Virtual Selling Excellence

The world of work has essentially changed forever with virtual selling. Many organizations may not have the luxury of augmenting their salesforce with talent that is more naturally suited for this environment, however there is a real opportunity to use this new medium to make our sales teams even better. Ted Olsen leads this conversation in helping sales leaders understand how to coach individuals who are struggling in the new environment by continuing to tap into their natural strengths

Ted Olson currently leads the rapidly expanding partner activation channel at The Predictive Index (PI). Prior to this role, Ted built the direct sales team at PI that broke every record in the 65 year history of the company.

 

Show notes: 

  • Many folks who are now struggling to adapt their presentation, their ability to ask good questions in a virtual environment is because it’s a different medium. To be able to pivot, and do it well is challenging for many. That said, the digital environment is ideal for really sharpening and honing your sales skills because you can use data such as talk time, interaction time, and patience scores to improve.

 

  • If your top performers are coming to you with a list of “B player” excuses (I can’t get my call cadence right, prospects aren’t responding; the environment’s really difficult), the first thing is to set the tone that that’s not okay.

 

  • When it comes to rethinking goals for the second half of 2020, it is up to the sales leader to inform the management team of the changes. For example, based on the data that we have so far, based on reduced number of leads, etc., we can begin to project and forecast new numbers and figure out some creative approaches that will help us find our way through the storm.

 

  • Everyone is looking for help in navigating the storm. And right now B players are not going to last in this storm. They’re going to be siphoned out.

 

  • The same way that professional sports uses data and stats to understand which players to put on the field, in which order, in which position, working on the same goals to deliver on the goal, that’s what Predictive Index does to build a winning sales team.

 

  • The discipline of talent optimization, (which is the idea of using data to understand your people so you understand what naturally resonates with them), so you can tap into those superpowers, is a sales leader’s secret weapon. 

 

  • Every sales environment is different. Data helps you to understand your people so you understand what naturally resonates with them and their behavioral styles to know which environment will best suit them. 

 

  • Some sales systems and environments are operationalized and process-driven that you need a different type of person to be super effective in that environment versus the more typical, stereotypical salesperson who is naturally persuasive and can think quickly on their feet.

 

  • The world of work has essentially changed forever with more remote work.

 

  • There are behavioral drives that you can recognize and pick up with PI software that helps sales leaders understand who are those that can really struggle in an environment, in a virtual environment and who are perfectly capable of functioning at a very high level in a remote environment.

 

  • Many organizations may not have the luxury of augmenting their salesforce with behavioral profiles that are more naturally suited for this environment, however there is a real opportunity to use this virtual environment to make our sales team even better.

 

  • When you understand how someone is naturally wired, you’ll know how best to coach them in this new environment. 

 

  • Leaders should come alongside individuals who are struggling in the new environment to continue to tap into their natural strengths. So if you are that innovative type, if you are that person who thinks on their feet, well, what could you do creatively in this digital world? What could you do differently that could have a real impact and make that connection digitally with your prospect? Is it video? Is it the way you set up your slide deck? Is it the questions you ask? Because you have to change because the medium has changed.

 

  • 50% of sales organizations don’t have a defined sales process. Of the half that do, you give your sellers a 33% better chance of being at quota.

 

  • In a great economic conditions, you’re probably free to essentially operate without a playbook, but when times are tight and things shift, you need more process and procedure. You need some infrastructure and you need to scale, you need to have a playbook and sales plan.

 

  • In an effective playbook, the roles, responsibilities and accountability is clear. The steps are clear so that if you’re at this step, then you should be expected to be running this playbook, these plays.

 

  • 70% of salespeople learn peer-to-peer. 

 

  • Role-plays allows you to train and practice just the same way professional sports scrimmages. They practice, they run the plays over and over and over again, until everyone’s a master at it.

Links mentioned in this episode:

About Ted

Ted Olson currently leads the rapidly expanding partner activation channel at The Predictive Index (PI). Prior to this role, Ted built the direct sales team at PI that broke every record in the 65 year history of the company. He’s been in sales longer than he cares to admit, often getting it wrong. He’s recently been piloting his own sales framework and methodology that offers a unique approach for anyone in sales – whether they like selling or not. 

When not at work, Ted practices martial arts and homeschools his four kids with his wife, Nicole. They have two dogs (Oatmeal and Honeybee) and a guinea pig (Pinball) – his kids wanted him to add this last part.

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