Steps to Help Lead Your Sales Team Through Change
When a sales team is faced with challenges or difficult situations, a sales manager steps up to lead. Are you, as a sales leader, ready to handle those situations? Do you know the steps it takes to manage your team through a major change? If not, we’re here to help. Below, we’ll take a look at several of the ways in which you can navigate the challenging path of change for your sales team.
Provide guidance and first steps
One of the most important responsibilities a leader has is providing direction for the team. This seems obvious but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes leaders think they are providing clear direction for the team, but this can sometimes be more of an assumption than reality. Communication and repetition are critical to ensure that all team members know the plan and what their specific roles are for contributing to mission success.
Your sales reps are looking at you for support and guidance when a major change arrives. Lead by example by having a set plan in place for when it occurs. If you come across as unsure or unready to handle the situation, the same will happen to the rest of the team.
Maintain the peace
Implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) solution? Your team should be on board in the first place. If not, you’re doing the onboarding process totally wrong, and it’s time to rethink the entire implementation. Your sales reps should never be blindsided by the oncoming solution, as its going to affect everything about their job and how it’s done. This type of change is one that should be selected by the entire team, and usually the entire company. Ensure everyone’s on the same page right away to maintain the peace and avoid unrest.
Make clear of misunderstandings
Adaptive change sometimes requires the company to completely rethink roles and positions within the organization. Make this known and 100% clear so nobody’s in the dark when the time comes to make important life-changing decisions. If you’re not clear on what’s going on to your team, any and all trust that was previously built will likely be lost.
Extinguish the flames
When a major change occurs in a business, there are sometimes conflicts that arise. And when they do, be prepared to address them. Before implementing a business-changing solution, brainstorm and analyze all of the possible conflicts or issues that employees may bring to your attention, and be ready to answer all of them. It’s likely that not everybody will be on the same page, and that’s OK. Just ensure you have the data and the answers to back everything up and resolve any issues.
Major change brings about a lot of uncertainty. Sales reps might not know the new solution that’s been put in place, and they might even be unwilling to learn. This is not the time to threaten—instead, it’s time to empower. Change is difficult, especially for the sales reps on your team who might’ve been used to doing something a different, more traditional way for the past 30+ years. Empower them to learn a new skill. Encourage everyone, recognize successes, no matter how big or how small. By doing so, you’ll be raising morale and increasing the likelihood that the change will be a success in the end.