An $8 billion food distribution company implemented a new technology-based approach to sales to improve operational efficiency. The shift to a web-based customer interface, coupled with new `customer service representatives, was meant to streamline the ordering process and reduce the burden on the sales team, thereby giving sales more time to focus on generating new leads. However, customers were seemingly unwilling to change and continued to order from sales people.
The team conducted a behavioral audit of the sales process, augmented by customer feedback and focus group results. It revealed that low adoption was not with the customer, but with the sales staff. The team developed a roadmap to adoption that included training and shifting incentives for salespeople, increasing service representatives’ product knowledge, and revamping managers’ weekly sales meetings.