Questions. Questions. Questions. An easy way to arrive at the answer.

By | 2018-05-11T07:42:21+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Blogs|

Questions. Questions. Questions.
An easy way to arrive at the answer.

How much have they learnt? What do we need to teach them? Do they know what we do and what we sell?

Are just a few of the question that sales or learning and development managers worry about.

Sales people are also pondering on questions such as how do I sell? The product I am selling, how is it any different from my competition? Am I supposed to pitch this feature over the other?

It seems easy, doesn’t it? But often, these questions remain hidden. Either the manager has no means to get to the answers or the sales person seems to think it doesn’t matter. And sometimes, these questions get lost in daily transactions.

Now, these questions could be categorized into 2 broad buckets. First, the questions related to learning and assessments and the second, questions related to everyday reporting. Let us now understand them a little more.

Category type 1: Everyday reporting.

A lot of such questions remain unanswered. Now, unanswered could mean two things. One, the questions were asked but not answered and two, the questions were answered but were lost in transit.

These are everyday questions with respect to sales data, field sales person attendance, retail merchandising and other such scenarios. Generally, these are asked through a variety of channels leaving the questioner scuttling to probe the respondents to answer and later collating the answers (heads up, you’re setting yourself up for data loss) and the respondents turning into octopuses because that is the only way they can manage all these channels through which their manager thinks they can respond.

Nope.

Category type 2: Learning and assessment.

These are questions that could directly affect the way your teams sell or the way you teach them how to sell.

Your sales team is only as good as the message you give them. And for the message to sink in, it ought to be given continuously. Continuous learning.

And continuous learning must involve assessments. And assessments should be frequent. To test whether your message to the team is relevant. To test whether your team is learning.

Your team also learns from the question they ask you and the answers you give them. Questions they ask through the day. How to do this? How to sell that? Questions about the product.

So, we’ve uncovered the source of the questions, now what does it take to,

  • Ask questions to get daily field data,

  • Ask questions to assess your teams, and

  • Respond to frequently asked questions.

You need a platform that is flexible enough to let you ask questions that help you capture field data the way you want it. Make edits to suit your business imperative and redeploy the data-collection forms. No lengthy engineering cycles.

You need a platform that helps you deploy content in a structure that is measurable. And deploy quiz modules to assess the team continuously.

You need a platform that provides your team with a direct route to you to ask questions and to browse through FAQ repository for everyday solutions.

You need a platform that brings it all together.

Bsharp’s flexible platform lets you deploy content and tag them to act as answers to FAQs. Its discussions platform helps you solve your team’s queries quickly. With the Bsharp platform, you can deploy various types of quiz and also deploy flexible forms to capture field data in real time.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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What sales people want?

By | 2018-05-11T05:57:59+00:00 April 16th, 2018|Blogs|

What Sales People Want? Survey 2017

We spoke to 350 (sales + sales managers) participants to understand their needs and wants, aspirations, motivations and frustrations of the sales people. This Research conducted on “What sales people want?’ bridges the gap between what sales people want and what their leader’s expect.

 What motivates a Sales person at daily work?

Recommendations:

  • Delegate responsibilities like resolving queries when the team leader is not available.

  • Holistic training should include general, simple management topics for effective development for a sales person.

  • Follow best practices such as deploying courses and linking them to points. On crossing a level of points, a sales person gets Badges: 3000- Silver Badge; 6000- Gold Badge; 9000 – Platinum Badge etc.

  • Clear communicate on their salary and incentives. Communication about incentives received (% of incentives) will help the team to understand the levels of compensation – at least in the initial phase.

What are the goals of a salesperson for next few years?

Recommendations:

  • Develop a career plan for sales people like moving them to a larger outlet or handling some part of the team’s function.

  • Guide them to move up the ladder.

  • Get benefit from the entrepreneurial energy (who wants to start their own business) by hosting internal entrepreneurial competitions, where winners can have their ideas implemented into retail outlets or can even receive monetized compensations.

 Heads Up:

With a rise in the startup culture several salespeople are motivated to start their own own company in the same sales service or various other services that would complement their experience in sales.

 What are the goals of a salesperson for next few years?

Recommendations:

It is essential to conduct training on product specifications and soft skills in regular frequencies.
This helps salespeople leverage their skills and furthermore gives them a chance to experiment and practice whatever they have learned.

What are the methods used for training a salesperson?

Recommendations:

  • Use of online applications – to share product specifications i.e. intricate details of a new product. Leverage multiple file formats such as video, audio, documents to impart online training.

