The ROI of Just-in-Time (JIT) Sales Enablement with Always-On, AI-Powered Deal Coaching
Sales training is a crucial investment for any organization looking to improve its bottom line. However, sales leaders should ask themselves these questions:
- Has your sales training in the last six months improved win rates?
- Has your sales training increased the average sales price in the last six months?
- Do you have enough time to coach your teams’ late-stage pipeline deals?
You are not alone if you don’t know the answers to the above questions. The reality is bleak – quantifying the ROI of traditional one-time training events is becoming increasingly difficult. In fact, the statistics are sobering:
- An ES Research study found that approximately 90% of all sales training has no lasting impact on professional behavior.
- Research conducted by Xerox showed that 87% of the new knowledge learned in sales training is lost within 12 weeks.
- Similarly, Sales Performance International research found most sales professionals forget at least 50% of what they learned in training programs in less than five weeks… 84% is lost after only 90 days.
So why do sales leaders continue to rely on traditional training methods? Why do sales managers repeat the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results?
Whatever the reason, the way sales training is delivered must change.
Consistent and continual reinforcement of training is necessary to achieve training ROI goals. Investing in continuous or just-in-time sales enablement and training may require a shift in mindset and budget allocation, but the ROI is significant. As the saying goes – “practice makes perfect.”
Effective sales team performance DEPENDS on adopting a just-in-time sales enablement and training approach that reinforces applying skills and behaviors over time. Unlimited reinforcement of the initial training event by applying those lessons to coached deals over the next year is the only way that sales training ROI can be achieved. This article explores the importance of continuous training for sales teams and how it can lead to better results and higher ROI. It also discusses the role of coaching and real-time feedback in reinforcing training and driving better sales performance outcomes.
How Does Just-in-Time Sales Enablement and Training Work?
Just-in-time (JIT) sales training and enablement is a method of learning that involves ongoing reinforcement of skills and behaviors over time. Unlike traditional one-time training events, just-in-time enablement helps sales teams build good habits and “muscle memory” through consistent practice and coaching.
Just-in-time sales enablement works by leveraging technology to deliver personalized, relevant, and timely coaching. This is achieved with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and CRM platforms which help sales teams apply their knowledge to deals in progress with targeted coaching.
Just-in-time enablement training is a powerful tool for sales teams looking to improve their performance and achieve better results. Just-in-time enablement is AI-powered coaching and training that helps your sales team directly execute your value strategy (not generic selling skills). Just-in-time enablement provides unlimited one-on-one custom coaching that understands your value, competitors, and customers. By adopting a continuous training approach, sales leaders ensure that their teams improve win rates AND consistently develop the skills and behaviors they need to succeed. It is a virtuous cycle that fuels even greater success.
Whether packaged as behavior reinforcement, training enablement, sales process compliance, continuous, or just-in-time training – AI coaching technology helps sales teams build good habits and “muscle memory.” It ensures that expensive lessons from one-time training events stick.
Understanding How Just-in-Time Sales Enablement Works
Want to understand how Just-In-Time Sales Enablement works? It’s actually pretty simple.
- Your value propositions, competitor value, current pricing strategy, and typical buyer tactics are all loaded into Salesforce.com and CloseStrong (the AI-powered brain of the hardest working, smartest 1-1 coach you’ve ever met).
- Your teams are trained and coached 1-1, as many times as they need, on every deal over the next year. None of this is theoretical, it is all mid-late stage deal coaching to leverage:
- Your actual value propositions
- Against competing alternatives
- Leveraging your actual pricing and t’s and c’s
- Leveraging custom discovery tied to your customers’ business outcomes
- Prepares custom customer-facing offers based on business outcomes and values
- Gets you ready for your customers’ actual negotiation tactics
Every time there is a change to your GTM strategy or your value, competitor value, customer needs, pricing strategy, etc., the system is updated so that your team will be coached on those shifts tomorrow. Plus…
- Pre-coached deals are being submitted to leaders, who are now up coaching 3-5x more 1-‘s with reps.
- Reporting is happening to measure leading and lagging indicators.
- Your strategy is being executed one deal at a time, and ROI is measured.
- And no one is spending time on sales training boondoggles.
The Benefits of Just-in-Time Sales Training and Enablement
The benefits of just-in-time training are numerous. In short, by reinforcing skills and behaviors over time and applying skills to deals with coaching, sales teams can improve their win rates, increase their average sales price, and close more deals.
Improved Retention Rates
One of the biggest challenges with traditional sales training is that it often fails to stick. As the statistics cited earlier indicate, most sales professionals forget most of what they learned within weeks or months. In contrast, just-in-time training provides unlimited and ongoing reinforcement of key concepts and skills – which are applied – one deal at a time. The application of critical concepts helps cement best practices in the minds of sales reps. This leads to higher retention rates and better performance over time.
From Theory to Practice
When sales training events are applied at the just-in-time or individual deal level, it moves training lessons from conceptual to practical. This creates direct value by getting away from conceptual training and moving into the practical application of coaching – one deal at a time – by applying best practices that increase deal quality and win rates.
Increased Engagement and Ownership
When sales training is delivered in a one-time event, there is often a sense of “checking the box” – reps attend the training but may not feel particularly invested in the material. By contrast, just-in-time training fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among sales reps. When they are regularly exposed to new concepts and given opportunities to practice and apply them, they are more likely to feel invested in their own growth and development.
Better Performance and Results
Ultimately, sales training aims (and misses) to improve performance and drive better results. Just-in-time ENABLEMENT can help achieve this by applying key skills and behaviors one deal at a time. By reinforcing the training and providing opportunities for practice, sales teams can develop the skills and behaviors needed to drive results.
