In previous posts, I’ve discussed how to evaluate the costs of a new sales tool, and offered some general best practices for managing your tech stack. To help you roll out the new technology your sales leadership just purchased, I’ve outlined some general guidelines you can follow to help the organization onboard a vendor successfully.
Include End Users in the Implementation
While sales ops may be more technologically adept at managing new tools, chances are we’re not going to use the tools nearly as much as our team. When implementing new technology always try to include a few of your end users in the design and implementation. I always tend to go for the sales reps that I know have no problem being honest (the harsher the better!). It’s where you’re going to get your best feedback, and it also makes the rollout and adoption more likely to succeed. It’s one thing for Joe, the Sales Systems guy, to tell the sales team how great a tool is (to eye rolls and head nods) and it’s another thing entirely to use testimonials from fellow sales reps they know and love. If possible, you should to have an exec sponsor, or champion for every implementation that can tell the team why they should use this new tool.
Train Each Role Separately
This one does depend on the complexity of the tool. Something like ZoomInfo for instance is relatively straightforward, click a button and get some contact info, while something like Outreach.io is much more complex and requires more training. I’m sure most organizations conduct a training for their reps when a new tool is purchased, however one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s typically one training for the whole sales org. This includes Account Managers, BDRs, Sales Managers – everyone! The problem here is that sometimes these tools are going to be used completely differently depending on the role, so one training ends up being too high level, without enough time spent in the weeds. When I say role, I don’t mean title either, sort your users into buckets depending on how they will actually use the system regardless of their title. At the very least if there are set expectations for the system use, you want to ensure Sales Managers are trained on their team’s expectations so they can enforce them for you.
You’re never going to get an implementation perfect the first time around, additionally your users are going to have much better ideas than you are for improvements. Ensure there’s an open and accessible way for your users to provide feedback and make sure they’re comfortable doing so. All the best ideas come from my reps, and chances are if they have some feedback there’s going to be some value in exploring it.
All technology and process is iterative, keep gathering feedback, and keep improving on that feedback.
After you implement your new tools, here are five tips to help your sales reps be as productive as possible.