Sales effectiveness or sales force productivity will always be a focus area for any CEO. Improving the top line by bringing efficiencies in the sales force has become a part of an organisation’s digital transformation agenda.
In our previous article on Five Sales Enablement Trends To Look Out For In 2021 we discussed how sales enablement goals of every sales organisation are changing with an increase in the felt importance of “enhancing customer experience”. As customer experiences help organisations to observe, measure and improve interactions with customers, it also allows organisations to relook at key skills required for their salesforce to succeed. Sales enablement is now also expanding to support more roles across the revenue engine such as the support services and customer success teams. To create a practice of delivering superior customer experience, sales organisations need to invest in platforms, tools, and services that can enable not only their salesforce but also their post-sales support to keep pace with their customers’ knowledge, buying habits & expectations.
To make matters more complicated, buyers today are infinitely more informed about products and services, sometimes shockingly more than a sales rep. Did you know, 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales according to SiriusDecisions. This further put pressure on sales reps to up their game and stay ahead of the curve. By keeping the learner (the front-line salesperson) as the core focus of sales enablement efforts, organisations can improve selling skills and product knowledge for sales reps by reinforcing key messages at regular intervals, which in turn enhances sales effectiveness.
Without continuous learning reinforcement and repetition sales reps can miss out on opportunities for sales conversions because they are too busy to remember what they learned in their training. As the time to learn and stay updated continues to shrink with increasing work pressure, the time to leverage bite-sized learning or microlearning is opportune to ramp up sales productivity.
Using microlearning helps to create focused selling skills content. It does not simply imply taking existing content and shortening the content to 2 to 5 minutes. The starting points of any sales enablement program should be to identify the priority areas where selling skills continue to be a challenge. Based on our analysis of data for over 50,000 learners, we see the following areas as challenges for front line salesforce:
a) Sales planning
b) Understanding customers and identifying their requirements
c) Answering objections by articulating the value
Once organisations can focus on the specific areas where sales effectiveness can improve, they can tie these areas to improving lead measures, such as improving sales coverage, shorter sales cycles, more proposals, among others. Once the learning objectives have been identified, it is important to tag the content on the priority areas. This approach is particularly useful when analysing data as it helps isolate the ongoing problem areas for each sales rep.
Microlearning not only helps in building skills and increasing retention but is also a good way to enable the salesperson to learn and practice skills exactly when they need it. Watch out for our next blog to learn how microlearning combined with gamification can enhance your sales effectiveness.