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The Revenue Operations Blog

Process Rollout, Bryan Van Auken

December 17, 2021
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The Interview

Kluster's Take

Josephine spoke with Bryan Van Auken, Director of Revenue Operations at Service Express. He describes his unique approach to process rollout. 

Bryan explains that getting reps to adopt new processes is about regular communication.  Weekly 1 to 1s are important, as well as communicating with the right people at the right time.

Champions should get buy-in from leadership and superusers. This helps others understand that process change is valuable.

Transcription

Everybody doing the same thing over communicating that top-down approach of like, you need to stay here, you need to do it this way. It's also making sure that they see the benefit in it.

I think the groundwork is really, you know, building out that the right plan and the right strategy for that process. And so I think that, you know, begins with not only working with, you know, leadership in the stakeholders, but also working with the, the users in the team that will be affected by that process.

Um, and making sure that it makes sense for them and that they're also driving the recommendation of this process. Um, because at the end of the day, you want this process to enhance their workflow. You want it to make sense for them. You want it to make them better. And so I think initially, you know, the groundwork is connecting with them, understanding what's not working.

How can we, um, you know, tweak that process and make that process better. And, you know, once you identify that, then it's going to work and kind of starting to build that process. How can you enhance that process? Making sure the technologies that that process sits in will, uh, you know, will work. How do you make the user experience and that technology scene.

Hmm. Um, and then it's, over-communication, um, it's making sure everybody understands the roadmap understands, um, when these changes will take place, um, make sure they understand what they're expected to do and how this will affect their, uh, their workflow. And as long as you, you know, over communicate, make sure you're constantly in front of them, make sure you're listening to them.

Um, I think that, you know, really how you've laid that groundwork for that successful process rollout. That's awesome. And what does the day-to-day look like? Is it going to be like regular meetings? Um, like regular zoom meetings. Can you talk me through that a little bit? Yeah, definitely. I think it depends on, you know, what the overall workload looks like.

So if this is kind of one of many projects, it might not be, you know, daily meetings, maybe it's more weekly meetings, but I definitely think that there needs to be a regular cadence of communication, um, on a regular cadence. Um, you know, getting together to build out that process and you're probably going to have, you know, different meetings for different people.

So you might have maybe only maybe a. A weekly one with the revenue operations team or some of the operations people to really be in the nitty gritty, defining and figure out what this process is going to look like, you know, from a technology standpoint. And how does this process flow? Um, and then maybe you're going to have a weekly one also with your, your, with your users to give them progress, updates, and say, Fit the requirements.

Is this just going to fit within your workflow? Is this process change going to help you be better? Um, maybe it's a weekly one or maybe it's a biweekly one, depending on the scope with the stakeholders, just to, you know, a quick one to bring them up to speed, to help them understand. Hey, here's where we're at.

Over the next week or two, here's what we plan on accomplishing here's any roadblocks we're running into. Um, but just making sure you're communicating with the right people at the right time and communicating the, the right things to them, because not everybody has to be involved in everything. So making sure you understand that.

Um, so over-communication doesn't necessarily mean that, just speak to everyone, making sure you're speaking to the right people. Okay. Brian, could you talk me through champions and key influences? What are your thoughts that why are they important or not so important when it comes to processing? Yes. So we've always felt like, uh, champions are really valuable and we try to have champions at every level.

Um, so when you're talking about, you know, leadership, having a championship champion at leadership, because at the end of the day, you can roll out the best process, a process that's going to work for the users that are affected by that. But if you don't have leadership buy-in, um, to hold people accountable, um, then you're the, it's still gonna feel.

Um, and so I think having a champion at leadership to make sure that that's being cascaded to the rest of the leadership team and the cast that they're also cascading that down from a top down approach, um, to help people understand the benefit of this process. Change is super valuable. Um, I think also having champions among the users.

So we, you know, we always try to have, um, you know, super users within with any process rollout or technology rollout, um, where we get them in initially. And they're the ones that are helping scope this. And usually it's probably users that, um, are very talented, like our talented and strong users. Um, because you want to make sure it works for them, but I think it also is good to have varied experiences so that you're not just listening to it, you know, one targeted segment of your user base.

