Greg Keshian On Sales Readiness

Remote Selling has become an important focus for every sales organization. Digital sales technologies, by default, are what enables remote selling. In this interview series, we ask executives at leading salestech companies to describe how their customers are leveraging technology, what metrics are now possible, and more. 

Q: What are your customers doing to adapt to - or leverage - the trend towards distributed sales teams and remote selling?

Greg: Now that sales teams are more commonly working in a distributed fashion, Brainshark customers are adopting all parts of the Brainshark Sales Readiness Platform more frequently to make sure sellers are well-prepared for sales calls.  In particular, customers have been using Brainshark’s video coaching and practice features to make sure their sellers can really deliver the right messages about their products and services with confidence.  Brainshark’s coaching solution allows sellers to practice, get feedback from their peers, receive coaching suggestions from their manager, and also get automatic recommendations from our Machine Analysis.

Q: What metrics should customers of Sales Readiness solutions use to measure the impact or progress of their activities?

Greg: Sales Enablement leaders should monitor metrics in two broad categories:  progress in enablement programs, and success in the field.  Examples of metrics describing progress in enablement programs include completion rates, quiz scores, and coaching activity scores.  Metrics measuring success in the field will depend on the seller’s role, but common examples include Pipeline Generated, Win Rate, Average Selling Price, Bookings and Sales Cycle.  Once sellers are past their onboarding period, you should be observing their sales KPI’s, so that you can provide proactive recommendations for additional training to those falling behind. 

Brainshark Scorecards make this very easy by providing a 360 degree view of seller performance in the field, and their progress through training and coaching activities.

Q: What steps can Sales Enablement leaders take to best facilitate their prospects’ decision-making given that interactions are likely remote?

Greg: Buyers are generally very far down the buying cycle before they speak with a seller, since so much research is done by the buyer online ahead of time.  Therefore, sellers need to be very well prepared.  Given so much research will have already been done by the buyer, the questions they will have for the seller will be detailed and specific. Sellers need to be product experts and always up to speed on new product features, positioning and market developments.

Enablement should be deploying ongoing formal training, as well as making microlearnings available for sellers to consume.  This allows sales to stay ahead of their buyers and add value to conversations.  It lets sellers increase deal sizes and accelerate sales cycles, rather than just being order takers.

Q: What should sales leaders do differently when giving coaching remotely?

Greg: More emphasis needs to be placed on making sure that sales managers are properly equipped to coach, and that they are actually coaching.  It’s easy for remote sales managers to get overly focused on specific opportunities or calls.  They need to be mindful of the development of their teams in order to get best performance.  Brainshark helps you do this by: 

  • Providing a 360 degree view of rep performance via Scorecards, so managers know what skills their reps need help with
  • Giving managers a place to log notes and conduct coaching conversations with reps

Giving Sales Enablement leaders tools to measure how effectively their managers are coaching.  ie, whether they are providing meaningful feedback to their reps, or if they are just mailing it in when it comes to reviewing their work.

Q: What steps should organizations take if they plan to implement Sales Readiness?

Greg: There are three key elements.

  1. Commit to the program. Hire the right team to be able to create and maintain your programs, roll them out effectively, and keep the team motivated to complete their training.  Execs ought to know the ROI they’re looking to achieve so they can invest appropriately.  For instance, a program staffed with just one person might fail because that person can’t get everything launched and rolled out.  Investing in a second enablement person might take your ROI from 0 up to a significant positive return because the program can actually get off the ground and be adopted.
  2. Define the metrics you want to influence or achieve
    • Examples:
        • Sales metrics to improve such as ASP, Close Rate, Sales Cycle
        • Business metrics to improve like time to productivity for new hires
        • Enablement-specific metrics like a number of hours you’d like reps to spend learning each quarter
    • This helps support the investment outlined in the first bullet.
  3. Get buy-in from the whole team
    • Executives need to understand the business benefits – higher performance per salesperson and faster onboarding times
    • Sales managers need to understand the benefit to them – training their team members puts the team in position to succeed. Sales managers are critical to get involved because they will help scale your programs.
    • Reps need to understand that learning will help them perform better, which will increase their quota achievement and also advance their career.
Gregkeshian Circle2

Gregory Keshian

Chief Product Officer, Brainshark

Greg is chief product officer at Brainshark and is also responsible for the marketing team. Most recently, he was in charge of product, growth, marketing and customer solutions at Rekener. Greg is a go-to-market and revenue analytics subject matter expert who has previously held leadership positions at BBN Technologies and ZeroTurnaround. He graduated from Babson College with a degree in business administration, finance and strategic management and earned an MBA at Boston College.