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How to Integrate a New Sales Methodology

Sales management

August 24, 2023Blog

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Sales Tech Stack, Sales Enablement, and Salespeople: How to Integrate a New Sales Methodology

After carefully analyzing your organization’s needs, you’ve developed a new sales methodology for your sales team. Developing a new methodology is only the beginning though. To ensure success, you need a solid integration plan that addresses your sales tech stack, the people, and the resources needed to make a new sales methodology work. This happens in three ways.

First, sales leaders must connect the methodology to the existing sales tech stack so that the new approach to selling becomes part of the CRM and supporting systems. Second, the enablement team’s resources must be directly relevant to the intent of the methodology. Third, the new methodology needs to become part of the sales leader’s coaching which keeps the concepts working in real pursuits.

By focusing on these three areas – technology, resources, and people –leaders can direct their attention to a manageable set of objectives to implement a new methodology. The clarity of this approach makes it extremely effective.

Here, we offer a way to approach these three objectives. After fulfilling each step, sales leaders gain an implementation that leads to faster adoption of the methodology and a greater likelihood of long-term sustainment. Combined, these create a durable, competitive advantage. Keep reading for a complete guide to integrating your sales methodology with your sales tech stack, people, and resources.   

Connecting to the Sales Tech Stack: Unite the Methodology With the CRM

The first step of connecting your methodology to your sales tech stack begins by addressing your CRM. Integrating the sales methodology with CRM enables sellers to make the “practice-to-pursuit” transition by bringing new skills into their flow of work. This keeps the methodology’s concepts in front of sellers as they plan their next move or have their next conversation with a prospect. Uniting the methodology to the CRM also signals the leadership’s commitment to the new approach. In turn, sellers stay aligned to the strategy.

CRM integration also makes the execution of the methodology easier because it provides sellers with objective guidance for key parts of the sales approach. This reminds sellers that they must satisfy each phase of the sale before moving on to the next. It also puts the parts of the methodology in a logical order. Each milestone builds off the last while helping them to be more agile and responsive. This characteristic is important because many failed deals are the result of the seller not fully understanding the prospect’s needs, decision-making process, or objections before moving on to the positioning of the solution. For a deeper understanding of agile selling and how it can improve your sales team, read Richardson’s article “The Future of Selling is Agile.”

Finally, it’s less likely that sellers will drift from the intended methodology when it is essentially hard-coded into the CRM system. So much of what the seller does begins and ends within the CRM system. Therefore, integrating sales methodology within the CRM keeps selling practice true to the intended approach: optimizing the customer experience and differentiating how sellers engage with prospective buyers.

In a large organization, leaders may find more difficulty uniting different sellers under a single approach and common sales language. Therefore, integrating the methodology to the CRM can greatly benefit the organization. Even when overseeing a large group of sellers, the sales leader can utilize this approach to foster a more united sales team that is aligned with the methodology.

Align the Enablement Team to the Approach

The team responsible for sales enablement must be part of the change process from the beginning. They need to fully understand the new methodology so they can provide sellers with the resources that are most relevant to the approach. When enablement professionals understand the true intent of the methodology, they can better prepare to help sellers turn the concepts into actions. By keeping enablement professionals involved from the start, they learn what content sellers to provide sellers in each stage of the sale.  

This alignment also helps sales enablement professionals adapt to high attrition within the sales industry. By staying close to the methodology, sales enablement professionals gain the ability to quickly onboard new members to the sales team. The more efficiently new team members can be brought up to speed, the better the team will perform. This not only saves time, but improves overall efficiency in the organization as well.

Training, however, is an ongoing process. Over time, aspects of the methodology will need to change. This process requires the insight of enablement professionals who are a crucial intermediary between the methodology and the sellers. This dynamic tends to be particularly common in the early stages of a new methodology. Specifically, this dynamic is critical when the methodology needs refinement to customize the approach to the specifics of the product or service being sold.

Connect Coaching to the Strategy

One of the largest barriers to introducing a new sales methodology stem from the sellers’ responsiveness. A new sales methodology can be intimidating for sellers because it is a departure from what is comfortable. To help sellers adapt to this change, the sales manager must elevate their role from manager to coach. With proper coaching, sellers can adopt the approach progressively and iterate on the concepts learned. Coaches also provide valuable insight into what parts of the approach should be applied to each part of a particular pursuit. Put simply, coaches help make the methodology practical to sellers.

Coaching is also critical for reinforcement. In their regular reviews with sellers, coaches have a chance to see if the new approach is being applied and how consistently. This also happens at the macro level. Sales managers have an opportunity to review pipelines and individual opportunities through the lens of the new methodology. This allows them to prioritize those pursuits which are the best fit for the approach.

Lastly, sellers can see that the new approach is a team-wide effort when sales managers are in tune with the new methodology. When sales leaders bring the new methodology into coaching conversations, it becomes immediately clear to sellers that the leadership has a personal stake in seeing the new approach succeed.

Connecting your sales methodology to your systems and processes can be complicated but it doesn’t need to be. By focusing on CRM and sales tech stack integration, enablement, and coaching, sales leaders can ensure the change is impactful and lasting.

Want to increase your effectiveness, efficiency, and agility as a sales leader? Download Richardson’s Sales Management Curriculum brochure to learn more.

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