Getting sales enablement right is a significant challenge for many organizations. In some cases, it consists of hurriedly cobbled together materials meant for temporary use, while others have scrambled to transfer their structured and overly formal programs, where reps are trained once and material is quickly forgotten, to the digital world. Neither of these approaches works well as part of a long-term strategy to prepare reps for continued success.
Sales enablement’s importance cannot be understated. New hires rely on detailed training and veterans need to stay updated with the best tools and practices for the changing market. Modern sales enablement also can’t be siloed, but instead must focus on aligning the sales teams with other parts of the organization, such as marketing, product and HR to support sellers and drive productivity.
With so many moving parts working at once and virtual sales here for the long run, it’s critical that organizations stay up to date on the latest sales enablement technology in order to prepare for and thrive in the virtual sales space.
Technology in the Virtual Onboarding Process
The first step in adapting to the new normal of sales is to properly train and coach new hires.
Effective sales training involves continuous learning and constant reinforcement of product knowledge, messaging, positioning and the skills needed for valuable interactions throughout the virtual sales process. Due to remote work, sales leaders say it now takes twice as long for new hires to be productive compared to when they could train in person.
Asynchronous learning alleviates the stress of finding times that work for everyone and also helps employees retain information better. Giving everyone access to a central repository of information in the form of videos, presentations, lessons and exercises encourages multiple interactions and provides users with the tools to get answers to their questions. When coaches and new hires have the right technology, they can begin to collaborate and make the most of their training.
Coaching and instructor-led courses along with self-directed modules and peer-to-peer learning fosters engagement with a company’s culture and exposes sellers early to best practices, maintaining the human connections during virtual work and speeding up the onboarding process.
Rep-Centric Technology and Collaboration
Sales teams work better when technology works for them. Sales enablement technology should take a rep-centric approach. This means delivering the training and content sales reps require at the moment of need, tailored to individual learning patterns, and driven by in-field demands, not top-down mandates.
Modern sales enablement technology also gives sellers the power to teach and learn from other sellers. Best practices and successful sales calls for example, can be captured, shared and analyzed by the whole team, encouraging a collaborative process that emphasizes working together. Since sellers are the ones directly involved in the ever-changing market, shared content will be both relevant and timely for other sellers. Combining video examples of what good looks like from top sellers and insights from the field also equips an organization with future training tools, updating the training process in real time.
AI and Data
According to Allego research, 76% of sales leaders say that not being physically present with their team has made it harder to observe and coach. It’s significantly harder to monitor sales calls and provide constructive feedback, for example. AI is making big waves in sales enablement. On top of automating rote tasks, AI in sales can independently monitor sales calls, recommend content based on recorded calls and analyze specific trends surfacing across sellers’ behavior and performances.
Sellers are making over a dozen calls a day. With sales managers overseeing large teams of reps, it’s impractical and inefficient to monitor, assess and provide detailed feedback on every call. This can lead to missed opportunities, misunderstanding of the current market and a dissonance between what sellers need to learn and what organizations teach. AI, through listening and transcribing every call, can do much of this work for managers. Identifying specific wording, key points and brand consistency will lead to a better feedback loop as well as more relevant issues to focus on for training.
AI also delivers detailed analytics to improve the selling process, giving managers and organizations suggested actions and finding current best practices for sellers.
Sales enablement technology is always evolving. Though virtual selling is going to be here for the long run, how organizations effectively prepare reps to succeed will change. New technologies will assist organizations in making the long-term transition while improving onboarding, coaching, collaboration and sales performance.