On-Demand Webinar

The State of Sales Enablement Technology: What's in Store for 2022

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Craig Simons:

My name’s Craig Simons with the Allego Marketing Team, and I’m excited to welcome you to today’s webinar, the State of Sales Enablement Technology: What’s in Store for 2022. Allego is a market leading sales enablement platform that elevates performance for sales and other teams by combining learning, content, and collaboration into one app designed for the flow of work. For attending today’s webinar, those that provided a valid US mailing address will receive a free copy of Mastering Virtual Selling: Orchestrating Sales Success, written by two of Allego’s co-founders, Yuchun Lee and Mark Magnacca, as well as sales guru Tony Jeary. If you didn’t provide your address, you may do so now through the questions tab and we’ll be sure to send you a book. We’d absolutely love for you all to stay connected with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. And for the live Tweeters and influencers out there, you can use the hashtag #allegowebinars so we can track your contribution to the conversation.

At the conclusion of the webinar, there’s a brief three-question survey that helps us keep improving these events. We value your feedback, so please take a moment to complete the survey. This presentation is being recorded and an on-demand recording will be emailed out in the next day or two. We’ve reserved time at the end of today’s program for Q&A. You can submit questions through the questions tab of the GoToWebinar interface.

I’m delighted to introduce today’s presenter, Allego’s, chief product officer, Andre Black. Andre has over 23 years’ experience in software as an innovation consultant, product manager, and user experience designer. Prior to Allego, Andre built the UX innovation practice at Medullan as chief creative officer. Andre spent eight years at Unica in UX, in DUI development, and product vision roles, ultimately as director of product marketing at Unica is 150 million enterprise interactive marketing suite. As an electrical engineering undergraduate at Cornell, Andre co-founded jump.com, a VC-backed web app that was acquired by Microsoft. With the intros out of the way. Please take it away, Andre.

Andre Black:

All right. Thank you so much. Lots of fancy background there. Appreciate that, Craig. Basically that just means I lead up product strategy for the Allego platform, along with the rest of my team, and I’ve done so since Allego’s founding back in 2013. Now before I get into the meat of today’s presentation, I was just dying to know. I was really curious. I wanted to start off with a poll of why you’re here today, what you are hoping to be able to do with the information that you learn in today’s session. So if you don’t mind, just click off, hopefully you can select multiple of these. Yes, you can, great, so check any and all that apply. I would love to know what you’re going to do with the info you get here.

Craig Simons:

All right. The submissions are coming in.

Andre Black:

Okay. Just another few seconds.

Craig Simons:

Yep. All right. About 75% of the people voted. Let’s go ahead and close the poll and share the results. Can you see it, Andre, or shall I read it out?

Andre Black:

Yeah. This is great. I’m seeing a lot of people who are here, they’re thinking about their own planning for next year and a lot of people who plan to have other conversations with executives and stakeholders. That’s our hope as well. I want to make sure that I send you off with really actionable material here and I’m going to try to make it really concise and to the point with each of these items. I’m going to go ahead and turn off the camera so we can focus on the slides and let’s dive right in.

Now at Allego, our product strategy is informed by market insights, customer feedback, technology innovations that happen around us, and just tons of research. Some of the core themes that influence us have been with us from the start of the company, but during the pandemic, we’ve been really well-positioned to observe some meaningful new trends among our customers, our partners, analysts, and even other technology vendors.

I’ve had the fortune of engaging with executives from several companies throughout the year to share what was driving our roadmap and to better understand and align our vision to your visions. And when I did, I walked through these trends as they existed at the start of the year, highlighting areas like the role of sales learning, evolving from mastering formal instructor-led training to being a part of the essential enablement experiences that reps count on day-to-day to help them sell, and the convergence of capabilities into fewer, more useful solutions in sales enablement and the transformative impact of AI for sales teams and marketing teams. And probably the most impactful of these, the fact that remote and hybrid teams are going to be with us for years to come, that has to influence how we think about building a team culture and making personal connections and providing insightful personalized coaching.

