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

Episode 55 · 1 year 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 get to think about exact customer interactions, then the wheel really start turning about hey, what processes is this going to impact? What parts of my text ac am I going to need to think about to help support my teams in better a line around the methodology to make sure it's super sticky. We're using it, we're driving the adoption and we're heading those positive as a outcomes. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team afforce management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller, and today we are going to talk about reinforcing a sales initiative or reinforcing sales behaviors. This episode will be a good one for anyone who is leading teams or trying to launch the sales initiative and joining me for this discussion as our own managing director of customer success, Kathleen Schindler. Hi, Kathleen, Hier Rachel, thanks for having me on today. I'm so excited for you to join the your inaugural appearance on the audiblelready podcast. So, Kathleen, I wanted you to join us for this conversation because you are on the front lines of some of our most successful customers and sales teams. You've seen really great implementations and you also know where, how do we say, that the land mines are and what people need to do to avoid them. You really focus on helping our customers. The team's hit the benchmarks that they're seeking. Yeah, for sure. I mean it's awesome, like we've been working shoulder to shoulder with a lot of frontline leaders, you know, post launch and their cross functional leadership 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 team in the...

...sales organization. It's about all the customer facing teams needing to row in the same direction. So that's from your perspective and marketing, Rangel of, to our teams, to sales, obviously as a key point in this customer engagement, but also you know, post implementation. It's this customer success organizations, because Nurr, net recurring revenue is become so important now for a lot of these SASS companies that a lot of our focus is actually shifted to the CS organizations to help them think through how do we keep that revenue, how do we grow it using, you know, our methodologies right because, to your point, especially now and 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 in marketing. I'm in sales to right. And there's a variety of reasons companies might choose to launch a sales initiative sales transformation within their companies. They may be merging, they may go after a new vertical aggressive growth goals, whatever that is, but there's some overall trends that I know you've seen Keatling with companies that really get it right when they're trying to change behaviors on the sales team. So I want to talk through those best practices that that you've seen and I think you bring up kind of the first one already is when we think about best practices for changing behaviors or driving transformation and your organization. It's to go beyond just the sales team and think about everybody who might be involved in that customer engagement process totally. I mean the CS organization, going back to that Nur point, is is hugely instrumental in driving it. We've seen even a across some of our longstanding customers, like the change in perspective of their cus organizations that go from being, you know, keeping the customer happy type of...

...mentality to actually being measured on leads past or renewals or identified expansion opportunities. So those that Nurur numbers so important for companies nowadays and making sure the entire customer facing team is enabled to help achieve that positive business outcome yet to really so that would be a best practice. If you're listening to this and you're thinking about you really need to change their behaviors on your sales team, one of the success benchmarks to think through is who else in your organization do you need to involve? who else is touching the customer? That would impact the success of that initiative exactly exactly. And the other thing we say all all the time is if you've launched an initiative and then you think about adoption or reinforcement affort of the initiative, it's too late that you need to really a plant plan for that adoption in advance exactly. I mean if you do think about it a little bit late, we can help, course correct, of course always, but I mean it's really great to do that up front when you're kind of driving the alignment cross functionally already. Let's align cross function and what's going to happen post launch. I mean it's funny to some of our we call them Mac Repeta fenders, you know, our long term customers that bring us into new organizations, working with one that has actually not worked with US and before around success planning and kind of our reinforce options and this they're so excited to engage with us in planning ahead cross functionally for an option to make sure their ducts are all on a row so they can even be more successful than they were their previous companies. And when you go into customer who is launching a sales initiative and helping them with that adoption plan, what kind of questions are you asking them to or what the kind of things do you want them to think through so they can be successful? So, yeah, we usually we use our own methodology, of course, and we're doing this..., you know, a mix of like those good discovery and trap setting questions of you know, what else you know? Do you think you'll need to be successful across the organization with US initiative? And that's a pretty open ended great discovery question. But you can actually get really pointed in the engagement that you know the sales team or the CSTEAM might be having with your customers and saying, Hey, how how do you expect your sales wrapped to leverage the methodology in a sales meeting or how do you expect your CSM to leverage the methodology in a quarterly business review with your customer? So when you get to think about exact customer interactions, then the wheel really start turning about hey, what processes is this going to impact? What you know, parts of my text, Ac am I going to need to think about to help support my teams in better a line around the methodology to make sure it's super sticky. We're using it, we're driving the adoption and we're hitting those positive is as welcomes. Yeah, it could be as simple as just taking one deal and mapping it out all those various touch points that would be impacted by implementing a new methodology or implementing a behavior change. So working back from that to determine what exactly you need to plan for post roll out. The other I think that one of the big rocks when it comes to changing behavior in your sales team is the the managers and a lot of these organizations they are kind of your front lines on behavior change or implementing an initiative, and I know that we we really push customers to enable or train managers separately from the reps, because they do whole, have such a vital role in the adoption of an initiative. Exactly. I mean, you know, we use the you know, the mindset, the outside in mindset, the process, which is the methodology, the tools, which could be, you know, frameworks, and there in the customers content. So you've got all this stuff that you're...

