The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Reach Productivity 40% Faster By Doing This One Thing w/ Bryan Naas

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Practice makes perfect. Well, maybe not always perfect, but at the very least, practice will always make progress. It’s true whether you’re training for a marathon, teaching a child how to ride a bike, or learning how to pitch your product.

Despite this reality, not enough sales companies put enough effort into creating opportunities for their reps to practice what they’re pitching each and every day. Imagine the progress they could make with even just 10 minutes of practice a week.

Bryan Naas is the Director of Sales Engagement at Lessonly, a sales training software. They work primarily with sales and customer service teams to help them train reps and provide development opportunities to practice at scale so that they can perform better when it’s time to get in front of a customer.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes resources in the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of these sales engagement podcast. I'm your host, Jovi Nolo, senior content managing editor. Over at outreach. We've got another fantastic show to day. We're joined by Brian Nass, director of sales enabled it over at lessonly. He's going to talk about the power of practice, things that companies aren't doing, things that companies should be doing and some good role playing exercises that you can implement right away. But before we get into that, I'm going to toss the n of the Brian who can introduce himself tell us a little bit more about his background and what he's doing over at lessonly. Bryan, thanks for being on the show. Hey, Joe, thank you. I really appreciate you having me on so at. Like Joe said, I'm my name is Brian Nass. I've been with lessonly for almost a year and a half now. Before lessonly I spent five years at sales force, exact target. We are a sales force, a acquisition here out of Indianapolis. I have been in sales enablement pretty much that whole time once I joined over to the sales force world, working really closely with our sales management team to train everybody, from our s andb reps at the strs all the way up to our enterprise reps that handled our biggest accounts at sales force. Since coming to lesson lie I am building out our entire enablement program here. So doing everything from bringing new reps on, is a scaling start up, bringing new reps on and getting them on boarded and to productivity as quickly as we possibly can, to working with with our reps on a daytoday basis to improve their skills get the...

...knowledge that they need to most effectively sell our products. We define sales and ament a little bit broadly here. Essentially, sales enablement for us is anyone that talks to our customers and in many situations that can be everyone right. So primarily working with our frontline sales team, both strs and a he's, also do a lot of work with our CX team as well. So really try to help everyone along the way be the best that they can and do their best work. Along those lines, we can jump right into the meet of the PODCAST. Great practice probably plays a big role in all of that. Can you define what you mean by practice and how that affects sales enablement? Yeah, absolutely, it's so practice is just it's a simple concept, right. It's it's when you you learn something or you consumes a piece of content, in order to effectively be able to do something with that information, you have to put it into practice, and that could be as simple as role playing with a peer. It could be as simple as sending mock emails to yourself to practice putting it into place. All too often what we end up doing in the business world is we give someone new information. Let's say that our reach you guys release a new product, right, you guys are releasing product updates all the time. Let's say you send that information to your sales reps and then you say hey, here's a PDF, here's the powerpoint deck, here might be a quick video with the information. That you need, you need to be equipped with to sell and then we say hey, go sell it. Right. We don't provide the right development opportunities for our reps often enough to give them the at bats. is of like to think about it to be the most effective as quickly as possible. I really like to compare it to sports, right, and it's one one of my favorite analogies. When you think about practicing in sports, so you think about an...

NFL team or an MLB team or even even your favorite high school or or college team, they are constantly putting their craft into practice. They spend most of their time practicing, and that's across really all professions, right. A musician, your favorite band, they spend most of their time practicing. Your favorite artists, they have more failures at their painting or their drawings then they do the masterpieces that they put out on a wall of a gallery. And so we just don't do that enough. And so if you think about it from that sports world, if an NFL team would take in brand new play, think about it that as information on a new product, and put it into try to put it into practice on Game Day, they would fail at it miserably. Right when they want to put it into the game, they have to practice it over and over again in order to effectively perform at it when and when it's game time. And so we think about that the same way here. Right when you have something new that you need your reps to do, we have to give them opportunities through role play, through situations where they can try that out before they get in front of that customer. And why do you think it is that this seems to be some sort of like revolutionary concept, though? We got to practice these things. Why? Why haven't? Why isn't every team taking the time to drill down on on these new concepts, is new product features, whatever, before they go out and try and sell? Yeah, that's a great question and it's not revolutionary. Right. We've been doing role play since I've been in the industries, and saying I mean we do role play type things all the time. The challenges we just don't do it enough because we we too often have not equipped ourselves to do it at scale. Companies have not equipped themselves to do it at scale right, and so role play is hard. Not only is it hard, difficult, because getting in front of a peer or a manager and being...