Now as the year comes to a close, some of these trends have become crystal clear and they’ve aligned to a pattern that really makes sense to us. So today, the trends that I’m going to cover are B2B buyer journeys requiring smarter virtual selling, comprehensive and consolidated approach to all sales enablement, strategic use of modern learning and coaching that’s all tied directly to business results, and then a desire to measure sales enablement’s impact on business outcomes pretty directly. Look at the patterns here. There are internal facing considerations, which we’ve shown in blue, focused on how your team operates and how you use technology, and there are external facing considerations in green, focused on sales outcomes, buyer satisfaction, and your ability to influence them. There are also core user experience focused items on top and execution excellence focused items on the bottom. I love the symmetry of all these ideas coming together. I’m going to walk you through each of these, describing the trends and sharing some commentary on how Allego approaches each of these considerations from what we think is a unique point of view among the vendors in our space.

The first sales enablement trend is B2B buyer journeys requiring smarter virtual selling. Now according to Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study Guide, individual buyers are engaging more in self-service information gathering throughout the buyer’s journey, but they’re still looking to partner with sales to get more in-depth answers and they expect content shared with them to reflect an understanding of their business, industry, market, and job role. So basically, your buyers will want a personalized experience and specifically, digital touchpoints that answer their questions or demonstrate insight into their business, and they’ll expect to work with confident, informed, and agile sellers that they can trust.

This is not a temporary state of affairs. This is the new normal that will be with us long after the pandemic is behind us. You may hear some people discussing it as digital selling or hybrid selling. At Allego we’ve always called it virtual selling and it’s going to matter a lot. Research studies show that 80% of buyers will actually reject sellers that can’t do this well, which means as this all continues to play out, there will be big winners that will pull away from the laggers. Your teams will have to master human plus digital to be in the winners group among your competitors, so that means having the best content, personalization, and digital buyer engagement just as much as it means setting up your customer facing teams to succeed with great preparation.

Our co-founders, Yuchun Lee and Mark Magnacca, alongside strategist, executive coach, and facilitator, Tony Jeary, literally wrote the book on mastering your front stage virtual selling strategy, which is when you’re having a real time interaction with live presence, and your backstage virtual selling strategy, when you’re using your digital selling tools in order to maintain presence and connection even when you can’t be live. It’s super powerful when you can integrate your strategies and your planning across both of these together. That’s why Allego’s product strategy includes continuing to invest in our hit feature, digital sales rooms, which gives you more options for differentiation on your backstage virtual selling strategy.

It’s an extremely convenient digital selling tool for buyers to collaborate with their reps. And from a sales strategy standpoint, it gives you some new superpowers for things like templatization and monitoring of usage and engagement data. And speaking of data, you will see us continue to think about data and analytics and applications of AI and machine learning very holistically. If you think about all of the tactics and technologies that you see here that are enabling reps every day, and then the ones that are allowing reps to engage their buyers with the best, most consultative experiences, you see the opportunity for a consistent way of using the data around all of that for performance improvements and efficiencies in your operations, and even optimization that can come from AI applied consistently all over this picture. We call that intelligence-driven virtual selling. A lot of our strategy is built around this.

Now, the second sales enablement trend is companies seeking a comprehensive and consolidated approach to their sales enablement technology. The market is finally aligned on a definition of sales enablement that we at Allego have been predicting for years. Each of these solution areas around the wheel touches sales reps every day and each will be critical in determining whether they succeed or fail in their role. Well, this August, Gartner’s Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms was a fantastic validation of that vision that these are connected. They came out directly and they advised companies to investigate how they could benefit from a fully native platform that includes all of these capabilities in one. Forrester refers to it as the union of content solutions and readiness solutions that help B2B sellers with what to know and what to show. And just like us, they say facilitating better buyer interactions requires a holistic sales prep environment that breaks down the barrier between content and readiness. I like that, breaks down the barrier. I think I know how this one’s going to turn out, but I want to ask you directly to be sure, and then Craig, this is going to be another poll for us, if the idea of managing fewer tools or having your reps accessing fewer tools or just saving money on license fees, all sound good to you, go ahead and let us know it. Do this quick poll.

Craig Simons:

Seeing the results come in here.

Andre Black:

All right.

Craig Simons:

Couple more seconds. All right. Let me close it and share the results.

