Transformation Agents

Best practices to roll out Salesforce process change.

New year brings new opportunities, 2021 brought a few earlier than usual for EdCast. Coming out of a pandemic into an inflection year for the learning experience, skilling experience and digital adoption markets, Sales and Marketing Operations team of one was faced with the challenges of scale unlike any in the previous years. This is a story of a Transformation Agent leveraging technology to roll-out significant and impactful changes within days.

Business Situation

Over the second half of 2020, EdCast had doubled the sales team, with plans of doubling again over the first half of 2021. Moving away from generalist sales to specialized roles and responsibilities, the organization was facing significant shifts on the demands placed on the CRM and the sales and marketing operations team of ONE.  

In addition to the changes, the infrastructure for sales and marketing needed an update as the organic growth in the tools, mergers and acquisitions in Martech/Salestech etc. Further compounding the business situation was the introduction of three new tools and decommissioning of two others in use. In short, a lot was expected to change quickly-that is by the first virtual sales kickoff in the third week of January.

Due to the lean nature of the organization, roll-out, operations and support was rolled up into one person with assistance, contractors and some flexible capacity redirected from engineering teams.

Transformational Opportunities

  1. Onboard new sales, solutions and SE team at twice the capacity as before.
  2. Deploy new and updated sales process, moving from general-purpose full sales-cycle model to specialized development, engagement, account, solution and consulting roles
  3. Decommissioning of older tools due to the changed process and scale of operations
  4. Introduction of new tools to simplify the overall experience and workflow for sellers
  5. Preempt support, training and help-desk needs due to capacity at the barest minimum.

Transformational Solution

The backend work to prepare for 2021 necessitated changes in a couple of hundred objects, fields and mapping changes done iteratively. The major departures from earlier operations could be classified into the following categories

  1. Sales Stages,
  2. Territory assignments, 
  3. Role and responsibility shifts,
  4. Revenue Forecast, and
  5. Resource Scheduling.

With several hundreds of current accounts, opportunities and contacts impacted within a matter of days, rules for mapping transfers had to be implemented and communicated quickly. The process change would automatically change current mappings and rules for verification and ongoing process had to be first documented and then communicated. Further, operating procedures, rules and changes to default settings would require training of the current and future sales organization.

With the low capacity to document, communicate and train the organization in short order, EdCast sales leadership turned to our Transformation Agent to use one of our technologies for hacking the rollout.

Transformation Agent

Boshra Miarkiani is a one-person sales and marketing ops team with responsibilities for reporting, event management and general marketing support. Having a good understanding of the tools of her trade Salesforce.com, Pardot, Unbounce, Google Analytics, Outreach and several other complementary tools in use at EdCast, she had the skills to pull of this transformation single-handedly. Rolling out the training was another matter-that would require assistance of the extended organization.

Having experienced first-hand MyGuide – a people, process and technology adoption platform developed in-house and used extensively within the company for learning and support purposes; she felt confident in the mechanism for rollout. The challenge lay in provisioning and learning about the content creation aspect.To explore the possibility, she scheduled a sixty-minute call with a couple of CSM’s on the MyGuide team to explore the possibility of learning the solution. 

Transformation Process

Boshra found herself becoming a Transformation Agent within minutes after the setup, provision and instruction to use the technology within 35 minutes. She was able to build a guide to mimic creating an opportunity in the new process while on the call working through the nuances of creating content-validating a POC on the call. The CSM team were not joking on the ease-of-use. With the tools under her belt, the change rollout was less daunting.

Armed with the POC, she made a proposal to the sales leadership on the new SFDC change rollout using MyGuide. An hour-long brainstorming session with the sales, solutions and leadership team scoped the requirements to a set of six Guides and one Tour. With some tweaks in the process and testing of the changes expected to continue over the next course of the week, rollout development was scoped to an effort of about twenty hours. 

Coming up with the content for the guides can be a daunting task- no different than staring at a blank paper in anticipation of writing. Help was on the way in the form of onboarding a new sales leader to the change in process- a video conference that was recorded for no particular reason. Going over the recording a couple of times one afternoon, our Transformation Agent had the blueprint to begin the work of creating the content.

Guides

Starting with the POC guide for creating an opportunity was easy.  The workflow was straight-forward, intuitive and not a huge departure from the previous process. The following changes needed explanations-directive guidance to ensure consistency in the process.

  1. Opportunity Name: The naming convention was now going to follow a combination of company-name, product selected, contract type and type of opportunity (new or existing customer)
  2. New required fields such as Type of opportunity (New, Renewal, Up-sell or Cross-sell) with a potential association/link to a parent opportunity; Expected Value; Sales Stages- the new options along with definitions for each; Forecast Category selection. 
  3. New procedures to select data from the Product Catalog, Pricebook, Service categories, licensing categories and add-on selection.

