn around and swing left-handed instead of right-handed, or vice versa, that’s probably going to take a little practice. It’s the same in the sales world. I think we sometimes underestimate the need to allow our people to practice. They must be given every opportunity to learn the new language and groove entirely new behaviors to be successful.
The Role Simulations Play in Practice
In all of the methodologies that I’ve experienced, the one thing we don’t teach very well, in my opinion, is when do I apply this methodology? Buying has changed, folks. You have to have the agility and the judgment to know when to apply the methodology, and simulations are perfect for that. They introduce your team to situations that require them to remember, “Oh, this is when I can apply that,” and it gives them a chance to try it out and practice. Anything other than this is going to become scripted and forced. And it will likely fail.
In simulation, they get to practice in a spot where the stakes aren’t quite as high. It’s practice in a safe, private and personal environment that doesn’t quite have the consequences of a meeting going wrong or a conversation that maybe went in a direction they weren’t prepared for.
Thanks for reading. And to learn more about simulations and how they can help your team, visit www.sciolytix.com.