Accelerating sales onboarding at a major software company

BY:  Rebecca Herson
October 21, 2021

At the Sales 3.0 Conference, Gerhard Gschwandtner, the well-known sales expert, spoke with the head of sales enablement at a fast-growing software company, together with Second Nature CEO Ariel Hitron, to talk about the ways they use AI-based sales coaching software to drastically improve their sales onboarding.

Both Gerhard and his guest agreed that onboarding for a large group of over 250 sales employees is a big challenge, and AI solutions like Second Nature are the way to surmount it.

The Challenge of Sales Onboarding in a Rapidly Changing Industry

The biggest challenges for onboarding new sales hires at scale is a lack of time and resources, according to the head of sales enablement leader who spoke at the event. “From a sales management perspective you know that it’s always a challenge dedicating time to managing your territory and your current team, and splitting that between getting your new hires ramped up quickly,” the sales enablement professional pointed out.

Sales managers simply don’t have the time to give each new hire the targeted review they need to grow in confidence and improve their skills, she said, which creates frustration and disappointment for all concerned.

She added that these shortcomings don’t only affect new hires. Their industry is rapidly changing, so the company is always developing new products and updating its messaging. As a result, there’s always something new to learn, even for experienced sales employees.

In her words, “we’re constantly innovating in our solutions, and our messaging is always evolving,” which requires ongoing sales training.

AI-based Sales Coaching Makes Everyone Happy

The speaker had a big smile on her face as she reported that Second Nature’s AI sales coach, Jenny, gives her teams the tools they need to overcome these challenges. “It’s definitely important that teams are using the right tools and delivering the right training to those new hires initially.”

Jenny’s personalized feedback is timely and targeted, addressing multiple aspects of the user’s sales pitch, which helps save time for sales managers while giving sales employees the support they need to excel. “The feedback is a way for Jenny to score the sales reps on a variety of different aspects of the pitch and provide sales managers with a dashboard that they can go in and review, which saves a significant amount of time,” she said.

Gerhard himself underlined another major advantage to working with Jenny; it’s simply fun for sales employees. A good onboarding solution should be fun, he points out.

In response to Gerhard’s question about who is happier about the benefits provided by Second Nature’s Jenny – the managers, who save time for other tasks, or the sales reps, who gain more confidence – the head of sales enablement had no hesitation. “I’d say both,” she replied firmly.

Opening Up Opportunities for Education

In the session, Gerhard and Ariel agreed that it can be tough to teach sales employees better ways to carry out a sales pitch, especially if they’ve been in the business for a few years. “In sales, many of us just think we know. I don’t need to be coached. I just know,” Ariel admitted. Gerhard agreed, saying “I remember when I trained salespeople, I was always surprised by the illusions about their own competence.”

This is another advantage to using AI-based sales coaching. The process is confidential and safe, so sellers can try their capabilities without human judgement. When Jenny points out that there are holes in their pitch presentation, that’s the moment that the user is open to watching a video or learning a better method, and the system pushes one at just that moment.

As Gerhard said, “I think this is the greatest benefit of what [Second Nature is] doing in the market. You show salespeople that there is a better way.”

Moving Forward with AI-based Onboarding

The software company is looking forward to putting Second Nature to use for more purposes within the company. They are planning to leverage Jenny to create a complete product introduction program for ongoing certification and sales training that can keep sales employees up to date about the latest products and messaging.

“Jenny will help our global sales team master everything from the elevator pitch to objection handling, delivering proof points, and all key conversations related to that in products,” the head of sales enablement said.

AI-based Onboarding Is Efficient and Fun

In general, Gerhard and the head of sales enablement that he interviewed both valued the way AI-based sales training saves time for sales managers and offers an effective and fun learning experience for new sales employees.

See what Gerhard Gschwandtner has to say about Second Nature below.

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About the author

Rebecca Herson

Rebecca is head of marketing at Second Nature.

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