Andre Black:

Okay. So yeah, no big shock at all. A majority of you very clearly said we definitely need fewer tools and I think that if you ask the reps directly, they’re going to say something very, very similar here. Just looking around at all of the largest vendors in this space and all of the acquisitions and the product announcements you’ve probably heard this year, I think it’s safe to say that all of our companies now agree on the need to address all of these solution areas. So give or take a few missing features here or there or integrations here or there, you see a number of recognizable vendors using very similar language about the problems to be solved for sales enablement, and that’s true, even though this list takes a few different approaches to the solutions. All of us tend to be integrated with or used alongside sales engagement solutions and some of the newer revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence solutions.

The division of capabilities is still pretty clean overall, but some of the vendors on both sides offer things like conversation intelligence or other direct buyer engagement solutions. There’s a little bit of overlap in this area of capabilities. That’s what we’re calling the virtual selling solutions. Hopefully you’ve been watching the news, you’ve seen the mergers and acquisitions, and I want to help you make sense of it all by highlighting some patterns that made these consolidation strategies very predictable for each vendor category. There were even analyst reports predicting it that were published back in 2020, like Forrester’s Predictions for B2B Wales in 2021.

Learning workflows and analytics needs are so structured and so vast that it wouldn’t be practical for pure content management companies to have built them from scratch, so acquiring them was the obvious choice. And by the way, I look at conversation intelligence technology, it looks the same to me in this way. Similarly, content management at scale is also a major undertaking, so it wouldn’t have made sense for sales-focused LMS vendors to build from scratch, so being acquired was their best move. These things have been going on for a lot of years now, but from the start, Allego’s approach, even to sales readiness, was rooted in social content management and collaboration, just like YouTube. We actually built those features first and added top down learning workflows over the several years that followed. That’s why we’ve been able to mature our modern content management features so naturally and so quickly. Those now span use cases from syncing external content management systems to managing taxonomies and deploying content at huge scale to powerful solutions for just-in-time discovery of the right prioritized content that can turn the tide of your deals.

I can quickly break down the capabilities of the Allego platform into its recognizable component parts. Those include learning, content, which includes virtual selling in this particular diagram, and coaching, which includes other forms of collaboration. Now, in each area, there’s a pattern here, we’ve got the table stakes of formal workflows covered on the bottom line, but then we go a step beyond with seller-specific use cases and technologies. And then we augmented all of that with AI and machine learning that can optimize adoption and optimize sales outcomes and automate processes to save you time. Each of these areas is powerful and flexible enough for use at large enterprise companies. So the idea of Allego as a readiness vendor, that’s about a three year old mental model at this point and we’re making sure that that’s more widely known every day.

All right. The third sales enablement trend is that teams are planning for more strategic use of modern learning and coaching for business results. So at Allego, we think of this as an approach to technology that prioritizes rep adoption and business impact and usefulness in the eyes of field reps over traditional, formal, top down workflows. Our unique worldview is that it’s all about empowering and connecting reps, not just constraining them. So that’s what it’s going to take to connect remote and hybrid teams and to give leaders sales success superpowers that they never had in the past. It’s about finding the commonality and things that used to look like separate, disconnected use cases and seeing the common need in all of them to better align reps with the various roles and personas that are involved in their success, like their managers, like trainers, like product and marketing teams, and even their buyers.

Similarly, in the past, teams thought of different types of content and different types of workflows around them as things that should be managed in multiple systems. But if you focus on the rep and you think about what causes their urgency to find content or when they’ll want to access it or what they might want to do instinctively to try to retrieve it, you start to see it as one spectrum of needs around all different types of content. That strategic thinking is what will move the needle on rep adoption of your best content and tools. So we’re thinking, of course, about the sales content coming from marketing, we’re thinking about just-in-time learning content, and we’re thinking about agile content, maybe captured from the field team themselves. A playbook should tell you how to use all of these or a deal-specific recommendation should allow the AI to pull from all of these or a search should return all of these, even when you’re on the go on your phone. The same platform should allow you to capture this agile content or to quickly author those bite-sized just-in-time learning messages or even to get those sales assets into your buyer’s hands to engage them.

