SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform

Sales Enablement Strategy: How To Get Teams Up To Speed Faster?

  • by Elay Cohen
  • September 14, 2015

Thank you to InsideSales for hosting the sales acceleration Virtual Sales Summit. We had over eighty thought leaders and amazing speakers and last I checked close to 30,000 attendees. Congratulations! My talk focused on one of the most important sales enablement priorities: Getting teams up to speed faster. There’s no question to me that this is a top priority for every CEO, CRO, and CMO on the planet. The idea of getting sales teams up to speed, keeping reps up to speed, and ramping reps faster transcends industry and size of company.  Who doesn’t want their sales teams to hit quota faster?

In my former role as Senior Vice President, Sales Productivity, at Salesforce, we onboarded and trained over 7,500 sales professionals and customer facing employees under my watch. After I left, the big question I wanted to answer was how to do this at scale. The answer: Harness the energy of peer-to-peer. Who doesn’t want to hear how top performers pitch and close deals?

Salespeople are hungry to learn from each other.

There are four areas to employ a culture of peer-to-peer best practice sharing. Each one alone will have a material impact on revenue.  Executed together will result in hyper-growth scale, way beyond you wildest dream.  They are:

  1. Onboarding
  2. Ongoing Team Development
  3. Product Launches
  4. Sales Execution

Onboarding – > ROI: Fast Ramp

If there is one thing you do to up-level your onboarding, it is to capture your top performers recording their firsts. Think about how valuable it would be if you have your top performing sales executives share their first elevator pitch, first discovery call, first demo, first executive presentation, and first pricing conversation. You’ll build your own productivity machine like we did at Salesforce and like we’re doing at InsideSales. Turn these “firsts” into a structured onboarding program with role-playing, mentoring, and weekly milestones.

Ongoing Team Development – > Time to Revenue

Make every moment a learning moment for your sales teams. Don’t rely on your sales kick-off events or training workshops as the only source of team development. We all know what happens at sales kick-off events. We also know that there is very limited ROI in putting your reps in a training workshop for a few days. Nothing is retained. Don’t waist your money. The secret is to have your first line sales managers use their weekly team meetings to focus on coaching and ongoing team development with a strong emphasis on peer-to-peer best practice sharing. Sales teams will help each other if they are lead by a strong sales manager and are provided the right structure to share feedback.

Product Launches – >  Time to Market

We all know how products are launched. PDF Playbook documents are created and shared and maybe an all hands call happens. The way to scale your product managers and to achieve a fast time market with your product launches is to have your teams practice their pitches, customer storytelling, and role-play customer conversations and objection handling.  Have product managers create engaging playbooks for your teams to review in weekly team meetings.  Remember, the key here is how to get sales teams up to speed faster and at scale.

Sales Execution – >  Sales Cycle Time

Applying principles of peer-to-peer to deal reviews, account planning, and loss reviews is a proven way to improve pipeline quality and reduce sales cycle time. Forecast and pipeline review calls are important and only part of the equation. Have sales teams score each other on the qualification of their deals and strategic direction of their account plans.  It’s much more impactful if your peer tells you the deal isn’t going to happen versus a manager. We can help each other get rid of our happy ears.

My thirteen minute video talk goes into much more detail. The recording of my talk is available below. There is a hunger in the sales world for more peer-to-peer best practice sharing. Our collective task is to figure out how to scale our vision.

What are your secrets to get your sales teams up to speed faster? 

How have you employed peer-to-peer in your sales culture and go to market?

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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