Sales Transformation – the secret to driving change on your fast growing sales team

I was watching a qlik webinar the other day, and this equation popped up on the screen.

Sales Transformation = IQ + EQ + XQ

It’s simplicity and veracity hit me like a ton of bricks. So many projects within a sales team struggle because of the lack of a rollout framework that requires theses skills.

These apply weather the project is as simple as creating and rolling out a new sales policy or as complicated as a CRM overhaul.

Requirements

IQ – Intelligence Quotient

Raw intellectual horse-power certainly doesn’t hurt.  It’s important especially in regards to how it translates to analytical skills.  That being said, it necessary but not sufficient.  This is one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen made on sales operations teams or in analytical support roles.  The reality is that the complexity of most problems that you’ll be solving won’t be on the order of quantum physics.  There’s a minimum IQ bar for sure, but the EQ and XQ are the harder traits to find.

EQ – Emotional Quotient

These are the softest of skills and the most subtle ones. They are the easiest to overlook, but the most critical for success. EQ is the ability to read the team and understand whether they’ll follow you in this initiative. EQ is the ability to lead and inspire them into doing so. EQ is the ability to spot the unspoken role model of the team.

XQ – Execution Quotient

Execution Quotient, experience acquired from time spent in the trenches rolling out project, messing up projects, and iterating. It’s not glamorous work, but no good idea succeeds without the ability to execute on it.

You could use this as a guide for figuring out who to hire on your sales ops team.

Rollout Framework:

Now for the step by step checklist for rollouts. This has been a great reminder to me in any project how many things need to be done correctly for the larger initiative to succeed

  • Compelling story
    • Buy in
    • Belief that it works
  • Role Model
  • Incentives
  • Training
  • Follow-up

Compelling Story

BEFORE sales people will do something, they have to BELIEVE that it can work. The operative word here being believe, not “have certain evidence”.

You need to understand what they currently believe, and have a compelling story that convinces them from where they stand.  You need to be able to explain to them how this initiative will provide value to them, and they need to believe you.

This is called getting buy-in and it all starts and ends here. Step number one in any project should be speaking to them to learn what they believe and what they think could be successful in solving the problem at hand. If they feel like they had input, you’ll be one step closer to having a compelling story.

Role Model

The next step is convincing a leader on the team. This isn’t an official leader I title only, it’s the person the team looks up to regardless of role.

If you can’t convince one of them, you’ll struggle to get the whole team onboard

Incentives

If a sales team is paid to do the opposite of what you are asking them to do…. you will fail.

Do not fight this fight. It’s like walking up a mountain covered in mud with bowling shoes on….

Never forget this.  Make sure the incentives line-up with your initiative of push-off until you can get them aligned.

Training

If all the other steps are on your side, now you simply need to create training to explain all parties involved what you would like them to do.  This is often forgotten, and the initiative dies a slow death out in the wild.

Think about both the managers and the individual contributors.  Train the managers first, so they can help you bring the correct training to the sales people.

Follow-up

Wait?! I did all these other steps, and I’m not done?

No, if sales people don’t feel like this change is here to stay, they’ll drop it faster than they would drop your CRM.  If you promised the team that the initiative would provide them with value X, follow up on that.  Have you achieved that value?  Is the whole team aware of it?

Follow-up can be in the form of communication updates, ongoing training, team-wide tracking, or compliance checks in the back-ground just to see if things are working.

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