Now, Allego also thinks about a full spectrum of reinforcement and coaching as one connected use case, not a set of disconnected product features. When you think about the perspective of sales reps, it’s one thing that helps them to perform at the top of their game and helps them to always be growing their skills. The full spectrum has to demonstrate connection and consistency here from practice to reinforcing flash drills to ride alongs to recorded sales calls and web meetings with actual customers. Allego is the only solution that includes AI virtual coaches that ease the burden on sales managers across all of these, while also increasing their effectiveness as sales managers.

When we saw these connections, we saw opportunities to use AI and machine learning to get your reps to the highest levels of mastery faster and to the highest levels of sales performance more consistently. And we see opportunities to manage these things in consistent ways, too, like using the same taxonomy and the same natural language processing and the same topic recognition logic. Conversation intelligence can actually be the lifeblood flowing through all of this.

So when market dynamics shift, again, some major news event happens again, which it will, how many systems will you need to reconfigure and realign in order to get the team and the coaches moving in the right direction? Finding those connections, finding those efficiencies, finding those opportunities to set up a culture of coaching and collaboration, and then finally, connecting all of those to sales goals and efficiency, that is being strategic. That’s what we think of.

Building on that strategic thinking, the fourth sales enablement trend is measuring sales enablement’s impact on business outcomes. Now, most of you may already be familiar with frameworks like the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model for Training Effectiveness. So if you’re giving out surveys at the end of your courses today, this is probably why. But in 2022, we want all teams to shift their focus to just these two tiers. Are you getting reps to apply their training and change behavior as a result of coaching? Are your efforts actually affecting the job performance metrics in positive ways? Executive leaders are going to be asking for enablement teams to answer these questions, both with trustworthy numbers, but also with powerful, relatable examples that they can see firsthand. That’s going to involve connecting the data from your CRM system and the data from your sales enablement technology.

You can start by thinking about this from a tactical level right away. For example, you may start by looking at the operational reports that show you content adoption and usage, right? With the right setup and integration, they also show you effectiveness at engaging prospects and actual dollar values for opportunities that were influenced. And according to Forbes, this may help you pinpoint the content that’s most likely to result in a purchase at any point in the buyer funnel, giving you a strong competitive advantage. You might be looking at the operational reports that show you team member engagement and achievement. With the right setup and integrations, you can see how qualified they are to succeed at each stage of the funnel or each sales KPI, based on their strongest and weakest skills. You may be looking at team member behaviors and conversational patterns that are directly affecting your buyers in your recorded voice calls and web meetings. With the right setup and integration, you can see what behaviors set certain reps apart the top performers and what coaching you can do to improve the rest to make them more like the best. You may be looking at operational dashboards in your CRM system that look for correlations between job performance and things like measured skill levels or measured levels of engagement in different areas of the enablement platform.

Well, going a step past that, Allego also thinks about deal intelligence holistically, and this is part of our imminent roadmap, and it’s building on concepts that are in the foundations of our conversation intelligence product. Measuring engagement patterns and behavior observations across all of your virtual selling touchpoints, the calls, the meetings, the content you share, the digital sales rooms, that’s going to give you unique opportunities to coach and unique opportunities to spot patterns and opportunities to let AI help you optimize sales outcomes.

And we think of measuring performance lift that can be attributed to the different aspects of your comprehensive sales enablement story. We think about all those things as connected. Today we help customers perform these kinds of analyses in their BI tools using the Allego analytics data feed, but in our roadmap, we’ll be building in-app dashboards that do this. Sales enablement leaders have to be able to benchmark and compare all sorts of scenarios. They have to know how to coach average reps to operate more like the top performers because of insights into behaviors on calls, as I mentioned before, but also how they use marketing assets in their selling different and how they engage with their own personal development differently. And maybe they want to use the same kinds of comparisons to be able to understand from a before after comparison, exactly how one of their sales enablement initiatives, like maybe you did a global certification or a reorg of your content framework. You want to see how that impacted how reps use the system comparison like this would let you do that.

