One could argue that sales onboarding and sales training has historically been built and based on assumptions and subjectivity. L&D leaders and sales trainers take input from their sales leaders about what it is they think to be true about their sales teams, such as product or service knowledge, buyer knowledge, capabilities, and selling skills, and then build training curriculum and programs around those beliefs. Sales training programs built under this approach are then applied broadly, regardless of an individual’s role, responsibility or experience level. But this approach rarely delivers the desired results. In fact, research from Mindtickle found that 75.2% of sales leaders feel their sales training and sales enablement programs fail to meet expectations.
Think about how professional coaches and trainers coach and develop their players; they watch game film which enables them to focus on, and develop specific skills and techniques. Sales leaders and sales enablement teams now have this same capability.
Using Conversation Intelligence (Call AI) software, sales leaders have verifiable evidence from real-world customer conversations that tell them which team members need more training or more coaching and on which topics, such as pricing,objection handling, discovery, negotiation, etc. Conversation Intelligence provides insight so that curriculum can be customized for a team, region, division, vertical or product group or for an individual, and therefore more effective, benefiting the entire organization.
Mindtickle research also found that organizations that build their sales enablement programs based on evidence from real-world customer conversations have a 42% higher adoption rate than organizations that don’t.
Sales onboarding, which is one component of sales enablement, is another key area that benefits from Conversation Intelligence. For most staffing firms, new sales hires must read through written content including PDF's, PowerPoint presentations, emails and web pages to get up to speed. In addition, they must shadow tenured reps, listen to and watch their cold calls, discovery calls, presentations and negotiations. But in this day and age, what organization has the time or luxury ($$) for allowing their new sales hires to shadow all of these calls? With Call AI, sales new hires can watch only the snippets of video that demonstrate the Winning Behaviors, rather than listening to, or shadowing a 30 or 45 minute call in its entirety.
Now more than ever, sales managers need to step up their game and increase overall team quota attainment. For too long, far too many sales leaders have over-relied on their top performers, typically just 10% of their sales team, to deliver 80% or more of the quota. Despite all the great work performed by the top performers, their work is being canceled out by the underperformers. Sales Coaching, even more than tools and automation, is the key to improving sales productivity and increasing overall sales team quota attainment.
But with most managers operating as a “player” and a “coach,” there is little time to devote to sales coaching. A study from the Sales Management Association found that 73% of sales managers spend less than 5% of their time coaching. That is about two hours per week. If you have five sales reps on your team, that is less than 30 minutes of coaching time per rep per week.
Conversation Intelligence makes coaching quick and easy for sales managers. They don’t have to watch and listen to an entire call. By simply reviewing the AI analytics including the call score, they can quickly and easily identify the skill or knowledge gaps and provide relevant coaching.
Conversation Intelligence removes assumptions including the sales reps unverified version of the conversation by providing an actual recording of what the customer and seller said and did in the meeting. For example, a rep may insist a deal is going to close. But the recording, which captures the customer’s choice of words, tonality and body language, may indicate otherwise. Armed with this data, sales coaching becomes far more impactful; sales leaders are now enabled to coach and develop sales skills and coach and develop sales knowledge instead of just pushing for more activity. And the coaching can be delivered in minutes, not hours.
The number one role for any sales manager is to be that of a coach in which they foster skill development and behavioral change to increase the value of their people. Fostering this development requires first hand knowledge and experience observing a rep’s skills, behaviors and approaches. This insight comes from observing the sales rep across each stage of the sales cycle. Conversation Intelligence provides this insight, on a continuous and ongoing basis. Leveraging Call AI enables sales managers to focus on “moments of truth” for ensuring sellers are “conversation ready.”
Call AI is part of our revenue enablement platform. Here are a few ways in which Call AI is enabling staffing leaders:
- Key moments from customer-and candidate-calls are built into libraries and added to onboarding and sales enablement programs.
- Customer snippets are added to a mission and set as a challenge (role play scenario) for all reps to practice as a method of informal learning
- Based on skill gaps identified in conversations, sales managers or enablement teams can assign reps custom learning paths
Interested in learning more about Call AI? Click here.
To learn more about sales enablement and how to enable your sales and recruiting teams to optimize productivity and revenue attainment, download our eBook, The Staffing Leaders Guide to Sales Enablement.