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There are plenty of sales teams exceeding their sales quotas today.
Much of their success comes from the commitment their companies have to creating sales training systems that are delivered over SaaS platforms. From Proctor & Gamble, which has a state-of-the-art sales training system delivered entirely over the Web, to General Electric who also has an exceptional sales training program and many others, there are companies investing heavily in SaaS-based training platforms for their sales and distribution networks. Many smaller software companies I have worked with use Force.com as the development platform to create their own sales and partner training systems entirely in-house as well. This area of SaaS application development is proliferating today. Here are several take-aways from the activity going on right now.
Of the thirteen companies I know of who have created their own sales training system entirely on a SaaS platform within the last year, seven have met or exceeded their sales quotas in their latest fiscal year. This is a 53% success rate.
What is going on is that the companies who beat their quotas launched their OnDemand training systems months before a major revenue event, including new product introductions and planned bundling campaigns. The result was a major increase in sales efficiency due to the accelerated and focused training.
- SaaS Training Systems Often Turn Into Competitive Analysis Hubs On Steroids. One enterprise software company is using Force.com as the platform of choice for creating an entire network of sites and portals on competitive analysis topics and projects. This has turned into an online community that unifies direct and channel partner sales with knowledge. It is very effective in distributing competitive pricing and strategy ideas on how to beat competitors on deals.
- Putting Tribal Knowledge to Work Selling. Taking the knowledge inside a company that is learned over time and getting it included in an online training system is invaluable. All companies in the 53% who are beating their quotas have done this. Their training managers are experts at gleaning tribal knowledge out of the company and getting it into the online learning systems so sales can use it to sell.
- Role-based learning that can be tailored to different selling scenarios is a must-have. This is what the Force.com platform does very well, it allows these companies, many of them in the B2B manufacturing arena, to create role-based learning paths and programs for their sales teams. Each member of a team has to go through the online training and score at a sufficient level to get more leads and get out to customers. The more they learn the more they earn.
Bottom line: Sales training is the secret weapon many companies are using to beat their competitors on deals today. The ability to deliver training anytime, anywhere on a SaaS platform just strengthens a sales force even more. Add in putting tribal knowledge to work and creating online competitive analysis hubs, and the competitive strengths of a company become even more formidable.