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

Episode 55 · 8 months ago

Reinforcing a Sales Initiative w/ Kathleen Schindler


Gearing up to launch a strategic initiative or are you in the middle of creating an adoption plan?

Kathleen Schindler, Force Management Managing Director of Customer Success shares current best practices sales leaders are using to make changed behaviors stick. Kathleen supports some of our most successful customers and sales teams as they work to roll out new sales capabilities and make them stick. She shares:

- How sales leaders and managers are leveraging the remote environment to drive adoption and accountability

- What to think through when developing the long-term adoption plan for your sales initiative

- How to incorporate managers in the adoption plan and support their ability to drive on-going reinforcement.

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

Here are some additional resources on reinforcing an initiative

- Insights on Maintaining Virtual SKO Momentum


- How to Equip Managers to Drive Lasting Results from a Sales Initiative


- How to Set Up an Effective Adoption Plan Around Your Sales Kickoff


When you gid just think about exactcustomer interaction, then that we'll really start turning about hey whatprocesses? This is going to impact. What parts of my text ack a'm, I goingto need to think about to help support my teams and better aline around themathodology to make sure it's super sticky for using it we're driving inthe adoption and we're hitting those positive as Balars you're listening to the audible, ready,podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster willfeature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a salesengine that helps you feel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team Fforce management, a leader in BTB sales affectin. This let's get started hello and welcome to the audible, ready,podcast, I'm Rachel Clett Miller, and today we are going to talk aboutreinforcing a sales initiative or reinforcing sales behaviors. Thisepisode will be a good one for anyone who is leading teams or trying tolaunch the sales initiative and joining me for this discussion is our ownmanaging director of customer success, Cafhleen Shimler, Hig, Cathleen, Highorage. All thanks for having me on today, I'm so excited for you to join thatyour inaugural appearance of the audibalready podcast Sowe Caan. I wanted you to join us forthis conversation because you are on the frontlines of some of our mostsuccessful costomers and sales teams. You've seen really greatimplementations, and you also know where. How do we say that the landmindsare and what people need to do to avoid them? You really focus on helping ourcustomers. The teams hit the benchmarks that they're seeking yeah. For sure Imean it's awesome like we've been working shoulder to shoulder with a lotof frontline leaders. You know post launch and their coss functionalleadership teams to really help implement this change or transformation,and I have to say one of the great things about our work with customers.It's not just about you know the land,... and the sales organization, it'sabout called the customer facing teams needing to row in the same direction.So that's from your perspective and marketing rage Oll to her teams to tosales. Obviously, as a key point in this customer engagement, but also youknow, post implementation- is this customer success organizations becauseNrr netoccurring revenue is become so important now for a lot of these SASScompanies. That a lot of our focus is actually shifted to the CSorganizations to help them think through. How do we keep that revenue?How do we grow? It using know our methodologies right, because to yourpoint, especially now in Sass that first sale, it's not done right this,it's an ongoing sales campaign and and as we like to say it force management,we're all in sales right. Even me and marketing, I'm in sales, too, right,IAND, there's a variety of reasons. Companies might choose to launch asales initiative sales transformation within their companies. They may bemerging. They may e go after a new vertical aggressive growth goals,whatever that is, but there's some overall trends that I know you've seenKaflin with companies that really get it right when they're trying to changebehaviors on the sales team. So I want to talk through those best practicesthat that you've seen and I think you bring up kind of the first one alreadyis when we think about best practices forchanging behaviors or driving transformation in your organization.It's to go beyond just the sales team and think about everybody who might beinvolved in that customer engagement process. Totally I mean the CSorganization going back to that nrr point is: Is Hugely instrumental anddriving it we've seen with even a cross, some of our longstanding custumers,like the change in perspective of tercous organizations that go frombeing. You know, keeping the customer...

