Sales Technology: Managing Change When Deploying New Sales Technology into Large Teams

After years of unnecessary admin, slow processes, backlogs and duplicated effort, you’ve finally tracked down the perfect new sales technology to fix all your woes. It’s a gift to your team. Surely they’ll be as excited as you are about embracing it?

Hmm. As anyone who’s ever tried to roll out a brand new system in a large enterprise knows, most people are seriously stuck in their ways and will resist any change they fear could slow them down, if only in the short term. If you’re going to deploy that sales technology smoothly, you’re going to need a plan. You’ll have to get the whole team on side and invested in your success from the word Go!

And while you can’t completely quell the cries of the natural naysayers and technophobes, following these eight steps to smooth deployment will help you inspire your team, demonstrate quick wins, and get the system firmly entrenched and delivering returns before they have time to slip back into bad habits.

  1.     Make Sure the New System is User-Friendly

Regardless of it’s potential, if your new system is overly complicated, daunting or unintuitive, it will be fiercely resisted and resented from the outset.

Of course, any major change in work processes will incur some teething problems, but your best hope of smooth deployment is offering an alternative that creates quick, hassle-free wins like saving them time and admin.

If it takes too much effort to get their head around the new sales tech, they will see it as a barrier to hitting their quota. So don’t fall at the first hurdle – choose your sales technology wisely indeed.

  1.     Explain Why It’s Important – and How It Will Benefit the Team

Your sales reps want to be able to work more efficiently, have more time for customer interaction, close more deals, and hit their targets. Presumably, whatever new sales technology you’ve chosen is designed to facilitate all of these things, so don’t keep it a secret – get them excited about it!

Explain from the beginning why you’re switching to a new technology and what benefits you’re hoping to create for individual sellers. In fact, getting them on board while you’re still at the procurement stage lends the opportunity to get input on what features or outcomes they would be most excited about, which will not only inform your choice of tech, but means they’re already invested in the new system when you come to deploy it.

  1.     Trial It Internally

No matter how great or intuitive your new sales technology, there will no doubt be a few false starts as you figure out how to optimize it for your organization. If you’re dealing with a very large team, these hiccups can mean hours and hours of duplicated work or general chaos in the first few weeks.

Instead, select a small sub-team or group of sellers who are enthusiastic about the potential and engage them first. Once you’ve worked out the ‘kinks’, you can leverage these learnings to guide the wider team, helping to ensure smooth deployment across the organization.

  1.     Recruit Early Adopters from the Top

If management aren’t seen to fully embrace the new sales technology, sellers will fast dismiss it, so getting senior buy-in is crucial.

Who are the thought leaders in your organization – the ones that the rest look up to and want to impress? These are the people you want to get on board right away, ideally using the system, demonstrating best practices and, importantly, being vocal about it. If senior management are using the new sales tech operationally, sellers must embrace the change.

  1.     Personalize Training Where Possible

In a large organization, it’s highly likely that varied teams will be looking for different outcomes and benefits from the new sales technology. Make sure your training fully reflects the different aspects of how each sales team might operate, focusing on the tools and results that are most applicable to their needs.

Bear in mind that different teams may have different skills and backgrounds too, not to mention varying levels of exposure to technology in their day-to-day work. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to training:  Make sure you’ve customized the experience as much as possible, so that they understand why it’s relevant and beneficial to them on an individual level.  

  1.     Make it Part of the Day-to-Day

Once you’re ready to deploy your new sales tech, it’s time to fully commit. If it’s treated like an optional add-on, that’s where it will stay. For best results, restructure the way you do things so that the new tech is at the core of what you do.  Be clear about what you expect from the team, share best practices, and demonstrate how the old way of doing things is now obsolete. Reiterate in meetings, training and corporate communications until it sticks.

  1.     Emphasize Successful Outcomes

Hard business results will be your most convincing argument to improve adoption. As soon as possible, start collecting data and feedback from team members on how their new sales technology is impacting their workload, success rates and other factors.  Highlight success stories with the wider team and applaud the efforts so that others are encouraged to follow suit.

Sellers are competitive creatures, after all, and nothing will spur them into action like seeing their peers get better results, using a tool they have at their fingertips.

  1.     Focus on Rewards over Penalties (But Don’t Rule It Out)

Punishing your team for failing to embrace the new technology should always be an absolute last resort. Before you get anywhere near that stage, do everything you can to reinforce positive behavior.

Make a point of publicly recognizing sellers who have successfully made the switch, perhaps consider offering rewards for rapid adoption or meeting milestones. Celebrate wins and focus on motivating your team. Your new sales technology is a positive asset for the business, so make it feel like one.

 

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