Best Practices for a Successful Sales Enablement Software Implementation: Part 2 The Roll Out
When launching a new technology, almost every team faces challenges and roadblocks.
Some of the most common challenges you’ll face in every stage of the process are:
- No sense of urgency to migrate from old tools or processes
- Disconnect or lack of communication about the strategic benefits of the new technology
- Active resistance or push back from naysayers
This 3-part series is designed to help you navigate some of the most common challenges that can sink a successful implementation. In part 2 we’ll focus on the ways to combat these challenges as they manifest during the rollout phase of your implementation.
Make launch something to look forward to:
In addition to having “hype men”, another effective way to build positivity and excitement around your launch is to make an event of it. Give the user base something to look forward to. Whether it be planning a specific event, or coordinating/piggybacking off of an existing event, excitement by association is a real thing.
Take a look at Steve Jobs’ legacy. Apple product launches are extremely coveted events and recruit a user base for the new product well before it’s ever even released. But you don’t have to break the bank to make an anticipated event out of your launch. Here are a few cost-effective options to consider:
- Arrange a company lunch or meeting. Have all appropriate employees stop work and attend the event in person or via video conference. Invite sales and marketing leaders to share how the new tech will impact people in their departments. Show employees real-life examples of how the new tech makes their life better. They will be happy for the break, the refreshments and the early afternoon. Show employees real-life examples of how the new tech makes their life better.
- Work the launch announcement into your annual sales conference. Company conferences are typically anticipated events. It’s time away from work to develop professionally, socialize with colleagues, celebrate wins, and look for ways to improve the next year. Additionally, conferences typically fall around the beginning or end of the year and people attend with the mindset of wanting to “refresh.” Employees typically attend conferences with an understanding that they are going to learn something new or be introduced to some sort of change. Take advantage of the open mindset that a new year can bring.
Cater training to your audience
If you want to have an effective training it’s critical to cater to the audience or audiences that you’re working with. Are your users tech-savvy and time pressed? In that situation, quick online tutorials or reference guides may be an effective way to get the job done and get them using the tool without demanding too much of their time in course and workshops.
Do you have an audience of non-technical team members or luddites? For an audience like this you make better progress with personal training sessions, in person training courses or workshops. In a setting like this your audience can engage with you, ask questions, complete supervised exercises and get a more hands-on experience in the tool. It will also allow you to help them navigate through challenges and mitigate building frustration.
Another effective method for training is to create short video clips that document specific use cases in the tool. The trick is to keep them simple, concise and focused on the major actions your users will be conducting in the system. Serving up the information in this way allows your users to focus on what’s relevant to them, learn at their own pace, and review or reference information as needed down the road.
Adoption strategies are an ongoing initiative
Leverage your user community. Whether you intend it to happen or not, when you implement a new software you are creating a new community within your organization. Users will express their opinions to colleagues, share their challenges, and maybe even band together as they go through training. It is a natural human reaction during a time of change.
Leverage this user community to support your adoption efforts. Create a forum where your users can connect to share and provide feedback. It’s important to not let fear of negative feedback pull you down the path of isolating or silencing this community. Here’s why…
This will build credibility with your users as it will give them a voice and allow them to feel involved in the evolution of the new system, as well as offer a channel to publicly respond to complaints and grievances or defend against false claims. Additionally, it will provide visibility into how your users are operating in the new tool and allow you to anticipate their needs and be proactive with future system or process enhancements.
Ultimately, by connecting new and mild users with your system super users you may alleviate some system support. You may notice a team of champions organically form and promote or encourages the best practices, tips and tricks they use to the rest of your user community.
Audit your content
Make sure your ducks are in a row. Implementing a sales enablement platform is a great time to reevaluate your sales collateral and clean house. However, the mistake most marketing teams make is holding up the implementation to make sure everything is perfect. Don't put that kind of pressure on yourself and your team. No matter how perfect you get your content, there will always be feedback and ways to improve. So get the content and the organizational structure about 80% of the way there, and accept that you may need to make adjustments as you go. Simplify your data base of content, strip down to basics, and remove duplicate or redundant pieces. This is the best practice, at least during the first phases of your implementation while users are still getting used to navigating the system. Supplemental pieces can always be added later to build out a full sales asset library.