...happy type of mentality to actuallybeing measured on, leads past or renewals, or identify and expansionopportunities. So those that NRR number is so important for companies nowadaysand making sure the entire customer place in the team is enabled to helpachieve that positive business outcome, yet to really so that would be a bestpractice. If you're listening to this and you're thinking about you reallynee to change some behaviors on your sales team, one of the successbenchmarks to think through is who else in your organization do you need toinvolve? who else is touching the customer that would impact the successof that initiative. Exactly exactly and the other thing we say all all the timeis, if you've launched a initiative and then you think about adoption,reinforcement, effort of the initiative, it's too late that you need to reallyapplant plan for that adoption in advance. Exactly I mean if you do thinkabout it, a little bit late. We can help course correct, of course always, but I mean it's really great to do thatupfront when you're kind of driving the alignment cross functionally already,let's Aline Cross function on, what's going to happen, post launch, I meanit's funny to some of our. We call him like repetefenders. You know longtermcustomers that bring us into new organizations working with one that hasactually not worked with US and before around success, plannning and kind ofour reinforce options and this they are so excited to engage with us inplanning ahead cross punishlly for an option to make sure their ducts are allin a row, so they can even be more successful than they were theirprevious companies and when you go into customer who is launching a salesinitiative and helping them with that adoption plan, what kind of questionsare you asking them to e? What h kind of things do you want them to thinkthrough, so they can be successful, so yeah we use. We use our own mechonology.Of course, when we're doing this, is... know a mix of like those gooddiscovery and trap setting questions of you know what else you know do youthink you'll need to be successful across the organization with thisinitiative and that's a pretty open, ended great discovery question, but youcan actually get really pointed in the engagement that you know the sales teamwhere the CS team might be having with your customers and saying hey how howdo you expect your sales wrapped to leverage the methodology in a salesmeeting, or how do you expect your CSM to leverage the methodology in aquarterly business review with your customer? So when you ventualy thinkabout exact customer interaction, then thet weell really start turning abouthey what processes is this going to impact? What you know parts of my textAC? Am I going to need to think about to help support my teams and betteraligne around the mathodology to make sure it's super sticky wer using ite're driving in the adoption and we're hitting those positive, usiness, AEMSyeah could be as simple as just taking one deal and mapping it out an allthose various touchpoints that would be impacted by implementing a newmethodology or implementing a behavior change. So working back from that todetermine what exactly you need to plan for post roll out the other. I thinkthat one of the big rocks when it comes to changing behavior and your salesteam. I is the the managers and a lot of these organizations mean they arekind of your frontlines on behavior change or implementing and initiative,and I know that we we really push customers to enable or train managersseparately from the reps, because they do whole have such a vital role in theadoption of an initiative. Exactly I mean you know, we use the you know the mindset the outside inlineset the process, which is the methodology, the tools which could beyou know, frameworks and there in the customers content. So you've got allthis stuff that you're enabling your...

...organization with that training right.So you got, you know, there's an old structure that people say peopleprocess and tools or people process technology, and the only thing that'snot me Equater I just talked about is the people aspect, so we really need toget the managers enabled to help drive this adoption, and I often see a lot ofour customers whom we start working with them. We realize that maybe theydon't even have a great manager, ennavalment platform or program, noteven withstanding this transformation that they're about to go through. Theyjust don't have a great mechanism, for you know, moving reps to managers andmaking sure theyr they turn their newly minted managers into great ones. So weusually see like this is a great opportunato, not only uplevel themanagers on the methodology and how to apply it, but really kind of get intosome of the brass tack and hygiene around. What being a great manager islike. So you could add that into the mix with this transformation as wellright, it's training the managers, but then as also having something in placelong term. So you can continue to enable them on the methodology and wetalke a lot about Kathleen about making sure that the initiative is irrelevantto the role and that really plays in here with the managers. You want themto be experts in whatever they're, reinforcing what kind of best practiceshave you seen. Some of our customers do with training and enabling the managersso a lot of, especially what we work with teams. postlauge. Probably eightypercent of our focus is on the front line manager so making sure thatthey're equipped they're not expected from day one right to be really proficient or even fluwit on themethodology is going to take some time. So we try and equip them with tool setsthat they can lek to coach their team, coaching, guds and playbooks for themto lead from the front and have a little bit of you know, tool that theirdisposal as well as you know, some of...

...our the coaching that we can do frorthem. So I think it's a thinking throughe. What is the manager need tohelp support their teams to drive this adoption and transformation? How havecompanies facilitated kind of cross team communications when they'rerolling out? What kind of examples have you seen of that where a manager mightshare best practicit on her team with other teams, or is that through slackchannels? What kind of things have you seen when it comes to sharing thesuccesses among teams by managers? No, that's a really good question. I meanthe cool thing I mean while come of it has impacted us. You know detrimentallyin a lot of ways this for a lot of folks working remotely it's kind ofenabled a lot of opportunities to cross polinate. So weoften encourage the managers after they've Hav a little bit of time, onoftheir belts with the methodology to maybe do some deal coaching with someother managers team members, so they're a little bit more impartial to the deal.They could be very objective on it and do a really good job coaching and theymight actually see trends across the board when they do that and they canshare the best passions about what's working and coaching and what each areawhere a manager might need to be improved. So you can definitely crosspollinate a lot in the remote world when you're not traveling as much. Sowe definitely see a lot of that happening and using flack yeah ere. Allthese other communication channels to share out wins that are powered bycommand of the message or another methodology. So any any success stories.We can kind of share instantaneously through the communication channels thatwe have at our disposal. That's a great point, especially in this increasinglyvirtual environment, that we hal have been living in here since covid to usethose channels to share success stories because those little, what do you saybright spots of success- help motivate others to change their own behavior,because they're seeding the value that it's bringing other people I even knowat force. When we close a new deal, we...

