One of the biggest challenges in sales enablement (aka sales effectiveness, sales productivity, sales excellence) is ensuring that every sales rep knows what to say in different selling situations. In response there has been an explosion in the number of software vendors in the business of sales enablement automation using video role plays. Here’s how they work:
- Sales leaders put forward selling scenarios to the sales force.
- Sales reps then use the camera and microphone on their computers to record their responses on how they would handle those scenarios in the real world.
- Fellow sales reps vote on who has the best pitch, overcomes an objection the best way, etc.
Here’s how a few of these vendors describe what they do on their websites:
- Allego – Sales enablement and video learning platform that simplifies your onboarding, training, coaching, and certification of distributed teams through mobile and web.
- Brainshark Sales Coaching Solutions – Leading companies rank “coaching and mentoring” as the MOST important role front line sales managers play. Yet few organizations do so effectively.
- Commercial Tribe – Video-based practice solution enables sales training to stick – helping sales reps hit the number.
- HireVue Accelerate – Digital coaching and structured practice for customer facing teams.
- LearnCore Pitch IQ – Practice and coach with virtual role play to ensure that 100% of your team is on message.
- MindTickle – Sales readiness software that empowers sales reps with the knowledge to win. Scale your sales team while improving effectiveness. Build a culture of sales excellence.
- Rehearsal VRP – a video-based training platform that allows you to efficiently train your team anywhere, any time.
- SalesHood – We modernize on-boarding, coaching and storytelling to grow revenue faster by automating how teams share knowledge.
All of the above solutions are based on practice. Practice is essential to win. So what’s missing?
The answer, to borrow a sport’s metaphor, is ‘game film’ or ‘game tape’ of what happens on the field, in real sales calls, with real buyers.
I was talking with my friend Joe Pappalardo at Everbridge who drew from his experience coaching football teams to elaborate:
A football team gets on the practice field and goes to the weight room to build muscle memory. They also go to the film room to build mind memory. I don’t know many championship teams who didn’t both practice AND watch game tape.
After intercepting the pass from Russell Wilson to win Super Bowl XLIX for the Patriots, Malcom Butler was asked, “Tell me about the pick (interception).” His answer, “Preparation. We studied film.”
Here are reasons why you need ‘game film’ in addition to ‘practice film.’
- There is no better teacher than life. My wife, Ellen, has a master’s in education, so she knows what she’s talking about. She said that people learn through authentic meaningful experiences. I love that description. If your experience is authentic, the lesson is much more likely to stick with you. There is nothing more authentic than a real sales call with a real buyer who can get you a real commission check. ExecVision gives you the ability to revisit which is like having a DVR for your sales team.
- Practice doesn’t throw you curve balls the way the game does. No matter how great the practice scenario, I promise that you will never encounter a real selling situation that is the same. Reviewing the game film of the sales call allows you to understand what to do the next time a buyer does something you don’t anticipate.
- People don’t practice like they play. Psychologically, practice is different because you know you have a safety net. In the game, there is no safety net. Talking to a computer camera is very different than executing a sales call with a real life human buyer. Sales reps who are certified on video practice software frequently sell differently in the real world. Without ExecVision game film you have no visibility into this.
- Practice takes time. Yes, practice is critical. But too much practice takes sales reps away from how they make a living – selling. The benefit of game film is that you can keep selling and still keep learning.
This begs the question. If budgets are limited and you can only have ‘practice film’ or ‘game film’ which one would you choose?
As a sales (or sales enablement) leader, how do you balance learning from practice and learning from the game?