The Top 100 Digital Employers in Colorado

Published by Garrett Reim | Built in Colorado

We’re happy to share Built In Colorado’s first ever ‘Top 100 Digital Companies’ list. The list catalogs Colorado’s top 100 employers in digital tech and shows an industry that has changed enormously in the last 10 years.

22 percent of the ‘Top 100’ companies have been around for less than five years and 51 percent have been around for less than 10 years. In total, the top 100 companies employ 10,523 people, an enormous sum considering how young many of them are…

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Why Should Messaging Be the Centerpiece of Your Certification?

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Certification is used by many sales organizations as a critical tool in developing sales skills and passing along product knowledge. Despite many companies talking about it, though, few do it well. At the center of any effective certification program is the message – what reps actually say in front of customers and what’s often referred to as “the moment of truth”.

Unfortunately, messaging is typically defined as a marketing exercise, developed between sales and marketing leadership and passed to reps through static content. Reps are then expected to internalize the message on their own time.

Message Development and its Challenges

What breaks in this approach?

On top of knowing products and services, reps need to know how best to position the options – it starts with an ability to frame the problem. The message represents the company’s stance in the market, and if any part of it is not clearly delivered, your positioning is lost with it. When organizations don’t verify that reps can deliver the message, the chance that anyone but top performers will deliver it effectively are low.

Why does this happen?

CEB research notes that reps spend an average of 19 hours a year on product training, with only 14 hours spent on sales and skill training. When reps can’t articulate the value proposition, everything you’ve built breaks at a place we call “The Last Mile.”

Making messaging the centerpiece of your sales certification program can help solve this issue.

1. Messaging Helps Define the “Buying Vision”

Research suggests that buyers are nearly 60% through the sales process before even speaking to a rep, so it follows that reps should just move to educating prospects on what their product does, right? WRONG! Reps need to educate the customer on why they need to change behavior and clearly establish the problem is worth solving to make features and benefits meaningful.

2. Share Tribal Knowledge by Working with the Field

Your top performers and senior reps know how to tweak your messaging in the field, but it may not be what marketing is suggesting. Bringing the field into the discussion ensures you get buy in for the message you’re looking to certify the team on, not the one they fall back toward.

3. Align Messaging to Different Stages in Your Sales Process

Messaging should be designed to help us sell more. While reps normally understand the connections between the content and resources they use and how it impacts their quota, they may not immediately see how certification and messaging help them sell. Break your key messages down by different stages of the sales process to show how a message helps advance a deal from one stage to the next. Now you’ve got the team’s attention, and they can use the tools that you’ve invested in to drive real success.

4. Have Reps Practice

Messaging won’t be absorbed without repetition. And that repetition can’t just happen in the field when the pressure is on. Reps need a safe and confident place to get comfortable with the sales training you’re asking them to execute.

To have reps internalize the core concepts and be able to relate the messaging effectively (and thus pass certification), reps will need to practice it multiple times. The result is not only a certified rep, but also behavioral change that you can expect will last.

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Sales Enablement Choices

Published by Brian Groth | LinkedIn

The market for sales enablement solutions is exploding, and as the sales enablement manager at Xactly, I’ve been trying to keep track of the different options available to me. I organize them into a few different buckets, but I’m not even including the variety of marketing automation solutions here, which is arguably related to sales enablement too. So while the solution providers I list is only a subset of what’s available in the market, as you can see, it is getting crowded…

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Your Millennial Hires Still Aren’t Responding to Sales Onboarding

A recent post by River Software shared what every sales onboarding leader and trainer already knows: millennials, typically the new hire age group, are no longer responding to the normal sales onboarding model. River’s ideas are correct: the new era of reps do not respond to the standard classroom model, learn best from their peers, and more closely look for opportunities for continued growth.

Your new reps are coming from this generation. Millennials are different, and your sales training and onboarding processes need to change to meet their needs.

Relying on the old onboarding and training process simply fails to cater to new hire needs. The millennial approach to learning is the new normal, making it imperative to adapt. Three things that we typically fail to offer in training are still preventing millennial success in your organization.

1. Adapt to New Technologies

Millennials are born and raised in an era with increasingly social and mobile technologies. The average day for a new hire is spent tweeting, snapping, and sharing, a deeply social exercise that is the new normal in sharing information. You need to embrace a social sales training solution that combines things like sharing, video, and collaboration to drive the most learning. The science backs the model – “education and training” are the preferred uses of video in the enterprise by 48% of executives, according to Cisco. Get ahead of the curve.

2. Flip the Classroom

This goes beyond River’s suggestion to “[include] other activities from across the 70-20-10 learning continuum.” Reps learn best when they study and practice on their time, coming together with peers and mentors to reinforce learning with more practice. The flipped classroom model drives the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that are becoming increasing popular in training, and offer more chances for learning and absorption. It’s time to rethink onboarding to adapt.

3. Be Social

Reps have historically been far too isolated after initial onboarding – part of the same team but individually required to hit the number and succeed. The result is that reps are left without resources to grow, learn from peers, and access sales tribal knowledge.

Millennial reps want ways to share and work with their peers first. Use video and the web to give reps their own portal, where they can share ideas and more fluidly learn from their peers. Get creative by creating a YouTube Channel or use in house technology like Salesforce’s Chatter to encourage the the kind of teamwork that creates a winning environment. Be forewarned…these resources must be managed if you do not have a purpose-built solution.

Learn How to Flip Your Onboarding Program with CommercialTribe.

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