With research showing that B2B buyers are spending less and less time with sales reps while considering a purchase, every interaction becomes that much more important, says William Tyree, chief marketing officer at ringDNA.
“Everything that’s being sold is getting more complex. Reps have to digest and understand incredibly complex information. Marketplaces are getting more niche, and the days of sales apprenticeships are long gone. There has been a two decades-long push to shorten the ramp cycles for reps and get them selling faster. How can you make it work across a team of reps?” Tyree asks.
His answer: technology.
The pandemic increased reliance on technology, but ringDNA research shows that sales leaders are not taking advantage of data-driven teaching tools that can improve sales performance.
Nearly four in 10 companies (38%) that coach reps on sales call performance do so “at random,” while another 32% coach reps only on their most recent calls. “This means that 70% of coaching is not driven by data. Consequently, companies that coach this way report having low effectiveness in their coaching programs,” the report states.
Software can automate some coaching tasks, giving back time to busy coaches. According to RingDNA’s “State of Sales” report, companies where coaching is effective are much more likely to have a real-time coaching solution in place. “We are not advocating for software to replace coaching – nothing can replace a good coach,” the report states. “However, technology can increase the effectiveness of all coaching.”
Artificial intelligence tools such as ringDNA’s Yoda AI provides reps real-time guidance on sales and support calls, providing contextual information that can help them respond to objections or present the right messaging when a prospect brings up a competitor or discusses pricing.
“The blend of empowering coaches and the reps with these tools is incredibly powerful,” Tyree said. “These tools allow sales leaders to be as effective as sports coaches. If you were a basketball coach a couple decades ago, you didn’t have the analytics that you have today. You might watch game tape to help coach players.
Today, it’s about using analytics to determine how successful you are taking shots from different points on the court, and using data analysis from a number of games to hone in on specific things to help a player’s game. AI-powered sales training applies that same concept.”
RingDNA’s Yoda AI provides reps real-time guidance on calls.