Today’s hybrid work environment has forced sales teams to embrace new realities. Even though maintaining cohesion is an essential focus for team leaders, the remote shakeup has also illuminated fresh opportunities that can make a sales unit more efficient and focused than ever before.
The right sales enablement platform can not only streamline communication but train and evaluate team members from anywhere. Instead of being held back by the limitations of traditional training methods, team leaders can now use a cloud-based sales platform to capitalize on strengths, improve weaknesses, and turn potential into real results.
Despite the availability of groundbreaking new tools, however, more than 80% of sales leaders don’t think they have the right team in place. While sales managers look to train new team members and level up the teams they already have, the upside of next-gen sales technology has never been more apparent.
By leveraging the power of an AI sales coaching platform that effortlessly quantifies each team member’s performance, and puts them in the driver’s seat of their own success, a sales leader can gain the edge needed to compete. Here we’ll take a closer look at why you need a sales enablement platform and how the right one can define your team’s success.
1. A Sales Enablement Platform Can Upgrade Your Team’s Soft Skills
According to the software marketplace website G2, as many as 84% of reps hit their sales marks when their employer has the right enablement software. In addition to showcasing the value of enablement platforms, this statistic showcases exactly how a sales manager can keep a successful team in place; sales reps who feel they have the proper support and training along with reachable goals are much more likely to stick around.
Looking beneath the numbers, we can pinpoint where the right software can have the biggest impact. Your platform should be able to do the following:
- Help reps connect on a human level
- Provide a wealth of objective/observable data
- Allow you to quantify rep communication
- Guide reps to predict audience responses
- Provide easy customization to fit the specifics of your business
- Track a rep’s progress and milestones
Any sales team needs to have a firm grip on the hard skills (i.e., the facts of the product or service), but it’s usually with the soft skills that a team thrives or fails. Consistent and effective human-to-human connections can dramatically improve a team’s performance, helping team members close deals but also organically setting up future business.
One of the ways to improve your team’s customer connections is by quantifying their skillset. AI-based sales coaching platforms designed from a behavioral science perspective can provide breakdowns of how sales reps perform with prospective customers.
With the ability to rank a rep’s skills with objective data and a reliable scoring system, a sales enablement platform can give actionable information to a team leader. While reps with lower skills will be able to pinpoint and work on trouble spots, even the top reps will be able to fine-tune their skillset and perform even better.
The ability to predict audience responses can also be a make-or-break skill for a sales rep in any industry. By combining a modernized training regimen with science-based feedback, reps have a much easier time anticipating audience inquiries and settling concerns with appropriate facts.
Today’s top sales enablement platforms allow reps to continually improve their customer interactions as they go, a dynamic that traditional models simply aren’t equipped to handle. With the tools to steadily enhance soft skills, a rep’s hard skills will get an opportunity to flourish.
2. Having One Reliable Platform Can Improve All-Around Efficiency
As the shift to remote work quickly took hold, many sales managers began making an understandable mistake: utilizing too many different sales tools. Instead of one, all-inclusive platform, sales reps were forced to remember a variety of different login credentials as teams began relying on mobile technology.
With the gift of hindsight, the results have been predictable. Per a reputable study by Allego on sales enablement tech, eight out of 10 team leaders using multiple enablement tools reported significant issues.
One of the biggest problems is with reps struggling to keep their passwords straight. Inevitably, passwords get lost at inopportune times, potentially thwarting successful sales or simply causing inefficiencies. For sales reps already trying to master a product or service’s facts, the added complication of multiple passwords is a frustrating and avoidable problem.
Having fewer platforms also leads to reps becoming more familiar with the tools the platform contains. Instead of a rep becoming somewhat proficient on three platforms, for example, they can master and become extremely familiar with one reliable platform that does everything.
In an industry with high turnover rates, the best salespeople will gravitate to the teams using technology that makes their lives easier. With Allego’s study finding that 50% of reps believe their team uses too many tools, tapping multiple platforms is a risky strategy for a sales manager hoping to build highly skilled teams for the long run.
