RevOps is responsible for optimizing efficiency and removing complexity across marketing, sales, and customer success to ensure the end-to-end customer journey runs smoothly. Yet even with a curated tech stack and a detailed process for employees to follow, driving adoption of these processes can be the biggest challenge RevOps faces.
RevOps operates from a bird’s eye view of the whole revenue team whereas sales reps are on the frontlines communicating with prospects, closing new business, and renewing customers. Both sides are tackling the same goal - generating revenue - from different vantage points.
This means that when RevOps implements a new field, step, or rule in the sales process salespeople might feel like adopting it is unnecessary homework in an already busy workday. Their attitude and reaction may be downright unenthusiastic when another process gets announced. As such, if you’re on a RevOps team, you’ve likely had to nag or follow up with reps to get them to even give it a try.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s explore some strategies that RevOps can use to get sales reps to adopt new processes.
Why is process adoption a struggle?
It shouldn’t have to be this hard. Since RevOps and reps are working toward the same objective of bringing in revenue for the company, it’s important to remember that members of both teams have the best of intentions.
But even with the best intentions, proper execution won’t happen unless both sides have empathy for the other. Let’s explore the sales rep’s perspective. Here are three key reasons why sales process adoption is so hard:
- Resistance to change. It’s uncomfortable and difficult to shake up how you do your job. Sales reps are especially hesitant to switch up their process. Who can blame them? A sales rep’s earnings are usually tied to their output, so they are incentivized to stay productive. An experienced and successful sales professional is confident in their process. If they’re consistently meeting their quota, why would they risk changing up what’s working?
- The process doesn’t fit their workflow. A new process may benefit the company, but might conflict with existing processes that help an individual rep be successful. If it complicates or breaks their flow, it could jeopardize their ability to perform at the same level. If the change requires reps to do more steps to complete a sale, it slows them down. If it doesn’t fit their workflow, it’ll take more time and effort to learn. Consequently, every minute they spend learning, integrating, and implementing a new process takes away from time spent on the tasks that get them closer to closing the deal and earning their livelihood.
- Reps don’t see the potential value. RevOps knows the expected benefit to implementing a new process, but have they made it clear to the sales team? Reps may not be able to see how an updated process can make their work faster, easier, and help them become more productive. If a rep doesn’t see the specific benefit, they won’t have any motivation to implement the new guidance. Many people in RevOps don’t come from a sales background, so salespeople may not view their advice or process as credible.
Ultimately, RevOps needs to remember their colleagues’ challenges and perspectives and factor those in when rolling out a new process.
Main ways to drive adoption of a sales process
The secret to getting reps to adopt a new process is to make it easy, fun, and show reps how it helps them sell. So what specifically can RevOps do to get the sales team to implement new changes? Here are some ideas:
Demonstrate the value
Demonstrating the value is the most critical step for user adoption. You need to showcase the advantages and importance of anything you want the sales team to adopt. Without doing so, you’ll never get their buy-in.
At the core, you accomplish this by showing positive outcomes and results from users of the process. These could come from existing users in your organization or other sales reps who have been successful with the methodology.
Here are some of the specific outcomes for sales reps that you can reference to demonstrate the overall value of something you’d like the team to adopt:
- How a process allows them to work faster, not slow them down
- How they can focus more of their time creating new opportunities, building pipeline, and closing deals
- How the process allows them to better pitch and move a deal through the stages
- How the process sets them up for success with closing bigger and more complex deals
Chances are, there are some industry-specific benefits as well. Whatever the value is, make it super clear at the beginning and end of the rollout and training so your team gets excited to adopt it and follows through.
Communicate what’s in it for the sales rep
This is so important it deserves its own point even though it’s an extension of demonstrating value.
As we covered before, reps don’t always understand the value of a new process or rule that gets the team working in the same way. Sometimes, the primary value is for the organization as a whole, or for the RevOps team, and not just the sales team.
Carving out time to make it clear and communicate how it’ll benefit the rep using the values for them can help build that intrinsic motivation that drives adoption.
Strive for ease of use
The easier a process is to use, the more likely a rep is to adopt it – especially if it makes their job easier than before implementation. So, make sure to factor in ease of use from the beginning, and well before it gets to the sales team.
Think about and communicate with the sales team along the way and you’re less likely to run into problems after you invested all the time to build out a new process.
Provide training in an easy-to-digest format
Everyone learns in different ways, but no matter who you are training, the simpler you can make the training, the better. How can you make a training program easier to follow?
- Write simply
- Use clear visuals and/or video walkthroughs
- Create a clear checklist to follow
- Build in time for hands-on practice or even coaching
If your sales team is growing or rolling out lots of new changes or product updates, invest in great sales enablement professionals. These people are experts at making new material accessible for your team.
Build advocacy, champions, and buy-in from early adopters and leadership
You can build advocacy by getting the sales management team to endorse your new process. Get in front of objectives from the sales team by working with sales leaders to formulate your training. By having sales managers and leadership on your side from the beginning, this will ensure you’ve already addressed probable issues from implementation through execution of your new process.
Go beyond buy-in from leaders and find a rep who can serve the role of an internal champion who was successful with your new process. This can generate buzz among the team as people want to emulate others who are successful. And salespeople are always looking for an edge.
Leverage reps and sales managers who are eager and show initial promise. If a rep improves performance, other reps will want to give it a try for their own gain. Then, the team is motivating one another and it feels less like a homework assignment.
Leverage automation and simplify complicated processes
Overly complicated processes do more harm than good. They may be poorly designed so the steps to execute are unclear, involve manual work that takes away from selling time, or have too many steps to function reliably.
If you’re implementing a new process, the more automation it incorporates and the less complicated it is to function, the better. Reduce steps - each click and tab open required reduces your chances of full adoption. Leverage things like Slack automations that take the burden of remembering specific things off of reps and sales managers.
Incentivize the training
Whether it’s a bonus high-quality lead, raffle tickets, extra PTO, or optional overtime, adding an incentive to finish the training can boost morale and change the rep’s attitude from seeing it as a chore to an opportunity.
Adoption should not be treated like something that can be exchanged; you don’t want to undermine the importance of following RevOps’ processes. But, by specifically adding an incentive to do the training by a date earlier than the mandatory deadline, you can speed up adoption.
This can directly address or counterbalance the time spent taken away from selling, overcoming the reps’ objections (two can play that game).
As an additional benefit, RevOps will be able to see which reps jump at the opportunity. This indicates which reps could be your internal champions for the next rollout.
Work with your sales team, not against
Sales reps are like everyone else - they want the freedom and autonomy to do their job the way they see fit. Their performance is tied to their results, so the last thing they want is someone who isn’t actively selling to come tell them how to do it all differently.
But, RevOps teams have expertise of their own and reasons to implement the changes they bring about. Ultimately, if you’re trying to get process adoption among your sales team, it comes down to knowing your audience. If you can operate in a way that aligns with their processes and internal motivators, both teams can achieve their individual and company-wide goals and with less strain along the way.
Schedule a free strategy session to see how Scratchpad can help improve your process adoption.