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

Episode · 7 years ago

Sales Executives: Driving Sales Transformation

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Senior Partner, Dan Dawson, focuses on driving success with your sales initiative.

Hello, thanks for joining us for this podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller and I'm the director of digital engagement at force management. I'm joined today of our senior partner, Dan Dawson. Hi, Rachel. Today's podcast is focused on driving success with your sales initiative. That's why we have Dan joining us today. Dan, I know this is a topic that you're really passionate about. Well, I am. It's it's a it's the critical topic actually, in my mind, we do a lot of things to help our customers. People think about training, they think about consulting. It's really about change management and successfully modifying the behaviors of the organization in such a way that there's results. There's so much investment and effort up front when you're undergoing a sales initiative, but that heavylifting can really come on the back end and content around the sales initiative can make life easier. Yeah, we talk about content and making it consumable, and really what we mean is that we want the salespeople and the...

...sale the whole of the sales organization, and when I say sales organization I mean all those who are customer engagement oriented. They're interacting with the buyers and the users and the rebuyers, if you will, in the market place, and so when that happens it's critical that they are able to execute quickly but also to become experts at it, and that's really what success in an initiative like this is about. Consumable content with the sales initiative drives this idea of quick wins, which can be helpful in a number of ways, not only on an individual level. Is a quick when important, but I think it's important for an organization to have to recognize the individual wins that are happening and make those available to others so that they see what good looks like and see that success is actually occurring, because it it's a dramatic difference between the way people have done things in the past on an individual basis. But when that...

...starts happening organizationally, that is money. That is a huge transformation sort of this. If he or she can do it, I can do it too. That's right, and those high rounds of management when you're talking about a sales initiative are really critical to success, because you can't delegate leadership. I talk about it every time with customers and that's what's the environment that they're setting up as leaders in the organization, and that goes for certainly for sales leadership, but it's leadership across the organization peer level. With the sales leadership I mean marketing, the the operations of the company, the products and support, the sea level organization. What's the president of the company doing to help set up the environment for this kind of a transformation? And those questions and getting those leadership traits outline can be so important. And it's easy to say you need to be a role model for change and there may be some executives out there who are listening to the podcast who think they're doing everything that is necessary...

...to lead from the front but might be falling short in some Aryans. What evidence do you look for that an executive is truly being that role model for change, or rather, what checkpoints can an executive make on him or herself to make sure that they're doing what is necessary? Yeah, that's a really good question and one of the things that that is one of the first indicators to me is that executives are asking that question of themselves and so that, in my view, executives have the opportunity to set up the environment in such a way where they can basically control the outcomes. But it has a great deal to do with what are they doing? How do they speak and use the language of a command of the message or whatever the initiative is that we have in place, that they're that they're using? How do they communicate with their peers and there and the people in their organization, as you move down...

...the chain of control, the chain of management, down to the individual contributors? What are those indicators to them? What are the habits that they leadership has that actually have a transformative effect down the rest of the organization simply by changing a little bit about what they do, and that could be simply asking the question, how's it going with command of the message? Give me some examples. Right, and that gets to the point that we were talking about earlier of communicating success to your team. How important is the frequency of being that role model of change? So, if you building an alignment, how important is the frequency of checking in with with the people that are implementing the initiative? Well, it's it's permanent, it's and it's a regular thing. It's not something that you do on a quarterly basis. It's something that you do slightly every day so that, without even speaking the words asking the question, the organization recognizes that something has changed and that it's really not an option...

...to go back to the way we were before, because we're different now, and taking ownership of that, of that change, is just really critical. That's what we're talking about. Absolutely right. In other words, if you're going to embark on a transformational effort, you have to transform eventually. You have to do that and there's a lot of work that goes on in the process, and we fancy ourselves in one respect. There's really three main phases to this. One is the right understanding and appreciation of what to do. That's sort of a discovery and consulting phase and development of the content. There's his training phase and then there's this adoption phase. The critical element is the adoption phase. You got to get the other stuff right to be able to get there. But it's how do I behave differently as an individual, as a leader, and how do I expect the organizations to do the same right? And when you talk about leading, if you're in the higher rungs of management, if you look at how your structure your team is structured. Those...