...vulnerable to where you might fail in front of them. That that's difficult and it's we don't often want to do that as human beings, but it's also hard to facilitate because it takes a lot of time and taking that time away from our selling to time is we often think of it as a tradeoff as opposed to thinking of it as an investment in our skills that are going to make us better sales people and investment in that information. It's going to make us a better at our job and then make us more productive. We too often look at it as a tradeoff, and you're obviously very passionate about all this stuff because of what lessonly does. Before we get in in anymore, what does Persan we do, and how it does lessonly help this whole process? Yeah, absolutely so. Last only is sales training software. Right. So we work primarily with sales and customer service teams to help them train their reps give them the development opportunities to practice at scale so that they can ultimately perform the best when it's time. Our mission hero lessonly is to help people do better work so they can lead better lives, and we truly believe that enablement in training is a way to do that. If you think about your day to day, when you are confident in yourself and when you are confident and what you know and your skills, it means you're going to perform better at work. And when you perform better at work, you take that home with you. When you have a good day at work, when you're having a good week, when you're having a good month or year, you take that home and ultimately you have a better home life. And that's where we believe that that is our grand mission in training software is the way we are doing that, putting that into practice. Now I can't agree with you more. I just did a an episode like for Thanksgiving about kind of a professional gratitude and how happiness improves performance and work, and there's nothing more truth than that. Right if you are you have a great day, that translates into every aspect of your life. So I totally am with you on the training...

...being a facilitator of that. But let me play devil's advocate for a moment. Sure, let's say I'm a salesmanager. I've just on boarded five reps and I need get them producing as quickly as possible. While yes, I want to give them the tools they need, the information they need to be successful. I also need them producing. Sure. How do you reconcile those two things? Because training does take time. Yeah, absolutely, and I think the biggest answer to that, for the most important thing about that is it's about that training at scale. It's about doing micro learning so that it doesn't take a half day or doesn't take a full day where we're pulling reps off the floor and putting them into a full day training. But we want to give reps that just in time enablement so that they can perform and learn what they need in the in the same time. And I'll put it back in the terms of practice. One of the things that we are really passionate about here, that I'm really passionate about, is practice at scale, and the way we do that is through virtual role play. So you can give a rep, one of your reps, a situation and ask them very simply to here's this new set of information on a product. We want you to record your thirty second sales pitch. It takes a rep five minutes to do that. They we take them off the floor for five minutes to do that, but then we can give them really valuable feedback immediately on how they can improve that pitch, how they can get better before they actually take that front the customer. So I think that the key piece of that is training doesn't have to take a long time. Training can be injected directly into things that we're already doing through micro roleplay type opportunities. It can be injected at scale in our own time, in those down times that we have. It doesn't have to be a half day training session or a full day training session or or a full week of boot camp, even if we're thinking about on boarding. The more we can promote the micro learning aspects and the micropractice aspects of...

...that, the more effect of it's going to be and the less we have to think about that trade off between being on the floor being selling, that selling time and that learning time. And you mentioned virtual role playing. What are a couple of other things that sales managers can implement right away? They can help the training process. Yeah, absolutely so. So I think immediately, what if I were new to a company that they were kind of three different types of role plays that I would want to implement right away? I'd want to implement virtual roleplay, like I mentioned, which is essentially just roleplay at scale. It it's it's video recording, it's screen recording, it's capturing immediate feedback on emails or chat messages, whatever that may be. So being able to facilitate that at scale is number one, one of the an aside to that, one of the things I love about virtual role play as opposed to live role play, which they'll give you. All live role play is necessary and important and key to learning, but one of the things I love about the virtual role play is that what we find, not only us but the industry as a whole, when we ask a rep you or me or whoever, to record something, we will record it multiple times before we actually submit that for feedback, right and so every time I record that I'm saying the words out loud, I'm doing it over and over again. We typically find seven to ten times someone will practice to something and and hit record and then stop and hit record again, and so they're practicing over and over again instead of just that one time that you might do in a live role play. And so that's one of the things that, even though has a greater or the salesmanager, you may only see one version they get sent to you. Your Ref may have done it up to ten times before they sent you that one. So virtual role players first. The second I would implement would be what I call Michel role place, something of microl role play, like...

