The Evolution of Sales Enablement with Hybrid Work

By Elay Cohen
Download enablement plan
Download enablement plan

Hybrid work is accelerating change, and now the world of sales enablement is evolving before our eyes. As a result, sales leaders and enablement practitioners need the tools, guidance and strategies to keep their teams trained, connected, and effective. Read through this blog to understand the new world of enablement, why it’s changing so quickly, and what you need to do to keep pace.

Employee Productivity Industry Insights

To kick things off and to get everyone on the same page, here are some insights into what’s happening in the industry right now.

48% of employees will likely work remotely after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic

The simple fact is, more employees want to work from home. For companies to win the war on talent and attract people with sales skills, they need to adapt to that. The struggle is finding a way to provide the content and training that sellers need to be effective.

The sales team working remotely isn’t the only challenge to contend with. 80% of decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service. So we’ve got the challenges of sales performance coupled layered in with the challenges of hybrid.

Decision-makers aren’t going to interact with a rep until they absolutely need to, because they can find a lot of information they need themselves. That changes how reps engage with and sell to prospects.

Challenges With Sales Enablement and Hybrid Work

The problem? As it stands, enablement processes haven’t caught up with the times. They aren’t optimized for hybrid enablement. While companies have made strides in this area, they haven’t figured it all out yet. The reality is, most sellers don’t have the competence, the confidence, or the content they need to be successful. They don’t have the tools they need to fully absorb and share content.

Recently, SalesHood hosted a webinar called Hybrid Enablement: What’s Working & What’s Not Working. In it, participants shared that the biggest challenge they’re facing today is that when they’re thinking about rolling out hybrid enablement is that the energy and engagement aren’t where they need to be.

Ever listen to a panel interview replay that was so good it felt like you were sitting in the room? Thanks to Katie Beth DeSchepper, Bobbi Jo Frazier and Jessica Hendricks for sharing your knowledge, experience and lessons learned from managing hybrid enablement programs. They discussed what’s working and what’s not working with hybrid enablement and focused on the challenges around energy, equity and engagement. This discussion is gold. Here’s some of the video replay to watch.

So what does that mean? How do you drive up energy in a hybrid enablement program? These are the questions that all organizations need to find the answers to. It’s critical to support your reps and hit your numbers.

New Sales Enablement Strategies For Hybrid Work

If you want your sales team to evolve to align with buyer expectations, you have to put processes in place to support a hybrid environment. Here are three strategies to do just that.

Strategy #1: Balance Synchronous and Asynchronous Collaboration

Training and connecting with your teams isn’t something for you to focus on just at the time of hire. It’s important to set up both synchronous and asynchronous channels for all team members to learn, connect and communicate. Here are a few ways to help your teams connect, asynchronously and synchronously.

  • Self-paced video content
  • Virtual instructor lead training (VILT)
  • Virtual training workshops
  • Peer shadowing
  • Daily or weekly check-ins
  • Assessments
  • Role playing

Strategy #2: Embrace Activity-Based Learning

Don’t miss opportunities to engage with your reps by only giving them endless videos to watch. Be sure to include interactive elements as part of your training. We call this activity-based learning. This will drive more interest and interaction. If you aren’t sure where to start here, it’s helpful to break down activities by what to do before, during, and after training.

Before (asynchronous pre-work)

  • Assessments
  • Video content
  • Sentiment

During (live or virtual session)

  • Group exercises
  • Collaboration
  • Polls

After (asynchronous or team)

  • Certification
  • Reinforcement
  • Coaching

Strategy #3: Nurture Peer Accelerated Learning

Peer to peer is designed to help companies learn together and sell smarter. By embracing peer-to-peer to speed up sales enablement impact, you can more effectively adapt to a hybrid work environment.

Every organization will be different in the way they handle peer-to-peer. There’s no exact percentage to target for peer learning versus other methods. That said, reflecting on the right questions can help you assess where you are now and find new opportunities.

Those questions are:

  • How are you embracing peer to peer today?
  • How are you sharing win stories?
  • How is your team sharing content?
  • How are you doing call shadowing, pitch practice, and video roleplay?
  • How accessible is all of this to team members across locations?

Strategy #4: Deliver Virtual Coaching and Collaboration

Manager and peer coaching are worth the time investment. Nearly 40% of high-performing reps responding to Forrester’s 2020 Sales And Customer-Facing Roles Survey indicated that their manager played a key role in helping them apply what they learned.

Team collaboration huddles and video win stories can also make an impact. Putting systems in place to help your people connect boosts morale and encourage continued learning. Sharing video wins also makes it possible for new reps to get key takeaways from your top performers.

Strategy #5: Engage Buyers With Digital Content Sharing

Digital deal rooms also play a critical role in the buyer’s journey. By 2026, 30% of B2B sales cycles will be primarily run through a digital salesroom, which will be used to manage the customer life cycle. These digital deal rooms support buyer-seller collaboration and help sellers gain buyer insight.

Watch this video to get some insights into what modern selling looks like with Digital Buyer Sites.

The world of sales enablement is evolving. We hope this blog and these ideas are helping to shape how you and your teams are embracing modern sales enablement principles and practices.

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