The reason we like this approach, we like the proven principle of measuring a test group against a control group or performing an AB test over a period of time that helps you to answer, “Did some experiment or intervention cause a lift in that performance?” Once you can measure the lift over time, you can tell your executive stakeholders about the most important takeaways from that data. It has already affected their bottom line when you translate this into money, and it can be projected to impact that bottom line in a major way into the future. Look at the magnitude of these numbers that they keep going off the scale. These are the numbers that will secure your budget and your executive champions and we want Allego to be the easiest source of those answers, especially for teams that are thinking about them holistically. We know that these conversations are taking place within some of our customers teams already, we’ve been a part of those conversations, but I want to get a sense for how much more this has spread throughout our market this year. So Craig, can we do one last quick poll here? I want to know, has this already reached some of you?

Craig Simons:

All right, we’re collecting responses. Give it just another couple seconds here. Still see people voting.

Andre Black:

Sounds good.

Craig Simons:

And I’m going to close the poll.

Andre Black:

Excellent. Okay. What I’m seeing is a lot of you are saying that your executive leaders have already started asking for metrics like these. So obviously, we want to be a help and help in allowing you to answer those questions both now and making that process of answering even simpler in the future, so definitely reach out here.

We covered a lot of ground in a pretty short amount of time there. Try to keep it nice and short for you, but hopefully the four trends won’t be a challenge to remember because they hit so close to home for so many of you or maybe you’ll remember the patterns there, the internal facing and the external facing and the strong user experiences and the strong execution and measurement. If Allego can help you to be prepared or help you to take your strategy to the next level in any of these areas, we want to have a workshop with you. Just reach out to your account reps, your customer success team today. So with that, that’s really the end of the prepared material. Of course, thank you so much, everyone, for your time. But Craig, I’m going to open it up for questions and see if we can jump into some discussion here. I’m going to turn my camera back on.

Craig Simons:

Perfect. Great. Thank you. Thank you, Andre. It is time for some Q&A. If you haven’t submitted a question and would like to, you can go ahead and ask it now, it’s not too late, using the questions panel in the GoToWebinar interface. If you can advance the slide, Andre, to the Q&A slide, I just want to let everyone know about a free resource that seems to be really popular right now as we approach January. It’s our ebook, The Hybrid Sales Kickoff Playbook: How to Train Your Sellers in a Virtual World. You can find this ebook on allego.com/sko or simply open your phone’s camera and scan the QR code that you see here on the screen and that will take you right to the landing page. Okay, we do have some good questions here, Andre. Let’s start with this one from Sean. Do you see virtual selling as a permanent skill set organizations need to master or will things eventually go back to the way they were before?

Andre Black:

Yeah, great question. The virtual selling skill, I do think, is essential for the long term. Basically the trends that we’re seeing about buyers taking a lot of action independently and engaging digitally, those trends actually started long before the pandemic. The pandemic just accelerated a few things, but there are already demographic shifts, generational shifts. We’re now dealing with buyers who grew up digital first, that’s why a lot of these things that were shifting already, so I do think that a lot of this is here to stay. The idea of figuring out how to use your technology like a conductor, being able to coordinate the front stage and the backstage, I do think that’s here to stay for many, many years to come and I’m sure it’ll be replaced with something even more reliant on technology, so definitely work on those skills.

Craig Simons:

Great. Thanks, Andre. This question came in from John. You talked about an API for correlating data. What are some of the typical sources of outside data you see customers utilizing for business performance metrics?

Andre Black:

Yeah, great question. So when customers are using the Allego analytics data feed and they’re pulling our data into their data warehoused alongside other data, it is coming from all over the organization. Some of that data, of course, is coming from CRM. Some of the data is probably coming from their marketing automation tools. Many of our customers have had multiple learning platforms in place. Maybe there’s a corporate learning tool out there alongside sales-specific solutions. I would say there are other technologies in there that are being used for social selling, so data’s coming from all over and it’s data about your employees and data and did I mention the HR system? That, too, your relationships between people at the company, so data’s in there about your employees and also data about your customers and their behavior and connecting the dots between all of those is essential. That’s part of this grand vision.

The idea of intelligence-driven virtual selling, it involves connecting the dots between all those different types of data. That’s why from the start we’ve been very big on the idea of, we will let you get the data out of the Allego system. Not all of your reporting should live in Allego. We want you to be able to connect those dots and eventually we’re going to be bringing in more and more of the data into our platform, too, so you can connect the dots in our native dashboards. We’d love to make it easier on you.

