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8 Ball
July 9, 2020

8 Essential Elements of Virtual Sales Training

8 Ball

Sales productivity has never been more important, yet sales teams today face tougher obstacles than ever as the current crisis makes most in-person interactions impossible.

Almost 90 percent of sales have moved to a remote model since the pandemic began, according to McKinsey. Almost every B2B company’s products and services are now being sold virtually. And to make matters more complicated, many companies are either slowing their buying cycles or freezing them completely.

Sales enablement professionals are on the front lines. Helping your salespeople succeed with the right skills, the most up-to-date information, and the best tools can be a steep climb, especially when teams are forced to sell while remote.

Traditional training and sales enablement approaches won’t solve this challenge. Today, a key factor for success is sales enablement technology that allows teams to train, coach, and collaborate virtually. These tools leverage mobile, pre-recorded video, and peer-to-peer networking to enable managers and reps to sync up on their own time—from any location.

Managing Virtual Teams in a Changing World

Don’t try to repurpose your existing programs into day-long conference calls that will be forgotten immediately. There’s a better way. Here are eight essential elements of a virtual training program that will help your organization succeed.

1: Identify Coaching Gaps

Start by finding out whether salespeople and their managers have the same expectations about coaching given today’s “new normal.” If you need to re-align expectations, identify specific competencies that need to be improved and focus on supporting managers’ delivery of that coaching.

2: Use Recorded Video, Not Just Live

Pre-recorded video enables sales managers to observe, evaluate, and coach remotely and asynchronously. By sharing videos and feedback whenever and wherever reps are, they can work efficiently instead of having to schedule time to meet in real time.

3: Diagnose Training Issues

Sales managers need to understand if (and how) a rep is struggling. The right tool can reveal problems in the training process, leaks in the sales pipeline, and separate the best reps from underperforming ones. Use a tool that shows reps’ individual competencies and how to coach to specific weaknesses.

4: Foster Peer-to-Peer Collaboration

Enabling high performers to share best practices with others eases the burden of coaching for managers, while increasing the velocity with which new ideas are adopted by the field. Encourage reps to create and share videos to free up managers’ schedules, scale up content, and support peer-to-peer collaboration.

5: Deliver Consistent Messaging

Clear communication is essential for new product launches and product line mergers. Sales managers need the ability to deliver messaging, share information consistently in a timely manner, and help reps hone their talking points. Pre-recorded practice videos from reps allow managers to deliver point-in-time coaching and feedback and ensure everyone is delivering exactly the right message prior to launch.

6: Pre-Board New Hires

Whether you’re hiring new reps or shifting existing ones into new roles, reducing the time it takes to get new hires ramped and productive is critical. Instead of flying new hires into corporate for a few days of drinking from the firehose, pre-board them through virtual programming. Have reps practice their pitches, learn your company’s systems, get to know the executive team, and receive coaching and feedback without having to step out their front door.

7: Amplify Content

When your teams are working from different locations, equip sales managers with a central content repository that allows all members of the team to create, comment on, and share important collateral. Fresh, relevant content that they can access around the clock on their mobile devices will give reps the answers to questions at their moment of need, no matter where they are.

8: Make Learning Fun

Tap into salespeople’s competitive drive to build excitement and reinforce learning. Give sales managers engaging ways to observe and report on training, pinpoint individual needs, and develop skills. Gamify training to boost motivation with interactive video contests, quizzes, and scorecards.

Modernize Your Sales Enablement Approach

It’s a new era of sales management for virtual teams. If you haven’t already, now is the time to modernize your sales enablement approach. When you leverage mobile, video, and peer-to-peer networking, you gain the flexibility of remote learning and the power of just-in-time content.

Companies that use modern sales enablement platforms see higher win rates, shorter new hire ramp-up times, and improved collaboration within sales and other teams—even in this unstable environment. By incorporating these core capabilities into your approach, you’ll deliver the best experience for your sales managers and drive better results for your organization.

Learn More

See how the right technology can help you manage a high-performing virtual team. Download your copy of How Readiness Technology Can Help You Enable a Virtual Sales Team: 8 Tactics.

 

 

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