Transforming Sales: 3 Types of Sales Org Transformation to Ensure Seller Readiness

In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can transform sales in a significant way.

This week I interview Mark Magnacca, Co-Founder and President of Allego.

NANCY: WHAT ARE THE TOP AREAS OF FOCUS IN THE NEXT 12-24 MONTHS FOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT TO TRANSFORM THEIR SALES ORGANIZATIONS?

MARK: As buyers get harder to engage, competition grows, and markets accelerate, ensuring sellers bring their A game to each and every sales interaction becomes ever more critical. Sales leaders simply can’t afford for their team to waste at-bats, especially with swings that are so wildly off that they not only spoil any current opportunity but also tarnish the brand more lastingly. Now is the time for three types of sales org transformation to ensure seller readiness.

  • Leverage the revolution in personal technology – mobile, peer, video, etc. – to transform the way you train, coach and prepare your sales team. Everyone knows that traditional training – jamming one-size-fits-all material into marathon sessions that are rapidly forgotten and soon out of date – doesn’t work. Modern sales learning combines consumer technology and learning science. It not only works, but also reduces cost and time out of field.
  • Great teams beat great individuals. It’s true in selling like it is in sports. Forward-thinking sales leaders are transforming their sales cultures from lone-wolf hunting to team success. They nurture peer collaboration so that A players help uplevel B players. Best practices and competitive insights flow faster. Team collaboration strengthens engagement and retention across distributed sales teams.
  • Coach your coaches. In the military, it’s the sergeants that hold an army together and enable great victories. In sales, no transformation succeeds without front-line managers making it happen. Yet few sales team come anywhere near adequately supporting this critical tier. To transform your organization, transform your support for front-line managers.

NANCY: HOW SHOULD COMPANIES DECIDE WHICH APPROACHES TO SALES TRANSFORMATION ARE RIGHT FOR THEM?

MARK: Is the house on fire, or is the foundation cracked? Immediate problems usually take precedence over longer-term investments. For organizations facing only the usual urgency of quarterly targets, the investments for the most certain payback are usually in personnel, either upgrading the talent or ensuring they have the tools and training to succeed.

NANCY: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR ENSURING THAT TECHNOLOGIES CONTRIBUTE TO SALES TRANSFORMATION IN A MEASURABLE AND IMPACTFUL WAY?

MARK: First, be sure to have a coherent framework for measuring business impact and ROI. At minimum, have processes and metrics in place to calculate the cost savings (which can be reinvested in growth) and revenue/bookings “lift” that transformation efforts provide. Best-in-class organizations also measure the impact their investments have on business risk and team engagement/retention.

Second, pay careful attention to technology adoption. Sales technology buying decisions are often made by sales leaders, sales operations, sales enablement or IT professionals, which can make it hard to ensure that the day-to-day lives of salespeople and front-line managers get proper consideration. But reps quickly dismiss anything that can’t be learned in minutes, doesn’t work well on their mobile, or is just slow. And low adoption means low impact.

Third, pick a partner with a proven track record of customer success. It’s easy to be wowed by cool technology and new features, and hard to dig deeply into enterprise software. So check to see if your vendor’s customers are successful and happy.

NANCY: HOW IS YOUR SOLUTION TRANSFORMING YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SALES ORGANIZATIONS?

MARK: Abbott Laboratories, a Fortune 500 global medical device company, implemented Allego to modernize their sales training and onboarding programs. They saw that reps were not accessing the expensive LMS training modules they had spent so much energy building, so decided to adopt Allego to drive more on-demand learning. Within 90 days of implementing Allego, 93% of all reps had accessed Allego content voluntarily and they’ve had over 200,000 video views since implementation. With Allego, they’ve provided reps with a way to share valuable best practices and selling tips with one another, while reinforcing the training they provide on an ongoing basis.

Benefits realized and ROI:

  • Significant savings on training costs associated with product launch, as well as reduction in costs for ongoing coaching and field reinforcement.
  • 64% of reps have used Allego to share videos of themselves talking through best practices or sharing how they’ve solved problems, helping the organization to build a video library that demonstrates what ‘good’ looks like.
  • Significant increase in employee engagement with training using video pitch contests and other collaborative activities in Allego.
  • Allego is now part of the internal culture at Abbott, and they use it to capture any key ideas or insights people have. It’s a go-to-resource for their sales reps to access best practices, content, and key sales tools.

NANCY: WHAT ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES IF SOMEONE WANTED TO LEARN WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK, WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING, OR OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO SALES TRANSFORMATION?

MARK: Blogs and podcasts from sales enablement and sales training thought leaders are a great way to keep up with industry changes and what others are doing related to sales transformation. Some influencers to follow include the host of this blog, Nancy Nardin and Smart Selling Tools, Will Barron’s The Salesman Podcast, John Barrows, Mike Kunkle, and the Sales Enablement Society.

Note: You can meet Allego at the Sales Team Alpine Retreat #FrostSTAR Event hosted by Frost & Sullivan next week in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.