Craig Simons:

Okay, perfect. Thanks, Andre. We have another question here from Mary. The idea of all content in one system sounds great, but we already have content in a lot of other systems. The idea of moving it all over sounds like it will be a lot of work and involve a lot of politics. How would you recommend we prep for something like that?

Andre Black:

Yeah, really good question. So yes, this is an exercise in change management and really, aligning teams that may not have always been so connected to one another within your company. The first step is definitely discussion, conversation, making leaders from lots of different owners of systems, partners in the planning of all of this. And then of course, from a technology standpoint, Allego’s going to help you with tools and with best practices. We have tools that will allow you to import content or create an actual ongoing synchronization so you can have content continue to be published in one system, but still be deployed and accessible to sales reps in our system. The synchronization tools are there, migration tools are there. If you’re already in another sales focus content management system, but you’re looking to upgrade, we can help you with that as well. It’s going to be a combination of tools and partnership, really teaming within your organization and just start the conversations as early as humanly possible. That’s what I would advise at this point.

Craig Simons:

Thanks, Andre. We have a product question here around digital sales rooms. They just wanted more information about this tool that a prospect would log into. They don’t have to look through a bunch of emails to try to find what the seller sent them a month ago. Can you talk a little bit more about how all the collateral’s stored in one place for the prospect?

Andre Black:

Yeah, absolutely. And even the fact that you said log in, there’s some innovations there that we really were thoughtful about when we created our solution for digital sales rooms. So basically, this is a collaborative space that you can set up that will help you to manage all of the content, the sharing of content, sharing of recorded web meetings and conversations, the decisions, the sharing of personal videos that you’ve created to keep that presence and rapport even when you can’t be together live. Those are things that really start to build up over the course of a long sales cycle, which a lot of our customers tend to have. So we’ve created this collaborative space, where you know can have your team, your marketing team, your sales leaders set up templates that drive that process. You can use different security models. For example, you can do it by invitation only, which will allow your prospects to count on the fact that this is a safe space. I can share things here and know that only the intended recipients will be able to see them, but they don’t have to set up usernames and passwords.

We took that entire process out of it and made it so it’s still pretty much frictionless for your buyers in that process. And then it’s a great place for things like instant gratification. It’s a system of record for decisions and next steps. It’s great to have a space like that. If any of you have bought a car recently or bought a house or something like that and you remember the processes where this was stacks and stacks of paper and tons of visits to banks and things like that. And then your mortgage company might have set up a digital sales room for you and made that process so much easier and the record keeping and the ongoing nature of it so much easier because there was this one digital collaborative space. That is coming into this B2B selling world. We think it’s going to be one of the essential core technologies in 2022 and beyond.

Craig Simons:

Great. Thank you, Andre. Getting lots of questions, this is great. Some of these we’ll probably answer offline if they’re very company-specific or geography-specific, but we will get in touch with you with those answers. Here’s a question about conversation intelligence. Is there an advantage to using it from a sales enablement solution like Allego versus a standalone conversation intelligence product?

Andre Black:

Yeah, wonderful question. A lot of companies might have gotten their start. They dipped their toes in the water of conversation intelligence technology by getting something from a standalone vendor. And there are definitely advantages to thinking about it, again, as part of a holistic solution. I mentioned some of them during the presentation, the idea that it’s one way to of train this conversation intelligence technology about the concepts that matter to your company and then you want to apply that same AI in your practice time and in your sales conversations with customers. There are also advantages to how you can take those recordings and not just use them as an opportunity for coaching, but use them as content for training, too. To be able to clip just a quick two minute section out of a really wonderful sales call, we call those the champagne moments, to pull that out and turn that into a piece of bite-sized just-in-time learning material that you can consume through Allego or to enrich it with a knowledge check that follows it up or clarify something using prompts inside videos, that’s crucial. And for sales managers, again, it’s one consistent way to deliver coaching feedback. I’m offering you coaching using point in time feedback. In your practice, I’m offering it exactly the same way when I’m coaching your deals and your interactions with your customers, so it’s a really consistent experience from that standpoint.

