Modern sales technologies have the potential to positively impact sales organizations with increased efficiencies and productivity while boosting results. In fact, according to Aberdeen Research, companies with a sales enablement tool had a 13% revenue growth rate, 3x that of companies without this technology. The challenge businesses face when implementing these tools, is how to effectively proceed so their salesforce will actually use it. So, how do companies successfully implement new sales readiness tools for optimum benefits?
Define the scope
Before getting started it is critical, to the success of your implementation, that you first define your goals, develop a plan, and designate roles for the process. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to do so, how will you know what success looks like? It is also important that you identify who will be responsible for which roles during the process to ensure that all tasks are covered and that none are forgotten.
Allocate resources and support
It is important that you and your technology vendor allocate the necessary resources to handle all aspects of the implementation. It’s equally as necessary to have support mechanisms in place as you roll out your new sales tool. You don’t want your salesforce to abandon usage because they can’t gain answers to their questions, or assistance with issues while learning.
Don’t try to do everything at once
Most technologies have many features. Prioritize which features will benefit your organization the most, in the shortest time, and implement around those first. Then build from there. It’s important for your organization, especially your reps and managers, to see results quickly. If they feel that the tool is helping them be better, or more productive, they are more likely to adopt it and use it routinely.
Build the process
Prepare all elements needed throughout your initial process. Be sure that all materials are aligned with your sales process and buyer’s journey. Once you’ve done so you’ll know what content you’ll need throughout your implementation and will be able to plan for future requirements as well.
Consider a pilot
Complete a pilot first for a subset of your salesforce. This allows you to gather feedback from power users and laggards, to determine best practices and roadblocks, to tool use as well as the launch process. You’ll also have success stories and wins to share with the rest of the sale force when you roll out the new technology to them. Plus, you will have champions and mentors from the pilot group to assist with the balance of the launch.
Train each role separately
It’s best to train individuals based on how they will use the tool, not based on a title. This prevents confusion and overwhelm, by only training on tool functions they’ll actually be using, but not on those that don’t apply to them. This will also save valuable time for all involved.
Keep it simple and provide opportunities for staff to easily utilize the new tool, so they’ll see its benefits quickly. Some companies find that using the new platform, for information updates and event pre-work, for an upcoming meeting is effective. This is true because it involves all who need to become familiar with the new platform and provides the repetitive practice needed for learning.
Continuous feedback and refinement
Be sure to set up a mechanism to collect user feedback on a routine basis. This allows timely adjustments to the process as you continue to introduce additional features and functionalities.
Taking these steps will result in widespread adoption and successful implementation of your new sales readiness tools. For more tips on how organizations have launched sales technology for optimum results, check out this article or this case study.