  • Adopt Continuous learning that enhances skills and knowledge of sales team.

Heads Up:

The use of online applications are sure to rise in the forthcoming years as:

  • Several companies are already blending into the online application revolution.

  • With the introduction of AI and machine learning, face to face training obsolete session might decrease and the use of online applications will be a forerunner in sales training.

How often do sales people have internal sales competitions and does this help them to sell better?

Recommendations:

  • Daily feedback should primarily be given to new comers or individuals those are new to the sales environment, this can be in the form of e-mails, f2f meetings etc. This helps acknowledge their services and keeps them motivated on a regular basis.

  • Increased frequency of feedback will help keep salespeople in sync with brand expectations and individual expectations. It also helps them understand their weakness and gives them an opportunity to rectify their mistakes and improve in a holistic manner.

What are the sales tools used to accompany a salesperson to complete a sale?

Recommendations:

  • Equip sales people with applications and database that help them show customers the benefits that the company offers when compared to competitors would be a good option.

  • Sharing E- brochures with customers through an email.

 How often do sales people have internal sales competitions and does this help them to sell better?

Recommendations:

  • Internal sales competitions help foster teamwork (through team based competitions) and build healthy a competitive spirit.

  • Conducting competitions during a new product launch help sales people familiarize themselves with the intricate details of a product and come up with product pitch.

  • This can also happen online by integrating leaderboards into online applications.

  • Internal sales competitions and leaderboards that track the progress, keep the salesperson on their toes.

What Do Sales People Fear The Most?

  • Inadequate Compensation

  • Lack of Benefits

  • Lack of recognition

  • AR and VR technology might soon replace them

Make your sales team great: Overcoming the Challenges

  • Enable learning off-field and train sales people on continuous basis, be it skills training or product training

  • Connect with sales people regularly, send and receive information seamlessly

  • Introduce leader boards – encourage Entreprenaural competitions

  • New features added to a product or product launch, communicate to whole sales team at one go

ONE STOP SOLUTION

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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 To Sum up

  • Greater job roles and responsibilities keeps the sales person motivated.

  • Creating a career roadmap for each sales person and guiding them towards it helps.

  • Conduct frequent product training sessions and keeping sales team updated about the product helps them sell better.

  • Equipping salespeople with tools that helps them share product information with customer is essential.

  • Using online platform to share information (training modules), collect information (reports on sales) and to give feedback is advantageous.

About the author

Eric D’Souza was a summer intern at Bsharp in the summer of 2017. Eric is studying business at the Schulich School of Business, Toronto, Canada.

Create Diamond Sales Team

By | 2018-04-06T13:25:29+00:00 March 28th, 2018|Blogs|

A Diamond Sales Team

Stupendous, prolonged pressure on hydro carbon particles is known to create diamonds.

Many sales managers and organisations are inspired by this. They try and replicate this with their team.

They pile on pressure on the poor hydro-carbon – the frontline sales person.

The pressure on the human is beyond enormous. Most of it is internal.

“Fill in those excel sheets for another plan.” “How about the make up plan?” “I want a day wise commit for the next 18 days till the quarter end.” “I want you to do 30 units by the end of the day today – I don’t care how you do it.”  “Call me every hour, by the hour and give me an update.” “Send me a daily tracker on commit vs. actual. And a make up plan to make it up all over.” And on and on.

Unrealistic goals. Constant transactional follow-up. Strong messages on ‘existence’. Incessant  questions on competence. Death by Excel, PowerPoint. These are some of the techniques field sales managers use to try and produce ‘diamonds’.

Effects of the wrong kind of pressure: Entropy. Churn. Fear. All motion – no action. Huge business projection drops on the last day. A dispirited team. A conviction less follow-up meeting for the next quarter.

In sales, diamonds are not created by constant pressure. They are created by detailed planning, coordination and continuous activities towards the goal.

Great sales managers have different methods. Their pressure is on actions and micro-results throughout the quarter. They keep fine tuning the operation all the time.

This is a positive feedback produces wonderful shining particles.

 

Here are the areas great sales managers focus upon.

1. Define a Sales Process

The sales process outlines the method to get to the results.

Here the sales manager and the team define a sales process together. They are constantly aware on the method to get to the business projections.

 Macro perspective

At a high level, they focus on things like: What is the ‘capacity’ of the market to deliver today (number of dealers, working capital of the distributor, delivery bandwidth of the distributor, coverage etc.?)  How do we expand the capacity in a sustainable manner?