As you start to see more come from us in the realm of deal intelligence, you’re going to see that there’s a ton of value in connecting all of those thoughts. There are signals coming from all over your organization about how engaged your buyers are and if you’re not including the signals from your content that you’re sharing or from your digital sales rooms, you’re looking at that picture with blinders on. You got to see the whole picture. Basically, it’s all part of that same story, it’s all connected, it’s all one problem. And if you see that, you’re going to see the opportunities for efficiencies and how you manage it, how you set it up, and definitely how your reps experience it.

Craig Simons:

Awesome. Thank you, Andre. Another question is about applying some of these capabilities outside of the sales team. Does Allego but also can a sales enablement platform agnostically be used for enterprise wide learning?

Andre Black:

Oh, yes. We actually already have quite a few customers that took a look around, realized that the corporate learning platform they had was only addressing a very specific set of use cases that were a very small subset of the use cases that sales teams needed for enablement. So yes, they can use Allego as their company-wide LMS, for example, or their LRS, the system of record for the learning that’s taken place and the certifications that people have earned and completed. So yes, we do absolutely support the idea of workforce enablement, broader workforce enablement, and even extended enterprise enablement, too, the idea of enabling your partners or your distributors or even your customers with similar styles of engagement and styles of interaction that we use with your reps. Yes, you can absolutely apply it that way. If you want to learn more about that, definitely contact your account team from Allego.

Craig Simons:

Okay. And there’s a follow up question about our conversation intelligence. How accurate are the transcriptions and does it support multiple languages?

Andre Black:

Oh, yeah. I got to tell you, Allego has a very high bar for when we will adopt and apply AI and machine learning. There are a lot of bad technologies out there that have tons of false positives and false negatives. We won’t let those into our platform, just plain and simple. So basically, what we’ve done is find technology that is now proven, it’s reached that point where it absolutely can be applied to these business purposes and it’s already wonderfully accurate, it’s getting better and more accurate every year. The exact same material, if I fed it in a recording three years ago and I’ve fed it the same recording today, the accuracy of the transcription is so much higher today.

So first off, yes, it’s super accurate already. Not perfect, but it’s accurate enough and we’ve been able to prove through tons of our experience and the experience from our refract team that’s had hundreds of customers in conversation intelligence for years now that even with the occasional inaccuracy, it’s still accurate enough for you to trust the insights and the behavior observations. Our ability to detect what was the question or who’s monologuing too much, things like that are absolutely accurate enough to be actionable and coachable in sales teams. I would say it’s accurate enough where if you don’t know firsthand, you should try it out.

And the second thing you mentioned, is it supporting multiple languages? Yes, Allego supports, I’m forgetting the list off the top of my head, but I think it’s around a dozen or so languages, where different reps within the same company can actually be conducting their sales conversations in different languages and as long as it’s configured correctly, Allego’s going to transcribe them correctly, analyze them for those behavioral insights, and give you very actionable conversation intelligence once again. So again, worth a try.

Craig Simons:

Awesome. This is a long Q&A session. Thanks, Andre. We’re getting lots of great questions and we have the time so I’m just going to keep them coming. Some of this might be review, I think you mentioned some of the metrics, but Linda is asking what metrics are executives asking for related to sales enablement? What KPIs are they using? Any real time metrics?

Andre Black:

Yeah, great question. I think the standard starting point is, can you help me to build an ROI case? I know what my budget is to invest in sales enablement and I want to know how much that has paid off in terms of sales team performance lift. And we’ve had a number of Allego companies actually go through this ROI analysis exercise. We have white papers on it, we have entire sessions I’m sure we could walk you through. Basically, we can help you to measure the obvious ones when you have actual measurable performance lifts like the ones I outlined for you, but then we can also help you to measure ones that come from efficiencies and performance gains that are a little bit different from the ones I depicted there. There are ones like shortening the time for a seller to ramp. They’re shortening the time to get to their first or their second actual successful deal. Shortening that time or shortening the overall sales cycle for any one of your opportunities pays off huge over the span of time. Or just helping reps to negotiate better so that contract values or contract terms end up more favorable, that’s another way that you can start to measure these things.