3. Fighting the Forgetting Curve with Sales Enablement
One of the biggest problems every sales leader has to address is the dreaded forgetting curve. According to training studies, the average sales rep forgets roughly 80% of what they learned in training—all within the first 90 days. After that 90-day period, sales reps are nearly back to their pre-training phase and are largely left to figure it out as they go along.
Unsurprisingly, this is not a path to long-term success. To battle this predicament, the following steps can be helpful:
- Make your reinforcement plan a priority from the beginning
- Be upfront with reps about expectations
- Utilize platform customization to add to your reinforcement plan
- Stay as involved as possible
The old model of a quick training schedule followed by minimal follow-up is no longer appropriate for the modern sales environment – if it ever was. While managers in previous eras may not have had the time to follow up on training, a modern sales enablement platform should set managers up for success.
By scheduling reinforcement training at regular intervals, a team leader can build a quality reinforcement plan with minimal time and effort. To have the greatest effect, reps should also understand from the outset what the reinforcement plan is and why it’s so important.
The right sales enablement platform will offer this reinforcement built in to the process and be accessible 24/7, with sales managers and coaches able to monitor rep participation. With AI technology that measures dozens of soft skills, and as sales team members follow their own individual training path, they can practice specific skills with the AI repeatedly, getting instant feedback that allows them to learn and try again, reinforcing their skill with hands-on action that makes it all stick.
Sales managers that utilize highly customizable enablement platforms will have the greatest advantages for combatting the forgetting curve. Because every type of sales is different, a platform should be easily conformed to the needs of the team leader.
This is especially the case when it comes to reinforcing a training program that needs to adapt as the business landscape changes. With the ability to quickly make changes and add new reinforcement methods to one platform, a sales leader can take full advantage of what today’s best cloud-based solutions can offer.
But even though it’s easy to set a reinforcement plan and forget about it, sales managers will have the best success if they can remain involved throughout the process. While a team leader might not have the time to go over everything as the reinforcement plan progresses, short follow-up communications with a rep can help grow confidence and prove that they have the full support of management.
4. Leveling Up an Entire Sales Team with Better Training
Today’s best training methods are able to educate sales reps without disrupting already established workflows. Instead of learning from a series of scheduled sessions, sales decks or videos, reps should be able to engage in highly personalized training at their own convenience. In a hybrid work environment where sales reps are rarely in a traditional office setting, fluid training options not only fit the new age but provide better results.
The ongoing training ability is also a direct test for your sales enablement platform. If your platform can integrate with preexisting infrastructure (e.g., calendars), you will be in a much better position to create a system of effective, ongoing training.
The more flexible style of modern training also makes it effortless to create impactful feedback. While a flurry of critiques following a scheduled training session can be easily forgotten, feedback tied to ongoing training reinforces the information in a much more effective way. Reps also like to be able to track their progress and see any milestones as they go, which should be a built-in feature of today’s top AI-guided platforms.
The end result of customizable and flexible training is a more prepared and adaptable sales team. With next-generation sales training options and consistent support from team leaders, an entire sales team can increase production and generate higher win rates for expected sales.
Overall, low-performing team members receive about a 15% bump in performance with the right sales enablement platform, all while simultaneously increasing the potential of a team’s top reps. Instead of trying to overcome the deficiencies of traditional training methods, more advanced training methods can lead to increased productivity from top to bottom.
Choosing a Platform that Works in the Hybrid World of Today
Although sales has always been a mobile job, the rapid shifts brought on by the pandemic have pointed to a future where sales teams can no longer rely upon outdated methods. As the best sales reps have come to expect remote optionality, sales managers have to find new ways to retain productivity in a rapidly shifting environment.
But even though this can be a challenge, teams that embrace the new AI-infused landscape can thrive while utilizing the next generation of sales technology. By using objective data for the evaluation of reps and improving retention through more convenient, personalized, hands-on training, leaders now have a proven blueprint based on behavioral science and more advanced methodologies.
To learn how your sales team can improve efficiency and build the soft skills they need to succeed in an interactive environment that puts them in the driver’s seat of their own success, contact Quantified. See how the right sales enablement platform can make all the difference.