Leading Change through Sales Methodology Training

Creating change in a sales organization requires a sales leader to utilize sales methodology training.

Change is hard because most people take the path of least resistance and gravitate toward old habits.

Leading a sales team starts with putting your sales playbook in place.

If your new sales methodology makes their job easier, the sales team will use it.

If it makes their job harder, they will not.

Warning: In the short term, using the new stuff will be harder. No matter what you do.

Leading Change

The sales leader must create an environment in which it is:

  • easy to do the right things.
  • hard to do the wrong things.

A sales leader, who is deploying a new sales methodology, must work on both sides of that equation.

Sales Methodology Training: Make it Hard to do the Wrong Thing

Begin with the most forgotten half of this method: make it hard to revert to habit.

The introduction of new skills is a point of confrontation and stress. Under duress, old learning, no matter how flawed, prevails over new learning.

Make it hard to revert to old habit.

  • Record sales calls and critique them to a clear standard. Use the coach’s checklists for The Perfect Discovery Call and The Perfect Outbound Call in the Coach’s Toolbox as a guide.
  • Harness the power of peer pressure. You don’t always have to be the bad guy! Hold weekly team reviews of recorded calls, just like coaches use game film in the NBA, NFL and NHL. The embarrassment of not keeping pace with peers makes it hard to revert to old habits.
  • Require customer-validated Mutual Actions Plans for every opportunity.

Sales Methodology Training: Make it Easier to do the Right (New) Thing

  • You must provide sales methodology training that explains the WHY behind the WHAT, so your team understands and buys in to the process. This is accomplished in the public Software Sales Bootcamp or a custom, private sales bootcamp.
  • Employ Kaizen; small changes over an extended period. Kaizen’s small changes help us accomplish a larger goal that might, trigger a negative emotional response if attempted as a single action. This principle underlies the Sales Mastery approach I have developed and recommend.
  • Weekly game film reviews that showcase peers successfully applying the new principles can change the whole team’s view of what is possible. As they update their beliefs, their actions will update automatically. Actions are, after all, a manifestation of one’s current beliefs.
  • Ongoing sales methodology training. Provide access to podcasts, tips, etc. that are part of an end-to-end consistent methodology and not disassociated insights.
  • DON’T provide contradictory guidance from any source (“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never quite sure.”)

Stanford’s Lee Ross suggests that the leaders make a “fundamental attribution error.”

They blame their people.

In fact, it is the leader who must create an environment in which it is easy to do the right things and hard to do the wrong things.

If you want to look into the research in this area, you might benefit from reading Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.