Um, and so I think having, you know, what kind of multiple champions, or as we call them here, like super users to really build that out. If you, so, and then even do a pilot or a test phase with them so that when you do go to roll it out to everybody, it's not, Hey, here's revenue, operations, or leadership.

Rolling this process out. It's Hey. It's the, you know, service express. It's our company rolling this out and oh, by the way, here's what your team members are in our super users had to say, because I think that gets everybody else more buy-in and here's what the champions they on how this, um, positively impacted their workflow.

That's awesome. And because you've got these champions in early on, they've helped to like give feedback to the process and see what's what. Yeah. And I think that also that builds the buy-in for the rest of the users, because they know that you're taking into their, you're taking their considerations in.

You're not, um, even if it's not them specifically, you're taking their team members, team, team members that they trust that they respect you, took their feedback and you built that into the process. Hmm. And like when you work for a big organization, so having these leaders on board really helps with having communication at scale.

Yes, it definitely does because they can take that, you know, we've, you know, earlier on, you know, I've been with, uh, the company I worked for for seven and a half years, and we've definitely done a roll outs in the past where it was like our team led and it just, you learn from your mistakes. It doesn't go over well, when you have that leadership, buy-in your ship, you know, this leader, the leader team championing it.

It definitely helps drive adoption. And buy-in from everybody. Um, okay. Could you tell me about long term adoption? What are your thoughts there? How do you do that? Well, what does the cadence look like? Yeah, I think from, you know, long-term adoption once again, I think it depends on the scope of the project or the type of project we, um, no, I'll go, it wasn't, I guess, necessarily a process, but it was a few years ago we rolled out Salesforce as lightening UI to our team.

And, you know, we definitely gave, I mean, we started this process with our team, you know, probably a year in advance, got super users and leadership involved, you know, six to eight months in advance before we launched to everybody. And you know, what we did from a long-term standpoint was we gave them about, I would say a month to a month and a half.

Six weeks to paddle back and forth and, you know, help build their current processes into kind of the new UI and user interface. Um, and this, the whole time we, once again, it was that open communication, it was the top-down approach of like, Nope, you gotta do it this way. It was making sure that they start their day out using the new processes or the new S user interface.

So they had to take the action to. Out of the new process or the, the new UI and get back into kind of the old way of doing it and what ended up happening. It was funny. We, um, Turned everything, uh, turn everything off to where they had to be in the lightning UI, followed the new processes, use the new user interface.

And I would say maybe a couple of weeks to a month after that, we ended up pushing a sandbox refresh, not realizing that when we push that sandbox, when you refresh, it turned a couple of our profiles back to a classic instead of lightning. And instead of those users, The one with the flow and not saying anything, people freaked out and wanting to get back.

Like, we need lightening, we need lightening. Like they didn't want plastic. And so it was like, all right, at that point you knew you had done your job. Well, when people freaked out when the new process or new technology wasn't in front of them, and it was, I think at that point, the longterm. Um, everybody doing the same thing over communicating that top-down approach of like, you need to stay here, you need to do it this way.

And you know, it's, it's also making sure that they see the benefit in it. So if you don't lay that groundwork and do those right things up front to help them see the Y. And like, this is how this is going to make me better, no matter what, no matter what you do down the road, they're not going to want to stay in this. And they're going to look for any opportunity to do things the old way. Um, you definitely gotta do things the right way in the beginning, um, to have that long-term effect.

But you said, right. So before we started recording tile processes are so important as a foundation to the sales team. So that kind of just goes back to that idea of building foundations, the groundwater, knowing the why, and then it will set you up for the longterm. So that's awesome. Yeah. Okay. What about tech?

How does tech play a part? Is there anything that you would suggest or anything that helps with driving? Yeah. So I guess when you're talking about like technology adoption or still like process adoption, but making sure like the technology works for. Um, know, I think it's a lot of the same practices.

It's just making sure that you're building out that technology for your users. Um, making sure that as they're, you know, looking at, uh, you know, simple, it's something as simple as just like a page layout in Salesforce that the fields they need are readily available and they don't have to scroll through a huge page to find.

The different fields that are required, um, making sure you understand their processes and their workflow so that if you know, you know, that typically for a sales user or a user in Salesforce, if, um, for their role in the company, that they're gonna fill out this information and then fill out this information.

