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ATD Blog

Ways That Sales Enablement Uses Technology to Enhance Sales Coaching

Friday, January 19, 2024

All facets of leading a sales organization are competitive. For those charged with enablement, the mandate is no different. Staying ahead of the curve is not just a goal—it’s a necessity. It is no surprise that leaders are turning to technology as a way to supercharge how they recruit, develop, and retain salespeople.

In particular, sales coaching is experiencing transformative trends that promise to reshape how organizations approach skill enhancement and performance optimization. Let’s delve into three ways that technology-savvy enablement leaders are using the newest platforms and capabilities to deploy consistent and effective sales coaching.

AI Personalization

Traditionally, sales coaching was dependent on a manager’s style—for better or worse. Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing that. AI-powered sales coaching platforms analyze vast amounts of data to identify individual strengths and weaknesses. This heavy lifting serves up important information that the manager can use to help develop the right attitudes and actions. This type of hybrid, personalized coaching not only enhances individual performance but also contributes to a more efficient and dynamic team.


VR Simulations

Simulations have long been part of the L&D conversations, but they continue to evolve in a way that makes practice opportunities more contextualized and dynamic. These immersive experiences replicate real-world scenarios, enabling sales teams to practice and refine their skills in a risk-free environment. Virtual reality (VR) simulations offer a powerful tool for honing negotiation tactics, objection handling, and customer interactions.

This trend not only accelerates the learning curve for new hires but also provides seasoned sales professionals with opportunities to fine-tune their approach in simulated, high-pressure situations. As with coaching, the key is to not delegate all development to technology but to create a technology-manager hybrid model to ensure stickiness. For instance, a VR simulation might carry 60 percent of the initial development load, while on-the-job, real-deal practice and manager feedback might check the reinforcement box.


Technology Helps Scale Continuous Feedback

The days of annual or quarterly performance reviews are giving way to continuous feedback loops. Real-time feedback mechanisms are becoming integral to sales coaching, fostering a culture of constant improvement. Managers and peers can provide instant feedback on deals, presentations, and client interactions, allowing sales professionals to adapt and refine their strategies on the fly. This trend not only boosts individual growth but also enhances team collaboration and communication.

The future of sales coaching is now. We see this critical developmental discipline undergoing a remarkable, technology-driven transformation. AI, VR, and a shift toward continuous improvement means that developmental efforts can be rooted in personalized insights and scaled, saving time and improving efficiency—a recipe for sustained success and a win for sales enablement.

About the Author

Dayna Williams has been supporting sales enablement leaders for the past 20 years, focusing primarily on sales talent selection and development initiatives. She has written sales training programs, led the creation of technology-enabled products to drive field adoption and is now currently working with investor funded companies that need to stand up their sales enablement functions from scratch. Dayna is also the co-creator of SELL and has been instrumental in guiding the focus of its programming to ensure its relevancy to the enablement profession.

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