Micro perspective

At a micro level, they focus on things like: What is the business capacity for a particular outlet? What are the leading indicators that determine the quarter’s business? How is the funnel creation trending? What is the conversion percentage? Is the sales person adequately trained?

The great sales leaders manage this process. The team is very aware of the flow and what is expected of them in each stage. This works as a well oiled machine.

2. Drive Purposeful Activity

What are the leading indicators for ultimate business success? Great sales managers analyze this in the start of the planning period and set up goals for the team as per the leading indicators. This can include:

  • Number of retail outlets to be expanded

  • Working capital and delivery capability of the distributors

  • Working capital of dealers – one way is to get their reimbursements on time

  • Activities to be done in the outlets to create walk-in, funnel

  • Focus on follow-up on sales in the market

  • Pro-active focus on merchandising and display

3. Leverage Analytics

Great sales managers are eager consumers of data. They are not just focused on high level numbers and mix percentages. They ask and answer questions like –

  • What is the walkin conversion rates – how is it trending across outlets

  • What is the ROI/ $ spent on promotions in these outlets

  • Is the merchandising in order? Is the sales person on message?

  • What is the funnel for the closure? How do we accelerate the funnel?

  • How do we best utilize the national promotions?

  • How do we best utilize local social campaigns for success?

They are focused on the metrics of every stage of the sales process and maximizing conversion at each stage. Not just on the output.

4. Promote Continuous Learning

Learning is the Oxygen for the team. That simple. Constant training is required to sustain great sales momentum. Great managers are focused on making sure that the teams are trained on the sales process, products, promotions, competition, campaigns with constant refreshers. In effect, this has to be a continuous process, run by the organization. The sales leaders are the custodians of the process.

5. Enable Automation

Great Sales Managers are aware, that business cannot be run by Instant Messaging groups, text messages, excel sheets and calls from the coordinator. It has to be run in auto-mode so that the sales person is focused on value added activities.

They border on fanaticism towards the adoption and usage of automated cloud based tools. They set up methods for training online. They set up tools for collecting daily business critical data. To forward leads and track them through the life cycle. For customer relationships.

They train the sales people on these tools and drive usage. They even review the sales person only based on these tools and the metrics it provides.

To an extent, they resist random activities. They do not constantly ask for team updates, make up plans, day wise commits etc. except those provided by the tools. This ensures that the maximum time is used in sales, rather than backend processes.

6. Focus on Onboarding

Great business managers realise that hiring is the just the first step towards business results. The frontline sales person needs to be trained and inducted.

The managers spend energy (using the organizational processes: Mobile training tools etc.) to proactively induct the sales person. They focus on :

  • Company introduction – how to position the company?

  • Sales process training

  • Sales person Roles and Responsibilities

  • Soft skills training

  • Product training

  • FAQ

  • Best known methods for sales success.

This ensures quality interaction with the customer right from the word go and maximum bang for the investment made.

Diamonds are forever

If the sales manager drives the business in a systematic fashion, a virtuous cycle of sales is created.

The team will work as a cohesive group. They will know what is expected of them in every stage of the sales cycle. And perform like clock work. Individual members of the group will be sought after in the larger organization.

The team leader will be an inspirational figure for everyone in the company and will constantly move towards larger opportunities.

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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Retail Rain Maker for Years

By | 2018-03-21T05:54:46+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Blogs|

Morning Routine of Successful Sales Personnel

A salesperson is not a one day wonder!  She/He has to go on for years and years – through the entire career and keep on selling.
Want to be a multi-year Rain Maker? There are many elements that you have to get right.
The first and foremost in this list is your…

Morning Routine.

You gave all that you can yesterday.  But you still didn’t see success. You even lost a deal you were hoping to close – to a competitor. It is human to feel de-spirited.
If that shadow of that loss follows you to the office today, how will you bounce back? How will you fire back at your competitor?
In sales, as in life, it is not about crashing down but it is about bouncing back.

Successful sales careers grow out of discipline and dedication. Not out of flamboyance and cow-boyism.

Here is the morning routine of many multi-year Rain Makers! This helps them to re-build the winning spirit and handle the day with renewed energy!

Find some ‘Me Time’

  • Find a few minutes in the morning to not do anything. Yes, not do anything. It could just be 5 minutes. No screens. No diversions. Just you and your thoughts.
  • Finding this time might be a challenge for those who have long commutes. But plan and find the time. Maybe you get up 15 minutes early. Or find this time during your commute. Or just spend a few minutes with yourselves as soon as you land up in the office.
  • This softens your mood from the anxieties of yesterday and sets you up afresh.

