You finally signed the contract on the new sales tool you’ve championed for months. Weeks of research, stakeholder meetings, and contract negotiations are behind you, so the hard part is over, right?
Not quite. Now you need to drive adoption across your sales team. After all, a tool that no one uses is just a waste of money. But sales reps are inundated with more tools than ever, requiring that new solutions overcome skepticism and ingrained habits to achieve high adoption.
All this may make it seem easier to avoid purchasing new tools altogether. But modern buyers demand fresh, digital sales tactics, so doing nothing simply isn’t an option. Follow these three steps to ensure that your sales technology investments are a success.
Rely on Your Role Models
Influencers aren’t just for Instagram anymore — they’re critical to ensuring that your sales, marketing, and enablement teams adopt new tools. So critical, in fact, that Sandrine Corbier, NAM Senior Marketing Director at medical device provider Immucor, made influencers a core component of her recent mission to ensure reps’ adoption of their new sales enablement platform.
With a comfortable sales team unenthused about change, this was no small feat. But Sandrine tackled this inertia head on, engaging early adopters on her team to inspire and educate their colleagues. During monthly sales training calls, Sandrine highlighted an individual rep who had used their new solution in an innovative way. She explained:
“We knew that if it was just marketing talking, reps would zone out. But calling out exemplary reps as role models during training keeps the team involved and gives them a stake in the project.”
Early adopters not only get recognized for their commitment, but contribute to continued solution engagement. Topics discussed during previous training calls are frequently recalled by reps who are eager to share their own discoveries, tips, and tricks. Says Sandrine, “In the end, sellers selling the tool to other reps was the most impactful method.”
Foster Change Through Tailored Communication
Room for confusion abounds during times of transition — and launching a new technology is no exception. Unfortunately, managers frequently overestimate the clarity of their communication. McKinsey & Company research found that despite the importance of “why” statements in changing behavior, “many transformation leaders falsely assume that the ‘why’ is clear to the broader organization and consequently fail to spend enough time communicating the rationale behind change efforts.”
Murky waters can be avoided by clearly conveying value to your reps. For Sandrine, this meant exploring what did or didn’t encourage reps to change their behavior, and then tailoring her “why” to their needs. For instance, she found that reps with more experience were actually adopting their new sales enablement platform faster than the younger, seemingly more tech-savvy employees.
“Our experienced reps had come to understand the importance of working with the most up-to-date content, and the consequences of not doing so. Whereas newer reps defaulted to what was easier — saving an asset to their desktop.”
Different habits require different messages; once Sandrine discovered how she could relate their sales enablement platform’s benefits to the lagging adopters, an increase in usage soon followed.
Consider Your Colleagues Your Customers
When purchasing a new sales tool, the buyer is often not the end user. Sales enablement or marketing frequently invest in technology largely used by reps — sales enablement platforms, collaboration tools, learning management systems — meaning non-sales teams must go the extra mile to sell reps on their tool.
The best way to do this: Treat your reps like buyers. According to Sandrine, attention to little details was critical in ensuring a smooth roll-out:
“We personalized the training provided by our vendor to reflect our company’s brand. This included changing color palettes, reworking slide copy to reflect our brand voice, and so on.”
Small adjustments like this can have a big impact.
“It conveyed immediate value to our reps. By going the extra mile, our sales team knew that we cared about the end result — not just that they used the tool, but making sure it was genuinely useful.”
Start Your Sales Technology Deployment Right
Give your investments a boost from the beginning by ensuring reps not only buy into your new tool, but love using it. Working in a collaborative, tailored environment makes driving adoption less of a hurdle and more of a stepping stone toward a successful technology implementation.
Already have your sales enablement solution in place? Learn how to make the most of it with our tips to end sales content chaos.