2016 goes down as the year next generation sales productivity became more mainstream for sales, marketing, and customer teams. We saw huge investments by companies to make training, onboarding, and knowledge sharing more efficient and effective. We saw a rise in technology inspired sales training and sales onboarding with social learning, bite-sized content, and mobile-enabled best practice sharing. We saw revenue outcomes tied to sales productivity initiatives dramatically improve time to first deal, time to quota, win rates, and sales cycle time.

We ran an analysis across all of our SalesHood customers and subscribers to uncover the most engaging sales productivity initiatives resulting in positive revenue outcomes. We measure engagement by levels of coaching activity, peer reviews, user generated content, and video views. Revenue outcomes are derived from correlations between sales productivity programs and measured results. The data set analyzed spans 15,000 members, millions of coaching moments, and billions of dollars of deals. You can get a glimpse of the data set by clicking here.

Our “Sales Productivity Best of 2016” list represents what greatness looks like for training, onboarding, and knowledge sharing.

Sales Productivity Best Of #1: Corporate Pitch Certifications

Aligning sales and marketing by getting teams on message with corporate pitch presentations is the top sales productivity initiative. It’s as much top down as it is bottoms up since individuals are spending hours watching each other’s video presentations and best practices. For every corporate pitch certification, salespeople practiced five times, peer reviewed ten times, and watched over twenty peer presentations. Teams also ran corporate pitch and elevator pitch practice before customer conferences.

Revenue Outcome: On average, 60% reduction in time to quota

Sales Productivity Best of #2: Sales Process & Sales Skill Role-Plays

We saw tens of thousands of videos uploaded and hundreds of thousands of peer coaching activities and reviews on elevator pitches, voicemails, discovery calls, objection handling simulations, customer calls, and demonstrations. Some videos were role-plays and many were actual live customer calls too. Most of the sales productivity work was early stage, front of funnel. More advanced teams with complex B2B sales processes also spent a lot of time practicing, and sharing late stage, back of the funnel executive customer presentations for review and best practice sharing. We expect more sales process and sales skills work in 2017.

Revenue Outcome: 40%+ improvement in deal win rates

Sales Productivity Best Of #3: Customer Storytelling

Many engaged quota carrying sales teams and sales support teams in the art of storytelling to make customer engagement more engaging, creative, and compelling. Getting teams to practice their stories helped accelerate deals and also crowdsourced a library of best practices for future new hires to learn from and execute.

Revenue Outcome: Reduced sales cycle times and reduced time to ramp

Sales Productivity Best Of #4: Product Training & Pricing Updates

Companies realized faster time to revenue and more self-sourced pipeline by launching product playbooks with bite-sized content and knowledge checks to accelerate sales training. We’re seeing the rise of sales training on ROI, TCO, and pricing calculators. Mapping product training to value based training was a big driver of sales productivity tens of thousands of hours of learning and best practice sharing.

Revenue Outcome: Bigger deals and less discounting

Sales Productivity Best Of 2016 #5: Deal Win Video Storytelling

The days of sending out deal win emails and waiting for a sales kick offs to share winning deal stories is becoming a dated practice. The most innovative companies are capturing video deal win stories as they happen.

Revenue Outcome: faster time to revenue and time to first deal

Have a happy, healthy, and productive 2017.

We wish you and your teams great revenue and productivity outcomes in 2017.

Here’s a 2016 gratitude video from us to you.