When it comes to revenue generation, it is clear that organizations need more than just talented sales reps. Sales reps needs to be supplemented with behavior, skills, and processes to effectively engage with customers. This is why sales readiness strategies now have come to involve much more than just a robust sales training program. The main focus is on imbibing an outcome-oriented approach to equip frontline teams with the right sales engagement skills to close more deals.
Over the years, sales readiness trends have also suggested that a successful program will include a coordinated effort between different departments such as the sales, marketing, and product teams. It is no longer only driven by what sales leaders and trainers think would make a successful strategy. Instead, a collaborative and data driven approach is increasingly becoming the norm to enable, equip and engage frontline teams to generate more customer interactions, have deeper & differentiated conversations and boost sales conversions, among other metrics for revenue generation.
With sales readiness programs becoming more rep-centric, here are five trends to capitalize in 2022.
Enabling High Performers To Create Peer To Peer Training For Team Members
Peer-to-peer training is a learning approach that involves leveraging product and process-related knowledge shared by high-performing reps with their fellow team and work members. Using a sales readiness platform to organize and share peer learning content, reps can be rapidly upskilled and learn through the contextual experiences of their teammates, making the learning more relevant to their territory and customer base.
Let’s say a customer-facing employee has a 65% success rate to upsell or cross sell across her client base. Now imagine enabling her to facilitate a brief module on a few techniques she uses to uncover such opportunities and convince clients faster. This will empower other sales reps understand how to upsell and cross sell through a live example & ensure better adoption of the organization’s tribal knowledge!
These peer training modules can be accessible via a sales readiness platform to all the reps. In this way, sales leaders can focus on replicating high performing behaviors across their low-performing reps and upskill them to match the high performers in contribution to topline growth and increasing the organization’s wallet share across customers.
Expanding The Sales Readiness Audience Across Channel Partners
For a long time now, most sales readiness programs have mainly focused on sales reps and managers. However, now it’s the time for sales & channel leaders to explore whether the success of the program can also be accelerated by expanding the audience for such programs.
For instance, sales readiness should not neglect customer success managers, who also need the know-how on the latest product and updates for their ongoing customer interactions. Furthermore, these regular customer interactions also call for CSMs to be upskilled and enabled on soft skills such as client relationship management, service excellence, and so on.
Similarly off roll sales agents or service technicians across banking, insurance, telecom, FMCG and other industries can greatly benefit from the core readiness program & platform.
With higher attrition across channels partners and a constant need to ensure more mindshare of the company’s business, sales leaders can generate higher coverage and market share by ensuring their extended sales & service organization is equally involved and part of the sales readiness initiatives.
Seeking & Building Thought Leadership & New Age Selling Techniques
One of the key reasons behind the limited success of sales readiness programs is having sales content that is not effective or engaging. Oftentimes sales readiness content revolves around product knowledge and process-related modules. To have a holistic content library & learning pathway, sales readiness platforms should focus on behavioural and other skill-based content relevant to modern selling techniques.
For instance, with the onset of the pandemic, sales reps had to quickly adopt & become adept at remote selling. At the same time, it was important to generate trust with customers by having perspective on how the customer’s macro context could evolve over the next 2 to 3 years. This would generate more conviction among customers to buy products from sales reps who have a deeper understanding of the customer’s context. In the context of remote or hybrid selling, the ability of sales reps to skilfully adapt their behaviors to the customers preferences and buying patterns would further accelerate deals and enable customers to take decisions with greater confidence.
Including sales readiness content that address virtual selling can allow sales reps adapt and upskill quicker. Furthermore, such content can be updated regularly by leveraging the peer to peer sales readiness trend we spoke about earlier.
Aligning Readiness Strategy To The Customer's Journey
Too often enablement leaders tend to focus on upskilling their sales team in the early stages of the sales cycle or simply offering product training, sales onboarding. Even though this is important, focusing on the end-to-end journey will help in reaping better benefits such as better quality of customer acquisition, higher customer LTV and consequently lower CAC.
For example, an organization's sales readiness platform may have a wide variety of content on closing deals, sales planning, lead generation, the art of making the perfect pitch, and so on. However, it's equally important for sales teams to focus on post sales aspects such as relationship building, customer engagement, among other things. By making sales readiness an integrated workflow within the organization’s CRM, sales reps can view more specific & contextual content based on each customer’s journey & buying preferences. This would not only enable just-in-time readiness but guarantee a higher probability of communicating the right sales messaging, showing the right sales collaterals during the customer interaction and identifying data points that can better link enablement metrics with lead indicators for revenue generation.
Sales leaders would get better insight into how well can sales reps mirror and customize their interactions according to buyer preferences while ensure consistency and standardization across the salesforce for every customer interaction.
Resulting metrics can better align product managers and marketers to create or modify sales enablement content that is more in-tune with what customers like to hear and see.
Trend # 5
Bridging The Gap Between The Sales Readiness Platform And Conversation Intelligence
To put it in simpler terms, the gap between sales readiness and platforms that offer conversation intelligence will reduce or blur.
For instance, through intelligent integrations, sales leaders can have more analytics from live sales conversations to discern insights such as:
· The % of talk time by the seller versus the customer
· The number and type of questions asked by the seller
· Which statement or phrase generated more interest among customers
· How did the customer’s tone and interest evolve during the conversation
· Which sales reps are holding more initial level conversations versus those that are able to more easily progress an opportunity from lead to conversion
Such insights and much more can further create a 360 degree insight on both your sales reps capability & outcomes as well as the customer’s journey & interaction across the sales cycle.
Building an integrated sales enablement ecosystem keeps sales, marketing, operations, and other departments well connected. These trends are likely to accelerate the burgeoning need for any sales organization to look beyond their CRM or Learning Management System when it comes to lifting sales and building a next generation, high performing salesforce.
When it comes to an engaging sales-readiness platform, organizations increasingly rely Master-O to upskill, enable, engage & enhance salesforce productivity & capability.
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.