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Sales Enablement Challenges Series: Change Management

This is the seventh post in a series of guest posts from Brian Groth, Sales Enablement Manager at Xactly Corp.

Sales organizations experience a vast array of changes that transform the way things are done. These changes include new sales pitches, sales methodologies, updates to the sales process, activities and territories, and most importantly, new personnel. Making transitions and changes seamlessly—and making sure they stick—requires developed change management skills.

What is change management?

Change management is the approach taken to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state. This includes the proper implementation of new strategies, onboarding new employees, and effectively scaling these processes when the time comes.

Why is it a challenge?

From a skills or experience perspective, most employees don't have a broad understanding of all functions of a business. So when changes span organizations, this lack of understanding can be an obstacle for the improvements that need to take place. From an emotional and psychological perspective, many people are resistant to change, so the benefits of the change need to be communicated clearly and in a manner that will win over everyone who is affected by the change(s). Finally, especially with larger companies, the actual deployment of changes such as territory shifts and methodologies take a long time to be put into effect and adopted by all parties involved.

What can you do about it?

Sales enablement teams can help internally by creating support materials and delivering guidance and training along the way. This support would be for both the sales managers and individual sales reps who are impacted by the changes. This could be as simple as a few webinars and meetings with sales managers, or it could involve modifying your CRM and business processes, creating guides or decks to share, or facilitating training and possible certification. As a sales enablement team, these are all things that can fall into the realm of managing and ensuring changes are implemented and adopted seamlessly.

Brian Groth is the Sales Enablement Manager at Xactly Corp, where he successfully created and manages Xactly's entire sales enablement program, including the sales process, tools and training.