This excerpt from the STAR Sales Team Accelerator Retreat Executive MindXchange Chronicles document examines the role of technology in onboarding and training sales professionals. Manish Choudhary’s comprehensive presentation included evergreen perspectives and best practices for reading market trends and staying focused on your customer’s challenges for ultimate competitive advantage. 

SESSION ABSTRACT

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here. The connected future is taking shape faster than most businesses anticipated. Technology is not only impacting customer experiences, but also redefining the way sales teams are on-boarded and trained to create the best solutions for specific industries. This session drew upon case studies to illustrate the best practices that were employed to overcome the market challenges to create game-changing deal structures and win. Examples included a large automobile brands in the US where a virtual showroom for customers to experience the car was enabled and how a leading property insurance company used drones for assessment of the real estate

KEY TAKE-AWAYS

  • Perspective on market trends changing businesses to a model which is highly customer focused to drive growth and profitability
  • Guidelines to leverage digital technologies while training the new age sales force and on boarding customers
  • Insights from case studies; lessons learnt & success factors

There is such a great amount of change happening in our world and our marketing, what can we do? Even mundane things are monitored and analyzed. If you look at large enterprise clients there’s a huge amount of investment in where it’s going in the future.

Evolution of the revolution:

  • Agricultural revolution (hunter/gatherer)
  • Industrial revolution (water/power/electrical)
  • Information revolution (ability to automate)
  • Digital revolution

Change is constant, and when new companies start getting into your business, that’s major disruption for you. We live in an age of anytime commerce and instant gratification.

When products and services change, it’s called innovation. When new business models, practices and behaviors are created, it’s called transformation.

Billions of connected devices and data power are changing customer’s expectations. You can have a new interface, but if you’re not making a transformation, then you’re not making an impact. You can try to shape your sales team to understand what it means to the client, but a change in behavior and transformation is a huge task to undertake for anybody.

The speed of change in technology is a problem and an opportunity.  For example, more banks are becoming technology companies because the younger generations aren’t interested in working for the banks. The challenge of demographics is 2-fold: finding employees and staying relevant and in the game.

Examples of simplifying experiences with complex solutions:

  • A censor that monitors real-time data; a super enhanced motion sensor for patients
  • Proactively helps them improve their quality of care

TAKE-AWAY

Developing complex solutions is not easy to manage, and unprecedented change can be a huge problem from a client perspective.

Today, clients are challenged like never before by:

  • Technology
  • Demography
  • Velocity

As a salesperson, you can either be a partner to your clients, or a widget seller:

  • Embrace change
  • Enable transformation
  • Execution velocityThe front-end salesperson is no longer a widget salesperson. They can help clients drive execution. Reimagine onboarding:
  • Outside-in focused
  • Enables orchestration
  • Continuous
  • Goal based

ACTION ITEM

Clients are managing complex problems and looking for someone to aggregate things for them and for a way out. Clients often aren’t sure what to do…they spend months and months doing analysis. They go through months of meetings to implement changes and a lot of time is lost. Ask: as a sales person, are you focused outside of your organization? What’s happening in the market, what are the implications for clients, and what can you do about it? If you are aligned with your clients, your numbers will happen.

How is the connector incentivized? Make sure every leader is representing the client base. Key Elements:

  • Guide- Customer’s empowerment, corporation, and challenges
  • Goals- Understand client goals and success factors
  • Impact- Linear and nonlinear internal or external
  • Teams- Engage teams to drive specific goals
  • Partner- Coaching and grooming by 1000 leaders on an online platform

Don’t bother to invest in or fix legacy systems. Concentrate on helping clients create new products and services. An online platform can help bring together the team’s thought processes. 

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES

FUTURise Principles

  1. Create a better experience (hearts and minds)
  2. Disrupt (transform)
  3. Imagine (growth mindset)
  4. Rise (culture)

Instead of thinking about quotas, think about what you are doing to meet your clients’ goals. People who think outside of the box are the most successful. Bring in people who have a transformation mindset and imagine what the future can be. Rise is a mix of positive thinking. 

BEST PRACTICE

Continuous learning:

  • Create a learning platform
  • Try reverse mentoring (use a younger person to mentor a leader)
  • Engage with partners and startups, example: TechM growth factories
  • Consider crowdsourcing ideas to create impact

FINAL THOUGHT

You must spend time training your employees in new processes. The emphasis should be on getting your existing employees to change, and keep learning, so they can help your clients be successful.

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