It’s a sad truth, but accepting it is the first step to doing something about it. You’ve spent hours in meetings to decide on the precise terminology of your new messaging, reviewed a bunch of new sales productivity tools, and then invested your budget in a fancy launch event to communicate it to your team. You even dedicated an entire SKO, or run a whole week of training programs, but one month down the line it’s like nothing has changed.
Unfortunately, this is part of human nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to make your peace with it and leave your sales teams out in the field to dictate your messaging. Advanced AI-based sales coaching tools can help.
Sales productivity & the perfect message
Everyone involved in sales has a shared goal, increase sales productivity. Unfortunately, once new messaging is delivered, most sales teams aren’t using all the new materials and pitching the products in the way that sales enablement had planned.
“But what can I do about it?”
Valid question, sure. Let’s start with establishing the baseline. If you were to summon five sales reps at random and ask them to deliver the new company messaging, could they explain it flawlessly and confidently? Everybody saying exactly the same thing…probably not and that’s just a small sample group.
Mastering and retelling the right messaging is far more difficult than learning lists of new features and versions. There’s a good chance that they never internalized and understood it fully in the first place. Perhaps there are too many new products and features, not enough time, limited supporting materials, or not enough practice time. Accurate knowledge retention and the ability to explain it to someone else takes time, understanding, and practice.
Repetition and active learning are key
It’s human nature to forget new material. You know that, but you might not realize just how quickly the average person forgets something new. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist, proved that students forget fully 75% of new material just one day after they learned it. He called it the “forgetting curve,” but he also found that by reviewing the material regularly, you can significantly increase the amount that’s retained and slow down the process of forgetting.
On top of that, humans find change difficult, scary and challenging, so we prefer to avoid it as long as possible. Sales reps generally don’t feel confident about communicating a new pitch or narrative unless they understand it fully, and it takes more than a single SKO or a week of training to achieve that. People tend to stick to what they know they can handle.
If you want your sales professionals to get to sales productivity with the new messages, you need them to practice communicating the new messaging many times over, far more than you could enable in a single SKO or a week of training. Simply hearing someone else tell you how to do something is far less effective than doing it yourself.
Enable enough selling practice, keep engagement high
But it’s not easy to enable this type of repetitive learning using conventional methods, both in terms of time and keeping salespeople engaged in the process.
Few organizations have enough sales managers with enough time on their hands to repeatedly practice role playing with their sales teams, or even to review and send feedback on recorded practice pitches. You need a way to encourage your sales teams to rehearse their pitches over and over again, and also to deliver consistent and useful feedback that points out their weak points and helps to strengthen them.
AI for sales productivity
Technology can help, in the form of one of the newest sales productivity tools to be created, with the help of artificial intelligence. AI to the rescue, in the form of a very sophisticated, but surprisingly simple to use, AI sales coaching.
Top sales teams are using this technology to solve the big challenges in business:
2. Human Resources
AI has all the time in the world, it’s always available and it isn’t human so you never need to ask if “Is Jenny in today?” because all the Jenny’s are always in …she/they love this stuff!
Jenny, by way of introduction, is the Second Nature AI-powered sales training bot. Jenny creates realistic simulations that make sales professionals feel as though they’re talking with a lead, but with the added bonus that the program is constantly noting the seller’s tone, wording, and confidence (yep, she listens and comments). Jenny adds leading nuggets of information during the pitch to remind sellers if they forgot to cover any points, and at the end of each session, she provides targeted feedback and accurate scoring.
Sales productivity delivers training and coaching all year round
When there is an opportunity to receive coaching and to practice working on message delivery and pitching, people get better. This can be done with a really large staff with time to invest in it for one-on-ones and it can be done with AI-based sales coaching tools.
Feel free to learn how Jenny and the Sales Coaching AI from Second Nature can help your team to enhance their pitch skills and internalize new messaging all year long.