Be an early bird

  • Mornings are great to network with other stakeholders. Try and reach the office early, use the extra 15 minutes to organize yourselves and interact with colleagues without the rush.
  • The relationships you build will help you to handle critical customer situations throughout the day.

Slurp Motivational Boosters

  • Whip up the mobile sales enablement app provided by your company. Review the latest product details, positioning statements and talking points.
  • Listen to a motivational talk from your favorite speaker.
  • Take twenty minutes to listen to a TED talk –  to learn a new idea or a concept————.

Review Month PlayBook

  • Check out your targets for the month – by category of products. Review your attainment. Map it against your pipeline. Check out what actions are required to meet your goals.
  • Review the latest product, price, promotional updates from the company to find additional opportunity to hit your goals.
  • This is the time to call your Manager – to update the progress and to get additional inputs to meet your goals.

Store Review

It is time to review your work area.

  • If you are operating out of a store, it is time to review your work area. It is your responsibility to make sure it is in order –as per the planogram plan specified. Deploy any new material that is required.
  • Make sure that your devices are “demo ready” – working, software loaded, and all charged up.
  • This is going to impact the first impression of the customer and your ultimate demo effectiveness.

Happy Calls

Call your customer to know their experience with your product.

  • Your existing customers are a great source of new Either through cross-selling other products or through referrals.
  • Call the customers you sold a few weeks back. Check if everything is OK and if their experience has been great.
  • Ask them if they would like to buy any other product from your stable. Also, ask them to refer you to their friend.

20 New

  • Collect customer feedback forms with contact details after the demo. This is a rich source of sales funnel. If you have a price move or promotion in any of the products, use this as an opportunity to reach out to the customer.
  • In the course of the day, whenever you get free, reach out to these customers through Email, SMS or Phone.

Successful sales personnel follow this as a religious routine. They are dedicated to doing this every day – so that they can continue to be in the top of their trade!

Happy Selling!

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Eight Simple Steps: New Employee Orientation

By | 2018-04-06T12:32:34+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Blogs|

Eight Simple Steps: New Employee Orientation

Zero Day to Floor Day: How many days in between? Personnel change across your retail stores is a matter of fact. Most retail businesses operate at around 3-5% personnel churn every month.

Given that reality, how do you get the new employee oriented? How do you get them productive as fast as possible? How do you get them floor ready?

You cannot take risks, given that they are the ambassadors of your brand. You don’t want your customer to say, “The sales person knew nothing… if only he had answered the first few questions, I would have bought the product…”.

Here are a set of thoughts on new salesperson orientation based on our experience of engaging with Sales personnel.

What are the best practices you have come across? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Fastest path to the floor: Running an effective mobile-based new employee orientation program

Running an effective mobile-based new employee orientation program

The Same Time, Same Place Challenge:

Before we get into the operational aspects, let us see why is it a challenge.

  • Employees typically join any day of the month
  • At any of the cities (say 300 of them) you have retail outlets in
  • At any of the retail outlets in those cities (say 3-4 per city on an average)
  • And you have limited number of trainers to orient them.

So, it is basically a logistical issue. In most of our discussions with salespeople, the orientation happens within 15 days of the person joining the retail outlet. Till then, the salesperson is on “honeymoon” period – with no specific knowledge or goals.

How about getting the salesperson floor ready in 3 days?

The Smartphone Swiss Knife:

Of course. The solution is the smartphone. Every new salesperson has one. Accelerate the new hire induction through a smartphone based program. Companies across industries like Consumer Electronics, Electronic Accessories, Healthcare, and Telco have set up structured new hire orientation through smartphones.

What is in it for me?

What is in it for you? Well, that depends on whom you are.

For the company sales head

If you are the company sales head, think of gaining additional ~12 days of selling time from the salesperson. Let us look at the math.

  • Assume that you have 800 retail sales personnel across the country, and your monthly churn is 5%. That is, 40 new salespeople join every month.
  • Assume that the average inducted salesperson sells about 50 units at $1000 ASP per month
  • Assume that the mobile orientation program helps them gain around 12 days of selling time. They are on the floor with details much faster.

Incremental number of units sold : 12 days * 50 units / 30 days * 40 personnel * $1000 =  12 * 50 / 30 * 40 *1000  = 800000. A cool incremental $800K of sales due to faster orientation of the sales person.

That is the difference between leading your category and losing market share. Put a mobile orientation program in place – that will help cover some of your sales gaps.

