“Everyone Wants To Go To Heaven…”

By Tim Searcy

“. . . but nobody wants to die.” Or, so the saying goes. This is so true for all management change. I’ve been spending time with CEO’s that are frustrated with their teams. Although everyone wants to see better outcomes, the sales leadership has been unwilling to adopt behavior change. The fact is that if a company keeps using the same tools, thinking and approach, it will get the same outcome. Change requires in a word, well, change.

If you’re implementing Hunt Big Sales’ methodologies, or the concepts originally put forth in Tom Searcy’s book Whale Hunting, and are frustrated with the pace of internal adoption, consider the following three questions:

1. Have you been crystal clear about your unwavering commitment to the new sales process? Change of this nature is not collaborative throughout the organization, nor does the decision require “buy in.” This is a radically different approach to change management, but simply assuming that you’ll be able to get everyone on board diminishes the elements needed to enact revolutionary change. The only group-think that has to be done is at the very top of the organization, and that is the firm’s commitment to begin. Now, the second step of implementation requires tremendous discussion and explanation. This is about helping people understand, “why?” In tough times like the current recession, it is possible that the reason is as simple as survival.

2. Do you have a step-by-step time line for implementation? In my client experience, it is wise to understand that everything cannot all happen at once. Take for example something simple in nature, but complicated in acceptance: the movement pipeline. Many companies attempt to put in place the movement pipeline in one afternoon. This approach is doomed to confusion and frustration. Instead, follow this order of introduction as an example for all aspects of the HBS system:

  • Define your terms: Without a clear understanding of what words mean (in writing), too much interpretation will take place and misalignment is assured.
  • Lay out the process: In the case of the movement pipeline, this means making certain that everyone understands what each step means, followed by agreement on the order of steps, and the policies if an account moves outside the process.
  • Test the system: Take five or ten of your last accounts and put them in the pipeline report to see if reality matches design. If not, then change the design properly, or examine if reality has actually been the problem.
  • Implement on a beta basis: The movement pipeline dictates strong accountability in both the positive and negative for failure to accomplish 10 movements per week, or to eliminate wasted accounts. For this reason, try out the system for 60-90 days prior to placing it into stone.
  • Implement the system and review semi-annually: So often organizations get started on a process and then spend tremendous amounts of time tinkering with the process without allowing the system to just work. Let the process run for awhile before making changes, and resist the urge to modify on the fly when something does not feel right for a specific account.

3. Are you following the “prescription?” Medication does not work if you do not take it in the dosage prescribed or at the intervals directed by the physician

These questions should lead to the truisms of change excellence. In short, you have to mandate change as its most passionate agent, engage a plan that has clear milestones for assessment of delivery, and work the plan as it is prescribed by Hunt Big Sales.

And, obviously, if you need help in these three areas, just give us a call so we can talk about where you’re stuck. We love this stuff, and are happy to help.

(Start a dialog by calling or emailing Carajane Moore: 317-847-8037 or [email protected].)