Coaching your sales teams at scale

You have a sales team, and being a good boss, you want to give them the tools they need and then release them to sell up a storm. Coach them on what the future customer is going to throw back at them, get them all the possible product information they need, but let them loose on the world.

How do you do that across timezones? And do you give the inside sales team the same info as the marketers, and the same as the field team? And can you really afford to fly everyone in every time you have a product release?

You can automate the sales coaching process. The following platforms let you coach at scale, so your team is prepared to hit their number.

 

19th Mile is an automated sales coaching system that provides personalized, data driven coaching to sales reps. 19th Mile offers a full-feature sales CRM that covers contacts, accounts, leads, opportunities, activities, tasks, and channel partners. It integrates with your email and calendar and is voice-text enabled. The full set of features is available on the mobile app making it very easy for sales people to access, and update information on the road. It has been designed as a ‘mobile first’ application. All transactions and data recording are done using the mobile app only, while reporting, importing and exporting data are done on the web. The comprehensive analytics that 19th Mile app calculates is used to provide algorithm and data driven sales coaching to sales reps. Sales coaching takes the form of early warnings, deal risks and risk mitigation advice, and daily action lists.
BEST FEATURE: 19th Mile has a library of 50+ pre-built, ready to use metrics and associated reports that provide a comprehensive view into an individual’s and organization’s sales performance.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Showpad Coach is a sales coaching platform that enables enterprises seeking to deliver engaging onboarding and training to help sales representatives succeed. Build confidence through recorded practice, role-plays and peer review, and test team retention of key concepts. Showpad Coach offers field and inside sales reps get bite-sized learning experiences, arranged in paths that encompass both courses and real-world assignments. Reps can easily see what they need to do, execute their learning assignments, and record their sales pitches to demonstrate their knowledge.
BEST FEATURE: Showpad Coach’s Manager Hub streamlines sales coaching and training for field and inside sales reps.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Akordis Sales is a guided sales training platform that delivers continuous sales training. The Akordis dashboard helps Professional Services leaders train agents, guide agents through current pipeline strategy, forecast future revenue, analyze sales performance and understand what needs improvement.
BEST FEATURE: Akordis Sales delivers continuous sales training on live sales leads, to make sure that whatever you are selling, the sales process is perfect.
PRICING: See vendor for details.


Brainshark for Coaching
 is a video-based coaching platform that ensures sales representatives are practiced in any scenario. Initiate video coaching activities to measure, score and certify rep preparedness across your entire organization. Ensure sellers retain the information they learn during training and can demonstrate mastery of key messages.
BEST FEATURE: Capture and share your best video examples to foster peer learning and improve team-wide performance.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Just-in-Time Learning from Allego elevates sales performance by combining training, practice, coaching and knowledge sharing into one app, using mobile, video, and peer collaboration to reinvent learning for the dynamic needs of sales teams.
BEST FEATURES: Enables virtual learning through video sharing.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Rehearsal is a video-based practice platform that allows people to practice their sales and communication skills, receive coaching, and collaborate with others anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Use video-based scenarios to provide new members with necessary knowledge and skills and challenge your team with custom scenarios that sharpen skills and boost confidence.
BEST FEATURES: Rehearsal works on tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones. browser and an Internet connection.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

vplaybook is a platform enabling enterprises seeking to create video training programs for sales professionals. vPlaybook provides a platform for sales leaders to manage and distribute digital sales playbooks consisting of content and strategies focused on the customer conversations their sales reps will encounter. vPlaybook also enables you to provide just-in-time training to your sales reps ahead of a sales call or big presentation by equipping them with the information they need to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
BEST FEATURE: vPlaybook provides a customizable framework for managers to use playbooks and role-play videos when coaching their reps. Videos give salespeople access to what a good customer conversation looks and sounds like, making it easy to replicate the behavior of top performers.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

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Attack Your Stack: Vendors as Consultants

For many vendors, integrating into an existing technology environment is an essential operational requirement. Increasingly these vendors are asking for a list of the marketing technology stack components prior to generating a proposal and implementation recommendations, and they are learning a lot about stack architecture and implementation along the way. Some of these vendors are now beginning to offer stack audit and recommendation services and are willing to work with prospective customers to map their stack environments. However, if you engage them for these services, be sure to ask if they are compensated for recommending certain vendors. Some vendors, like Salesforce and Marketo, earn commissions on the sale of products on their exchanges, and this can bias their recommendations. If you need help with stack development or just with identifying all the tools in use across your organization, have a conversation with your vendors. You might find that they have a professional services team ready to step in and assist.

To download your full copy of the Attack Your Stack workbook via instruction at the link.

