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How To Get Better Adoption From Your Team

New ideas, whether it is a way to improve upon a process or something that completely goes against the grain, they are what keeps an organization innovative and moving forward. However, when it comes to getting your team to adopt the new idea, there can be a lot of pushback. Here is how to get better adoption from your sales team.

Sell The Why

Most organizational change efforts take longer, cost more money, and have a lower success rate than leaders anticipate. Change initiatives often fail. Research from McKinsey and Company shows that "70% of all transformations fail."

One way to help your team adopt a new idea or process is to get buy-in from them. If you are proposing the team dedicate time and resources to execute a new idea, they will naturally expect to know how it flows with the current culture and how it will benefit them. Make your 'why' clear.

How to sell the why:

  • Answer the question what problems it will solve for your team or the company.
  • Explain why the company is seeking this change.
  • Help them understand how they will individually benefit from it.

Set Clear Expectations

To drive better adoption clarify expectations with your team by having a discussion or documenting them. Discussing your expectations can bring clarity, improve morale and lead to better sales. When surveying 1,000 employees in a recent Interact/Harris Poll, 57% said their leaders are not good at giving clear direction.

Create clear expectations. Expectations should be simplistically written and should distinctly define what employees need to do or act on. For example, if you are trying to get your team to put their information in the CRM. You will want to explain what data, how often, and to what level of detail.

Discuss your expectations with your team. One of the most useful things a sales leader can do is sit down with their sales team and talk about these expectations. Get their input and feedback on what is changing.

Unclear expectations can lead to problems, including customer dissatisfaction, tension, conflict, stress, low adoption rate, weak team performance, etc.

ABC's Of Change Management

One effective method to successful change is Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence—also known as "ABC"— a behavior-modification strategy which is based on the work of B.F. Skinner.

The Antecedent is anything you do to set up or trigger a behavior. For example, you can tell your sales team to put their data in the CRM. You can explain your expectations, send them an email, and set them up for success.

The Behavior is the action by the salesperson. So, the action of the salesperson is putting the data in the CRM.

The Consequence is what happens after that behavior occurs. An example of a consequence could be that a person could get recognized, get rewarded, have an extra meeting on why they didn't act, or have no consequence. Consequences are often thought of as negative, which they can be, however, having positive consequences is proven to help mold and shape desired behaviors. Most often companies have no consequence, so it leaves the employee to determine if the Antecedent (direction given) is worth following.

Follow Up

After you set up expectations, explain the new change and how to go about doing it, you must follow up with your sales team.

Check in with your team to see how they are handling the changes. Ask for input again and make adjustments if necessary. It is essential to follow up with your team to understand how the change is working or not working. The feedback you gather will help develop corrective actions and reinforce good behavior.

When it comes to reinforcing the behavior, make sure to:

  • Apply the new learnings or input from your team.
  • Hold your team accountable – don't let people slide back into old habits.
  • Keep adjusting and setting goals.
  • Catch them doing the right things and acknowledge it.

In The End

Driving adoption when it comes to change can be difficult. However, if you sell the why, set clear expectations, explore the 'ABCs' of change management, and follow up with your sales team, they will have a higher likelihood of adopting that new change.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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