AI is moving into more business use cases every day, and now it’s entering the field of employee training and sales training. It may be hard to believe if you think that only in-person human interaction can produce effective sales employees, but today’s next-generation AI-powered simulations and sales training programs can go a very long way towards taking over the heavy lifting of sales coaching.
Here are 6 ways that AI can make sales training more effective, more engaging, and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
For most sellers, it takes more than just one practice pitch for them to feel on top of their game. Sales professionals need to practice multiple times so that they can master the necessary skills, but sales managers don’t have that kind of time available. Even sending multiple recorded pitches uses up work time that sales managers need for other tasks.
But when you use an AI solution, sales professionals can repeat their pitch as many times as they like and whenever they like. An AI program won’t get impatient, run out of time, or be unavailable for a quick 5-minute review at 11pm. AI-powered sales coaching programs allow users to review material and practice conversations as often as it takes, and whenever the whim to practice hits.
Memorizing a list of product information, reading a sales deck, or even watching a video of the perfect sales call isn’t the same as being on a call yourself, no matter how many times you review it. Throwing someone into the deep end of a real sales conversation isn’t the best way to teach them to swim, and you may lose a few sales deals unnecessarily before they get the hang of it.
AI gives you a better alternative: create realistic sales training scenarios that put the sales representative through their paces without endangering either a sales deal, or their ego. Your sales teams can practice real life situations with a virtual customer to gain confidence and fluency before they speak to an actual human prospect.
In today’s post-COVID world of remote working, no one wants to be compelled to spend several hours or days sitting in a classroom at an in-person sales training program. Your sales employees have probably been working remotely for several months already and they’re not willing to change that just for a training session.
Virtual training programs powered by AI can be delivered remotely, no matter where the client is located. They could be at home, at the beach, or in the car hiding from their children (who are also home doing remote learning). The training experience is just as effective and engaging every time.
Unfortunately, humans aren’t as good at multitasking as we like to think. An in-person tutor isn’t always able to tell when trainees are focused and when their attention is wandering, or to listen to the sales employee’s pitch style and tone as well as making sure that they’ve covered all the relevant messaging points. When you’re hearing a practice pitch remotely, your ability to spot every lapse drops even more.
But that’s not a problem for AI. An AI simulation can track messaging, confidence, fluency, filler words, style, and more, all without hesitating on their side of the conversation. AI for sales training programs can also do a much better job of noticing employees who are disengaged or confused, and can automatically slow down the pace or switch to a different exercise that will be easier for them to follow.
Each employee has a different learning style, needs a different pace, and has a different level of background knowledge, but it’s not always possible to accommodate all their needs. With AI, however, it’s suddenly easy to prepare multiple different versions of your sales training program to cater to each individual’s learning preferences.
AI can also help you connect with sales professionals from any location. An increasingly remote workforce means you can hire talent anywhere in the world. AI can adapt on the fly to regional differences and conversational styles while training every sales employee to the same standard while.
Unless you have a very small sales team, you won’t be able to have the same person review every employee’s sales pitch. But if different sales managers listen to different employees, it’s tough to make sure that feedback is consistent. Actually, it’s impossible to maintain that consistency even if the same manager responds to every employee. Humans pick up on different things at different times, are more alert at some times than others, and have emotions that can get in the way of objectivity.
None of that is a problem when AI is responsible for the feedback. AI can create an objective scoring system and apply it dispassionately and equally to every employee. With an AI system, you can be sure that you’re providing each sales professional with targeted, consistent, and structured feedback that brings everyone to the same minimum level of competency, no matter where they start from.
As you can see, AI has a lot to give to sales training challenges. When you use AI-powered sales coaching programs, you can make your training more accessible, authentic, tailored, and accurate, and your feedback more appropriate, in order to raise the skill level among all your sales team and ultimately close more deals.
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