Have you ever added up how many changes you make to your Salesforce org in a week? What about a month? Or year? Salesforce is infinitely customizable and that flexibility is put to good use every day to drive better go-to-market team alignment and improve revenue generation.
Every potential change can invite risk in the form of low adoption, poor morale, and general confusion. And just because a change can be made doesn’t mean it should be made. That’s why it’s so important to have a change management strategy led by change agents.
Change agents chart the course for change and sit at the helm of transformation projects.
For GTM teams, RevOps leaders can act as change agents. They identify opportunities for improvement, help make the case for change, lead the change management strategy, and ultimately take responsibility for the outcomes of the change project.
Here’s a primer on what change agents are, what they do, and why RevOps leaders are key change agents in their organizations.
What is a change agent?
Change agents play a critical role in identifying, facilitating, and promoting change. They take accountability for the change management process and ensure that transformation projects deliver on their promised value. Sometimes referred to as an agent of change or advocate of change, a change agent’s responsibilities typically include:
- Identifying opportunities to improve or refine strategies and tactics
- Convincing stakeholders of the value of transformation
- Leading the team involved in implementing change
- Creating and implementing the change management strategy
- Communicating the transformation to all affected parties
- Gathering feedback from those impacted by change before, during, and after implementation
Aside from the tactical details of change management, change agents also help overcome resistance to change and continually improve change management practices.
Change agent skills and characteristics
Change agents should have a broad set of skills and competencies to be successful:
- Take a solution-oriented approach to dealing with issues, whether they’re new challenges or longstanding problems
- Able to lead interdepartmental, cross-functional teams
- Have a diverse knowledge base, with the ability to see the big picture and think about the smallest details
- Be enthusiastic and open to new ideas, and spread that enthusiasm to others
- Willing to ask tough questions to evaluate whether a change is necessary and to understand its impacts
- Understand the various roles and responsibilities of people throughout the organization, so they can appreciate how change will impact individuals
- Be able to anticipate potential obstacles to making change and identify solutions to overcoming those obstacles
Why RevOps leaders are the change agents GTM teams need
Most GTM teams face challenges with alignment, reporting quality, and productivity. That’s where RevOps comes in. RevOps leaders have the characteristics needed to be successful change agents and remove barriers to revenue generation:
- Problem-solving: RevOps leaders excel at removing roadblocks and finding alternative ways to tackle issues that arise in GTM teams’ day-to-day work.
- Communication: From individual contributors to leadership teams, RevOps leaders must be proactive communicators and proficient listeners.
- Empathy: Being able to see things from others’ perspective is essential for RevOps leaders to anticipate and respond to the needs of GTM teams.
- Attention to detail: RevOps leaders must be highly aware of the smallest details, ranging from items on a picklist to the steps of the customer journey.
With these characteristics, RevOps leaders strategically implement changes that guide GTM teams down the path to success.
Make the right changes
It’s easy to get caught up in shiny-object syndrome, hoping that each new feature or integration will be the solution to common issues with your revenue engine. But someone has to weigh the costs and benefits of each potential change. RevOps leaders have the perspective to understand the full implications of a potential change, and how they will impact the GTM team as a whole.
With that perspective, you can create strategies to improve revenue generation and lead the change management process.
Take accountability for the success of change projects
Implementing change effectively is difficult—according to Gartner, only 34% of change projects can be considered a success. Failed Salesforce change projects can be costly. If you break downstream workflows, corrupt or delete data, or throw off GTM teams’ processes, it takes time, resources, and money to repair those mistakes.
Change management processes allow you to proactively address these issues, but those processes don’t run on autopilot. As change agents, RevOps leaders take accountability for assessing the impact of change and executing effectively.
Prevent change fatigue
Too much change can overwhelm Salesforce users. As a result of that frustration, they can become disengaged from the change process. They miss out on communication and training, and end up working more and more outside of the system.
For example, one survey found that sales reps find their CRM to be a key source of frustration, and they spend 9% of their time working in spreadsheets to try and manage CRM-related tasks. To address the root causes of this productivity drain, RevOps leaders gain sales teams’ buy-in by identifying the right changes to make, communicating the value of those changes, and making the transition as painless as possible.
The benefits of having a change agent
With a change agent leading the ongoing refinement and transformation of GTM strategies and tactics, you can realize the benefits of better alignment, reporting, efficiency, and documentation.
1. Align GTM teams
Companies with better alignment of GTM teams see a 100-200% increase in ROI for their digital marketing strategies. To realize that level of alignment, RevOps leaders remove sources of friction between teams and rally them around common goals and metrics.
2. Maintain the efficiency of your Salesforce instance
The longer your organization uses Salesforce, the more robust and complex it will be. That often leads to dirty data, inefficient workflows, and extra work for everyone. In their role as change agents, RevOps leaders continually work to address tech debt, clean up data, and prevent unnecessary clutter within Salesforce.
3. Enhance reporting accuracy across GTM teams
Reporting is a common source of misalignment among GTM teams. Sales, marketing, and customer success teams often use disparate metrics, which are measured and monitored in disparate systems. RevOps leaders can see the bigger picture and develop a reporting framework that is both accurate and comprehensive for everyone.
4. Gaining a historic view of changes within your Salesforce instance
As organizations grow, lack of documentation of development activity becomes a serious issue. When Salesforce documentation is kept in spreadsheets—or worse, in someone’s memory—it’s easy for two teammates to make overlapping changes and it’s hard to investigate the causes of errors. With a single change agent leading development activity, you can ensure that all changes are funneled through one person and documented appropriately.
Sonar’s Change Timelines feature allows you to automate the documentation process so you don’t have to manually maintain records. The Change Timeline feature allows you to see a record of everything that’s changed—no matter how long ago—as well as who made the change, and how it impacted your Salesforce org.
Change agent FAQs
What is a change agent example?
One example of a change agent is the RevOps leader, who drives change projects for revenue-generating teams. Outside of RevOps, other common examples of change agents are HR leaders and IT leaders.
What are the four types of change agents?
According to Organizational Change: An Action-Oriented Toolkit, a widely regarded guide for successful change management, there are four types of change agents:
1. Emotional Champion
The emotional champion relies on influence, emotional intelligence, and the vision for the change to drive change projects forward.
2. Developmental Strategist
The developmental strategist is logical and pragmatic. They’re particularly skilled at seeing the big picture and conveying the rationale for making change.
3. Intuitive Adapter
Intuitive adapters use calculated risks and trial and error to continuously improve and drive change projects.
4. Continuous Improver
Continuous improvers take a systematic approach to identifying which processes need to be created, eliminated, or modified to make a change project successful.
What are 5 characteristics of a change agent?
Successful change agents typically have the following characteristics:
- Good at building and maintaining relationships
- Able to see the big picture and pay attention to details
- Have a diversified knowledge base
- Are enthusiastic and open to new ideas
- Are proactive problem solvers
How Sonar helps change agents lead successful transformation projects
When initiating change projects, change agents need processes and tools that help mitigate risk. Sonar was made to help RevOps teams plan change, understand its implications, avoid negative impacts downstream, and document change. As you implement changes to your tech stack, Sonar shows you the potential impacts and dependencies—at a glance—so you don’t have to worry about encountering negative surprises when you push changes live.
With Change Intelligence from Sonar, RevOps leaders can spend less time putting out fires and focus more on developing and implementing strategic changes. Want to see it for yourself?