HomeBlog Follow Change Management Techniques When Adding Contacts to Opportunities

Follow Change Management Techniques When Adding Contacts to Opportunities

June 13, 2012 | By Jay Famico

In a previous post, I addressed the significant benefits an organization can receive by associating contacts with opportunities. However, many companies are reluctant to do so because of concerns regarding how to manage and drive this process change.

In a previous post, I addressed the significant benefits an organization can receive by associating contacts with opportunities. However, many companies are reluctant to do so because of concerns regarding how to manage and drive this process change.

Based on experiences of our clients, consider the following change management techniques to help ensure smooth adoption:

Driving the change

  • Quantify the time requirement. In addition to quantifying the value proposition of associating contacts with opportunities, quantify the additional time it will require per opportunity. This grounds the cost of the process change to a hard number, which in most cases will be insignificant.

  • Target first-line sales managers. We have observed that clients holding first-line sales managers accountable for driving this change have experienced greater success implementing it vs. those only holding sales resources (e.g. reps, account managers) responsible. With this in mind, adding “contact associations to opportunities” to senior management’s performance review of first-line sales managers will reinforce this change.

  • Have sales leadership drive the change. Have sales (not marketing) leadership introduce the process change, highlighting the value it creates for sales. This repositions this change from “it’s one more thing that marketing is asking us to do” to “it’s something sales can do to become more productive.”

Driving adoption

  • Focus on the future. Do not go back and attempt to update closed opportunities. Limited value is created relative to the amount of effort that is required.

  • Don’t require contacts immediately. Adopt a policy that, while an opportunity does not need to have contacts immediately associated with it, this should happen within 30 days. We make this suggestion because, in most organizations, sales reps do not update opportunities on a daily or weekly basis. Use tasks within your sales force automation (SFA) platform to create reminders for reps to add contacts to the opportunity.

  • Enforce a one-contact minimum. Create an SFA policy requiring that an opportunity must have one or more contacts before edits to the opportunity can be saved. Many organizations can easily drive/enforce this change by allowing opportunities to be created only from a contact record.

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