The Adapter’s Advantage: Melissa Finnegan on Developing Virtual Sales Confidence
Welcome to The Adapter’s Advantage: Breakthrough Moments that Lead to Success.
In this episode, Melissa Finnegan, vice president of Learning & Development at Lincoln Financial Distributors, discusses lessons from 25 years in the financial services industry, the successful launch of the Virtual Virtuoso training program, and how her team helps people be the best they can be in the role they’re in and prepare for the role they ultimately want.
In karate, you never stop learning. And that is so relevant to what I do every day with training, development, and learning. And not only for the people I train, but for myself. I can’t teach something that I don’t know myself. So, I continuously ask what else I can learn that I can pass on to other people.
Melissa Finnegan possesses a broad depth of experience that comes from 25 years of service in the financial services industry. She currently serves as vice president of Learning and Development at Lincoln Financial Distributors.
In this capacity, Melissa and her team conduct product, sales and technology training for all employees, which includes training on Lincoln’s annuity, long-term care, life, and small-market retirement plan businesses. Her team supports individuals and teams in developing the skills and behaviors they need to achieve high performance and growth for the role they are taking, the role they are in, and the role that they want.
Melissa has a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University. She is licensed in Life, Accident, and Health, and holds FINRA Series 6, 7, 26, 63, and 65. She is a certified instructor of SPIN Selling and holds the Certified Business Coach designation. She also has her black belt in Kenpo karate.
Listen as Melissa discusses how her knowledge of karate helps with her learning and development career, what it takes to successfully implement sales enablement technology, and why sellers must have strong virtual selling skills.
Episode 56: Developing Virtual Sales Confidence | Melissa Finnegan
From This Episode
Host Mark Magnacca: “What must you have to successfully roll out sales enablement technology?”
Melissa Finnegan: “That’s an easy one: leadership buy in. You have to spend a lot of time with sales leadership up front, getting them really comfortable with what you’re rolling out, and help them buy into why it’s needed and the value it brings to them.
“Ultimately we’re training the trainers. They’re the ones who use the technology and reinforce anything that we roll out at the Center for Professional Development. And if they’re not on board and they don’t feel confident, they’re not going to talk about it, they’re not going to reinforce it, and they’re not going to encourage it. Because it feels very hypocritical to tell somebody else to use a tool and hold them to a standard if you yourself aren’t using it or aren’t comfortable using it.
“We’ve had programs where we’ve rolled software out to almost everyone, and a group did not buy into using it. I said there’s no point in doing this for that group because we’re going to spend a lot of time customizing it and training them on it only to have them not see the value or think it doesn’t apply to what they do every day. There’s no point in spending a lot of time, energy, and effort because it’s not going to be reinforced.”
About The Adapter’s Advantage
Our podcast features leaders from sales, training, and industry who share their personal journeys of transformation and how they are adapting to an ever-changing environment. As your host, I’ll introduce you to some of the most interesting and inspiring people I’ve met over the last 20 years.
The conversations dive into the ups and downs of their journey. Our guests focus on inflection points—the aha moments that, in retrospect, had a critical impact on their success. These interviews will leave you with practical, real-world advice that you can apply to your life.