This eBook outlines how a data-driven approach to sales readiness not only tells you if your reps are ready, but whether your readiness strategy is working.
If your organization doesn’t have specialized sales training software for your sales teams, you may be experiencing these struggles in your training process:
- Delivering new training material can be a slow and laborious process, making most training chronically out of date.
- There’s a lack of quick, on-demand learning for reps to lean on out in the field.
- There’s no way to evaluate if the training is helping reps in real-world selling scenarios.
In our experience working with many Fortune 100 companies and being in the industry since 1999, we’ve found that there are four factors to consider when choosing sales training software:
- Does the software make it really easy to quickly create interactive, video-based content?
- Does the software make it easy to deliver bite-sized training wherever the rep is located?
- Does the software provide a way for reps to prove they can apply what they’ve learned before they start meeting with clients?
- Does the software provide analytics and reporting on if the rep is ready to sell and how their performance in real-world scenarios correlates to their training performance?
This post will discuss how Brainshark, a Bigtincan company and our training and coaching solution, excels in the above four factors. Further, we’ll also look at four other sales training platforms to consider:
If you have questions about how Brainshark can help your sales associates train better, retain knowledge more than before, and apply what they learn while on-field, get them answered by booking a demo.
Factor #1: Easy content authoring so anyone can quickly create dynamic trainings to keep up with new product information
Training courses in most organizations are created by a designated team (HR, for example) which means any new training request gets put in a queue and can take weeks or months to complete.
This can be a problem for sales teams where product information is constantly changing. Often, by the time a sales training program is created, sales have been missed or the training is outdated.
Plus, these sales training courses exist in the form of dense PDFs, and never-ending PowerPoint Slides that: (1) Make it hard for reps to stay engaged throughout the entire training, and (2) Often produce low retention rates.
Brainshark’s content authoring makes it easy for subject matter experts or leading reps to create professional and engaging videos in under 10 minutes — even if they don’t have any technical expertise.
Instead of waiting in a long queue for new training, you can ask the most knowledgeable person on the matter to create the training. They can record their screen along with a video or audio of themselves which gives the presentation a personalized experience. You can add attachments, embed hyperlinks, and engage users with quizzes, surveys, and polls.
It is simple to edit or add new product info to existing content — thus keeping all information relevant and updated.
Once the content is created, reps can view the course on their Brainshark account in an intuitive and easy-to-navigate platform, where courses are searchable and filtered by industry, roles, or subject.
Factor #2: Quick, just-in-time learning that helps reps retain information and improve sales skills
Most traditional training programs are 30, 60, or 90 minutes long. This type of long-form training, though historically common, has actually been shown to have low engagement and retention rates compared to training delivered in shorter forms (often called “microlearning” or “just-in-time” learning).
It’s unlikely that the rep will remember everything presented in long form trainings, and, if they want to refer to a specific concept or detail, they would have to watch a 30 or 60-minute video again to hunt for the material they want to refresh.
As a result, we recommend short-form training (“just-in-time microlearning”).
For example, a 40-minute training on how to give a product pitch can be divided into five minute videos on individual aspects of the sales pitch (i.e., how to introduce the product, how to manage body language and objections, how to close the conversation, etc.).
Short training videos make it easier to:
- Work training into busy schedules which means reps are more likely to complete ongoing training in a timely manner without taking time away from sales.
- Retain information which means the training will be more effective and worthwhile.
- Find specific information to review before a sales call.
Additionally, Brainshark training is available offline and on nearly any mobile device. No matter where they are, sales reps can access any content they need. If a buyer asks something that the sales rep doesn’t know the answer to, they can say, “Give me a minute to check it out,” open Brainshark, and find the relevant info.
Factor #3: Video coaching that lets sales reps practice what they learn in a comfortable setting
To determine if reps have completed enough training and are ready for the field, many organizations adopt a “check-the-box” strategy (i.e. if all training is completed, the rep is ready to sell). This type of strategy provides little insight into how the rep will apply these trainings in real-life situations.
Sales managers often solve this problem by doing mock practice with sales reps via video coaching. Most tools offer a video coaching feature, however, many are limited in their assessments.
For example, they can’t measure the number of filler words used by the rep or provide an unbiased (i.e., AI-powered) assessment of the overall impression (e.g., confident, aggressive, friendly, etc.).
Brainshark’s video coaching helps ensure your reps have mastered the pitch and can handle any objection with machine analysis and readiness scorecards.
Here’s how it works:
Managers can ask reps to complete a video assignment (e.g., submit your best recording of a pitch for our new product), which will appear as a new training on the reps homescreen. Then, reps can use their webcam to record a video or upload an already recorded video from their system.
With ‘Practice Fields’, reps have the option to create multiple takes of the video. Brainshark stores all these takes and allows reps to submit their best take as a completed assignment.
