The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 weeks ago

Navigating Changes in Leadership

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Changes in leadership commonly take place during the sales process. Although disruptive, they are an occurrence for which preparation is key. How do you ensure that new leadership recognizes the value of your solution and gets behind it? John Kaplan shares how to respond to changes in leadership depending on where you are in the sales process.

Here are some additional resources:

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Stay focused on the value you provide and articulate it to the new people. Now more than ever, when you're engaging new people, you have to be on your a game as it relates to articulating your value. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. Will feat your sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller, and today we are as hackling another common sales scenario that typically comes up with many of our client accounts. Some maybe more than others, and that's a change in leadership. John Kaplan joins me today. Hi John, Hi Rachel, another great topic. Yeah, this is a common sales scenario, definitely.

No matter your experience in selling, everyone faces this. So let's talk about this scenario that many of us will find ourselves in. But really, how you respond depends on where you are in the sales process. So I'd like to break it down by that in our conversation today. Let's start with a change in leadership that happens in the middle of your sales process. What are your key action steps? Yeah, if you're aligned to the problem, the problems not going to go away. So always focus on the problem and it can be a great guiding light for you wherever you are in the sales process. So ask whoever is remaining to provide an introduction to the new person and tie them to the outcomes. Get them focused on that business problem. In establish yourself as somebody WHO's focused on solving those business problems and stay focused on the value you provide and articulate it to the new people. Now more...

...than ever, when you're engaging new people, you have to be on your a game as it relates to articulating your value. So there is this thing that we've talked about, a common theme, John, that we've talked about in some of these podcasts, is you want to connect the people that you sell to to the outcomes you're trying to drive, but you also want them to be passionately aligned to that, to be emotionally connected to the problems. So if you're selling and your leadership changes, the people are still there have an opportunity to, for lack of a better phrase, become heroes of the company, to try and be the ones to fix this problem, and you can kind of help them hitch their wagon to that, so to speak. I really, really love what you just said because a lot of times we call it being emotionally connected to what you do matters, and as a seller you always have to wake up in the morning and believe that. You have to believe that what you do matters. Well, the most elite sellers on...

...the planet do the same thing with calling on the men and women that they call on. They get them emotionally connected to what they do for a living matters, and a lot of times I've seen people that I'm calling on that have just lost their own emotional connection to what they do matters, and one of my favorite things is tying them to solving the business problem, getting them emotionally connected that they do there are part of a great solution to solving that problem, and then just watching the energy that gets created where people just kind of reinvest in their own job again. That says what I do matters and, and I know this sounds kind of like a psychological thing. But I believe sales is really about human behavior and I've seen some great outcomes. But you can't do that if you're not focused on the problem, if you're focused on your solution, you'll miss that opportunity to get somebody emotionally connected to the outcome. Yeah, great step, if, especially if this happens in the...

...middle of your sales process. So let's shift and say let's look at a scenario where you've already sold the deal and you're trying to stay tither to to the account and the new leadership team comes in or your key contact is going to another company. Talk through those action steps. Yeah, this is where your focus is on the results you're driving in the organization, and so that's why you always got to be you got to be audible ready. We call this the audible ready sales podcast. You have to be audible ready constantly with the results and if you don't have results yet, you have to be audible ready on the intended results. Why did we start the initiative? You know what were the intended outcomes? So in you want to stay focused attaching yourself to the higher level business problems constantly. So I always think it's a great form of professionalism and courtesy to reach out to the new leader and make them...

...aware of what has been done, but not only the what but, more importantly, the why. And if you're familiar with our principles for from command of the message, we talked about positive business outcomes. Every initiative you're working on has a positive business outcome. There were technical required capabilities that were established to achieve those outcomes and there were measurements or metrics put in place and you got to be prepared to share proof of what is happening, even in the beginning stages. If you have a framework like that, you're in really, really good, you know, sound footing. If you don't have a framework, how are you going to bring somebody up to speed on what you actually have done? Yeah, that's a great that's a great point. You do have the benefit, once you've already sold the deal, that you should have results that you're driving for your organization. That's a great entry point to a...

...conversation with somebody in a new position. Had loved to bring up just being on what we've done so far, but it does start with having a framework to make sure you are capturing that information. Yeah, that's a simple one. It's a simple one. It's like, what business problems were you addressing? What were the technical requirements in order to address that? And they should be highly differentiated for you. And then how were you measuring success? And constantly be looking for proof points. You should be selling that way. You should be updating your executives that way, you should be, you know, cross selling and upselling and referencing that methodology or that little framework. It's a really, really simple framework. I think it's a no brainer. Yeah, and it's important in these situations to pay attention to any leadership change. It might not be your key economic buyer, your coach, even your champion. Those people leaving other key contacts. It can be still be frustrating, but...