...get an alert, an a company alert on ourcommunication channel which, before you could see it in sales force, and wewould know- and somebody might yell down the Hallway. But now I think morepeople are more in tune to win. We sign on a new customer because of thosecommunication channels, and I think I'm sure other companies are seeing thesame another best practice. I think that you have mentioned before thatyou've. Seen among our customers is this idea of incentiising behaviorchange that always can help in driving you behavior m? We see that a lot tocoming out of the gate from a big lodge. Is We have a a thirteen week kind ofmuscle memory, building program for all these customers? TAFACING teams topartake it where it's like weekly micro learning and we see a lot of customersof ourseither NBO their team on completing that each week or you know,Okaya or whatever other type of you know, incentive that you guys are mightbe using in your company. But but that's been really awesome to seeeverybody browing in the same direction. Everybody focusing on the same topiceach week because everybody is becoming more proficient at leveraging themethodology and the leaders are seeing that you know they're, seeing theresults you know not just on the completion of it, but in customerconversations or in internal prep calls or in you know, sales force if they'reusing the language in in the opportunity, records yeah and, as yousaid, the six communicating or demonstrating change behaviors onlyfacilitates more more behavior change. You talked about Cross collination andthe virtual environment and how your Changeyou behavior, how you're,reinforcing and encouraging adoption of a new methodology in some waysis is thesame as it was precovid, because we a we always had remote teams and peopleweren't, always working in the same office. They were selling virtually soin some ways you know there hasn't been...

...changes, but to your point, thisenvironment can offer new opportunity. Are there any other ways where you'veseen our customers really leverage that remote channels are virtual learning ina way that has benefited changing, behavior, R or their salves initiative?You know it has been really cool to see. Actually as a result of this, it's youknow: EVERYUC NG, ow, an inside celler right because I'l be you know on thezoom all the time from ther their office desk a home, but we've seen alot of opjake, especially my team of the use of like gon or pors or any ofthose recording software, because you can actually see folks using themethodology at the point of execution, which is a sales calld war. You know CS kickoff, call or QBR session, so youcan actually give feed Bam almost in real time. You know probably a look anhour or two delays, but that's been so amazing to see that the managers andleader leaders can actually listen to see how their teams are applying themethodology, give feedback and see changes week on week, very quickly,which you probably wouldn't have seen when you're you know, ow tat, customersights, Pre covid yeah. Excuse me Wheni as hit record here on my iphone. So Ican video this call or whatevepople brother. Okay, good. Are there any other bestpractices that you think that would be good to share with people out there whoare listening that might be in the throes of planning their own adoptionyeah? I think th the main message to for leaders. Yes, we can mobiliize thefrontline leaders to mobilize their individual contributor team members,but it really comes down to you as the sales leader leading from the front onthis. So again we can mobilize the cross, functional teams, but it doescome. There is a point where the top down leading meeting at the top isreally important to drive in this...

...transformation and as a sales leadar,getting your colleagues on the leadership team to buy into this,because you're going to need them for the success of this transformation. Itmay be your Buddret but you're going to need them crossfunctionin to help drivethis initiative to the ground. To get to your your outcomes, yeah, I think itto fostering the team. That's going to help you reinforce and, unlike wealways say, Cathlein, you can't delegate leadership of an initiative.Definitely not definitely not yea looking for transformation, nottraining, and that is what has helped our most successful customers. Re reachthose PBOS. Thank you for your time today, Katheen. I appreciate you goingthrough this with me yeah thanks, so much for having me to love to join more.This is I love the audible, Reddy podcast, and I'm so glad you guys Havthat milestone recently ovr the fifty. So thanks for having me on for the nextfifty well, thank you, and that was not in any predetermined speaker note. So Iappreciate that Cathleen and for those of you listening, I have linked upseveral resources. We have on driving reinforcement coaching. Your frontlinemanagers be sure to check those out in the show notes, and thank you to all ofyou for listening to the AUDTOF already podcast at force management. We'refocused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams, areproven methodologies. Deliver programs that build company alignment and fuelrepeatable revenue grow. Give your teams the ability to execute the grossstrategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proofis in our results. Let's get started visit us at force. Managementcom you'vebeen listening to the audible, ready podcast to not miss an episodesubscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time.

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