Five benefits of digitally transforming your sales program

null

Today products are changing and evolving at a rapid pace, and with that, so are the sales promotions that go along with them. This frequent release and promotions cadence challenges sales teams to keep up with new features, product updates and even pricing. It’s critical that organizations have an easy way to provide sales professionals with the information they need, when they need it and receive ongoing data and feedback so they can identify knowledge gaps and fix them.  

Unfortunately, many enterprises struggle to keep their field representatives up to date with the latest product offerings and pricing with manual training tactics, such as classroom lectures and printed manuals, and they have yet to realize how digitally transforming their sales team can bring great benefit to the entire organization.

Recent Dell EMC research further highlights the importance of digital transformation. Specifically, the study found  digitized businesses are 22 times more likely to be ahead of their competitors when bringing new products to market, especially as 88 percent of companies are under pressure to increase the rate at which they deliver new products and services.

Dabur, the world’s largest ayurvedic and natural healthcare company, reflects the benefits of evolving to digital sales learning. An international organization, it has about 1,500 sales reps distributed across multiple geographical regions visiting small businesses daily–requiring the latest information on more than 400 products in 21 categories at all times. Its sales capability team needed to upgrade their sales readiness and enablement tools to meet the needs of their dispersed reps, and get its sales systems matched to the broader digitization efforts underway across the entire enterprise. 

This required a full digital transformation of the sales process—meaning transitioning existing manual, classroom-based processes to ongoing, readily available digital processes accessible by reps on their mobile devices in the field. By digitizing the sales program, enterprises can realize a slew of benefits beyond increased sales numbers. Below are five that Dabur experienced, which has created a stronger and more successful sales team: 

1. Simplified processes for certification 

Digitizing the sales training and enablement systems simplifies the certification process by allowing performance and evaluation to occur through audio or video recordings, instead of in-person testing. Progress can also be tracked and monitored via a single platform, where previous certification processes were manual. 

What’s more, a simplified certification process means your reps benefit with higher commissions. For instance, Dabur’s reps that excelled in the certification program made 39 percent more commission than those that didn’t. 

2. Increased time efficiency 

Providing digital resources prior to necessary in-person lectures and trainings minimizes time spent in lectures. A digital enablement system allows for pre-work before in-person meetings, so that any face-to-face time can be maximized and dedicated to discussion and practice. As well, digitization allows for the provision of bite-sized learning and reinforces lessons learned during live sessions.

Digital sales enablement systems also encourage timely feedback from managers and reps. Reps can record their practice pitches, demos or other skills to submit for feedback, to which coaches or managers can provide timely input, reinforcing correct behaviors and preventing the development of poor ones. 

3. Personalization and flexibility 

With easily accessible digital content and micro-learning sessions that fit in busy schedules, digital learning facilitates better personalization and makes it possible for individuals to progress at their own pace and become routine.

And because the time to learn and practice is flexible, there’s no excuse for reps and trainees not to complete designated tasks on an ongoing basis, as it easily fits into any schedule and anywhere. The ability to track rep engagement with lessons and other activities ensures there is complete transparency regarding what and when something has been accomplished. The benefit is two-fold: it allows sales managers to quickly view the correlation between their reps’ training performance and the impact on other business goals, while also amplifying where rep capability white-spaces may exist. 

4. Facilitates best practice sharing 

With a digital platform available on any device at any time, reps and managers now have the tools to reference and share a library of best practices, making examples and anecdotes easily accessible–no matter their location. This means teams can share their successful strategies and outcomes to increase their overall team productivity and win-rates. As an example, Dabur uses their knowledge bank to share product information, sales processes and additional sales collateral.   

5. Always current 

Digital lessons are easy to update and save companies from physically distributing manuals or materials, which are costly and can delay access for reps and coaches to necessary materials. With a digital platform, organizations can share critical, internal product and market changes in real time without taking reps and management out of the field and bringing them back to headquarters. As an example, Dabur was able to reduce their communication cycle of new information from two weeks to just two hours with a digital sales enablement program.

By transitioning to a digital, always-available system, Dabur is keeping its reps up to date with the latest product features, pricing and promotions, without pulling them from the field and putting them in a classroom setting–saving time and money. Dabur was able to increase participation and completion of crucial updates to 95 percent after implementing a digital, readily-available sales enablement program.   

As enterprises look to follow the steps of Dabur and digitally transform their businesses, prioritizing ease and accessibility of the platform for global sales teams will benefit the broader organization with increased sales, improved revenues and stronger sales reps.  

Pat Lynch, VP of Enablement Excellence and Innovation at MindTickle 

Image Credit: Wichy / Shutterstock