January 19th, 2021

Gopkiran “Gop” Rao, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Mindtickle, recently joined Matt Benelli, Managing Director at Sandler Training, on the ACTivation Nation podcast. In his 20-year journey in B2B tech, Gop has focused on connecting processes, content, and tools that equip customer-facing representatives to engage customers over that time.

In this podcast, Gop and Matt discuss what issues organizations are now facing given the myriad factors impacting sellers and the selling environment, why onboarding as a standalone activity is unproductive, and how revenue and sales leaders can ensure their salespeople are equipped to engage with customers and work with them to solve their business problems. In this engaging conversation, Gop and Matt discuss the criticality of a seller’s skills, behaviors, and attitude when engaging with the buyer. It’s a seller’s journey of continuous progress towards peak performance. Here are four of the key takeaways:

Relearn how to sell virtually

Obviously, a lot has changed in the world since March of 2020. Almost overnight the world became more distributed, office-less, and digital. Rather than “pressing the flesh,” so to speak, we’ve had to convey the entirety of our experience as vendors and buyers through a 10 x 12-inch screen. This is not something that we as humans have really invested a lot of time and effort in, so now we must accelerate learning how to sell virtually and develop new skills.

Everyone is now a seller

We now have a pretty wide aperture through which we’re looking at the customer experience and their interaction with a brand. From the telemarketer to the field marketing person, to the Customer Success Manager and channel partner — each of these individuals are now sellers and each of them has to play from a common playbook that represents the corporate brand and be aligned to the revenue strategy. Each interaction is a potential revenue moment so people need to be trained and know how to apply their skills in each moment. And this will differ depending on when and how each engages with a prospect or customer.

Everboarding is essential

Many organizations spend a lot of time getting ready to get ready. You can no longer just onboard people because nothing is constant. Rather than trying to get everything in your sales people’s heads from the start, equip them with the 20% they require to get them in the field and start being productive. You can then improve performance by systematically building skill and knowledge combined with optimizing in-field behavior through a constant series of mini-onboarding activities.

Personalization is key

Expecting two humans to come out of the same system, looking and behaving the same way is not realistic. Training, delivery, and engagement that takes into account the preferences, personality, and experience of each customer-facing individual key. If you don’t personalize training, you are leaving a huge opportunity on the table.

In the podcast, Gop shares his views on each of these success factors and talks about how revenue leaders can address them. He also explains why sales enablement leaders shouldn’t fast-fail, shares the worst advice he’s ever received, and shows how he turned around a big deal with one well-placed question.

Listen to the entire podcast here.