Allego Gives Veritas Technologies an Edge in a Hybrid World
“What are we doing today to earn the top spot in a crowded marketplace?” This is the type of question that Matthew Miersen frequently asks himself.
Miersen is senior manager of Americas Sales Enablement at Veritas Technologies, a global leader in data protection, availability and insights.
Based in Santa Clara, California, Veritas has almost 6,000 employees Over 80,000 customers—including 87 percent of the Fortune Global 500—rely on Veritas to abstract IT complexity and simplify data management.
As the pandemic continued, Miersen recognized that virtual selling and sales enablement are here to stay. He knew he had to find a way to leverage virtual selling and training tools to gain a competitive edge in a hybrid world.
A Temporary Fix Becomes a Long-Term Advantage
As Veritas moved to remote working and learning arrangements in the spring of 2020, Miersen rolled out the Allego sales learning and enablement platform as part of a temporary fix for pandemic-related challenges.
However, as the company adapted to the new environment, Miersen identified several long-term opportunities to improve the company’s competitiveness.
The first opportunity was enabling the salesforce to begin “learning in the flow of work”—acquiring new knowledge and skills through virtual classrooms and coaching, whenever and wherever they had the time.
“Before we started rolling out the Allego platform, we were doing traditional [videoconference] calls,” said Miersen. “But it wasn’t delivering the level of training we were hoping for. The training was [supposed to] pertain to everybody, when in fact it didn’t.
“Doing live training on topics like competitive positioning, when some of the sellers don’t even have an opportunity against that competitor, is not just-in-time learning. They’re going to forget this before they need it. So after rolling out the Allego platform, we started looking at making adjustments: how do we go more just-in-time? How do we allow people to consume this training more on their schedule?”
Miersen also sought to enable frontline managers to provide coaching and exercises to their teams on their own schedules.
“[Allego] really opened up a lot of opportunity, a lot more flexibility. Engagement with training content is going way up, and … our sellers are comprehending better. They’re internalizing the content better. Allego has given us a new way to look at how we’ve done things and just do them better.”
Increasing Efficiency of New-Hire Onboarding
A second opportunity was increasing the efficiency of new-hire onboarding. Although new employees had always given Veritas high marks for its in-person, week-long onboarding event, maintaining that level of engagement with a virtual event would not be easy.
Moreover, the “live” program was both labor- and time-intensive for trainers and learners. To overcome this challenge, the company employed a flipped classroom model, using pre-recorded videos to deliver presentations while reserving “live” sessions for role-playing exercises and coaching.
“We had a lot of content that we asked people to record. We put it into the platform and new hires watched that first. Then, day after day, there would be a Zoom call, where we would put the training that they consumed into action. We’d role play with scenarios.
“At the end of the day, we would give them a parting gift, which was an exercise: ‘Share with us the most important thing you learned today” or ‘Now that you saw that new product message, here’s a scenario or an objection that a customer might throw at you. How would you respond?’
“This also made it very easy for us to pull in the managers who were going to lead these individuals and get them into the mode of coaching them. And at the end of the week, we got a standing ovation.”
Differentiating Customer Communications to Improve Response
The third opportunity spotted by Miersen concerned internal and external communications, especially external communications with customers. Already, Miersen is seeing how Allego videos can help sellers differentiate their customer communications from competitors’.
“We’ve had a lot of sales reps use external sharing, creating a personal intro video, ‘Hi, I’m Matt, I’m your account manager’ – and maybe exhibiting information that shows they’ve done some research on the customer.
“Recently, one new hire was prospecting to a customer … who never responds. They never call us back. And sure enough, that video was differentiated. It was unique. It caught the customer off guard, and they clicked on it. The rep saw that click, followed up, and got a meeting scheduled with a customer who was never going to call us. So we used that throughout the company [as an example]. ‘Hey everybody, look at this!’
Miersen added, “One of the challenges of virtual selling is not being able to get in front of people and make that difference. We’re proving that using this tool and using this capability is giving us an edge.”
Adding Context to Sales Content
In terms of internal communications, Miersen is particularly excited about the ability of Allego videos to help salespeople learn not just what to say, but how to say it.
“Let’s say I don’t do a very good job putting notes in the PowerPoints. I just put the words on it and upload it. My expectation is that you’re going to go off and deliver it. The stars are going to align and everything’s going to work great. The fact is: you can’t, because you don’t understand the context that I had in mind.
“Today, for the first time ever for our sales plays, we’ve got a customer presentation that’s uploaded and there’s a video sitting right beside it: here’s how to deliver it, and we’ve got a special offer.
“I’ve been receiving feedback from a lot of our sellers already, saying ‘I just watched the video. I feel I’m ready to deliver this presentation when I call somebody.’ Being able to build out that extra context – that’s going to make all of this much more effective.”
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