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How to ensure success for new projects within your Route to Market channel

Deploying new technology or projects are exciting but daunting. There are often many role players and parties involved that add extra complications. Whether deploying a new software internally across your field force; externally across your extended route to market channel; or introducing a brand new sales channel to your route to market, addressing how these people adopt and engage will mean the success and return on investment.

Implementing such projects is complicated and requires a solid implementation plan to ensure a smooth transition. This plan requires a deep dive into the project outcomes and should include a budget, goals, timelines, resources, and communication strategies. But most importantly it should include a change management plan to mitigate any potential risk and blockers.

What is Change Management?

A purposeful focus on change management helps organizations face resistance head-on so that adapting to new technology is a smooth transition. The purpose of change management for software implementation is threefold:

  • – It helps users see the big picture of why you need the new software and what benefits you expect it to bring.
  • – It gives users the training and support they need to implement the change.
  • – It ensures users are employing the software and executing new processes correctly. 

Some organizations find it useful to consider the ADKAR change management framework. Its name is an acronym that comes from awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement:

  • Awareness: Make employees aware of the upcoming change process, including what will be happening, why you made the decision, and how it will impact them. 
  • Desire: Communicate the benefits of the expected change, both for the company and for individuals and teams. 
  • Knowledge: Provide tools to help employees succeed with the new application. 
  • Ability: Give team members opportunities to practice their new skills.
  • Reinforcement: Use rewards and incentives to maintain momentum and enthusiasm with the new software.

There is also a simpler approach to change management.

The 3 C’s of Change Management

Change management relies heavily on strong leadership and the skills of individuals to motivate and reward positive behavioral change. As a result the Center for Creative Leadership’s 3 C’s of Change Leadership is equally true for software or project implementation. The three C’s entail:  

  • Communicate: Successful change managers communicate with key stakeholders to understand the why and the what. They explain the purpose behind the change and connect it to the company’s values. The end result is a stronger buy-in and urgency for change. 
  • Collaborate: Effective change managers bring people together and encourage employees to work together and won’t tolerate unhealthy competition. They also include employees in the planning early on, engaging them in the process before resistance can occur. 
  • Commit: Successful change managers take part in the implementation of the change and encourage others to support the change as well. Successful change leaders are resilient, persistent and willing to step outside their comfort zone. They also devote more of their own time to the efforts of change management and are focused on the big picture. 

 

Tying it all together for Project ROI Success

From all our experience with clients deploying new digitization and mobilization projects across their rtm channels, we have identified key factors for success. Following these best practices you should be able to not just keep up but also thrive and succeed in the long run.

1. Plot the vision and plan

As with any plan or strategy, you need to clearly identify the why and the how. Following this a complete plan highlighting the budget, specific goals mapping the look of success, timelines for every milestone within the implementation plan, outline the resources required, and plot the communication strategies.

Communication, both internal and external, is key to the success of any new project.

2. Encourage internal stakeholders and external collaborations

In order to gain cooperation and collaboration, people need to fully understand why they need to be involved, but most importantly, why they need to feel compelled to change. By fully understanding what is in it for themselves as individuals and as employees, customers or partners.

Seeing and believing in the bigger picture is key.

3. Deconstruct the behaviour change

In order to effect lasting change, you need to completely map the tactical and strategic elements that comprise all the behaviours that needs to be adjusted. The best way to do this is to incorporate some form of B2B loyalty program. To reward these specific new behaviours.

However, a once off loyalty program will not do justice in the long run. It is best to focus on embedding consistency to ensure that the new behaviour is fully in place before moving to the next. As such, these kinds of programs are often a work in progress.

4. Regularly test, measure, learn, and improve

Every change needs to be tested and measured regularly to ensure that the organization is headed in the right direction.When measuring this change, you should track behavior, experience, value, adoption, and results.

In the case of deploying a new eCommerce platform within your Route to Market for instance, you should look at the realistic and achievable targets of the pilot. It is best to approach these pilots over a two to three phase approach building on the successes from each round. 

From our experience, there are some key metrics that you should consider for these kinds of channel projects or new technology deployments. In a future post we will unpack these metrics further. But until then, what are your key metrics that count?

The Solution

MACmobile’s approach to B2B Loyalty Program is to encourage adoption, drive specific behaviours and foster true loyalty.

FIELDLoyalty is a platform that enables CPG manufacturers to deploy B2B Loyalty & Rewards within their route to market value chain to change specific behaviours to drive sales and meet target.

With FIELDLoyalty installed within distribution you can effectively:

  • – Assist with user on-boarding
  • – Reward adoption
  • – Drive process best practice
  • – Encourage application stickiness

 

Once the project is well entrenched, FIELDLoyalty can then be utilized to further drive volume and availability KPIs; ensure promotion and compliance; and encourage engagement across the channel.

If you are looking at deploying new RTM technology or adding additional touchpoints to your channel, get in touch and we can arrange a deep dive into our best practices and un pack our learned experience.

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