Anita Brearton is founder and CEO of CabinetM, a platform that helps marketers take control of their marketing technology environments. In addition to CabinetM, Anita is a CMS Wire monthly columnist and speaks frequently on marketing practices and stack building.
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Pegasystems acquires platform for unified customer communications

In The Chat, an enterprise-grade digital customer service platform provider that unifies text messaging, social media, live chat, email, messengers, and chatbots, has been acquired by Pegasystems. ITC’s platform will be integrated with Pega’s AI-powered customer engagement solutions, providing clients a seamless way to connect with customers.

From the release: “In The Chat’s technology and the talented employees behind it will bring valuable new capabilities to our customer engagement solutions,” said Kerim Akgonul, SVP of products, Pegasystems. “We look forward to debuting the new solution at PegaWorld this year.”

Link: Pega News

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Jifflenow releases B2B sales tool

Jifflenow, producing scheduling and meeting software, has released Briefing Centers, sales tool that enables B2B marketers seeking to schedule, manage and analyze briefings. Jifflenow Briefing Centers Software also allows sales teams to request briefings from within their Salesforce CRM software application, enabling sales executives to easily request and plan customer visits while managing opportunities within Salesforce. Briefing Centers also allows teams to plan agendas, schedule meetings, conduct surveys and analyze data.

From the release: “To accelerate business growth, B2B enterprises must increase face to face customer and partner engagements with executives and experts,” said Hari Shetty, CEO at Jifflenow. “While spreadsheets can be used for low volume meetings or briefings, customers need a robust, customizable, MAP to conduct more briefings that establish relationships and advance the sales cycle. We have enhanced our platform that is successfully being used by hundreds of companies for meetings at events to include engagements at briefing centers.”

Link: BusinessNow

Visit Jifflenow Briefing Centers on CabinetM.

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Enrich from Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg enhances B2B lead records

Zoominfo and DiscoverOrg have partnered to launch Enrich, a data appending tool that enables marketers to improve existing and incoming B2B lead records. Enrich comes standard with fields including “technographic” information, which includes when a technology was purchased or dropped by a prospect. Enrich is immediately available to all DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo customers.

From the release: “Good data drives good business decisions, while bad data results in costly business decisions. It’s literally that simple,” says Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg Co-Founder and CEO. “With immediate and ongoing access to correct, complete and consistent information, wherever that data lives, Enrich makes it easy for our customers to focus on what they do best: selling and marketing with confidence.”

Link: Zoominfo Business

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Salesforce to add Bonobo.AI’s conversational intelligence to Sales Cloud

Salesforce has signed an agreement to acquire Bonobo.AI, a conversational intelligence platform. Bonobo’s technology will enhance the Salesforce Sales Cloud platform, enabling users to leverage conversational intelligence within their own customer data.

From the release: “Bonobo AI will enhance the power of Salesforce Sales Cloud by leveraging conversational intelligence within the Salesforce Platform, allowing companies to utilize one of their most valuable sources of data – customer interactions,” stated an update on the Bonobo blog.

Link: Bonobo Blog

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Acquia acquires Mautic

Acquia, the open source digital experience company, announced it has acquired Mautic, creator of a automation and campaign management platform. The acquisition will support Acquia’s in its goal to offer the industry’s first Open Digital Experience Platform.  Mautic will also bring its more than 100 MarTech integrations.

From the release: “In today’s world, brands need to engage with their customers in a unified and intelligent way,” said Dries Buytaert, Acquia co-founder, CTO, and chairman. “The addition of Mautic helps us support brands on this mission, while also pushing us towards our vision of building the Open Digital Experience Platform. With this acquisition, we are combining open source content management with open source marketing automation. Just as Drupal disrupted web content management, we believe Mautic disrupts the marketing automation world with open source, providing our customers faster innovation, more agility, more flexibility, and better integrations.”

Link: Acquia Newsroom

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Leadspace On-Demand adds single control center to platform

Leadspace, providing a customer data tool, has added Leadspace On-Demand to its platform. The feature is a single control center that gives Sales and Marketing all the power to optimize, analyze, align and activate their data with tools for managing data, visually exploring and analyzing account and persona data and scoring models, and creating segments for sales and marketing campaigns.

From the release: “B2B sales and marketing teams wrestle with many challenges that can be traced back to their inability to get a handle on, and strategically use, customer data that lives across their siloed systems,” said Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher. “With Leadspace On-Demand we’re giving control back to them with a single, easy-to-use interface for putting data to work in their strategic campaigns and efforts. Now they can better know, target and act on the right accounts and contacts, and more effectively grow their business.”

Link: Leadspace Press Releases

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Product Management tools for when your hair is on fire

When your hair is on fire, when you’re on a deadline, when you need to get your team to get a product, a post, a contract out the door, what are the last things you need to spend half an hour searching for?