For the local team leader – the sales person’s direct manager

You have limited outlets to produce the results from. You do not have easy access to the trainers on the day you want. You go around and train the new employees. You want to spend more time, but you have other priorities in the market.

  • A mobile new salesperson orientation program saves your time
  • Increases the time to market of your new salesperson
  • Increases the motivation of the salesperson and reduces early attrition. As you are aware, “uncertainty increases attrition”, “the first 2-3 weeks is important to watch out”
  • Helps you hit your numbers

You are the guardian of the process – you need to ensure that your new team member completes the orientation.

For the salesperson

  • Get all the selling information required to sell well in the first 3 days. Have a systematic, well-planned information transfer.
  • Get productive by Day 4, start showing your sales prowess.
  • Hit your numbers early in the process and get some good incentives.
  • Get aligned with the company as soon as possible

The New Employee Orientation Program Structure

1. Mandatory Certification

Package it as a mandatory program that ends up with a certification. This program is administered through a smartphone based learning system. It is initiated by the immediate manager of the new salesperson.

2. Content Structure

The content needs to be in form of :

  • Training content, interactive and videos
  • Handouts for further reading
  • Assessments

The content needs to get delivered in millennial-friendly “7-minute nuggets” – to be consumed over the first 3 days.

3. Content coverage

Plan to cover the following content.

  • Company

    • A welcome video from the company senior management
    • Training covering History, Culture, Innovations, Awards
  • KPIs

    • Get here right at the beginning: This will set the tone for the rest of the training
  • Processes

    • Joining formalities – how to get the salary account configured, leave system set up etc.
    • Daily routine recommended and processes thereof
    • What is the selling process recommended by the company to the salesperson
    • Mandatory reporting processes
  • Products

    • The biggest section of the training program
    • De-mystify the product technology to any fresh sales people or people from other segments
    • Get a clear articulation of the product portfolio – explain the function of each of the products in the portfolio
    • Focus on: Target audience for the product, the elevator pitch, key selling propositions, further explanation of difficult terms, competition handling, objection handling, the stories to be told and conclude with a neat summary.
    • Include product brochures, videos, demos and other titbits in the training

The content structure needs to be reviewed every quarter for new information that is required for selling.

4. Assessments

  • At each stage of the program, set up assessments. There are two different objectives for assessments and they have to be set up differently:
    • Assessment to reinforce the learning: Typically immediately after a module or for a refresher. Push the sales person to take the assessment until they get 100% correct.
    • Assessment to check the learning levels: Could be timed or not timed, with randomization in questions. This is to check the knowledge level score of the person.
    • Set up one assessment in the orientation time frame. Set up another at Day + 15 and Day + 30 to reinforce the learning and assess knowledge retention levels.

5. Process Rigor: Core Messaging

  • It should be made amply clear in the initial communication process that this is absolutely mandatory before the person hits the floor. Experienced sales personnel might try to skip – that should be done consciously by the team leader.
  • The training manager should give the overall annual training plan in the video and say that this is an important part of being a salesperson for this company.
  • The Team Leader should be in charge of inviting the user to the training application – and making sure that the salesperson gets familiar about what needs to be done.

6. Badges

  • Some companies provide a stock of badges to the immediate manager. The Immediate Manager can provide the badge to the salesperson on completion of the course. The smartphone app can also provide the badges.

7. Responsibility

  • Messaging on importance and setting up the environment: Sales Head & the sales hierarchy
  • Getting the content ready and refreshed – the program structure in place: Training Manager
  • Inviting the user to the app, getting them oriented and tasking them to complete the orientation: Immediate Manager
  • Getting trained and certified by Day 3 informing the immediate manager: The New Sales Person

8. Metrics

  • Operational metrics: Number of new joiners per month, number of joiners certified in <3 days, 4-10 days, 10+ days
  • Knowledge metrics: Quiz scores for the program. Certification Quiz, D+15 quiz (15 days after the program), D+30 quiz.
  • Business Impact: We can easily measure the “before-after” of this program. Check the new salesperson Month 1 performance before the implementation of the program and after – that will clearly indicate the net impact of the program.

