The Revenue Engine

#OpsTherapy 2: Driving Tech Stack Adoption

April 19, 2021
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The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

With no shortage of technology for revenue teams today, how do you ensure success when implementing a new system or tool? How can you drive adoption?

In this episode, Rosalyn shares 8 Pro Tips to ensure your success when implementing a new system or tool and make sure the revenue team actually use it!

Tune in each month to the #OpsTherapy sessions, as Rosalyn shares her journey, career learnings, and how Revenue Operations is becoming the vehicle to enable companies to scale and grow.

Timestamps:

00.43 - Adoption is one of the biggest challenges when implementing a new system or tool
01.49 - Why adoption can be difficult from a people perspective
02.45 - Why adoption can be difficult from a process perspective
03.22 - Why adoption can be difficult from a technology perspective
03.50 - Pro Tip 1: Clearly understanding the positive impact on the business
05.14 - Pro Tip 2: Communicating to the business
07.02 - Pro Tip 3: Have a well-defined process
08.21 - Pro Tip 4: Train and empower the team
10.40 - Pro Tip 5: Keeping it as simple and straightforward as possible
11.57 - Pro Tip 6: Celebrate and highlight the wins
14.00 - Pro Tip 7: Involve users and leadership early, and often
16.28 - Pro Tip 8: It's a continual loop - gather feedback, measure, enhance and evolve
18:00 - Key takeaways

Connect with Rosalyn

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Rosalyn Santa Elena
As an advisor for several high-growth start ups on all things GTM and Operations, an active leader of Revenue Operations in multiple communities and platforms, and the host of The Revenue Engine Podcast, I'm on a mission to elevate the Ops function & Ops professionals.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Welcome to the revenue engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena. And I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue, generators, innovators, and disruptors revenue leaders in sales, in marketing. And of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine. Are you ready? Let's get to it.

We all know there is no shortage of technology for revenue teams today. There are systems and tools for anything and everything for every step of the revenue process. But one of the biggest challenges when implementing a new system or tool is adoption, bringing on a new tool as a lot of work, you have to choose the tool.

You have to have the budget for it. You have to purchase the tool. You have to configure, implement rollout and train. And of course you have to maintain the tool and continuously optimize and update. We all know of tools that no one uses or tools that people complain about or tools that just sit there and never really provide the value we were hoping for.

So how do you ensure success with a new system or tool? How do you make sure the revenue team will actually use it? And how do you make sure that you realize the true value and the ROI of the tool? There are many different approaches and ways to drive adoption. I'm going to share some thoughts and tips that will hopefully help, but let's first look at some of the reasons why adoption can be difficult.

And I like to think about this from the perspective of people, process and technology. When you think about it from a people perspective, change is tough, right? Sometimes it's just about change and resistance to change. And sometimes it's other reasons from a people perspective, maybe the volume or the benefits of the change are not well understood or the reason and business justification has not been communicated to really help the revenue team understand why.

There could also be a lack of support or buy in from the leadership team, or maybe you don't have a lot of advocates or champions of the initiative. The user is, might be lacking, adequate training or the user experience or interface is poor. If you think about from a process perspective, adoption can be difficult if the process is too minutes.

It's too cumbersome or too complicated. If the process is unclear or the expectations are not well-defined, this can also lead to adoption challenges when making a change. If there is no governance or no policy around the change teams may unknowingly not be adopting the way that they're supposed to.

And to support change, there should be reinforcement as well as a feedback mechanism to continue to improve the process. Lastly, when it comes to technology, If the tech doesn't actually support the use case or solve the business problem that it was intended to, then don't be surprised if there is an adoption and we all work in many different systems.

So poor integration with those other systems or a ton of manual effort can also be an issue. And similar to people and process when it's too complicated or too complex, there's a risk of adoption challenges. So now let's take a look at a couple of tips that will hopefully help drive some better outcomes.

So tip number one, clearly understand the positive impact to the business. So even before you buy, make sure you fully understand the use case or the business problem that you're trying to solve. Don't buy tech just to buy time. There are so many great technology platforms out there, but by what you need and what you need now, I've been at companies where we have so much technology, but we're really not getting the ROI or the value that we should be because it's not being used or maybe it's not being used properly.

So make sure you understand how you're going to use the technology to really enable and optimize your revenue team and your business. Bring on a tool that will help solve multiple use cases for the short term, but we'll also be able to grow and scale with you. So I recommend that you not only understand those use cases, but now you define them as goals, which you will then use to measure against once you bring on the.

So again, clearly understand the positive impact to the business. What's the use case. What's the business problem. Make sure that you're solving multiple use cases for today, but make sure also that the tool is going to grow with you and help you scale. Tip number two is around communicating the impact and the business.

