Today, most organizations are focusing on introducing cutting-edge digital tools for developing their talent pool and engaging with customers. According to McKinsey, 72% of organizations have made heavy investments in new technologies since the onset of the pandemic. The banking sector is a prime example of this digital transformation.
Formerly, individuals were more comfortable in visiting banks in-person bet it was to withdraw cash, open an account or discuss investing in various plans. However, with the growing awareness of the pandemic, customers now are more acquainted with using net banking options and getting their work done through speed and neo banking applications installed on their phones. They are now more attuned to receiving real-time responses and quick TAT on their demands and queries. Consequently, relationship managers and customer service executives shifted overnight to virtual selling, with the expectation of returning to normal within a month or two. Experts in retail banking now say banks not going back to the way business was done prior.
But the processes and tactics that were put in place likely weren’t designed for the long term, and sales teams have often had to learn on-the-fly how to succeed when in-person meetings aren’t possible. It’s time to figure out what works in this new world and what doesn’t.
This has posed a major challenge to front line sales & customer service teams in terms of equipping them with the right skills and techniques to navigate through these ever-evolving situations and appropriately respond to changing customer behaviours.
So why are some retail banks thriving in the current environment while others are falling behind?
According to Sirius Decision, high performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training, enablement & readiness as compared to low-performing ones.
But what has changed in the last 24 months and how is modern sales enablement & sales readiness different from before?
Statistics show that learning is at an all-time high since the start of the decade. Using today’s technology in the pursuit of learning has become second nature for frontline executives. For many of us, the tools we use in our personal lives weren’t available at work for the better part of the last two years. However, modern technology is disrupting sales enablement & sales readiness & paving the way for more convenient access and habits for frontline sales teams.
That’s where the difference between traditional and modern sales enablement lies.
Sales enablement means empowering your sales organization with the right tools, content, and information to sell successfully. It’s not just sharing the latest presentation deck and hoping the sales team will use it. It’s about supporting your sellers with the most engaging & contextual content, the deepest, most up-to-date insights, and the infrastructure to ensure they have the materials they need to succeed, exactly when they need them most.
As the pace of change in sales enablement & readiness quickens, banks are looking forward to growing a culture of continuous learning & readiness among their front line teams. This is where traditional training content for knowledge workers is lacking behind. Though long-form PDFs and PowerPoint presentations capture content in detail, they are now becoming rigid, static, and outdated as compared to new, truly digital-first content assets.
Furthermore, such exhaustive content leads to a gap between intent and action due to various factors such as lack of learning time, and now the new work order of working remotely.
Hence, the question that remains to be addressed is how can retail banks create a winning sales enablement & sales readiness strategy to level up their knowledge workers who more than ever need to provide a seamless & differentiated customer experience.
Creating A Sales Readiness & Sales Enablement Strategy That Actually Works
1. Creating sales readiness & sales enablement content that doesn’t require push or promotion:
When it comes to readying your frontline teams, its important to consider
· which competencies and skills have your sales & customer service teams mastered,
· in which areas do they require more development
· which reps are struggling with certain behaviors & skills
Having actionable insights to these questions, will enable sales enablement leaders at retail banks to continue leveraging what works and calibrate approaches where it’s necessary.
Nowhere is this more apt than for sales enablement & training content. As much as 80% of the content created by marketing, product teams or sales training managers goes unused by frontline teams. This could be due to lack of relevance, not engaging enough, frontline teams not knowing how to use it, or even lack of awareness that it exists, among others.
If content isn’t used, rethink how it’s shared with sellers and encourage marketing & training teams to share short videos or emails explaining the intended purpose and audience for each new piece of content.
Microlearning or bite-sized content can play a key role in enabling front line teams to keep pace with new developments, addressing skill gaps, et al. Gamification & game-based learning can make the learning & enablement experience more engaging, repetitive, and habitual, leading to better retention of information & faster time to apply new skills & content assets. Access to bite-sized learning content reduces the hours spent in onboarding & upskilling the bank’s sales teams and increases their speed to market, thereby allowing the sales force to spend more time interacting & engaging with customers. According to Kapost, 55% of marketers don’t know which assets are leveraged the most on the field by sales & customer service teams. Besides having the right content-driven analytics to shed more light on this challenge, an effective sales readiness strategy should also leverage data to identify gaps in the content in terms of it’s effectiveness, engagement and value to both sellers and customers.
