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Successful Change Management for Sales Enablement Software
June 26, 2024

11 Best Practices for Implementing New Sales Enablement Software

Successful Change Management for Sales Enablement Software

Have you ever rolled out new sales enablement software to your team only to have them not use it? It’s a situation many of us have found ourselves in. You think you did everything right—the chief revenue officer was on board, your team says they want the features, and you agree on the right tool for the job. But as the rollout began, suddenly, people resisted the change.

The reason it failed was because you overlooked a key component: user adoption, which is the hardest part.

To ensure your sellers use the software—and to its fullest potential, you need a comprehensive plan. Without one, your rollout will fail like so many other change initiatives. In fact, the growing number of tools in use and the increasing size and complexity of software as a service (SaaS) deployments have led to a shocking number: 70% of change initiatives fail.

Proactive change management can reduce this risk and increase the odds of successful implementation, higher ROI, and improved morale. It involves addressing critical factors that impact various aspects of the organization.

How to Create a Comprehensive Change Management Plan

To ensure sellers use your new sales enablement platform, you need a comprehensive change management plan. Download The Complete Guide to Change Management to learn how to create yours and ensure a successful transition.

11 Best Practices for Implementing New Sales Enablement Software

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that can help you avoid the pitfalls that derail many software rollouts. By following these 11 best practices, you will ensure your sales enablement software implementation is a success.

1. Enlist Strong Leaders

The first key to user software adoption is enlisting strong leaders with vision. Forward-thinking executives play a critical role in guiding the team through the change. They can effectively communicate the reasons for the change and articulate what’s in it for everyone involved. These leaders must be visible advocates for the new software, demonstrating its value and encouraging team members to embrace it.

Leaders should not only explain why the change is necessary but also share how it will benefit the sellers, the company, buyers, and stakeholders. By addressing the “what’s in it for me?” factor, leaders can help alleviate employee fears and build trust within the larger team. They should also be prepared to handle resistance by providing clear, consistent messages about the positive impacts of the new sales enablement software.

2. Generate Buzz

Generating buzz around the new software means creating excitement and anticipation. Set a clear intent for the change and pitch it with a “what’s in it for me” approach to keep your sellers in mind. Use internal communications, demos, teaser videos, and sneak peeks to build momentum and highlight the benefits of the new platform.

Highlighting success stories and early wins can also help shift initial resistance into motivation. When team members see real-world benefits with positive outcomes, they are more likely to get on board and support the change.

3. Introduce Change Gradually

Introducing change gradually helps prevent overwhelming your team. A phased rollout allows users to adapt at a manageable pace and provides opportunities for feedback and adjustments along the way. Start with a pilot group, gather insights, and refine the implementation process before a full-scale launch.

Small victories and steady progress can build confidence and demonstrate the software’s value incrementally. This approach also allows you to address any issues early on and make improvements based on real user experiences.

Introducing change gradually helps prevent overwhelming your team.

4. Offer Help

Providing comprehensive support is essential to help your team navigate the new software. Always make sure help is readily available from a live human—not just automated systems. This support can include training sessions, user guides, tutorials, and a dedicated helpdesk.

Having internal experts or vendor support readily accessible can alleviate frustration and encourage users to seek assistance when needed. Quick and effective help can prevent small issues from becoming major roadblocks.

5. Think About Timing

Timing is critical when rolling out new software. Consider the specific challenges and competing priorities that your team may be facing. Avoid high-stress periods, such as the end of the quarter or during other major initiatives. You’re never going to out-prioritize someone closing deals—sales will always come first.

Plan your rollout during a time when your team can dedicate the necessary attention to learning and adapting to the new system. Thoughtful timing can significantly impact the success of the implementation.

Plan your rollout during a time when your team can dedicate the necessary attention to learning and adapting to the new system.

6. Meet Users Where They Are

Understanding the diverse needs and expectations of your users is key to a successful rollout. New hires and long-time sellers will have different levels of experience and motivation. Every leader needs to tailor training and support to address these varying needs effectively.

Present the benefits of the new technology differently to each type of user. For example, new hires may need more foundational training, while experienced sellers might benefit from advanced features and integrations.

7. Motivate with Incentives

Motivating your team with incentives can drive engagement and accelerate adoption. Look at how you currently incentivize your team and ensure that nothing discourages them from embracing the new software. Offer rewards and recognition to those who actively engage with the new platform and demonstrate its benefits.

Incentives can include bonuses, recognition in team meetings, or even small prizes for completing specific tasks or reaching milestones with the new software. This approach can create a positive competitive spirit and encourage others to follow suit.

8. Recruit Early Adopters

Early adopters help set the tone and provide valuable feedback. Identify and support change agents who are enthusiastic about the new software—there are always a few in every organization. These individuals can help you spread the word, demonstrate the benefits, and encourage their peers to get on board.

Rewarding early adopters and recognizing their efforts can ensure they remain advocates for the new software and continue to promote user adoption. Their positive experiences can influence others and create a ripple effect throughout the organization.

9. Recognize Winners

Celebrating successes and recognizing those who excel in using the new software can boost morale and drive further adoption. Public recognition, whether through team meetings, newsletters, or company-wide communications, can motivate others to strive for similar achievements.

Encourage your sales teams to share their win stories from using the software, as well as best practices. This not only highlights the benefits of the new software, but it also creates a culture of continuous improvement and recognition.

10. Tap Team Expertise

Utilizing the expertise within your team can enhance the training and adoption process. Enlist internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to share their knowledge, record product information, create example pitches, and provide real-world insights.

When team members learn from their peers, the training feels more relevant and relatable. This approach also takes the burden off managers and helps scale training efforts effectively.

11. Prime the Pump

Loading your new sales enablement system with engaging content can motivate users to explore and use the platform. Provide valuable resources, such as training videos, templates, and best practice guides, to encourage users to engage with the new software.

Consider what content will be most beneficial and engaging for your team. Giving users the “gift” of useful and relevant content can incentivize them to learn the system and integrate it into their daily routines.

Take a Strategic Approach to Managing Change

Most people don’t like change. Change is frightening. Change is hard work. And there are many roadblocks to user adoption. But by following these 11 best practices, you can ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits.

About the author: Peter Kyranakis is Vice President of Solution Consulting and Sales Enablement at Allego. He is a proven leader with over 20 years of experience managing technical sales and operations teams. And he has a track record of scaling teams to help achieve accelerated growth targets.

How to Create a Comprehensive Change Management Plan

To ensure sellers use your new sales enablement platform, you need a comprehensive change management plan. Download The Complete Guide to Change Management to learn how to create yours and ensure a successful transition.

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