Leaders of sales organizations are scrambling to equip their teams to combat the latest challenges of today’s business environment. Doubtless, the traditional selling mindset must be discarded but what is the best replacement? How can sales managers handle the day-to-day demands of their job and still support a team of struggling sales professionals? Having the right tool is the solution. Therefore, given the innovative nature of today’s disruptive technologies, it is becoming more and more apparent that a virtual sales coach platform will provide the answer.
A virtual sales coach serves managers, sellers and buyers.
Just like the microwave oven, virtual sales coaching is a tool that is right for its time. Gartner’s Director of Research and Advisory, Danielle McKinley says it best. “The changes over the last year are going to dictate how we engage customers going forward, and the research suggests that more buyers are craving virtual selling interactions.” Consequently, if your buyers want to buy virtually, then your sellers must adapt to virtual selling. This is not as easy as it sounds. Your sales team can no longer plug the gaps in the selling strategy. In other words, they need a comprehensive virtual sales coach platform that will help them compete in this new business environment.
Prepare your organization for virtual selling
According to McKinley’s research, 66% of challenges to virtual selling are internal. Taken to heart, this requires sales managers to lead the overhaul process. Providing guidance, the research highlighted three core metrics to help prepare reps for virtual selling:
1. Virtual customer engagement – The article suggests that sales managers provide real-world examples for sales reps to follow and to adapt to their personal style.
2. Digital dexterity – Software skills training in addition to knowledge of system integration is critical for virtual interactions.
3. Data literacy – First, understanding the depth of data available for customers and products is key. Second, sales managers need to teach their sales reps how to apply the data appropriately during customer engagement.
Creating smarter and more confident sellers
As any coach or parent knows, the best time to teach is in the moment and in context. In other words, everyone can use direction and positive reinforcement at the exact time when it makes a difference. With a virtual coach, sales managers can tap into computer-assisted intuition for timely teaching opportunities and training tune-ups. In addition to coaching to guide the right conversation, a virtual coach also facilitates actual learning, which leads to smarter, more confident sellers.
Sales microcoaching adapts to your organization
Advances in machine learning provide key insights and help to identify exactly what is needed and when. Moreover, learning and adopting effective behaviors doesn’t have to be 30- or 60-minute one-on-one conversations. Short bursts of information are much easier to absorb and improve the speed of acquiring knowledge. Sales microcoaching can also deliver material in short bursts exactly when needed. In-the-moment presentation of information also dramatically increases retention because there is such a heightened interest and motivation for paying attention. In conclusion, take time to diagnose the challenges your sales team is facing and find the best tools that address those challenges.
To learn more about effective sales coaching, check out the research we sponsored on Managers as Coaches in High-Performing Organizations.
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