Try to put those fields next to each other. Don't put one field up here and then make them scroll half a page to find that other field to fill out when, you know, in their typical workflow, they fill those out at the same time. Um, and it's also making sure that the technology works for your processes and in try to automate as much as possible.

There's still gonna, there's always going to be manual workload and ma you know, manual things that people have to do, but you can help make the technology work for them. And automate any spot that you can and it's going to make their lives a lot easier. Um, and it's just gonna get more adoption, um, around any process or adoption out any technology, um, that you roll out.

Okay. What do you think goes wrong? Bread. Why do you think sometimes reps find it difficult to adopt new technology? Um, I think there could be various reasons. I think sometimes companies can get. Can, um, get in the habit or, you know, the next shiny object. And so they just kind of run the technologies. Oh, here's a cool technology.

We want to implement this technology without really understanding the why in actually having a problem to solve. So I think one of the first things. You know, making sure you actually have a problem to solve in that current, that, that problem that you're trying to solve, can't be fixed with the current technology.

You have, it can't be fixed with a process tweak or people tweak. I feel like you always should start people in the process. Then if you can't fix a problem or solve a problem with one of the, in one of those areas, then you can look to a technology to say, all right, how can this technology solve this? Um, I think another thing is making sure you have a good grasp.

I'm your, um, your, your whole tech stack. So I know a lot of companies, they have different groups that bring on technologies. And so you might have one technology over here and other technology over here, or even with the same group. Sometimes you can just get in these. Situations where you have redundant technologies.

And so you have two technologies that kind of do the same thing, or it can be used for the same thing. And I think in that, you know, in that sense reps just get confused, like, okay, Oh, yeah, I can do this specific thing in both of these technologies. Where am I actually supposed to do it? Um, and you're not helping them by giving them multiple ways to do something you're actually hindering, you know, their day-to-day when you give those, because it just is confusing.

Um, so I think those are two big areas. Um, just making sure that you're actually solving a problem because if you're solving a problem and making their lives easier, they're going to want to be in the technology. They're going to want to use it. And if you're also made, you know, also making sure you're not bringing out a redundant technology, you're not bringing on something that is already in place where then they can already do things because this is going to cause confusion and having to know where to do it.

And so some reps are gonna pick one, some reps are going to pick another tool or. You're like, I don't even know what to do is I'm going to do it a totally different way. So I would say those are two key, key things. Awesome. Okay. And it's going to be like the story you said before about you had a new process after six weeks something happened and they didn't like what's happening.

I'm used to this way of working now. So.

Yeah. You know, in that situation with that, when we rolled that out, it was like they saw the why they saw how the new user, you know, is this is Salesforce lightning. So it wasn't like a new technology, but they saw how new UI. And they kind of, the new processes benefited them in quickly. They adopted and loved it.

So then when all of a sudden there was a little hiccup that put them back into the old UI and some old processes, they were like, no, I need to get back to what, you know, the new way, because it works really well. Yeah. That must have been really great for you as an indication like I'm doing a great job right now.

Well, there's a rev ops team. We're like, you know, as much as we don't want to have that hiccup happened, it was definitely validating. And you know, it was like, oh,

Awesome. Okay. What about we know about the, why, how important it is. Could you just talk to me about data capture? What evidence do you use to convince your reps that this is why you should change a process? Yeah. So from a data standpoint, um, I think it all comes down to, if you can use the data to tell the story.

Um, this is how you become better. Or we know that, you know, like if we're talking about like opportunities, for example, like if we know this information gets filled out, um, we win more deals when this information gets filled out. Or if we can explain the story back, you know, an opportunities as well, like, um, capturing like win-loss data or capturing information, like.

This is going to help us be better because we can learn from all right, what do our deal, what happens on deals that we win? What happens on deals that we lose and how can we learn from that? How can then replicate the things that we do that win so that we can build trainings around that we can help people who might not be doing that and do those things that when, so we can all be better.

And then just on the opposite side, you know, for things that we lose, like what might be happening, where we're losing deals, like, can we identify that with, you know, a few data and transform how we're doing different things within the sales process, provide training on things like, Hey, let's, you know, don't do this.

So I think as long, you know, once again, if you can use that data to help show them how they can be better, whether it's closing one more deal a year, or I'm closing one more deal a month even, or, you know, doing, doing things like that, that's going to positively impact their business and help them better.