As sales leaders, there are times we assume that simply delivering a message to our teams would be clear, easy to execute, and deliver. As many of us have found out, repeating the message may occur several times to gain that traction that you are looking for. It's been said you might have to repeat it seven times to make it stick. This can be costly to you and your organization in trying to get your teams moving on an important incentive. Listed below are some techniques to increase effectiveness and efficiency in this adoption phase.
Understand Why The Change & Impact To The Team
Change is a constant. Understanding the “Why” as a leader is imperative to its execution. Ensure that you have a clear understanding, the emotional impact that might have on your team, and what’s in it for them. There are many times that new processes are released with an “I say so” approach. This tends to lower the overall employee experience and engagement. Have some fun with it and identify some of the key individuals that could be advocates, as well as preparing how to handle those that might not grasp is as quickly.
Identifying The Change As An Opportunity
There are many times where you or your team might be presented by an upcoming change and asked to deliver on it. This "Push" can come with some hesitation as execution is a priority. A way to prepare your team to adjust or adopt a new idea is getting them involved early, into the process, because eventually they are going to be in the thick of it, looking for your support. Prior to the delivery, you could ask them on their thoughts to improve the process. By doing this, they are allowed to be heard, given the chance to be creative and provide feedback. You may or may not be surprised what you hear. Ensure that you take notes, and follow up with team questions quickly. Transparency and open lines communication are imperative to your success.
Lead By Example and Demonstrate The “How”
The next step is sharing what the change is going to look and feel like. This might be a great time to observe what the vibe and other nonverbal cues are amongst your team. Changing behaviors can be difficult. If you are leaving it to your team, they will take longer to achieve the desired success and potentially impact their overall productivity. We have all been there, assuming that it should be easy to figure it out, and your team will get the hang of it. By giving them a live demonstration either by you or a facilitator, in person or online, will help understand how to execute with excellence, and greatly reduce their learning curve.
What Does It Actually Look Like In Action?
Hearing someone versus seeing a person doing it can be a totally different experience. That is why everyone has a different way of learning. Addressing these from an auditory, visual, and practical way will build your teams confidence quickly. Seeing them in action is called observational coaching. This type of coaching allows you to really get first sense as to how they are implementing the tasks first hand. Have they embraced it? Was there enough training? What made them successful and are there any future learning(s)? This presents great opportunity for some quick coaching, praise, and provide additional support.
Being Clear On Timely Execution
This is really where the pavement hits the road. Depending on the organization, there may be times that individuals may feel that this is just another short term initiative, and in a couple of months or quarters, there will be something else or even worse forgotten. Setting up a regular touch point(s) via meeting or conference call can allow teams to share how things are going. The key is to highlight some of those key wins as soon as possible to help build that momentum of positivity. With this opportunity for direct feedback could allow for some great sharing as to how are they doing it and what is working for them.
What is your feedback loop?
You are seeing the task in action, and there are times that things did not go according to plan. This is a great opportunity to write them down and continue to improve on the process. What does your current process look like? In this economy, all businesses are focused on creating efficiencies and improving effectiveness to do more with less. Having a clear process on how to demonstrate the change, execute, and provide valuable feedback can save your company money. Also, sharing feedback in a constructive manner will allows for a better overall employee and potential a client experience as well.
How do you demonstrate the how to your teams? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
As always, your Yellow Brick Road is waiting for you.
James Amarelo - Founder and President