5 Ways to Drive Rep Adoption for Sales Coaching Technology

March 06, 2017 | Lauren Brousell
5 Ways to Drive Rep Adoption for Sales Coaching Technology

Studies show that companies with a dynamic sales coaching strategy can see increased win rates of as much as 28%. With results like that, it’s no wonder why more organizations today are making the investment in sales coaching technology to power those strategies.

Of course, as with any software solution, deploying the technology without full participation of your team won’t guarantee success.

That’s why when rolling out a sales coaching solution, sales enablement leaders and sales managers should have a dedicated adoption process that’s custom-made for their sales team. This process doesn’t have to involve rigid training courses, but it should get reps acquainted and ready to use the solution. Without buy-in from your reps, you risk losing their interest and – even worse – fail to see the full return form your investment.

With that in mind, here are 5 ways to drive adoption of sales coaching technology:

1. Model the solution for them

Sales coaching technology helps reps practice and master the skills and messages needed to succeed. For example, a coaching solution might empower managers to facilitate virtual assignments or ‘challenges’ for reps to complete, such as recording a 30-second elevator pitch.

But you don’t want to just start sending out challenges to reps and hope for the best. This is new behavior that your team might not be used to, after all. So to ensure adoption, it’s a good idea to model the technology for your team first.

In other words, show them how to use the solution from a tactical perspective. If you’re using your coaching technology to send challenges for reps to complete over video, create your own sample video first as an opportunity to show them what an ideal response looks like. This way, they’ll know how to get started when it’s time for them to complete a real challenge.

2. Remember – power is in the practice

The more reps practice with the sales coaching tool, the better they will be and the more they will understand its value.

You could aim to have them use the solution in some sort of cadence. For example, send out a daily challenge every day for a week and have managers evaluate the responses. To get them started, you could ask them to record something simple each time, such as describing their job to someone at a cocktail party. The next week, have them move on to demonstrate the uses of different features within the tool, ensuring that by the end of the practice period they’ve used each feature at least once.

3. Have fun with it

In the same way your managers should learn the technology through fun challenges, you can do the same thing with reps. Keep things light by sending out a variety of challenges developed around fun and relatable topics. For example, use questions like, “What’s one song on your playlist you’re embarrassed about?” or “What was your most embarrassing moment on a sales call?” This can help reps immediately engage with the technology in a fun way, and get past the initial embarrassment or shyness of recording themselves on video and the fear of being evaluated by managers and peers.

4. Introduce the formal use cases once your team is ready

Once you’ve done a series of easy, fun challenges, it’s time to graduate to formal challenges. Prepare your reps by letting them know that these will be more structured and they will be graded and given feedback based on their performance.

For example, ask them to demo a new product or describe how they would communicate your product’s value proposition. Since they’ve already completed fun challenges, they’ll know how the technology works so the tool itself won’t present any obstacles. This way they can focus on the content of the challenge and fulfilling the criteria.

5. Avoid the obstacles to adoption

Anytime you introduce new technology there will be resistance to change – it’s human nature. It’s your job as sales enablement leaders to combat this.

When introducing sales coaching to your culture, reps may fear being out of their comfort zone or feel sensitive about being evaluated by others. They may also see technology training as taking away from their selling time and productivity.

Acknowledge and address the obstacles, but emphasize how the solution will ultimately help them become more successful salespeople. Show them examples of how sales coaching technology can help them sharpen necessary skills, such as value messages or product knowledge, as well as how the tool can result in greater productivity and more closed deals for the sales organization as a whole.

For more on sales enablement and readiness technology, check out these related posts:

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