Before they submit the video for official review, they can choose to send the pitch to their peers or team members. This gives them the opportunity to work on peer feedback and submit a better version of the pitch for an official review.
After sales leaders receive the submission and complete their own evaluation, they can use Brainshark’s machine analysis to answer questions such as:
- Which emotions were portrayed from the rep’s facial expressions (e.g., 90% of facial expressions portrayed happiness and 10% frustration)?
- What words did the rep use the most and how many filler words did they use?
- Were certain words included (such as product names or features) and other words avoided (such as outdated product names or cliche selling terms)?
- How fast were they talking overall and was it evenly paced throughout?
- How clear was their message based on the level of speech used?
Brainshark’s coaching feature helps reps master key messages while having a safe, comfortable environment to practice. It also helps sales coaches and managers provide more relevant coaching activities and save time on reviewing with the help of machine analysis feedback.
Factor #4: Readiness scorecards to identify skill gaps and correlate real world performance with training
Readiness scorecards offer complete visibility into whether sales reps are ready to engage with prospects in the field. They can help identify selling skill gaps and understand how performance is tied to training.
With Readiness Scorecards, sales leaders can:
1. Visualize which reps are progressing well in learning activities and which reps still have a lot of training to complete.
2. Track activities like who completed the most courses, who scored the highest, finished first, etc.
3. Compare performance between reps and teams.
4. Check if some reps have missed any important courses and remind coaches if they haven’t completed their reviews on time.
If sales leaders notice that a sales rep isn’t able to book deals, they can tie the rep’s performance to the fact that they didn’t complete the course on how to provide selling value.
Brainshark scorecards also offer integrations with Salesforce or any CRM that your organization uses. This way, you can automate reports that show the impact of your sales techniques and ROI. Without these, sales managers can spend hours manually entering data to create a report.
For example, Abbott Structural Heart, a company that features products that treat structural heart diseases, had no way to measure the value training was creating for their 330+ field sales members in the U.S.
With Brainshark video coaching and readiness scorecards, Abbott could measure the granular levels of detail like skill gaps and gauge if reps were able to apply training in real-life selling situations. Abbott scaled Brainshark to 1,100 reps globally to help enhance their reps sales performance.
If you want to know how Brainshark can be customized to suit your sales training programs, you can schedule a demo now.
A popular sales software for onboardingnew hires, Mindtickle’s focus is coaching and performance management (Factor #3).
Mindtickle is unique in its offering of heatmaps that track individual and team progress in real-time. Additionally, learning paths can be shown in exclusive themes, like a mountain.
Mindtickle also offers a Sales Readiness Index that helps sales leaders and managers understand the competencies of sales representatives, guide them through the organization’s sales processes, and identify top sales performers (Factor #4).
Mindtickle offers a content authoring feature that allows for collaboration on any piece of content (Factor #1).
A virtual elearning and sales enablement platform, Allego offers a powerful onboarding experience for reps. Though online courses can be created in any format (Factor #1), Allego's main focus is effective sales training through videos.
Allego also offers conversational analytics like pace and speed of talking. But it doesn’t offer emotional analytics like the energy of the speaker or measure how happy or dull the rep was while pitching (Factor #4).
Allego is a good choice for sales organizations that want to work with video on every step of their training to help reps acquire new skills — from onboarding to the whole coaching journey.
Lessonly is a learning management system (LMS) by Seismic. With Lessonly, organizations can create lessons and share them with the learners. Trainers can create lessons in the form of flip cards, documents, Q&As, and videos. In addition, with role-plays and certification pathways, learners are kept engaged (Factor #1).
Trainers can get data on what terms learners are searching for the most. They can also understand what terms show ‘no results’.
This helps organizations create content and online sales training materials that can satisfy learners’ intent, thus enhancing their learning experiences. It also measures “Learner’s Satisfaction” which helps course creators understand how useful their content is to sales professionals.
Gong offers conversational intelligence that analyzes video calls, emails, and phone calls and converts them into valuable reports (Factor #4).
Though it records live sales calls and sends feedback to the salespeople, it’s a very delayed process — by the time the rep gets the feedback, they’ve already made or lost the sale.
Gong’s core factor is ‘Revenue Intelligence’ which has three parts:
- Deal Intelligence: Identify red flags, risks, and churn signals in deals and entire sales cycles.
- Team Intelligence: Identify best practices from the most successful reps and pass it on to others. On this basis, sales leaders offer customized coaching to enhance reps’ performances.
- Market Intelligence: Capture buyer conversations and analyze what’s working and what’s not. Shows what issues are being discussed most by the buyers to stay ahead of the competition and close deals better.
Facilitate your reps to improve their sales techniques with Brainshark
Brainshark’s sales training software enables you to keep up with quickly changing product information, have confidence that your new sales reps are ready to sell, and find correlations between sales performance and training.
Ready to give Brainshark a try for your organization’s training solutions? Book a demo now.