Executive Interview With Ariel Hitron

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?

Ariel: Every aspect of sales is becoming remote, and even many Sales Kickoffs that were planned to be in person are now being moved to remote or hybrid experiences. Our customers are leveraging Second Nature’s AI sales coaching solution to give their sellers more opportunities to have better conversations.

Jenny, our AI conversation partner asks and answers salespeople’s questions for whatever persona you select, and then gives immediate feedback and improvement tips related to both content and style. Sellers can practice and improve in a safe space, and sales enablement and sales executives can be certain that their strategic company  messages are being communicated in the most powerful way.

Here are two examples of how Second Nature is being used as sales becomes more distributed and remote:

1. Remote sales onboarding

Remote sales teams often don’t have the luxury of in-person onboarding boot camps. Without such a bootcamp it’s hard to get people sales-ready quickly. Companies may try to run a “remote bootcamp,” but there are only so many zoom sessions one can go through a day before losing their mind.

Second Nature allows new hires to gain confidence in holding sales conversations by practicing with AI. They can do this from home (or any location), according to their own schedule, and without requiring managers’ time.

2. Adapting sales conversations to the new reality

In remote selling there is no wine-and-dine; sellers must deliver real value to their prospects, quickly. Second Nature helps salespeople adapt their conversations to this new reality, to learn, practice and master what works in such conversations.

The moment a seller gets that customer or prospect on the line, it’s crucial to spend the time together effectively. The best way to ensure this happens is to have salespeople run through scenarios ahead of time with Jenny, the AI coach.

Second Nature Screenshot

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

Ariel: Various KPIs may be leading indicators or lagging indicators. Of course the leading indicators give you more time to course correct. The KPIs that are important to your sales and sales enablement process will depend on your sales cycle length (a one call close vs. an enterprise 6-month cycle) and other factors. That said, certain metrics are relevant across the board.

New hire onboarding – when onboarding new salespeople, the faster you can get new reps up to speed on your messages, the faster they can get selling, and your salary investment starts being productive. Key onboarding metrics include (from leading indicators to lagging ones):

  • Time to first call,
  • Time to $X open pipe,
  • Time to first close
  • Time to quota attainment.

New product rollout – this is similar to new hire onboarding metrics, but instead of looking at a salesperson, you should look at the product across multiple salespeople. For example:

  • % of salespeople that have X open opportunities for the product within Y months
  • Time it takes to generate $X open pipe for the product
  • Time it takes to reach certain sales goals for the product

Metrics like a rise in the number of opportunities generated for a certain product would show that the training on that product is effective. Our customers have been able to triple the number of opportunities opened for new products by implementing sales training with Second Nature.

Second Nature New Analysis Screenshot

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

Ariel: When we start working with a customer, we typically go through their entire sales process and break it down into their product lines, target markets etc. and we find that there are often hundreds of types of conversations that sellers are expected to be able to excel at, across all stages of the sales cycle, and all products, and target markets.

Facilitating decision making remotely requires proficiency at each of these types of conversations. The only way to scale up seller training to give a widespread remote team the opportunity to practice each of these scenarios by using AI.

Q: What are one or two examples of how a customer is using your solution in surprising ways.

Ariel: One of our customers – Zoom – used Second Nature’s AI coaching solution as a way to certify their entire global sales force within just a few weeks. The catch was that no one even knew they were being certified, they thought they were just participating in a global competition.

Sales enablement pitted the different sales teams against each other to each get better scores on a dialogue simulation with Jenny, the AI sales coach. They posted scores on a leaderboard to keep engagement high, and offered big prizes to the winners. They even introduced Jenny as the newest member of their sales enablement team and set up a profile for her on their HR system. Read the full case study here.

Second Nature Manager Overview Screenshot

Another customer is using Second Nature for coaching their sales managers on how to avoid and overcome bias when having conversations with their team members.

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

Ariel: For 1-on-1 coaching, sales leaders should prepare by zeroing in on where the seller needs the most support. Some leaders do this by listening to actual recorded sales conversations. We recommend taking a quick glance at the analytics provided in Second Nature and you can pinpoint exactly where your team members need more work, whether they are missing product knowledge, not sharing enough customer examples, or simply speaking too fast.

Q: What is the impact on organizations that adopt digital training?

Ariel: We have seen a 45% increase in sales proficiency among organizations that put together a virtual training plan and stick to it.  

Ariel Hitron1 Circle

Ariel Hitron

CEO, Co-Founder,
Second Nature

Ariel is the CEO & Co-founder of Second Nature, an AI-driven sales coaching SaaS solution. Second Nature gives sales reps a virtual conversation partner that trains and coaches them. Before co-founding Second Nature, he ran global sales teams with dozens of reps in revenue executive roles at Kaltura; built playbooks and training sessions for sales as a product marketer; and earlier in his career, defined and developed software products and brought them to market, generating sustainable growth.

He has created multiple product lines from the ground up, each generating tens of millions of recurring revenue, used by millions of consumers.