Companies are reviewing their sales force sizing and make-up to validate the appropriate size and structure in today’s Sales 2.0 environment. The demands of Sales 2.0 implications require more time allocation for representatives to invest increased time with their prospects as a more consultative approach to selling is embraced. Sales leaders are analyzing whether they are leaving money on the table for their competitors by cutting too lean the last few years, and also making sure that sales team is structured properly. Change Management is always a factor, particularly when adding and restructuring the sales team.
An implementation plan preparing for significant changes to your sales force should evaluate the following eight key components:
- Create a leading change design team—Participants should be comprised of those who must be involved in helping you move your organization in a new direction? What areas, teams, or individuals should be involved in designing the change?
- Document the case for change—What are the forces causing the change and what is the impact of these forces on the organization’s future success? Why is there a need for change? What departments, units, teams, or individuals are affected and to what degree? Do the forces causing change suggest a modest, incremental or transformational change? What are the consequences to the organization of not responding effectively to these forces?
- Develop a preliminary vision for the change—What is the change that needs to occur? What do we need to accomplish or achieve as a result of the change? What problem are we trying to solve? What will the outcomes of the change look like?
- Define the impacts on those affected by the change—What are the potential pros and cons of the change for the organization, departments, units, teams, and individuals? Who benefits and who loses? Are customers or other stakeholders affected and to what extent?
- Create your preliminary strategy and action plan—How will you raise awareness of the need for change? How will the losses be reduced, eliminated, or managed? How will employees and other stakeholders be involved in developing the change vision and strategy? What actions will build commitment to the change? How will the benefits from the change be realized? What actions need to occur, when should they occur, and who should take the lead in taking them? What is the implementation timeline?
- Identify measures of success—How will the success of the planned change be evaluated? What are the key indicators or measures of success? What benchmarks along the way will be used to help track the progress the organization is making?
- Develop your communication strategy—Who needs to be kept informed of the change vision and strategy? What are the methods for communicating with these key stakeholders? What is the ideal frequency of the communications about the change and the progress being made?
- Develop your training strategy—What is your plan for building change leadership skills and knowledge in leaders, managers, supervisors, employees, and (if appropriate) customers, suppliers, and other key stakeholders? What is your timeline for training in relation to the change implementation strategy?
Protect your sales team and your revenue objectives by taking change management seriously and applying the proper attention to navigating the waters of change. Evaluating these eight key components will enable you to reap the full benefits the planned transformation has in store for your company.