...they present opportunity when there's new people coming into an account, a lot of opportunity in a lot of different ways, both inside the account and then at the new account where that person might go to. But here's where you can really leverage your champions in an account. And I always look at leadership changes and try to understand the purpose of that change. And so in order to do that, I engage with my champions and try to understand the story behind the change. Why did the change happen? Where is the new leader coming from? What relevance might they have to what we're doing in the account now? And regarding the concept of your champion, this is a great test. When change happens in an organization, a political landscape lights up like a pinball machine. And if you if you do indeed have I'm going to put it in air quotes here. So are quotes a champion. It means they have...

...power and influence, which means they have access to information. So if you know more about the in air quotes changes than the champion does, there's your sign and, Rachel, one of these little things I love to I love to get myself grounded on on the concept of power and influence and knowledge for a champion. Some people wake up in the morning and say this is going to happen today, other people wake up in the morning and say this is what happened yesterday, and then, lastly, the poor souls who wake up and and say what happened? You got to ask yourself a question. Who are you aligning yourself with inside these account obviously you'll want to be aligning yourself to the people, to wake up in the morning and tell you have the ability tell you this is going to happen today. Yeah, and I don't want to have this conversation about leadership changes and just paint it with our look at it through rose colored glass. This is I mean, it's true that...

...when a leadership change it's not easy, it might not always go your way because new people want to bring in their own people, they want to tie themselves to their own initiative. Yeah, I mean this happens to us at force management all the time. When people think of FM, if they do as just a force management, is just a methodology and not a transformative process, then everybody has an opinion on a methodology, just like everybody at the barbecue has a guy or a Gal for lawn service or plumbing. You know, everybody has a guy. You can't assume that the new person does not have an opinion. Your job and the job of your champion is to find out what that opinion is. What if they implemented in other places? What initiatives you know are they known for? I love to use leadership changes to bring positive light to my champions in an account. I love to write champion letters to the new executive explaining you know what a great job the champions and...

...their teams have done by name. I like the name each person on the team, either implementing our solution with specific references to business outcomes, or what a great job they've done so far and just helping us understand positive business outcomes. You know the technical requirements and metrics, so it doesn't have to be. It could be in the middle of your solution, could be after your solution. It's a great opportunity for you to have the new late leader validate this information and way in with their perspective. Remember, how you sell can be just as important as what you sell as a differentiator for you. So, John, we're talking about these current accounts leadership, key contact leaving and how that affects those accounts. But there is opportunity because those people you built relationships with are moving to new accounts. Yeah, for sure. I mean this is how the world works. You should expect it. If you do...

...your job, people are going to want to bring you to the new place. One of my favorite parts of what I do for living is spending time with transitioning executives and helping them build their value proposition for the new job. We've had numerous examples of crows and even CEOS making it clear to boards that they will not accept the new position without the new company bringing us in from force management, and that's just an awesome feeling. And I actually had a board member of a company called me one time and say I do not know you, I don't know your company, but to people that we've just interviewed told us that they would not take the job without also bringing in force management. And so I apologize if that sounds a little bragging or self serving. I don't mean it. That's not my intent. What I do mean to say is that I am just genuinely fired up about the pack that we have...

...as a company and if you're focusing on building those relationships, like we've talked about in this podcast, with attaching people the business outcomes and in reminding, elevating your champions and getting them emotionally connected to what they've done, you will carry those relationships forward for a lifetime. Yeah, I mean, I know you don't want to sound boastful, Jean, but the broader point is people will talk about your solution when you're not in the room if you've had great relationships and if you've driven the outcomes that you've promised, the whole outcome part of this conversation that we spend so much time talking about in this in our podcast today. That's where the value, value is, and if you drive those outcomes, people will take them with you because they want those outcomes again in their new role. So let's wrap it up, John. Give me the bottom line. Okay, my bottom line for this is kind of specific. Like you can't be single threaded in your accounts, meaning you only have...

...one relationship. You got to be high wide indeed by if we didn't talk about that in this podcast, you better be here in that because it's if you're single threaded your risk. Look for change in an organization to light up the political landscape like a pinball machine. Test your champions on their knowledge of change. Do you know more about the change than they do? Oh, you probably don't have a champion. Right. Champion letters to executives and give your champions the credit. Share enthusiasm around the impact of your solutions by focusing on that little framework that we talked about, the positive business outcomes, the technical required capabilities. That should be highly differentiated for you and the metrics how you've measured success. You do this and you will have champions for life who will bring you and your company with them wherever they go, right, no matter where they go. Thank you so much, John, my pleasure, and thank you to all of you for continuing to listen to the audibilready sales...

...podcast. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (170)