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Change can be messy, especially if you’re dealing with the way people are paid. Most sales reps will assume a new sales incentive plan means they’ll have to work harder for less money. Unless your organization is particularly cruel, this probably isn’t true. But between the mess of change and the negative attitudes toward the new plans, too many sales leaders rush the roll out and communication of new sales compensation plans, hoping the whole thing will just go away quickly. It’s a terrible strategy.
Managing change requires heavy communication and an understanding of how ready for change your organization is. Most sales leaders probably have a gut feel for how much change their teams can handle, but when preparing for a sales compensation plan roll out it helps to be a little more specific. The following four questions will help you forecast your organization’s readiness for the upcoming change.
Your total score will give you a sense of your current environment, the likely near-term forecast for change, and potential actions you might take.
If the forecast is Gale Winds to Potential Storm, a company going through a significant change will probably meet some active resistors who can potentially derail the initiative. However, if the management team is determined to make the change and the company has an executive in place who has created a clear mandate for change, using the velvet hammer can actually smooth the process (the velvet hammer usually refers to exiting a person who is not prepared to change with the organization).
When making the change to your program, start early with socialization, craft the right story for your change environment, and stay sensitive to the organization while you work through your communications process.
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