Decreased Turnover Rates
Finally, investing in just-in-time sales training can positively impact turnover rates. When sales reps feel supported and engaged in their roles, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul. This can reduce the costs for recruiting and training new hires, leading to greater consistency and stability within the sales team.
Effective sales professionals focus on applying a solid and proven sales process to each deal, rather than simply being walking product brochures. Just-in-time sales coaching provides continual reinforcement of foundational sales and negotiation skills, including effective prospecting, sales call planning, asking questions to uncover needs, making effective presentations, handling objections, and maximizing account revenue.
With the fast-changing sales environment, reps must also be trained in the realities of today’s decision-makers, the increasingly complex buying process, and strategies for assessing the business issues of prospects. Ultimately, the goal is to become trusted advisors who understand the nuance of each deal and apply the proper sales and negotiation methods to achieve success.
Deal Coaching at Scale
Deal coaching involves using AI-powered technology to analyze mid-to-late-stage pipeline deals and provide personalized coaching to sales reps. The technology uses large language models to analyze patterns and trends in sales behavior and provide targeted feedback on areas for improvement.
Sales reps are guided through the sales process via AI-powered coaching. They receive real-time suggestions as they communicate with prospects. This coaching can include suggestions for how to phrase questions, handle objections, and close deals more effectively. The technology can also provide insights into the prospect’s behavior and preferences, helping the sales rep to tailor their approach to the specific prospect.
Overall, AI-powered just-in-time sales enablement and coaching is a powerful tool for sales teams looking to improve their performance and achieve better results. By providing targeted Q&A throughout the sales process, sales reps can develop the skills and behaviors needed to drive results and close more deals.
When deal coaching is packaged as training, everyone wins. In fact, AI-powered deal coaching allows sales managers to coach 3x to 5x more deals because:
- AI-powered coaching can provide personalized recommendations based on individual sales reps’ strengths and weaknesses and their specific deal pipeline.
- Coaching can be delivered in real-time, providing sales reps with immediate action-items and guidance.
- AI-powered coaching can be delivered at scale, allowing sales leaders to provide coaching to large teams without sacrificing quality.
- AI-powered coaching can provide consistent feedback and guidance, ensuring that all sales reps receive the same support level.
- AI-powered coaching can help sales reps to develop the skills and behaviors needed to drive better results, leading to improved performance across the team.
Improve Mid-to-Late Funnel Success
AI-powered deal coaching improves mid-to-late-funnel deal success by providing targeted coaching and guidance to sales reps as they navigate the sales process. By analyzing mid-to-late-stage pipeline deals and identifying patterns and trends in sales behavior, AI-powered coaching can provide personalized “deal-specific” insight to sales reps on areas for improvement, including suggestions for how to phrase questions, how to handle objections, how to prevent commoditization, and how to close deals more effectively.
By providing this real-time guidance, sales reps are better equipped to navigate the complexities of late-stage pipeline deals and close more deals successfully. This can lead to higher win rates and increased average sales prices, ultimately driving better results for the sales team and the organization.
In addition, by coaching sales reps on late-stage pipeline deals, sales leaders can ensure that their teams are focusing their time and effort on the most likely to close deals. This can help to improve efficiency and productivity, allowing sales reps to close more deals in less time.
Guiding Discovery and Qualification
Just-in-time training with an AI-powered negotiation coach also helps salespeople improve their discovery and qualification skills.
An AI deal coach will analyze the characteristics of successful deals and use that information to guide sales reps in their interactions with new prospects. AI provides real-time coaching and advice during the discovery and qualification process.
For example, AI-powered coaching tools can ask if the right decision-makers are included in the deal conversation, and suggest ways to differentiate for each stakeholder.
One of the biggest advantages of AI-powered coaching is that it provides sales reps with real-time guidance – this can help them course-correct in the moment, which can be more effective than waiting until the deal is lost to conduct an account post mortem.
Just-in-time coaching and sales enablement also helps managers ensure compliance with existing sales processes. When sales reps apply the skills and behaviors they learn in training, managers can identify areas where additional support may be needed. This ensures live coaching is focused and effective.
Overall, AI-powered negotiation coaching is critical to any just-in-time sales training program. AI-coaching at scale ensures sales reps consistently improve and drive better outcomes by providing real-time feedback and guidance, tracking progress and performance, and supporting skill development over time.
Studies have shown that up to 90% of sales training doesn’t stick, with new skills being lost within months of training. The human brain can’t retain a firehose of information all at once.
Learning requires repetition, and real-time coaching delivers consistent, just-in-time coaching throughout the life of the deal. Continuous training and AI coaching are powerful tools for sales teams looking to improve their performance and achieve better results.
Continuous training reinforces key concepts and skills, which can cement them in the minds of sales reps. This can lead to higher retention rates and better performance over time.
AI-powered coaching is a critical component of any sales training program. By providing real-time guidance, tracking progress and performance, and supporting skill development over time, just-in-time coaching can now be delivered at scale and ensure that sales reps are improving and driving better outcomes.
Sales teams will benefit from CloseStrong – an AI-powered coaching platform that helps sales teams build good habits through coaching on every deal. With CloseStrong, sales reps can practice and reinforce the skills they learn every day. Managers can coach more deals, and sales reps fine-tune their approach performance while they are still conversing with a prospect.
By adopting a just-in-time training approach, sales leaders can ensure that their teams consistently develop the skills and behaviors they need to succeed.
Learn more at CloseStrong.ai.