May 8th, 2020

For sales enablement leaders, a remote workforce can be difficult to navigate. Their daily mandate is to keep customer-facing teams actively engaged through sales training and coaching, which can be challenging to conduct primarily or entirely remotely — or are they? The fact is, working remotely is no excuse to pull back on training and coaching because it CAN be done remotely just as well as it’s done in the office or better — that is, if communication is consistent and cogent, if everyone is aligned on sales methodology and processes, and if you have a Sales Readiness platform to underpin it.

Before getting into how to facilitate remote training and coaching, however, it’s important that sales enablement leaders make sure all enabling information and content are specific to the markets, segments, and customers that customer-facing employees are encountering. It should all be aligned with the steps and activities sales reps execute as part of the sales process. It should also be in line with the sales methodology and expectations for customer-facing interactions.

With that in place, let’s dive into how to ensure sales enablement delivers value for remote workers.
First, every content asset and communication designed to align with and keep the sales force highly engaged must deliver ROI. Enabling this requires the following:

  • Frequent push and pull-based, personalized communications sent in a rep’s preferred channel will draw greater interest in training. For example, communications that pop up in the flow of a sales rep’s daily work life — such as in an email or app, through the Salesforce dashboard or other CRM, or in newsletters — drive higher engagement.
  • Reps must be able to consume content on their own schedule and modality. Never has this been more important than now, with an often-unpredictable work environment and work hours.
  • Learning delivered in different formats caters to different learning styles. Microlearning in the form of videos, polls, quizzes, podcasts, and gamified content tends to drive higher consumption and retention among reps. Video is also a powerful tool for practicing and polishing pitches through guided role play. With it, reps can practice interacting with customers in simulated sales scenarios to improve their presentations and get real-time feedback from managers or coworkers.
  • Don’t overlook coaching delivered remotely. With regular video coaching sessions, reps can build incremental skills development and then see how they’re tracking to plan. And, when it has structure and regular cadence, virtual coaching can be as valuable as in-person coaching.

Keeping remote employees engaged and active isn’t a challenge relegated only to sales enablement leaders. CROs are indirectly impacted by sales enablement’s success too, because hitting their numbers depends on reps’ active engagement with sales training. With that in mind, CROs can help their team stay aligned in this remote setting and confirm that they’re retaining information in four ways.

  • The first is by monitoring updates in activity logs in the CRM, conducting one-on-ones with managers and engagement reporting.
  • CROs can also help their remote teams by tracking reps’ deliverability and engagement statistics, such as email sends, bounces, opens, click-throughs, and repeat opens. By monitoring whether their teams are seeing an uptick in deal velocity across stages and over time, driving better engagement with buyers, and securing more “solutioning” activities like workshops and proofs of concept, CROs can identify problem areas and develop plans of action to address them.
  • Finally, by maintaining open lines of communication with marketing, CROs can ensure the most impactful content is pushed out in the most effective ways. After all, CROs know what messaging will resonate with which channels to drive revenue.

It’s unclear when we’ll be able to get back to business as usual, but that doesn’t mean that every task must be put on hold. Customer-facing employees can keep some sense of normalcy and continuity in their day-to-day by continuing to develop their skillsets from home. With an understanding that training, coaching and microlearning are just as important for reps working from home as they are for those in the office — and a Sales Readiness platform to support those functions — MindTickle is well-prepared to help them.