On the floor on Day 3

  • Companies can gain a lot of getting the salesperson floor ready asap: The revenue, leadership and morale benefits are enormous.
  • A smartphone-based employee orientation program is a force multiplier. It can get the new team ready for the Face 2 Face logistics are worked out.
  • The sales management commitment to execute the program and the messaging is most critical for success
  • Set up content based on Company, KPIs, Processes, and Products. Set up assessments on Day 3, Day 15, Day 30.
  • Give certification, badges – make it aspirational.
  • Track the metrics of the program: Operational, Knowledge, Business Impact

“Engage and enable your frontline sales team with
BsharpCorp Mobile Sales Enablement platform”


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Your next product launch and a mission ready sales team

By | 2018-03-21T05:47:18+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Blogs|

Success of Sales Enablement Team & Product Launches

Product launches are typically make or break times for most companies. It is the perfect opportunity for the Sales Enablement teams to pitch in strongly to enhance the objectives. A field ready sales team gives a 30-45 head start for achieving the product transition objectives.

Challenges

  • Face to Face training happens in a distributed fashion – over time
  • There is a plethora of communication. The sales enablement team needs to cut through the clutter of communication to the field to get their attention
  • Need to communicate #What_is_in_it_for_you

Smartphone-based force multiplier

Smartphone-based field enablement is a powerful force multiplier for new product introductions. A sustained program through smartphones from the Sales Enablement Manager will help in the acceleration of the field knowledge levels.

Seven Steps to a mission-ready sales team

  1. Set up objectives:

    Objective of the product launch readiness exercise: Set up clear metrics in terms of

    • # People to be certified
    • Field Knowledge levels
    • Key messages to be pushed
    • Audit scores that are expected

This is typically done about 30 days before the product launch.

  1. Alignment with the CSO:

    Getting their “buy-in and support” for the objective is key to the success of the campaign.

    • Messaging support: Can the Product Manager appear in a 2-minute video about the importance of the product
    • Review cadence: Can the CSO review the field team and managers on the adoption of this training

Getting the management stakeholders aligned is key to a sustainable campaign.

  1. Program Communication:

    Create a memorable branding for the training program for the product ramp. Create communication around the branding to the team.

    • Name, critical milestones, mandatory completion dates
    • #What_is_in_it_for_you if you complete, and if you don’t complete.
    • Set up a clear communication cadence for the duration of the program
  1. Content structure of the smartphone-based program

    • Video from the CSO on the importance of the product
    • Product training structure: Positioning of the product in the portfolio, the Target audience definition, 3-minute elevator pitch, product features in detail, product assets and data sheets, objection handling, competition handling, closing process for the product, other process related inputs, summary
    • Retail set up, equipment set up, demo set up, merchandising requirements
    • Product demo videos from the Product Manager
  1. Continuous assessment and certification:

    Memory needs constant reinforcement. We have observed that 4 levels of reinforcement are required for the field teams to sustain their memory on the product features.

    • Conduct assessments on Day 0, Day 10, Day 20, Day 30 of the launch
    • Day 0 assessment: After the completion of the above training program
    • Day 10 assessment: Timed assessment with randomized questions to check the field knowledge score.
    • Day 20 assessment: Open book assessment, with multiple submissions that pushes every user to get 100% before submission. This will ensure that they know all the relevant answers – even if they have to refer to their notes for it.
    • Day 30 assessment: Final assessment where the field teams compete for high scores and glory. This will set up the pass criteria.

On completion of the course and the assessments, the salesperson can get certified on the product. A certification by Day 30 is mandatory for the field sales person to sell the product.

  1. Discussions: 

    Set up discussion forums around the training and assessment. This is towards:

    • Provide clarifications on key questions that field teams might have
    • To address ongoing sales situations like sales processes, competition
    • To motivate and rally the engaged sales personnel
  1. Leaderboards and contests:

    • Set up ongoing leaderboards – leaderboards can be organized by teams (instead of one at the national level) to provide higher level of motivation
    • Set up contests and prizes (typically e-com vouchers) to incentivize the team

Metrics

You need to set up clear metrics to be tracked as part of the program:

  • Number of sales personnel, (retail outlets) engaged, by region for training
  • Number of sales personnel certified
  • Final knowledge assessment score levels

F2F Reinforcement:

A face to face reinforcement within the first 1 month of launch is also usually part of the plans. The F2F messaging need to reinforce the smartphone-based training.

Audit:

Companies have quarterly audit processes to verify field team readiness. The audit needs to be designed to evaluate the efficacy of the mobile sales enablement program.

Product Launch Tailwinds: 

Dozens of factors have to come together for product launch success. Getting the distributed sales team ready is one of the most critical aspects of the CSO, Product Manager, and the Sales Enablement Manager.

A smartphone-based field sales enablement program to inform, train, assess, engage the interest of the field sales team will put in the much-needed tailwinds behind the product launch.