  • Passwords
  • A headshot of the boss, the one she liked that was almost exactly like the 40 others from the same photo shoot
  • The HEX color number for your new logo
  • The text you use describing your company, which is the same every single time
  • The deadline for that next thing you have an intern gathering resources on

Luckily there are platforms where you can store this information and share it with your team. They’re not Digital Asset Management platforms (they’re less expensive and don’t encode work), and they’re not communications tools between teams. These are Project Management platforms that allow you to track projects for different teams, store boilerplate press releases and social media, you can park logos and images you use a lot, you can even use them to store the passwords for all those other tools you use to get things done.

The following are Product Management tools for marketers:

Basecamp is a cloud-based project management solution designed to be easy to use by anyone. With Basecamp, users can share and collaborate on documents, assign tasks and due dates, share calendars and track to-do lists. Message Boards discussions are threaded, organized, and easy to reference later on.
BEST FEATURE: Campfire is a chat room for discussions and brainstorming sessions.
PRICING: Basecamp is $99 monthly, for all sized-teams.

Trello is a collaborative project management tool that allows teams to organize their ideas and notes into a visual platform. Teams can add as many people they want to their project. Teams are be limited to 10 open “boards” for task management unless they are upgraded to Business Class or Enterprise accounts. Trello has updated its permissions and added restrictions so only account administrators can add Trello features to each account.
BEST FEATURE: Power-Ups include features that are paid for by the instance. Power-Ups include “Travel Planner” and “Custom Fields” and integrations with platforms like Slack and Google.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $9.99 monthly.


Asana
is a highly customizable project management platform for team collaboration of all kinds, including campaign management, product development, bug tracking, daily task management and more. Conversations and tasks are collected all in one place, so everything is actionable, searchable and transparent. Create tasks for planned work for yourself or for a teammate.
BEST FEATURE: Includes timeline view, which translates the project components into a horizontal representation, with color-coded boxes splayed across a calendar layout.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $9.99 monthly.

Monday is project management software built for start-ups designed to centralize all company communication in order to keep everyone engaged and focused. Teams can plan and execute projects in one central place, create a knowledge base and communicate in context.
BEST FEATURE: Search everything in your entire account, including images, posts, updates, mentions and projects.
PRICING: Flexible pricing from 5 users and up, starting at $25 per month billed annually.

Aha! is cloud-based product management platform built for use by both engineers and marketers. Build dynamic roadmaps with automatic notifications of changes.Create wiki-like notes to capture and share additional product and team related information (e.g. meeting notes, competitive research, user personas). View features as cards and drag and drop them into planned releases.
BEST FEATURE: Capture ideas from customers, employees, and others via a custom branded portal.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $59 monthly.

Airtable works like a spreadsheet for organizing any kind of data, but advances the concept with drag and drop functionality, visual containers for images, easily linked connection between related records and simple sharing and collaboration features. Link contact records to company records. Linked records appear as expandable, clickable “cards.”
BEST FEATURE: Native mobile and desktop apps make it easy to edit, comment, and collaborate in real time — changes are instantly synced across everyone’s devices.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $10 monthly.

Smartsheet is an online project management platform using forms to make it easy to collect and act on data, and with easy-to-configure rules that automate repetitive actions. Multiple views allow managers to track work across projects or departments. Share your work with other team members, or simply collaborate on a specific task. Get a clear view of team availability and progress on projects. Smartsheet online web forms are easy to create and customize. It’s the perfect tool to effortlessly collect any kind of information.
BEST FEATURE: With Smartsheet, it’s easy to roll up several project sheets into a master sheet by linking cells across sheets.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $14 monthly.

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SAP releases Data Warehouse Cloud, updates Analytics Cloud

SAP has announced the release of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, a solution built with SAP HANA Cloud Services. It unites heterogeneous data in one solution, maintaining the security, trust and richness of a company’s data. Users can quickly access their entire data landscape and translate it into value in line-of-business-specific spaces with a pay-as-you-go flexible pricing model based on consumption. SAP also released an update to SAP Analytics Cloud, giving customers a dedicated SDK (software development kit) to embed and extend their own analytical applications.

From the release: “With new SAP HANA Cloud Services, SAP aims to bring the power and performance of the SAP HANA database to the cloud where it acts as a single gateway to data of any size to address the challenges of distributed data landscapes. The combination of the in-memory technology of SAP HANA with data virtualization results in simplicity for data consumers and flexibility for data management. A data lake storage tier allows businesses to grow their data managed by SAP HANA without any limits. On-premise customers of SAP HANA are planned to benefit from the new cloud services as they can flexibly add capacity as needed,” the press release stated.

Link: PR Newswire

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