...enabling your organization with a training right. So you got you know, there's an old structure that people say people process and tools or people process technology, and the only thing that's not in the equation I just talked about is the people aspects. So we really need to get the managers enabled to help drive this adoption. And I often see a lot of our customers when we start working with them, we realize that maybe they don't even have a great manager enablement platformer program not even withstanding this transformation that they're about to go through. They just don't have a great mechanism for, you know, moving reps to managers and making sure there they turn their newly minted managers into great ones. So we usually see like this is a great opportunity to not only up level the managers on the methodology and how to apply it, but really kind of get into some of the brass tacks and hygiene around what being a great managers like. So you could add that into the mix with this transformation as well. Right it's training the managers, but then it's also having something in place long terms you can continue to enable them on the methodology and we talk a lot about Kathleen, about making sure that the initiatives relevant to the role, and that really plays in here with the managers. You want them to be experts in whatever they're reinforcing or what kind of best practices. Have you seen some of our customers do with training and enabling the managers? So a lot of especially when we work with teams post launched, probably eighty percent of our focus is on the frontline manager, so making sure that they're equipped. They're not expected from day one right to be really proficient or even fluid on the methodology. It's going to take some time. So we try and equip them with tool sets that they can left to coach their team, coaching guides and playbooks for them to lead from the front and have a little bit of tool that their disposal, as well as, you know, some of our the coaching that we can do for them. So I think it's a thinking through.

What is the manager need to help support their teams to drive this adoption and transformation? I'll have companies facilitated kind of cross team communications when they're rolling out. What kind of examples have you seen of that where a manager might share best practice it on her team with other teams, or is that through slack channels? What kind of things have you seen when it comes to share bearing the successes among teams by managers? Know that's a really good question. I mean the cool thing. I mean, while Covid has impacted us, you know, detrimentally in a lot of ways, this for a lot of folks working remotely it's kind of enabled a lot of opportunities to cross pollinate. So we often encourage some managers, after they've had a little bit of time under their belts with the methodology, to maybe do some deal coaching with some other 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 they might actually see trends across the board when they do that and they can share the best pacts about what's working and coaching and what's each area where a manager might need to be improved. So you can definitely cross pollinate a lot in the remote world when you're not traveling as much. So we definitely see a lot of that happening and using slack, yeah, our all these other communication channels to share out wins that are powered by command of the message or another methodology. So any any success stories we can kind of share instantaneously through the communication channels that we have at our disposal. That's a great point, especially in this increasingly virtual environment that we have been living in here since covid to use those channels to share success stories, because those little, what do you say bright spots of success help motivate others to change their own behavior because they're seeing the value that it's bringing other people. I even know at force when we close a new deal we get an alert and a company alert on...

...our communication channel, which before you could see it in sales force and we would know and somebody might yell down the Hallway. But now I think more people are more in tune with we sign on a new customer because of those communication channels and I think, I'm sure other companies are seeing the same. Another best practice, I think that you have mentioned before, that you've seen among our customers is this idea of incentivising behavior change. That always can help in driving new behavior. MMM, we see that a lot to coming out of the gate from a big launch is we have a thirteen week kind of muscle memory building program for all these customers facing teams to partake in, where it's like weekly micro learning, and we see a lot of customers of ours either and be o their team on completing that each week, or you know, okay are or whatever other type of, you know, incentive that you guys are might be using in your company. But that's been really awesome to see everybody growing in the same direction, everybody focusing on the same topic each week, because everybody is becoming more proficient at leveraging the methodology. And the leaders are seeing that, you know, they're seeing the results, you know, not just on the completion of it, but in customer conversations or in internal prep calls or in, you know, sales force, if they're using the language in the opportunity records. Yeah, and, as you said, the sixth communicating are demonstrating change behaviors only facilitates more more behavior change. You talked about cross pollination and the virtual environment and how you're changing behavior, how you're reinforcing and encouraging adoption of a new methodology. In some ways is the same as it was pre covid because we all we always had remote teams and people weren't always working in the same office. They were selling virtually. So... some ways, you know, there hasn't been changes. But to your point, this environment can offer new opportunity. Are there any other ways where you've seen our customers really leverage that remote channels are virtual learning in a way that has benefited changing behavior or their sales initiative. You know, it's been really cool to see. Actually, as a result of this is, you know, everybody's seen out inside celler right, because we, you know, on the zoom all the time from there their office desk at home. But we've seen a lot of update, especially by you, of the use of like Gong or quarries or any of those recording software, because you can actually see folks using the methodology at the point of execution, which is a sales call ors, you know CS kickoff call or qb our session. So you can actually give feedback almost in real time. You know, probably like an hour or two delayed, but that's been so amazing to see it that the managers and leaders, leaders can actually listen to see how their teams are applying the methodology, give feedback and see changes week on week very quickly, which you probably wouldn't have seen when you're you know, added customer sites pre covid. Yeah, excuse me, I hit record here on my iphone so I can video this call or whatever people from. Okay, good. Are there any other best practices that you think that would be good to share with people out there who are listening that might be in the throes of planning their own adoption. Yeah, I think the main message to for leaders. Yes, we can mobilize the frontline leaders to mobilize their individual contributor team members, but it really comes down to you as the sales leader, leading from the front on this. So, again, we can mobilize the cross functional teams, but it does come there is a point where the top down leading, meeting at the top is really important to drive in this transformation and, as a...

...sales leader, getting your colleagues on the leadership team to buy into this, because you're going to need them for the success of this transformation. It might be your budget, but you're going to need them cross functioning, to help drive this initiative to the ground to get to your your outcomes. Yeah, I think it to fostering the team that's going to help you reinforce a and, like we always say, Kathleen, you can't delegate leadership of an initiative. Definitely not, definitely enough. Looking for transformation, not training, and that is what has helped our most successful customers reach reach those pbos. Thank you for your time today, Kathleen. I appreciate you going through this with me. Yeah, thanks so much for having me to love to join more. This is I love the audibilready podcast and I'm so glad you guys had that milestone recently of the fifty. So thanks for having me on for the next fifty. Well. Thank you, and that was not in any predetermined speaker notes, so I appreciate that, Kathleene. And for those of you listening, I have linked up several resources we have on driving reinforcement coaching your frontline managers. Be sure to check those out in the show notes and thank you to all of you for listening to the audibilready 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.

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