When change is proposed, there's a natural tendency for all of us to want to understand how the change is going to affect us. Right? You want to understand how the change is going to affect you. You want to know what the impact is to you. You want to know what action will be expected from you. What does it change mean to you on a short-term and a long-term basis?

What are the pros and cons? And then you start to determine whether you're going to be open to this change, or if you're going to be resist. And this is why it's so critical that you promote the value loud and clear articulate the same value that guided you to make the decision to purchase this tool in the first place.

What were the business issues you were looking to solve? What are the use cases that the new tool will address? So make sure you continue to promote that value. Communicate the benefits, right? Tell the team what the benefits are, how it's going to impact them, whether that's on a day to day basis or longer term, for example, maybe the short-term benefits are, you know, less manual work, better visibility, maybe some time savings.

And maybe the longer term benefits are going to include things like more meetings booked, better qualifications. Shorter deal cycles, maybe easier approvals, right? Whatever those benefits are, make sure you are out there promoting them, make it worth their while to pay attention and to leverage the new tool.

So tell them what's in it for them. So just to recap, communicate the impact and the benefits, right. Promote the value. Make sure you promote the benefits and share what that positive day-to-day impact is going to look like. Tip number three is around having a well-defined process, have a well-defined process policy and make sure you have governance.

So when rolling out a new system, you want to build a mini playbook. And what do I mean by that? So along with rolling out the system, you want to create a, how to. You want to set the right expectations. You want to define the policy, the process and the governance around the new tool. So this includes setting expectations for what needs to get done, who will do it, how will it get done and how often you want everyone to be on the same page so that everybody understands what's expected from them.

What, and when things need to get done and make sure that they actually know how to do it. And just as importantly, remember the why. So continue, continue, continue to remind the team of the value and the benefits, the what's in it for them, but also show how what they're doing helps impact the overall team and the overall company.

So have a playbook, have a well-defined process policy and make sure you have governance, create a, how to guide, define the process, set the right expectations and make sure to communicate the importance and the value. Number four is around train, train, and train, empower the team, empower them to be experts.

I think too often we put forth so much effort to choose the right. To configure it properly to implement it, to roll it out, but we failed to properly train the users and really empower them to be successful. This is so important to really arm the team with the knowledge they need so that they can be successful.

Help them be self-sufficient so they can self serve and not rely on others as much as possible because feeling empowered will help increase adoption. When you're rolling out training, I recommend that you have a comprehensive training program for the users, but maybe roll it out in bite sized chunks.

And what I mean by this is have multiple shorter sessions versus maybe one or two longer. One approach may be to do some basic training, to get the team up and running and then roll it out. Let the users play in the tool, get familiar, you know, really master the basics. And then shortly after conduct a second training session where you then dive into the sort of the next level or next set of functionality.

And you allow time for Q and a right from the original session. And from that time that they've spent in the tool and around enablement, mix it up. Everyone learns different. The more, you can add variety to the training, the better your results will be mix up the training. Use video, maybe online training in a tool.

If you have one break, maybe do some training in small groups, do some breakout sessions, play some games, have different presenters, maybe do some train the trainer, maybe even add some gamification. You get the idea, be creative, come up with different ideas, make it interesting, make it fun. And regardless of whatever you decide works best for your team.

Ongoing training is key. After the initial training, there should be ongoing training, tons of refreshers sharing of best practices. Make sure that you're sharing new learning. So really the key takeaway again, is train, train, train, right? The tip is to really empower the team to be experts. So arm the team train and empower them, make sure that you have continuous training.

And the goal is really self-serve and help people be self-sufficient tip five is around keeping it as simple and straightforward as possible. You've probably all heard it. Acronym kiss. Right? Keep it super simple. Or some people say, keep it simple, stupid, but basically keep it super simple. Right? This is always a no-brainer and should always be a goal when it comes to driving adoption, keep it as simple and straightforward as possible.

So what does this mean? Right. To drive. To really drive adoption. You want to make it easy. So, so how are, what are some of those ways, right? Automate as much as possible integrate with those other systems to make it really seamless and easy, provide, help, text and suggestions and make it as guided as possible through the tool for the user, try to build guardrails and validations, right.

To help prevent errors and always remember to minimize clicks. Right. Make it user-friendly and reduce manual entry. Would you see manual entry? Not only saves time for the user, but it also prevents errors because at the end of the day, the simpler, the ask, the more likely it will get done and the more likely it will get done correctly.

