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December 11, 2018

To Boost Adoption of Modern Sales Learning Tech, Follow the ‘7 C’s of High Engagement’

One mistake often made by early adopters of new technology is that they assume everyone will automatically embrace their favorite new technology, product, or service. “How can they not fall in love with this?” they think. “The benefits speak for themselves!”

Unfortunately, the benefits of even the most revolutionary products aren’t always self-evident. According to Business Insider, for example, the man who introduced the umbrella to Britain’s streets in the 1750s (Jonas Hanway) was pelted with garbage and insults by his fellow pedestrians.

Don’t Take Engagement for Granted

To our knowledge, no sales training and enablement leaders who bought our modern sales learning solution were ever spattered with rotten eggs by their sales force when they introduced it. But our most successful customers avoided any assumptions that everyone would instantly love the new solution.

To ensure faster adoption of modern sales learning technology – and higher engagement – implement a multi-pronged strategy our customers like to call The 7 C’s of High Engagement:

Company culture should drive your engagement strategy.

When it comes to driving engagement and adoption, you have to know your culture and know what’s going to work. Sales training and enablement leaders will often ask reps, ‘Would you be excited if I could have this portfolio manager or product manager in your car while you’re going to your next meeting? Would you be happy if you were able to see how this other rep closed this $10 million deal?’ Typically everyone say ‘Yes,’ and it’s a nice introduction to what this technology can do for reps.

Consult your constituents and stakeholders regularly.

Ask potential users how they would like to use the platform and what content they want. Clients will often send out surveys to reps and managers asking questions like, “What are the things that you would like to hear about? What are our competitors doing that you’re not doing? What may prevent you from hitting your goals?” For example, if one of the biggest responses is, ‘corporate strategy,’ meet with the CEO and capture a video of them speaking to the company strategy and show it at every regional meeting. Reps love hearing from senior leadership, and watching a video recorded on an iPad of the CEO talking directly to you drives engagement so much more than professionally produced one.

Channel structure and management is critical for increased connectivity.

When building video channels for sales reps to discover just-in-time learning content, make it simple and relevant for them. If the arrangement is overly cluttered, it’s not user-friendly and people will not use it. Like Amazon and Netflix, you have to make the system easy to navigate.

Content variation stimulates all learner types.

Create short- and long-form videos, and make them interactive by allowing reps and managers to include text feedback, and even back-and-forth interactions with peers or SMEs. If you have instructional design content, use SCORM to bring it in and place it alongside video pitch exercises and peer videos. Too many lengthy pieces will drive sales reps away from the platform, so emphasize bite-sized content. Some people will want to dive deeper, so give them the option of viewing the long-form version. Content variety allows you to appeal to all the different learner types who use the platform.

Commitment and control keep your processes manageable.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re 100 percent committed to it and don’t waver, according to Joy Crenshaw, Managing Director and Head of Sales Development and Business Solutions at the asset management firm, Nuveen. “Sometimes, people come to me saying, ‘We need to do this,’ but I have to stand firm: ‘Nope, we’re not doing that.’ For example, we have a waiting list for Allego, which has actually built more demand, because we’re not resourced to support every single thing people want to do with the platform. But instead of risking that our current programs won’t work correctly for the core constituents, we have to make some people wait.”

Compliance can be your friend if you operate in a regulated industry.

In short, if you show your compliance personnel how you can make their jobs easier and how you’ll take some of the responsibility off their shoulders, you can make some fast friends. With modern salees learning platforms, compliance teams gain a new window into the messaging that’s being delivered by reps in the field so they can react and provide coaching before it ever becomes a problem.

Comedy and humor increase employee engagement.

“Comedy and humor is very important in getting engagement off the ground,” says Crenshaw. For example, “a guy did a video called ‘Tim the Tool Time Taylor.’ He had a tool kit and he actually went into his bathroom and started chipping off tiles, and he related it to a product launch. Comedy wasn’t something we planned for, but boy, our people are really having fun.”

For more on the topic of driving adoption of your new sales learning technology, check out this post by Allego’s VP of Customer Success, Laurie Long, click here.

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