Last week, a colleague asked me what sales process I use. I was at a loss for words because the process I use has become so natural to me that it doesn’t feel like a process. My sales process feels more like a second language… though I’m still working to master it. I strongly believe that this particular process works—I’ve experienced the success it has brought me over the years. Achieving is believing.
What about your sales reps? Has your process become so embedded into their vocabulary that it is clearly driving higher revenue? Have they become believers?
No? You’re not sure? If they aren’t using a sound sales process or sales language, then they aren’t driving the revenue you could be realizing. Sandler Rule #20: The bottom line of professional selling is going to the bank. Show me the money!
How do we get sales rep to know the process, use the process (or see results) and ultimately believe in the process? Many organizations I work with are turning to serious games to accomplish this… with measurable results.
- Know the Process
Before a sales rep has their first conversation with a prospect, the process they need to follow must be known ‘cold’ from memory. Reps generally don’t have the time to consult job aids or resources while they are in the middle of a conversation. Here’s where techniques like spacing and repetition incorporated in an effective serious game can have the greatest impact. Take Cisco for example: Their use of games drove an 86.6% knowledge transfer rate for new sales reps who played. Cisco sales associates cited the use of spaced repetition in the games as pivotal to passing the required certification tests. Spacing and repetition are keys to long-term memory retrieval so that reps can truly talk the talk.
- Do the process
Of course, once reps know the process, we must allow them sufficient time to practice the process. This is no different than any sports team: practice and more practice make for a winning team! Games that leverage additional performance challenges within the game allow players to ‘do’ the process (and make mistakes) before they talk to clients. Performance challenges can be particularly effective as reps are able to contextualize the process into their everyday sales world and conversations. Next, back-end analytics included with many serious games allow trainers to identify any knowledge gaps for the group or spot coaching opportunities with individuals. Like getting ready for a big game, the practice will allow reps to feel comfortable with the process and have a clear pathway to success. Then it’s all touchdowns and dancing in the end zone!
- Believe the Process
If reps know and do the process, will they automatically believe in it, too? We often say that a motivated and engaged learner who is rewarded for their efforts can help in this endeavor. Games inherently engage learners with competitive elements such as status on the leaderboard, badges, trophies and power-ups. These elements motivate players to keep playing… and simultaneously gain confidence with the process. Once confident, reps can sell confidently. And, once they start to see their sales grow, it won’t take a leap of faith to make them believers.
It Starts With Your Leaders
Like your sales process, game-based learning can drive measurable results when combined with support from senior leadership. Many companies I work with have large PR campaigns surrounding new game-based learning initiatives. Organizations who require game play, while still offering great prizes and incentives, are more successful than companies who leave it up to decide if they will play or not. If company leaders don’t make the game a priority, neither will your learners.
The same will happen with your sales process. If it is optional to know, do or believe in, many reps might leave it at a prospect’s door and revenues could suffer as a result. What leader would be happy about that? With well-trained and confident reps, you will see higher rep performance and increased revenues. Your CEO will be so proud.