So again, kiss, keep it super simple automation validation. Configuration the simpler, the ask, the more likely it's going to get done, moving on to tip six is around celebrating and highlighting the wins. I'm a big advocate of the carrot versus the stick approach for almost everything. But especially when it comes to adoption, to me, positive reinforcement works much better and goes a whole lot farther than negative punishment.

So how do you incorporate positive reinforcement? Celebrate the wins. Right. Celebrate the wins. When the system enables a positive outcome. For example, if a meeting was successfully booked through the new system or the new process, highlight it. If maybe we were able to qualify a prospect sooner, highlight that, or maybe a larger deal was one, or maybe it was one faster highlight.

And aside from positive outcomes also celebrate the wins when the new system helped save time, or maybe when it provided better data accuracy, or if it gave better visibility, which may be led to faster turnaround times or better decisions and make sure that you recognize the people. Who are using the system properly individuals like to be recognized when they're doing something right.

So highlight this and share it with others, show what was done, how it helped the person, the team, the company, and let others learn from that experience. As part of showcasing the wins also definitely share best practices, right? Have users share. Best practices with their peers, but also published best practices, maybe in a newsletter or an email or whatever form of communication that you have and start to incorporate some of those best practices into your ongoing process.

The more you showcase the wins, the more you will continue to demonstrate again, the value, the benefits, and in turn, you're going to drive better adoption. So remember to showcase the wins, think about the carrot versus the stick. Recognize the users, right? Celebrate any positive outcome and share best practices.

The next tip is all about involving users and the leadership early and often when you're rolling out a new tool, it's so important to get everyone on board, the more advocates, supporters, and champions that you have in your corner really rooting for you and rooting for the success of the tool. The better chances you have of better adults.

One of the things that always surprises me is when teams don't involve any users at all before the rollout, this always strikes me as sort of odd. I recommend that you involve a few users because getting their perspective from a user experience. Can be incredibly helpful, how they work day to day, what they like or don't like to see what's useful versus not because sometimes we as rev ops or operations or enablement leaders, we make assumptions about what works from a user's perspective that may not always be the case.

And the good news is that those users can now become your tests. Right. They become your early adopters and ultimately they become your champions after rollout. It's so important to have champions who are peers to the actual users. When the rest of the team knows that some of their top performing peers have been involved, there lends a layer of credibility to the new tool and an added layer of confidence for you that the user experience is going to make sense for the team.

And let's talk about leaders. My perspective is that it's critical to ensure that the leadership team is bought in, right. Make sure that the leadership team is not only bought in, but they fully understand what we're trying to achieve. Like everything else and everyone else, they need to understand the value and the benefits.

And they need to be a supporter and not just a supporter, they need to be adopters. Right. They need to be adopters as well. Like how many times have you implemented a process or a system? And then the manager calls the rep for an update instead of looking in the system or the leader is like the worst at following the process or leveraging the system.

So make sure that your leadership is adopting and supporting again, involve the users and the leadership team early and often make sure that you see. Things from a user perspective, make sure that you leverage your champions and advocates and again, leadership, adoption support. And buy-in lastly, tip number eight is to remember that adoption and rollout.

It's not a one and done it's a continuous loop of feedback. Measurement and evolution gather the feedback after the initial rollout. Be sure to gather feedback from the users, not only for sorta those short-term fixes of things that maybe are broken, but also longer term enhancements, to make sure that you listen to the feedback and make sure that you incorporate the useful feedback into the current process, or maybe into your roadmap and remember to measure and communicate performance against goals.

As part of this ongoing loop, do you remember why you bought the tool, what you were hoping to accomplish? Well now is the time to measure performance against those goals to see if you have achieved what you set out to do and how you're tracking towards them. So remember to reiterate and reinforce now is the time to remember, to continue to train users, reiterate the value and reinforce the process.

And lastly, remember to enhance and evolve as part of this last tip, take the feedback in the learnings and make sure that you're continuing to enhance and evolve the tool, especially as your business changes. So really remember it's not a one and done it's a continuous loop of feedback, measurement and evolution gather the feedback measure and communicate performance against your original goals.

Reiterate, reinforce. Enhance and evolve. So again, just to kind of wrap up, I think, you know, some of the key takeaways, just remember that adoption is possible, right? Understand the positive impact to the business before you buy don't buy, just to buy, make sure that you communicate the impact and the benefits.

Have a well-defined process, policy and governance. This is your playbook. Make sure that you train and empower the team. Keep it super simple. Remember to celebrate the wins and make sure that you build advocates and champions. And again, it's not a one and done it's a continuous loop, like everything else in our business continuously improving, enhancing, iterating, and making things scale.

Thank you for listening. And I hope that some of these tips will be helpful as you launch your next tool or continue driving adoption in some of the tools that you already have in place.

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