By providing frontline teams with direct access to marketers, more content insights can be shared upstream, thereby allowing for more pressing and useful content to be created or repackaged by product, marketing & learning teams. Data from our client implementations suggest frontline reps proactively suggest up to 30% of new content generation, based on competitor insights, channel-led intelligence or customer interactions. Hence, a balanced & effective sales enablement content strategy should include:
1. A blend of upstream and downstream driven content generation
2. Leveraging new age disciplines for creating engaging and effective content such as microlearning, gamification, game-based learning, behavioral psychology & data science
3. Data insights to know what’s working, not working in real time
4. And lastly, a rapid & easy way for marketers, sales trainers & product managers to create or repackage content to build stronger agility in the sales organization
2. Consolidating & building an integrated tech-enabled ecosystem:
When considering what to improve, it’s important to have a streamlined sales enablement tech stack. Over the last decade, tech stacks have proliferated on the promise of increasing productivity and revenue. Today, an average enterprise field force leverages a wide variety of tools such as CRMs, Lead Management Systems, Digital onboarding and adoption platforms, Learning Management / Experience Platforms, and several others. However, many of them tend to lack end-to-end abilities and rightly focus on specific aspects of enhancing productivity & accelerating revenue. What’s required is a holistic approach to build a big picture wherein each system is not operating in isolation but drawing upon data and intelligence from one another to create automated workflows & personalized content triggers that map to the customer journey as well as the sales reps’ performance. Globally, companies are utilizing as many as 23 different learning and enablement tools and platforms, double the number from ten years ago.
Most front line sales and sales managers are already stretched too thin. And, when you’re driving efficiency, 23 apps for 23 different tasks can be overbearing, expensive and confusing. Today, sales leaders at retail banks can look for a more holistic solution to covers multiple tasks through one application or platform.
When looking to revamp your tech stack, there are a few essential capabilities to prioritize. The ability to collaborate and train both new hires and existing relationship managers or customer service executives will ensure your team is always up to speed and constantly communicating best practices and news. Sales enablement extends to sales managers in order to properly drive formal and ad hoc coaching for reps and hone skills and prepare for selling situations.
The Ideal tech stack for sales readiness & sales enablement should not only be able to equip knowledge workers with relevant learning materials but should also ensure that they develop exceptional skills which they can apply while working. Furthermore, it should be able to integrate content already available in the system from various sources. Tech consolidation for your front line makes sense from a financial perspective. With fewer tools to learn and manage, frontline teams will see greater adoption with more satisfied experiences & longer-term business results as a result of their utilization of the sales enablement & readiness tool.
3. Unique & AI-powered learning & readiness pathways that blend different methodologies:
A major gap in the existing training & sales enablement strategies is the lack of customization & context in the learning experience. Every knowledge worker is different. Hence, a sales readiness strategy must take into consideration the unique skill gaps for each knowledge worker, along with their customer context and requirements, in order to better personalize and contextualize learning journeys & content nudges.
Coaching has always been a critical component of sales enablement, but time zones and geography — not to mention remote working makes face-to-face coaching difficult to coordinate & scale. According to a recent study, nearly half of sales reps hired since 2020 say they haven’t been coached well enough on virtual selling to succeed. This is where AI-powered capability development can play a key role in your bank’s coaching strategy.
Automated call recordings, instant feedback on rehearsals & role plays along with AI-driven recommendations personalized for individual reps — can better equip managers with insights for effective coaching in a way that is both relevant and scalable. The larger the frontline team is, the more effective & accurate AI implementation will be.
AI- driven workflows also reduce burden on sales managers. They can better focus on leveling up their team to provide better customer experiences and, in turn, hit their sales targets & KPIs more consistently.
In a world where customers have access to knowledge and context, AI-driven sales readiness & enablement can level the playing field and ensure frontline teams are more confident and have better context to assist customers at the time of purchase, exploration or genuine customer service.
When it comes to tracking metrics and ensuring an engaging sales-readiness experience, organizations increasingly rely on sales readiness platforms, like Master-O.
Master-O is a sales enablement & readiness platform, which has aided several sales enablement programs for enterprise customers. The platform is a key driver of sales strategies for many industry leaders and empowers the field force with the right tools and information they require for having compelling sales coaching conversations that lead to higher conversions and customer lifetime values. To make the learning experience more personalized, Master-O helps sales managers tap into various data points and analyses. This gives sales leaders and managers a much-required objective perspective to reimagine their coaching approach and realign it with performance metrics.
To learn more about Master-O along with microlearning and enablement in the flow of work, please visit masteroapp.com or schedule a demo to discover how Master-O can redefine sales enablement for your organization.