This is a guest blog post by Eleni Hagen. Eleni Hagen is a content strategist for Highspot, the industry’s most advanced sales enablement platform that helps organizations close the loop across marketing, sales, and customers.
When it comes to sales coaching, the “four Rs” provide the backbone of any effective sales training program:
- Readiness – a sales rep’s capacity to meet the needs of any sales scenario at any time and at any point in their career;
- Recall – a rep’s ability to retain information absorbed during training and coaching;
- Reinforcement – the degree to which sales coaching managers can help their reps adhere to sales policies and strategies, even if these guiding principles change over time;
- Retention – a company’s ability to keep its sales team intact with minimal turnover.
Without these key ingredients, organizations may find it difficult to develop a sales coaching strategy with staying power. If you’ve come face to face with this challenge, you’re not alone. According to a recent report by CSO Insights, only 30.3% of organizations have employed a formal sales coaching process.
Fortunately, developing a successful sales coaching program may be easier than you think with a sales enablement strategy designed to track content engagement and facilitate easy interdepartmental communications. With a comprehensive sales enablement solution, you’ll not only gain the ability to trace sales activity—you’ll also be able to set up systems that support and strengthen sales performance management techniques, from onboarding to training and beyond.
A thoroughly implemented sales enablement platform can help you enhance your sales management processes and address your four Rs in the following ways:
1. Help Your Team Stay Focused and Cut out the White Noise
“…Sales enablement has to cover content AND training aspects (and coaching), [and] the connecting element is content in different forms and shapes…” –Tamara Schenk, CSO Insights
Beyond organizing content and facilitating pitches, sales enablement serves as a powerful sales readiness tool. A robust sales enablement solution can hold all relevant materials for onboarding, refresher training, and customer interactions in one easy-to-navigate location—meaning sales leaders no longer have to hunt for the content they need to keep reps ready for the field.
This can declutter content archives and cut back on improvisational training practices that can frustrate both old-guard reps and recruits. Plus, streamlining with sales enablement eliminates the need for content silos that pose organization and accessibility problems.
An added bonus: Onboarded reps who currently use a CRM to house their buyer information can seamlessly integrate their data with a sales enablement solution. This practice helps reps stay focused and up-to-date on engagement activity and performance metrics.
2. Offer Training and Refreshers for Reps at Every Level
“If you want to be great, you must train daily.” –Don Markland, MoneySolver
Sales enablement doesn’t just serve as a content repository; it also functions as a training ground for sales reps with various levels of experience, from new recruits to seasoned pros. A variety of interactive sales training materials can be uploaded or edited at any time within your solution. This gives sellers easy access to support that’s commensurate with their level of expertise and refresher content that facilitates better recall and contextual learning.
This flexible model allows sales leaders to scale their sales coaching processes to the needs of their team rather than make do with a “one-size-fits-all” training program. In this way, leaders demonstrate a willingness to nurture the talents of each individual rep, which can, in turn, boost morale and promote better retention rates.
3. Provide Instant, Invaluable Feedback
“…You need to know what your rep is good at and what they're not good at. In sales, double down on what you are good at...” –Clinton Senkow, Influencive
A seller’s path to success doesn’t follow a linear trajectory. There will always be opportunities to learn and improve, especially when sales tactics and playbooks are bound to change over time. But as unpredictable as the road to better selling may be, sales enablement always has sales leaders and their reps fully covered.
With a dynamic sales enablement solution, sales reps can upload recordings of their pitches for review and receive real-time performance evaluations. This feedback can help reps improve their selling savvy, expanding on those techniques that perform well and fine-tuning those that don’t. Problem areas can be quickly recognized and addressed, while good sales practices can be awarded with positive reinforcement from sales leaders.
Similarly, leaders will be given insight into each seller’s strengths and weaknesses, which can alert sales coaches as to how best to proceed with training.
4. Back up your training with numbers
“Sales enablement is all about empowering your sellers with the support, resources, and systems they need to find and compel the right buyers.” –Brenda Stolz, Forbes.com Contributor
One key benefit of sales enablement is its ability to provide intel on who interacts with your company’s content, at which point, and for how long. In addition to providing visibility into buyer engagement for sellers, it also provides a panoramic view of which assets and which pitch practices yield the best results. As such, reps can feel confident in the content they put forward because they will have proof of its prior success.
In addition, sales enablement allows leaders to configure reports that reveal which reps are thriving and which are struggling. When paired with a sales performance management platform, sales enablement platforms offer insight that can help leaders optimize planning and performance going forward. And, of course, better performance strategies provide better support for reps overall, which maximizes retention rates by creating a work environment built on encouragement and sustainability.
We hope that these tips provide a sense of all that sales enablement can do to bolster your sales training and coaching processes. With a sales enablement tool and a performance management platform like Xactly, you’ll be well-prepared to focus on readiness, recall, reinforcement, and retention to provide your sales team with the support they need to succeed.
Highspot gives businesses a powerful advantage by enabling sellers to engage more effectively with buyers. By bringing together capabilities that support content management, sales communications, sales plays, sales training, buyer engagement, plus seamless integration with leading sales, marketing, and training systems, Highspot provides the right guidance and the right content at the right time, every time.