And of course, there are operational efficiencies you’re saving on travel, if you’re doing a lot less in person, face-to-face, instructor led training and you’re replacing a lot of that with highly actionable just-in-time learning and ongoing continuous coaching and reinforcement. There are tons of metrics to measure that will connect this back to an ROI story. It’ll actually allow you to say, “I’ve saved you this many dollars and I’ve helped you make this many more dollars.” And again, if I project that into the future and scale that out to more teams and the ones I’ve been allowed to touch so far, you get to tell a really compelling story.

I’d just start with ROI. Implicitly in that, I think I also mentioned a couple of other ones, time to first deal, in terms of seller behaviors, observable behaviors that you can see in their sales conversations, pace of speech, how much they’re using questioning effectively, how much they’re applying all the different competencies that were defined by your sales leadership, by your sales operations plans. You can show lifts in skill levels over time that your coaches, your managers, have actually observed and scored people on, so lots of things like that. There’s probably quite a few more, of course. And also, it’s very important to remember different roles within your sales organization are probably going to have different KPIs that represent success for their role. So this is not a one size fits all question, this is definitely something consultative. You should be working with your customer success team. We can show you examples of different ways that different teams, different roles are measured.

Craig Simons:

Great. And let’s just do one last question, Andre. You had mentioned collaboration among team members that were remote. Can you elaborate on how technology can help with that?

Andre Black:

Absolutely. This is something that we’ve really believed in since Allego’s first year or two in existence. The idea that teams that have to be apart from one another, people, salespeople that are on the go all the time or people that are in remote offices, the idea of having face on video and having a casual aspect of it, the idea that it feels like YouTube, not Hollywood, that’s been what us with us since year one. That absolutely helps to build rapport, to introduce people. This is something that our own team does. When new hires join, they do a quick intro video and post it into a company video directory. So we get to know faces, we get to know names, and when you meet in person it’s like you each other already. It’s wonderful. There are technologies like that.

Coaching solutions that let you give mixed media feedback, if you’re giving somebody, especially a constructive criticism guidelines to help them improve, being able to say that with your own voice as an audio recording or even as video recording in a comment inside a sales conversation recording, that’s going to build rapport between remote sales teams. When the manager can’t just walk out on the bullpen and observe something, well, now they can observe it through conversation intelligence and they can still give that personal touch to their coaching feedback. So basically it’s the right way to use technology, that front stage backstage idea, it applies to selling but it also applies to managing, coaching, team building. It’s really, really very valuable for teams. Okay, I think I lost the sound.

Craig Simons:

Thank you, Andre, so much. Can you hear me now?

Andre Black:

Yes. [inaudible 00:45:18]

Craig Simons:

Good, good. I was on mute. What a great engaging presentation. Thank you. And thanks to everyone for joining us today. Each attendee that provided a valid US mailing address will receive a free copy of Mastering Virtual Selling: Orchestrating Sales Success. Upon leaving the webinar, we’d appreciate if you could take a moment to complete a short three-question survey so we can improve these webinars in the future. And as a reminder, we will be sending out the on-demand recording within a day or two for you to re-watch and share today’s presentation. Andre, thank you again. Great informative session. This concludes today’s webinar. Have a wonderful rest of your day, everyone.

 

About this Webinar

2021 was an active year in the world of sales enablement!

New technologies like conversation intelligence and digital sales rooms are changing the way sellers learn and sell. And, the formerly separate categories of sales readiness and sales content management continue to consolidate.

Above all, one undeniable trend is the increasing importance of sales enablement to modern organizations. Recent research shows that companies with a formal sales enablement program are 10X more likely to consistently hit their revenue goals.

Allego’s Chief Product Officer, Andre Black, reveals the most important trends in sales enablement today, and how you can stay a step ahead as we enter the new year.

Topics Covered

  • Connecting sales enablement to business outcomes
  • Modern buyer’s journeys and Virtual Selling
  • How artificial intelligence can amplify and enhance the human effort around coaching, learning, and selling
  • Consolidation of Sales Enablement and it’s relation to recent Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Hybrid team connectivity and knowledge-sharing
  • The secret of successful sales learning: agile content delivered in the flow of work

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