Sales managers tend to believe they do a good job helping sellers solve problems and coaching them to build their capabilities. However, only 32% of sales managers are effective in getting maximum performance from sellers.
It’s always important to remember: if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. If you want your sellers to perform at the peak of their potential, it’s essential to know the specific objectives you need to help your team achieve, and to map out the road that will help them achieve those objectives.
Think for a minute about your sales team. Is everyone doing everything they possibly can right now to succeed at their maximum potential? Is everyone on the team completely dialed in, doing everything they should and nothing they shouldn’t? Do they have all the right skills across the sales cycle? Have they completely taken the lead on their own development? Are they motivated and productive?
For many, the transition to virtual selling went something like this: one minute you were a basketball superstar with pretty good moves and a decent field goal percentage. Then you were thrust into a baseball game, handed a glove, and told to win. On a completely different field. Requiring a completely different skillset.
Virtual meetings are now part of our everyday reality. Even in situations where you’re able to meet with some folks in person, you’re still likely to face a high number of virtual meetings on your calendar. This isn’t going to change any time soon. The way the world does business has shifted drastically in light of the pandemic. Even when it’s safe to do so, we’re likely to see many people continuing to work remotely because technology and processes have been put in place to make it a viable long-term option.
In a meeting with a top sales officer at a large company just before Coronavirus, we were discussing virtual training. He said, “I’m just not into virtual training.” I asked, “Why’s that?” He responded, “It can be really challenging, from a seller’s perspective, to make it relevant in their world. Having them sit in front of a computer screen with content fed at them isn't a dynamic learning experience. I don’t see our sellers doing that or getting anything out of it.”
Engagement Threshold (noun): The point at which attention is captured and maintained, and below which is lost. We teach the concept of the engagement threshold to sellers that need to hold buyers’ attention in virtual sales meetings. When we teach it to sellers, we need to gain and keep their attention. It’s never been easy, but in a virtual environment, it’s significantly more difficult.
We’re asked all the time about which platform for use for virtual instructor-led training (VILT). With all of the choices out there—Zoom, Adobe Connect, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, GoToWebinar, On24, etc.—which one is best? Like any good consultant, my answer to this question is, “It depends.” There isn't a straightforward answer because different platforms excel at different things. At RAIN Group, we’re platform agnostic and don't promote one platform over another. We partner with our clients to determine which platform is right for them and what they're looking to do. There are, however, three key considerations for platform selection.
Ask the question, “What needs to happen at your company for successful virtual training now that sellers are working remote?” and you’re likely to get answers like this: Facilitators need to engage participants Content needs to be relevant to the buyers and scenarios sellers face Sellers need to practice the new skills Training needs to be dynamic and interactive It's a nice list, but not unique to virtual instructor-led training (vILT).