...you come into a team meeting and you take the first five minutes of a team meeting and you ask two of your reps to role play a situation that someone ran into. It might be an objection and might be something about a new product or a new process that you're putting in place, but just taking small parts of time that is already set aside for meetings, whether that's a one, two one, a team meeting, whatever it may be, and injecting it right there within. And then the third piece that we really encourage here less only is pure role play, and these are completely ad hoc informal sessions where you just grab a pear and say hey, I'm really working on this or I'm really struggling with this in front of customers. Can you come with me for ten minutes and practice this with me in a big part of that is it is again, it's about the repetitions, about finding the time to to do that. Those development opportunities in the space. That isn't necessarily taking me out of my selling time, it's injecting it within that time that I already have set aside. In doing that with peers or your manager or virtually is the best way to do that. So those are the really the three things that I would try to inject immediately into my program if I was just getting started. And do you need a sales enablement function at your company to do all of these things? Or if it's a very small start up, maybe you just a few people on the sales teams. Is something that a manager can do by themselves. Absolutely so. We work with a lot of companies where they don't have an official sales enablement position or a trainer or whatever it may be, and so a manager, a sales manager, can take these concepts and just work one to one with their teams. I like I was mentioning what the microl role plays. If you can inject that practice into the first five or ten minutes of a one to one every month, in the first five or ten minutes of your weekly team meeting, that's going to help your reps learn from each other and practice with each other and everyone...

...is going to continually get better and you don't necessarily have to implement a huge program to do that. What type of success are you seeing companies see when they implement this sort of training program or this sort of practice focus? Right, I mean we need to provide some rlife for our listeners. We're just got taking you a phase value. Now, totally get it. Yeah, I I'll focus is specifically on kind of onboarding, which is kind of the easiest place to see this. Right. The thing that we get with practice is it decreases our time to productivity because, again, we're getting repetitions that it, which means we're going to get to a point where we can perform at our best faster than if we just wait and have to practice with with customers or prospects. Right, because because if we're not practicing with each other, for not role playing, then in reality we are practicing every time we talk to a prospect or a customer and those are those repetitions and and so we can get there faster. So, so we're seeing companies in our clients reduce their ramp time by forty percent, getting getting to productivity forty percent faster. We have some customers that are increasing their productivity by sixty percent really on the back of that practice being able to present the information. It's easy to present information to someone, like I missed before, we can send somebody a PF or a deck. Getting the information to them is relatively easy. But actually what you do with that information, how you put it in the practice to get the knowledge transfer and the behavior change that you're looking for, is really where the gold is of increasing that productivity or decreasing that time to productivity to get to that forty percent. And let's say I'm a customer. How does this improve my buying process? Right my experience with the reps? Can you kind of talk to what you're hearing from customers who have who have dealt with companies who have implemented this sort of program yeah, absolutely so. So...

...what makes it better is we know right now the buying process is changing, the customer service process is changing, and so we all expect and experience and are buying process that is that matched by some of the best consumer experiences now. So we're both in the BEB world and our customers are prospects are influenced by how they are consumers of Amazon, of Walmart, of macy's, whoever the big brands are that are providing exceptional customer experience. So they are expecting that from us, and so by making our reps better, they are able to provide a better customer experience on their sales calls, on their customer service interactions, so that even in a Bob World, they're getting the same type of experience that we are in a consumer world. That's super interesting. The point that you brought up that we are influenced by all of these kind of normal consumer interactions that we have with and I just wish like comcast or my cable provider would go through better training, because it's like volunteers sometimes deal with them. Yeah, absolutely, that's a good point. Our poll perception of our how we should buy doesn't necessarily correspond with like the B to be buying process. It really has to do with some of the things that experienced outside of that. So I think that's absolutely a great takeaway for our listeners. If there was another takeaway, Brian, that our listeners could have, what would that be? One thing they can remember total way. You know, honestly, I'll just go back to kind of what we already talked about, be purposeful about fitting practice into the moments that are already happening within your day to day. So taking that first five or ten minutes of a team meeting, taking that first five or ten minutes of a one to one, is how you were going to start building the confidence with your reps that in making practice a part of the day to day, and that's really one of the...

...key pieces. It is really making them comfortable because, I can mentioned before pradory it's hard, role play is hard, and helping your rep to get comfortable with those development opportunities so that they have the confidence to do them over and over again will help breathe that culture of practice so that they can make themselves better and do better work. Absolutely, and I'm confident that people, after listening to this episode, are going to want to get ahold of you. So how can they do that? Yeah, absolutely, so. So a couple different ways. If you want to reach out to me, I'm always willing to connect on Linkedin, Brian Nass or Brian Dont now set lessonly is my email address, or feel free to reach out to me you're interested in learning more about lesson the our website. You can hop on there a sign up for a demo. One of our great team members will provide a great experience where they can bring you into a call and kind of take you and show you how our platform it can really help you kind of transform your learning programs, your enablement programs to get to that performance that you want out of your team, to get to that sixty percent increase in productivity or the forty percent decrease in time to ramp awesome. I mean those are huge numbers. So I think yeah, you're making a good case for your in the thing is that they're not isolated either. We're seeing it over and over again. We're companies, US included, where we're able to really get that big jump in productivity. Brian I, I appreciate you being on the show today. I want to thank you. I want to take all of our listeners for joining us and we will see you next time on the sales engagement podcast. Thank you. Thank sure, this was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out our reach die Oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (331)