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    How to drive new behaviors at scale, one trainer’s story

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    When it comes to sales performance improvement, driving behavior change is one of the stickiest challenges of them all. How do you get the people in the field to adopt and actually become good at the new techniques and behaviors you want from them?

    This problem becomes bigger the larger your sales force, and the more geographically dispersed it is. For large organizations, changes in the sales process or best practices can be almost impossible to implement across the sales team.

    This problem is even more pronounced in times of change and disruption like the current time.

    Bob Apollo, CEO of Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, has developed an approach that is helping his company’s clients to drive effective behavior change even across large and dispersed sales teams. We spoke with him recently and asked him to share how you can repeat his success. Here’s what he had to say.

    1. Embed your process and checklists into the salesperson’s workflow

    As much as possible, embed everything your salespeople need to know directly into their workflow, preferably inside the CRM.

    Placing processes and checklists into the hands of your salespeople within their workflow enables them to implement best practices quickly in response to circumstances.

    “We help our clients discover their own best practices, and then Membrain allows us to embed those winning habits and best practices into the CRM,” says Apollo. “This helps both established salespeople and new salespeople make smart decisions about what they need to know and do at each stage in the evolution of a sales opportunity.”

    In this way, Apollo’s clients can respond immediately to evolving scenarios, and implement new best practices across their organizations as the need arises.

    2. Choose technology that is flexible and easily customized

    Many CRM technologies, in theory, will allow you to embed processes and practices into the workflow. But not all of them make this practical, flexible, and easy. If you have to hire an entire development team every time you make an update to your process, you can’t respond to changing circumstances effectively.

    The right technology not only allows for customization, it is built for it. “One of the great benefits of Membrain is that it’s designed to be easily customizable in a complex business to business environment,” says Apollo. “And when we’re working with a prospective client, we can show how the philosophy and practice of what we’re doing can be reinforced. How it can be a framework that guides salespeople, junior and senior. It’s a really important and powerful element of our kit bag.”

    We help our clients discover their own best practices, and embed those winning habits using technology.

    Because it’s already designed to be customizable within complex environments, Membrain is the ideal tool to get organizations through the incredibly complex environment created by the Coronavirus outbreak.

    3. Use technology to guide salespeople to respond to the customer

    A true customer-responsive focus has never been more important than it is now. The situation is changing so rapidly that best practice advice today may be outdated tomorrow. How the customer responds to your salespeople may be changing by the hour.

    The right technology platform and approach will guide salespeople through the process of discovering with the customer what matters to them and how they want to engage.

    “Membrain gives us a platform to help guide salespeople, not just in quality, but in how to create a value story that each individual customer will resonate with,” says Apollo. “It helps us provide a platform for systematic discovery of the customer’s environment.”

    4. Create a flexible framework, not a rigid set of rules

    The pandemic has forced all of us, more than ever before, to be flexible and adaptable. You can’t rely on rigid rules to be effective for long.

    “Most organizations wish they could onboard new salespeople and make them productive faster,” says Apollo. “What they need is a framework, a set of guidelines, not a set of rigid rules.”

    We must begin to look at the way we support salespeople as being similar to onboarding new salespeople. Because the environment changes so fast, we must be able to “onboard” existing salespeople into new ways of doing business almost instantaneously and make them productive within those frameworks right away.

    Membrain provides this ability to update processes, activities, and approaches instantly and propagate it across the organization with supportive online training materials that enable remote workers to very quickly and effectively adapt.

    5. Make everything available online

    Having your technology tools in the cloud is critical. You must be able to communicate, train, coach, and reinforce remotely.

    The same tool that makes it possible for consultants like Bob Apollo to extend their reach beyond the classroom also can allow you to roll out new programs, communicate, train, coach, and reinforce your sales teams remotely.

    I would love to talk with you about your specific challenges in this environment and how we can help. All of our training and consulting partners are on standby to help as well. Contact us today.

    Bob Apollo
    Published September 2, 2020
    By Bob Apollo

    CEO at Inflexion-Point, the UK-based B2B sales and marketing performance improvement specialists. Inflexion-Point helps B2B organisations to design and implement highly effective customer acquisition systems based on a combination of the winning habits of their top sales performers and the latest industry best practices.

    Find out more about Bob Apollo on LinkedIn