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Ideas for salesperson enablement at Launch & Ramp Up stage of product lifecycle are here.

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Lazy Learner’s Syndrome: mLearning as a tool for Product Introductions

By | 2018-03-21T05:55:19+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Blogs|

Lazy Learner’s Syndrome and mLearning

You thought you have pretty much mastered it. You know the new product inside out. “I can crack this”,  you think after the training, “I can remember the product features very well. I can ace the mLearning quiz and the demo there after. ”

The next morning is the all important demo. The points are all there in the head. The details are missing. You are able to recall the product benefits. But the metrics and percentage improvements are all fuzzy. It was pretty clear and simple. Until you are asked to articulate the pitch.

Welcome to the Lazy Learner’s Syndrome. 

Louise Rasmussen calls so in her “Total Recall Delusion” blog. You mind tricks you into believing that you have mastered it, but it still hasn’t digested the details. So you know the “big picture”, but in sales as with everything, the details matter.

I confess I have been a subject of this delusion when I was a student. If only I had known…

The success of your next new product is dependent on this “Total Recall” – by your sales personnel across the market.

The details of the features matter. The percentage improvement figures matter. Detailed articulation matters. How do you transfer the training presentation into a winning pitch – across markets?

This was the challenge we faced with our customer – their consumer electronics product was getting refreshed and their team was distributed across the country. How can they make sure that the team doesn’t suffer the “Total Recall Delusion?”

To solve this problem, the customer implemented a “Get 100 Quiz”.

All the sales personnel need to answer 25 questions from a pool of 50. They have to get it 100% right – they have to unlimited attempts to get it right.

This quiz was implemented through the Bsharp’s mobile learning app. The platform happily supported these features for this “Get 100” quiz. The customer went online with this over the weekend.

The question types that the customer-focused: (examples)

  • * Conceptual questions: Example: If an engineering college student approaches you to buy the product, what is your key selling points?
  • * Fact recall questions: Example: What is the improvement of 7th Generation product over the 8th Generation product for playing games?

The customer’s approach to handle “Lazy Learner’s Syndrome”:

  • * Get 100 quiz done through the Bsharp learning mobile app
  • * 25 questions out of a pool of 50
  • * The salesperson needs to get 100% right, has  infinite attempts
  • * Repeat the quiz for 2 fortnights, like the doctor ordered
  • * They can even refer to the notes from the training
  • * Collaborate with colleagues, if required, for the answers

It is Cognitive Psychology, simple:

  • * This ensured better recall of the facts on the shop floor
  • * The demo audit scores increased

The product transition is underway and is smooth as the field team is aligned closely with the product’s strategy.

Avoid the Lazy Learner’s Syndrome in your field team. That is going to impact your product ramp. Use mLearning and mobile device based quiz as a master tool to address field recall.

Remember the pitches, recall the details and ace the market.

Happy Selling.

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Can mobile learning increase sales?

By | 2018-03-21T05:57:41+00:00 June 19th, 2017|Blogs|

It is over 3.5 years since the first customer went live on the­ Bsharp field sales engagement platform.

Our core assumptions:

We spend a lot of time on the core assumptions of the business –

  1. Companies will want to train, engage, empower field force on their mobile phones.
  2. Sales persons will take their training’s on their mobile phones
  3. All stake holders in the organisation (from the management to the sales person) will find this arrangement beneficial [Positive sales impact]

Fast forward to now, the trends are mighty strong. This tail wind is what keeps us innovating on the platform on a daily basis.

Mobile computing is the dominant work trend:

27% of users use ONLY smartphones in a typical day : Thinking with Google

The average user will have 3+ mobile devices: Gartner

Mobile computing for work is rapidly increasing: 48% of employee facing IT investments are mobile focused: Forbes

mLearning is now a way of organizational life: Lynda.com

34% of companies surveyed have implemented a mLearning program

30% of users surveyed have used their mobile phone for organizational learning

70% of users have increased motivation to learn when learning through a mobile device

It was done in a variety of locations: 32% during business travel, 26% at home, 24% while commuting, 18% office/elsewhere.

mLearning brings in comparable or better learning outcomes : Lynda.com

Improves learning time: Smartphone users finished courses, on an average, 45% faster

A global pharma company achieved 53% improvement in knowledge retention among staff

Same knowledge transfer and assessment results as classroom, eLearning: At lesser time

Sales persons are enthusiastically engaged:

In learning only platforms, we have ~55% of the users engaged on a weekly basis, due to the social nature of the learning

We have ~12% of users contributing to every single discussion in the forum

Sales persons use their own mobiles (not the Enterprise’s) to adopt to this program there by reducing the TCO.