...frontline managers are critical and enabling them is is critically important to the successive your initiative. They really need those tools to inspect and reinforce and drive that adoption that that you're talking about. That's it. That's exactly right. The the I think the main inspection points is, first of all, we need to give them the right mindset to how to be a good coach, a good inspector not, so that we're ensuring just compliance but that we're ensuring awareness and understanding and mastery of the capabilities that we need our people to have. And so we want them to have the tools to do that and the mindset and the right process, and we call that an operating rhythm. And for managers, they have to understand what are the critical few things that I need to be keeping in mind, and you want to make sure that those managers are gathering in documenting success stories to your team. We talked about it earlier, but those frontline managers are on the front lines of the success of initiative and...

...they can help community keep those successes. That the collection of those things are really twofold. One is successes and when I say success, it doesn't mean we want a deal necessarily. Yes, those are great and we want a big one. It was bigger than it was before. But how are we making incremental progress? Maybe we're getting access back into a customer that are a company that was wanted to be a customer. We thought was going to be a customer and wasn't. We lost them and we go back in. We've heard repeated stories of that. And or we've made progress and gotten to certain levels in the organization because we're behaving differently and now we have more access because they're giving us that access. They see new value in the way we're behaving and they're giving us that. That's a success in my boot. That's not the ultimate success that we want to have, but it's certainly a step along the way and early on that's a critical aspect. Right. Those small betch benchmarks of success drive those large deals that you're talking about. That's how you get there. That's absolutely right. I mean there's there's it takes in any sizeable sorts of deals, even in transactional business. There's a number of interactions...

...that take place. Sometimes people get the impression that that that a conversation about value is a onetime event. It's a way of doing business. It's a way of looking at how do I communicate, what do I need to understand about my customers and how do I add value throughout the process? That's that's a great sound right. Their value is the way you use the way you do business. That's right, and I know that you've been on the front lines of many sales initiatives and we won't say just how many or for how long you've been at this, but what is your experience touch you about driving success and what advice you have for the executives out there who are listening, who are in the thick of reinforcement right now? I would say it's it's setting up the environment, and by that I mean it's your attitude toward how are we doing here, and appreciating an understanding where the challengers are, where individuals are having challenges, and helping them with that and supporting them in an...

...environment where they're experimenting in many cases and learning, but also making sure that those success stories are captured and utilized. I mentioned earlier there were two levels. One is is this along the way selling and and another is getting winning deals. Another is getting renewals, for example. Another is actually getting the proof points because of those successes, your proof points for future business and relevant business. All plays out in terms of value for that customer that you want, but also for future customers if it's put in the context of real value, not just a product sold. So there's that, I would say. Also, there's two things that are that are very much related in this and that, I guess the best way to say it is to be patiently, I pat patient. There's a there's a level of urgency and continuous pressure that needs to be applied and I think there's a there's an art to how much...

...pressure to apply and how much progress to expect. But very much an important element of that is that they becomes clear to everyone in the organization that this is not optional, this is an imperative. We are changed and to the degree a leader does that and helps the rest of the leadership team and the rest of management and the rest of the organization understand and buy into that and become a part of that and be successful, you'll be successful. That that that transformation will occur and we've seen repeated significant changes take place with our customers and in my book. They're the heroes. We've helped them. Yes, they come back and say we've helped them and they refer to other people and that's great as fabulous, but it's because they're the heroes. They owned it, they put it on and made themselves different. They were patiently impatient. Yes, absolutely, that's a great final point. Thank you, Dan.

Thank you to all of you for listening some great insight in this podcast. Don't forget to follow force management on twitter and on Linkedin and make sure you subscribe to our blog on force MANAGEMENTCOM.

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