An old adage says businesses don’t get better by chance, they get better by change. However, change — to our value frameworks, strategic selling processes, and methods of business growth — can be hard to implement. Often, the problem many organizations face is not that they lack great, transformational ideas, it’s that they can’t get those ideas to catch fire and develop momentum. So how can companies make change happen to close more sales? Here, we outline three ways to get it done.
Get Higher Ups on Board
In hierarchical company structures, we may assume that all good ideas start at the top — but this isn’t always so. In fact, sales teams would do well to listen to what young, new, or fresh reps have to say. The marketplace is always evolving, and new talent is also hired to bring in new ideas, not just replicate old systems.
Organize thoughts cohesively, and float them up the chain of command. Slick, multi-page program overview documents are not nearly as compelling as a direct statement, delivered with conviction. And there can’t be any light showing among the management team on this change: you need a united front to get employee buy-in.
Strategize to Maximize
We may want to rush an idea through to enact quick change, but know that teams are better off if proper planning comes first. Strategize to maximize: if you want acceptance of a new idea, position it in such a way that busy people with competing priorities can process quickly. Here are three possible positions:
- Force the change. This can be aggressive, but allowing parallel systems for a long transition doesn’t ease the pain; it just delays it. Old systems may need to go, or other competitors will make the obsolete. Sometimes, the metaphorical band-aid has to be ripped off.
- Give options that favor the change. People need a framework to evaluate against. A great example comes from Williams-Sonoma, which developed a bread machine with a roughly $200 price point — the first of its kind. It didn’t sell too well, however, until they put out a roughly $300 bread machine. Then the $200 versions flew off the shelves because people had something to compare them to; they needed a frame of reference to determine if it was a good value.
- Stoke fear through showing consequences. Show the alternative to change as being even scarier. We know that people need to understand the upside to be interested, but the downside can also be employed to show unwanted consequences if change does not come to fruition.
Make the Change Sustainable
Change should have a clear follow-through; you don’t want to just propose an idea, enact it willy-nilly, but not have systems in place to set sales teams up for success. You create a positive experience and launch when people feel that the implementation is controlled, the process is similar to other implementations, and that success gets celebrated at key milestones. Trusted leadership and clear communication are necessary at this phase to get new structures off the ground.
This has been an unprecedented time to make change happen, and many businesses are spread thin as a result. However, if you want to continue to be ahead of the curve in your marketplace, becoming more effective and accelerating change will offer you a competitive advantage. Hunt Big Sales offers efficient systems and holistic approaches to smooth over change to land bigger sales — see how our company can serve yours, and get in touch for a free consultation.