Every year we analyze our client performance data to determine any new trends or derive patterns that accurately predict how successfully a program will aid in behavior change. After many client engagements around the globe, we found several key factors that drive behavior change and adoption. Here are the top five:

1. Sales Leaders Must Have A Granular Plan On What They Will Do Differently To Improve Results

All managers have plan on how to “take it up a notch” in the coming year, but how granular is that plan? It may not be detailed enough to provide guidance on how to align a training program to their objectives.

Is the annual plan dependent on marketing or an increase in sales team performance or both, and how are the results split? Will some team members drive a larger portion of the quota and why? Questions like these are critical in order to accomplish the next key factor – customization.

2. Sales Improvement Programs Are Customized

One size does not fit all, and not all teams will be aided by the same program. Customized training will not only align to the team’s objectives better, but will also help to win the support from leadership that is critical for the success of the program.

Leadership will likely tackle their new objectives from many points, but will rely on one or two factors to drive the lion’s share of performance. Training programs must align to support these key areas.

3. Sales Leadership Commits To Their Role In The Process

This rule is key across all verticals, industries and geographies. Without sales leaders fully committed to the program, the odds of success decreases dramatically.

Training must be planned, created and launched with the full participation and collaboration of sales leadership. Mistakes in timing, launch dates or even participant selection can cause disengagement early in the training process.

4. Plan For Various Levels Of Commitment & Enthusiasm

It is unusual for every participant to approach learning with the same vigor and enthusiasm. Count on naysayers and laggards to be present, and usually these individuals will come from core performers or below. The question is what are you going to do about it?

How can you address challenges before they arise and how will you deal with those who won’t make an effort to learn? Which participants should be involved in the first round of training, and how will the program results be promoted? These answers are all part of the overall plan that can help align team efforts and encourage participation. But don’t make these decisions in a vacuum; rely on sales leaders to provide guidance.

5. Track Behavior Change Not Just Results

Revenue and ROI are lagging indicators. By the time you realize that they are not improving, it is too late. First must come behavior change. Without behavior change, results are not likely tied to the training program but any one of the other factors involved.

When we designed our process, we felt that by identifying behavior change (or not) early in the process would give us the flexibility to make adjustments early and drive better results. We were right and the results have been extraordinary.

Not only will leaders be able to use the data to forecast the level of success the team will attain, but they can identify potential failure early enough in the process to intervene. Collect, store and analyze this data for your participants, and you will undoubtedly find trends and insights that will increase adoption of skills and behavior that drive your final results.


Ron De Appolonia

Author: Ron De Appolonia

Ron has trained some of the largest enterprise clients across the globe on effective buyer-centric sales strategies, and has coached professionals through the adoption of digital sales best practices into their existing sales routine.

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