Solving For the Lack of Coaching and Training for Reps - Second Nature

The worst thing one can do in business is take anything for granted and get too comfortable. At the same time, I must admit that I was one of those caught a bit off-guard hearing about new AI tools, use cases, and potential within the future of work, and in our case, revenue generation.  


A lot of folks have been asking us here what we think about this big evolution. For some time, I have been listening, watching, learning, and working to take a very general idea and turn it into those use cases and examples that will help our GTM sales and revenue industry for the better. 


I've turned to those who have been working with AI, and in particular, Generative AI which is a class of machine learning frameworks. We are having our realizations today in 2023 but this was started in 2014. 


Use cases our readers are interested in include sales training and sales coaching. Training, once delivered, needs to be repeated and reinforced over time, in small but ongoing doses. This has been poorly done for years. 


Coaching should ideally be “just in time” when needed to help support a seller’s efforts as they learn by doing. Coaching is not done as it should be in our corporate world. Research from Objective Management Group shows that sales managers who devote at least 50% of their time to coaching their reps produce reps with a 28% higher sales percentile score (overall score).


Sales managers can’t or won’t coach their reps 50% of the time. I have recently had some conversations with a few of the folks at Second Nature, which has been so interesting.  It really jarred me from some parts of me with fear of less human interaction to realizing the great role this can play to help our sales industry. 


Second Nature has created a Generative AI-based platform for sales training and coaching.  This is a solution to the massive void in sales training, reinforcement, and coaching that we need now. 


Watch the conversation between Second Nature co-founder Ariel Hitron and a senior Zoom sales enablement manager discussing a use case for rep training and sales certification here.  What has been created is a unique and conversational coaching system – they have created a dialogue system that simulates a buyer in a buyer-seller roleplay. 


What I like most is that this creates a “safer” feeling environment for a salesperson. After doing and leading probably thousands of role plays over the years, there is a higher level of discomfort for some than others when presenting to your peers. You get better at it over time, but why not start with success using a platform that will be supportive to a manager’s goals? 


Imagine having a realistic conversation after hours – for the rep having a meeting the next morning and in need of some pointers and help. 


The AI role-play partner that Second Nature has created is called Jenny. In use with sales reps, she becomes a trusted place to bounce off what the rep will be saying to their future buyers. And it’s working. 


Generative AI has taken a “Siri” or “Alexa” response to another level – with some iteration because selling doesn’t work in a scripted way – it is a conversation that twists and turns based on buyer answers. 


I encourage open minds to use platforms and tools that help us improve our sellers. Think about shortening new rep ramp-up time to production, understanding and being able to discuss a new service or offering, and working on the core 21 sales competencies wherever there are gaps. 


Second Nature works through audio delivery currently, and they are working on video and other ideas for the future. Check out the case studies on their website and let me know if your organization is utilizing anything like this. 


Think of a future where sellers get great onboarding role-playing before they speak with an actual prospective buyer. They gain confidence and understanding of what they need to know, do, and say. Just for this, we have a huge use, and there are so many other ways we can benefit from platforms like this one. 


We will feature other platforms in future posts – let us know what you’d like to see more about here.


Lori Richardson is Founder & CEO of Score More Sales, a top B2B sales strategy firm helping mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key sales issues - like recruiting, retention, building an inclusive sales team, process, pipeline, and leadership. Lori is also President of Women's Sales Pros - a community created to get more women in sales and sales leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth, the power of mindset, and the importance and value of strong sales culture.  Salesforce named Lori a Top Sales Influencer in 2023, a Game Changing Sales Influencer to Follow in 2022 and 2021.  LinkedIn named Lori as one of 15 Top Sales Influencers to Follow in 2020. Lori received the 2019 "Lifetime Achievement Award" from AA-ISP (The Global Inside Sales Association) Her book, "She Sells" is available on Amazon.  She hosts an award-winning podcast, Conversations with Women in Sales. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter, Instagram and connect on LinkedIn 


email |My LinkedIn Profile | @scoremoresales

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