Picture this: It’s the end of the quarter, and you just made a startling discovery: more than half of your marketing leads aren’t converting to sales. Fortunately, you’ve identified a new platform for your tech stack that will help improve alignment between your sales and marketing teams, and with Sonar’s predictive look into change implications, you’re confident the change won’t disrupt any other processes. However, when you propose this change to leadership, they shoot it down. They aren’t convinced the change is worth the investment given the company’s current financial state, and frankly, they don’t have enough information to greenlight the action.
This is where a strategic communications plan comes critical– especially for RevOps teams and admins. A change management communications plan can help you clarify the need for a specific change or investment in your RevOps tech stack to decision-makers. For example, a breakdown in communication between your RevOps and sales teams could be easily avoided with a strategic communications plan. Messaging strategies are also an effective way to break down resistance to change by aligning stakeholders within your organization on the same page. Before diving into how to create a communication plan that will set up your change initiatives for success, let’s get some pointers on what a communications plan is.
What is a communications plan?
A communications plan is a strategic method for delivering information to an appropriate target audience. Your communications strategy should include answers to questions of who, what, when, why, and how, as it relates to the delivery of information. A successful strategic communications plan should contain answers to these five main categories of questions:
- Who are you trying to reach? Who is your target audience?
- What are you trying to say? What messages are you trying to promote?
- When should the information be delivered?
- Why are you trying to share this particular message with this audience?
- How will you disseminate your message? Which communication channels are the most effective for this type of message? (i.e. emails, websites, blogs, presentations, printed materials, social media, etc.)
A communication management plan should be integrated into any change initiative. When implementing new go-to-market technologies or making adjustments to current RevOps processes, poor communication can disrupt operations between sales and marketing, your most critical departments. As a RevOps leader of Salesforce admin, you may not have a dedicated budget. So having a communications plan in place will help you clearly communicate to your organization’s stakeholders why the change is needed and how it will help their GTM teams succeed.
How to create a communications plan
There are a wide variety of useful change management communications templates available that can be easily customized for your org’s needs. The answers to the questions posed in the previous section will help guide the direction of your communications plan and can be built out in the following directives:
Create a compelling why.
Tap into both emotions and logic when communicating your message. What specific pain points are your GTM teams facing? How are those issues impacting larger organizational and operational goals (remember the “why” category in your communications plan)? Here is where your audience (the “who” question) comes into play. Make sure you’re communicating to executives about how this change initiative will increase ROI, improve productivity, or create better alignment. To the rest of your organization, create a framework for how the initiative will serve them and make their jobs easier.
Build an environment for dialogue.
In your communications plan, give stakeholders an opportunity to provide input and create a two-way street for open communication and feedback. Chances are, they will have a lot of questions. Be prepared to answer inquiries like:
- Why should we prioritize this action right now?
- What additional resources will be required to implement this change?
- How much budget needs to be allocated to this initiative?
- How will this change impact each department?
- What is your proposed training to ensure this change is adopted across the organization?
- What are the risks that come with implementing this technology?
People are naturally averse to change, especially considering an estimated 70% of all organizational change initiatives fail. Preparing your communications strategy with answers to questions like these will help ease stakeholders’ apprehension toward change and build a more compelling message for your proposal.
Be clear and authentic in your messaging.
Share as much information as possible while being concise and genuine. Clearly define what changes you are proposing (the answer to the “what” question) and outline how they will affect each of your stakeholders. Consider your tone and messaging; what you say is just as important as how you say it. Involve stakeholders and employees into your change management plan early (consider “when” to deliver the information) and engage them in dialogue before, during, and after the change.
Set up the next steps.
Outline immediate next steps and include a compelling call to action, so there is no confusion on what is expected from stakeholders. Outline in your communications plan ways you will check in on milestones throughout the project or initiative.
How RevOps teams can benefit from a communications plan
A communications plan is helpful for pitching new initiatives, launching new products, ensuring consistency in project management, as well as easing concerns in times of crisis. But for RevOps in particular, it’s a great way to communicate to executives why you need particular technology investments to keep your GTM teams aligned and performing strong.
For many organizations, ops teams are still in their early stages of development, meaning executive buy-in from the start of any change management process will be critical for success. A communications plan will help you know how to effectively communicate a value proposition to your marketing, finance, and sales leaders.
Sonar helps ops and admins predictively look at the implications of change within their Salesforce org. Having the right tech stack to better manage your change management process will not only help your RevOps team run more efficiently, but it will create an improved customer journey for your end-users as well. For more information, try a free demo of Sonar and get started today.