When 300 new sales people joined a large customer of ours, we could do the induction traning in a few days and get the sales personnel in the store.

Business are seeing sales impact:

People who are more engaged sell about 7% more than the less engaged personnel.

Training and assessments are used to identify the bottom 10% of performers.
The Gold and Platinum class performers sell an incremental 17% more premium mix.

Focus groups have revealed that sales personnel are using mobile based tools (videos, PDFs) to make the customer

So what is in it for you:

These are the questions you should ask to yourselves –

  1. How do we engage the sales personnel on a daily basis?
  2. Can we have tools to make the sales call more effective?
  3. How do we provide 5 minute trainings regularly
  4. How do we induct the team in the most efficient fashion?
  5. How can we have a forum for sales personnel to highlight field objections?
  6. How do we conduct assessments and identify the strong and weak knowledge areas?
  7. How do we empower the line managers with all this information for effective decision making?
  8. How can we have a forum for Product Managers to highlight the effective Objection handling?
  9. How do we keep it sustained?

A well constructed mobile sales force engagement program can help you engage the field team better and help them sell more.

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Sales tracking getting critical due to GST? Go mobile now!

By | 2018-03-21T05:57:29+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Blogs|

D-Day July 1st. The GST regime kicks in.

Your organisation is focused on optimising the stock on the D-Day.

You want to minimise your stock exposure, your partner exposure, and your tax exposure on that day.

Your product management team is geared to take the right decisions to liquidate the stock efficiently before the D-Day.

But how are they getting the raw data on secondary sales? Calling the sales guy, partner every day? Through excel sheets that need to be collated? Through text messages with lots of followups?

Let the corporate office team focus on what they do best: Analysing the situation, taking critical decisions in the market. Bsharp can get you the information from your field team.

BsharpCorp is a mobile tool to get field information from your sales team instantly.

  • Invite your sales team to download the app and login securely
  • Add your partners, your product SKUs
  • Define the format for the report
  • Viola! You are done.

Your sales team can report happily and securely through the mobile app [Android, iOS]. You can get consolidated data for your analysis.

Check out more at https://bsharpcorp.com/features/

Let Bsharp set it up for you. It takes less than 30 minutes to set it up for your team.

What’s more you could deploy other data capture forms with elements including photographs, GPS locations and voice!

Want to track secondary sales with your field sales representatives for GST D-Day?

Write to us with your telephone at gops@bsharp.in.

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This is what retail store managers ought to learn from soccer

By | 2018-03-21T06:15:34+00:00 March 16th, 2017|Blogs|

If you missed the clash between Barcelona and PSG on 9th March 2017, this is what the score card looked like…

Barcelona 1. PSG 0. Barcelona 2. PSG 0. Barcelona 3. PSG 0. Barcelona 3. PSG 1. Barcelona 4. PSG 1. Barcelona 5. PSG 1. Barcelona 6. PSG out of the champion’s league.

So, what have we learnt? Keeping score is fun and helpful to. Because sometimes, giving out participation certificates might just not cut it.

Especially, when you have a retail stores all over the country and you need to step up your game against your competitors.

So this is how you can approach this,

You will obviously have to audit your stores to see which of your stores are doing well. To see which of them are at par with the standard you and the industry sets, you will have to grade them on parameters that you think are important.

So, you can send out a bunch of auditors. You know, people with legal pads, pencils and cameras. They audit the store using their questionnaires, fill them out and then mails them to your team. Your team then collates. Happily through the night. Excel sheets. Assigning scores to answers. Then begin tabulating the scores.

Multiple cups of coffee and several hours later, you finally know which of your stores is doing better that the other. You now, finally have your best store and your weakest link.

Ok, now let us note down the various things that could have gone wrong.

The auditor might have not found the store and yet audited it :).

The hand filled questionnaires could have got lost in transit and if you received them by email, they might not have been scanned properly.

Auditor’s hand writing could be illegible

Data entry and collation can help a lot of errors to creep in.

A bunch of rogue pigeons could attack the mailman/woman en route your office.

You could do all this. And account for all of the above points. Or,

You could just,

Voila, analytics ready audit data in 7 steps. You now know your strongest store and the ones that need to improve.

Aren’t points fun?

Let us know what you think.

PS. No PSG fans were hurt when this blog was being written.

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