Expanding the original simple guide to encompass the 22-step procedure demonstrated the need for planning out the guides before building one. In a test run with a new salesperson, a few ambiguities were caught and the guide creation process was clear. 

The next set of four guides took an hour to plan, an afternoon to compose and fifteen minutes to publish and rollout. Following the testing, validation, reorganizing and republishing was easier the second time around. The verbiage to use, the steps to capture and code and questions to test were much clearer.

By the third sprint, the process of organizing, developing and deploying the guides was brought down by a third- with a higher reduction in requested changes and edits from the users. Our Transformation Agent had graduated from an inquisitive explorer to a professional sales trainer in a week-working part-time while getting a majority of rollout activities completed. 

Tours

The guides done; it was time to wrap up the rollout into a neat package for the global sales team. MyGuide Tours were similar to create as a guide, with the added benefit of distribution and linking to the guides created. Following the best practice guidance, the Tour consisted of

  1. Announcement: A notice informing the users that the salesforce instance had undergone a makeover. This included 
    • The sales stage changes
    • Territory assignments
    • Roles and responsibility shifts
    • Workflow changes that were explained in the flow of work.
  2. The definition of sales stages, the impact to older accounts and expectations moving forward in the new year.
  3. The impact of territory assignments to the operations such as lead-routing
  4. Procedural shifts due to the introduction of new roles and responsibilities
  5. Workflow-changes and assistance available through MyGuide in accomplishing the tasks based on the new workflows.

The Tours had the option of playing a few times or being dismissed never to be shown again- at the preference of the user. Once dismissed, they would be available on request but not stop the user form completing the tasks they logged into salesforce to complete on repeat visits. The first visit was mandatory and had a requirement to complete.

With a couple of simple edits, this Tour was transformed from a change enabler to onboarding orientation. With the large number of projected new employees in the coming months- five minutes spent in making the few changes below would save a ton of time and effort in the future. 

  • Add a splash welcoming the new employee to the Salesforce instance at EdCast. This is simply a matter of editing out “Change” language with “Best Practices”. A few sentences that needed to be rephrased.
  • Include links to all the guides and content available for using Salesforce for effective execution at EdCast.
  • Configuring the Tour to be shown only to new accounts added to the Salesforce instance going forward and disabling the change tour for new users.

All of the transformational objectives now met, there was one more item to complete. A small survey to check for successful completion of tasks and experiential feelings topped off the complete rollout package and the onboarding orientation.

Impact

The rollout of updates to Salesforce.com instance was done just after the announcement at the sales kickoff with the click of a button in the admin console. Within 12 hours every sales professional had completed the mandatory tour- a fact that was reported to the administrator within the console. Within 48 hours of the rollout 50% of the guides had seen use by all the sales personnel in the company. Over the weekend, all the guides had been viewed at-least once with a couple viewed multiple times by the users in one region.  

This datapoint triggered a conversation with the Sales Director with a high guide view count. The rules for territory allocation for this particular region were different than those documented in the guides. A quick edit and update to the guide in question resolved the issue. The sales leadership team had certified their entire organization to be compliant with the new process within 5 business days of launch. 

Leadership was able to clean up the pipeline, improve forecasting capability and deliver monthly results without incurring training or support costs. They can operate at higher levels of confidence of harnessing sales capacity to meet aggressive booking targets in 2021. 

Try MyGuide

MyGuide by EdCast is the next-generation unified digital adoption platform that helps businesses guide users find their way around a complex environment of today in ways consistent with the organizational culture. By adapting technology, features and capabilities that come at little or no cost to businesses, our customers are able to raise adoption of features by up to 62% within first week of deployment, lower training time and increase workforce productivity in the flow of work.

From onboarding new employees to deploying new processes to deliver higher performance, we offer the technology, content and services to transform the talent experience. EdCast enables businesses to ensure the learner is always in control of their experience from hire to retire. The continuous improvement journey at EdCast includes learning daily from insights derived from millions of employees navigating their own respective learning and career journeys.

Along with MyGuide, the next generation adoption platform, EdCast enables you to roll-out new tools, features or processes quickly and empower your teams to be future-ready in the flow of work.

Conclusion

Leveraging technology to assist in transformation initiatives is now a norm. This is an account of one individual rolling out a complex change within an organization quickly and bringing about change quickly. Such instances of transformational impact are common across our customer base in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and technology sectors. At EdCast we are committed to help our customers improve the adoption of their transformation initiatives, reduce support and training costs and improve employee journeys quickly and easily. 

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