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

Episode · 6 years ago

Sales Curmudgeon Podcast - Manage the Grieving Process


In Part 2 of the Sales Curmudgeon series, we break down key steps for managing change in your sales organization.

And Hello. I'm Rachel Clap Miller and I'm the director of digital engagement at force management, a growth play company. Thank you for downloading the second in our series with our very own salesker mudgeon. Hey Rachel, always a pleasure to speak. I believe last time we talked it was about a couple concepts, stabbing the wounded in the miracle cloud. Today, I think what we ought to talk about is another major reason why folks out there were probably going to fail with their sales initiatives, and that being they really don't understand all about the grieving process. It's an interesting term, I know, for a lot of people listening, because we don't typically think sales when we think of the grieving process, although sometimes the end of our quarter we might be going through a bit of a grieving process. The idea of the grieving process applies to a lot of things, death, the end of your marriage. So talk a little bit about how it applies to a sales initshift. Yeah, well, maybe on another podcast we can talk about into marriage, but on...

...this one what I'd like to hit is, you know, how does the grieving process that you know apply to sales initiatives and I think what happens is it really it's a naive assumption that an initiative is about implementing a new process, you know, new tools or new systems, and what I think it really is it's about managing a team through, you know, the loss, the loss of the familiar. And what I take it back to is, you know, for a while there, you know, before I got into you know what I'm doing now, I spend a lot of time implementing it projects. Actually a miserable way to make a living. It's kind of the sum of all fears and the hardest thing I ever did. So I got out of it and did something easier, which is this. But really, you know it. What I found was is that when I started implementing it projects, I thought it was all about the technology and that's how I approached it, and that didn't work too well. And then I thought it was about redesigning the processes and then implementing the technology, and that works slightly better.

But what I really found was is that an IT project, you know, much like a sales initiative, is all about managing change, you know, and that's an overused term, change management, change readiness, all that kind of stuff. But it's actually kind of true, and it's really all about getting people to change the way they do things and how they get things done. And so the role of a leader is to take people through that, that grieving process, and to be a forcing function to help them break through to the other side. Because, as you said, people don't like change. It's they have a fear of change. It's sort of that concept of the devil that she knows better than than the one you don't. Yeah, the fuss tends to center all around the loss of the familiar, you know, even if the familiar socks you know, people fear the unknown and that's why they cling to bad jobs, bad relationships, you know, bad sales process whatever. And what you find is, you know, people will...

...complain all day about their crm and everything that's wrong about it until you try to change it. Then all of a sudden, magically, they have this fond memory of how great it was, and it's kind of like taking a threadbare blankie from a toddler in some respects. And so it really comes down to an equation of, you know, the pain of staying the same needs to be greater than the pain of change. I got to tell you I didn't invent the rules. I just kind of understand the way that they work right. Well, you've been there and you've done that, but this idea of the pain of staying the same needs to be greater than the pain of change is actually a researched concept. To explain that a little bit. Yeah, and so it in again. I always take it back to the grieving process and you know, for for listeners out there that probably slept through ps one one, just real quickly, the five stages of the of the grieving...

...process being den now, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It's kind of what you go through when when you're going from one sales methodology to another, and the sales ego, of course, is most especially tuned to step three and four of bargaining and depression. But that's another matter. So so how does the leader maneuver through the through the grieving process? Well, the first thing is is to understand that it's going on and, you know, then manage through it, and that takes on different forms. It's all situational leadership really, and sometimes that involves a pad on the back and you know, sometimes it's a kick somewhere else, but often it's somewhere in between and good leaders know that. And just also getting away from the naive assumption that a few late night emails and some you know, killer great sk opening speech isn't going to do it. I mean that's not going to change behaviors. It's not disruptive enough. And a lot of times we get in, call... in and ask to implement something because, you know, some client, some sales leader, wants to have a disruptive influence on the market. But what we find is is that it's very difficult to have a disruptive influence in the market if you yourself are not willing to be disrupted and to have your sales team be disruptive. And whenever you're disrupted, you know that's the grieving process. People are grieving the loss of the familiar. So the best way to do it, obviously, is not to try to do it on your own, but to enlist the help of your first line managers and your chain of command, because obviously if you went over the hearts and minds of the managers, then you went over the hearts and minds of the troops. Right there's this power in numbers and we've seen it a lot in the work that we've done that when it comes to change, you're always going to have some early adopters, you're going to have that center of mass, and then you're going to have the laggerts. Oh yeah, I mean all the time. So the the answers obvious is you know, your reward your early adopters and... ask for their help in moving the center a mass forward. You share successes because that will give the center a mass the confidence and conviction to change. And then the laggers, you know, quit trying to save them. What you need to do is basically lose them. And you know, sorry, but that's kind of the way it is, because they're they're I'm sure they're bogging you down anyway and this is actually a convenient excuse to get rid of them and Morel wouldn't prove and trust me, that's kind of the only way to go. Real talk from the sales carmudgeon. will end it there. If you like his approach, be sure to download part one of the series. We also have the sales carmudgeon ebook that you can find on our blog. Thanks for joining us for this edition of the sales carmudgeon. Be sure to connect with us on Linkedin and twitter and subscribe to our podcast on Itunes. And, by the way, I'm available for sales kickoffs for weddings and Bar mitzs. Love the fuck. Thank you.

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