Lincoln Financial Improves Virtual Selling Skills With Allego
How Do We Get Our Wholesalers 100% Comfortable Presenting Virtually?
Prior to the pandemic, Lincoln Financial Group, whose core businesses include life insurance, annuities and retirement-plan services, launched a “very small pilot” with Allego to determine if the Sales Learning and Enablement platform could markedly improve the ability of divisional sales managers to coach their geographically dispersed sales teams.
But after Covid-19 arrived, forcing the company to pivot to work-from-home arrangements, the sales development team uncovered a more serious challenge: “50% of our wholesalers didn’t feel as comfortable presenting virtually as they had in person,” said Kate Wiley of the Center for Sales Development. “Immediately, we thought to ourselves, ‘How can we get that comfort level to 100%?’ That’s how the Virtual Virtuoso program was born—a program that quickly spurred the adoption of Allego across the sales organization.
Unlocking the Key to Widespread Adoption
Initially, the Virtual Virtuoso program was comprised of a series of on-demand learning videos that wholesalers could watch—and re-watch—on their own time.
“The program was aimed at helping them get more comfortable in this new environment and to help them level up their WebEx experience for their clients,” said Wiley. “We were able to use Allego to track views of this new program and make sure that everyone was taking advantage of it. And we got tremendous feedback. A lot of the wholesalers said that it really helped take their WebEx presence to the next level.”
Two keys to fast, widespread adoption of Allego was direct buy-in from leadership and the cross-functional collaboration that developed between the various Allego administrators. Through regular discussions, the admins are able to assess which ideas and methods were generating the best results.
“We formed an internal Allego consortium group, where this team of Allego admins discuss and share methods that are working in our respective organizations,” said Senior Training Consultant Kelly Cardenas. “This has been a huge success driver for our organization, as those touch points serve to validate our experiences and share ideas that work. We’re implementing the platform as a part of our overall training strategy and demonstrating how Allego helps our teams learn, develop, and create efficiency.”
Cardenas continues, “Early on, we created a partnership with key leadership to develop a rollout strategy that was based on their goals. This ensured that they were involved in creating content for our launch. Since then, we’ve developed an ongoing content release strategy based on key business initiatives and employee development opportunities. We regularly meet with our leadership to discuss recent accomplishments, where our opportunities lie, and to see if we need to adjust our strategy. For us, Allego has truly paved the way to create connections across leadership, teams and individuals.”
Welcome to the ‘Hot Seat’
As more managers became involved in producing learning and skills videos for their teams, some leaders also began to recognize Allego’s value as an internal communications tool.
“When we initially launched, we focused on those leaders and managers quite a bit. We asked them to be actively involved in all aspects,” said Nate Key of the Group Protection division. “We got them to be the face of the activities, the ones demonstrating the skills and even the ones requesting the responses. Additionally, we had a few managers who realized that sending an Allego video to their team was a really engaging way to communicate. So instead of just shooting out another email, they shot out a video. The result was that the sales and account management teams are logging in more frequently because they’re seeing their direct managers and senior leaders model the behavior that we’re asking them to demonstrate.”
Key also noted the value quickly realized through Allego becoming the gauge for learning assessment and feedback, said Key.
“For example, we knew that our team was going to face some tough questions around a certain topic. So we developed a ‘hot seat’ activity, where we had random questions shown, and they were only given a very limited amount of time to respond and complete that response. And if they tried to retake the assessment, the questions that they have the next time were going to be different questions – completely random ones. This meant everyone had to think on their feet, and provide a quick response.
"We were able to use Allego to track views of this new program and make sure that everyone was taking advantage of it."
‘An Ideal Way to Self-Evaluate’
“The feedback that we received from that activity has been very telling,” added Key. “Almost everyone retook the assignment a few different times on their own accord, which meant they were able to use self-reflection. They knew that they could do better. They wanted to do better. And so they did another video, even though they knew they weren’t going to get the same questions.
“Allego is an ideal way for learners to self-evaluate, self-correct and then move forward.”
See Allego in Action
Transform your organization with award-winning sales enablement technology built for today’s distributed teams.Request a Demo