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Can’t Clone Your Best Sales Coach? Try Virtual Coaching Technology.

Oct 11, 2017 2:56:01 PM


Great performance requires great coaching. Sales is no different. It’s a situational-thinking game.

Optimal performance requires both practice and expert coaching from those who’ve mastered your sales processes. We all know this, but acting on it isn’t easy: Setting up one-on-one, expert sales coaching is difficult, and expensive to scale. And sales managers often lack the aptitude to be great coaches.

Technology can help! We’re not proposing a mad scientist’s experiment to clone your best sales coaches here... the real solution is better! There is a realistic, optimal coaching strategy that can be implemented in a scalable way.

Sales performance is all about applying knowledge – making decisions – in fluid situations. It’s about acquiring skill. It’s about employing optimal approaches in any situation: recognizing where you are in the sales process, knowing when to apply a technique, overcoming a limiting belief – through practice.

Improving sales performance (acquiring more skill), requires two things:

  1. Practice. Since we don’t want your sales people blowing deals by practicing on prospects, we need to create a realistic environment that simulates real-life situations, where they can safely practice new skills.

  2. Mentoring and Coaching. An expert coach acts as a mentor, to help your sales people recognize optimal decision-making patterns. Without an effective coaching strategy, practice is an inefficient process of trial and error, where the subtleties that create great performance are only stumbled upon, and then only rarely. Practicing with a mentor provides the structure and nuance to achieve rapid skill acquisition.

What is the Best Coaching Strategy for Sales?

Giving strategic and tactical advice in a debriefing, after a sales call, is one way. A far better way is through micro-coaching. Micro-coaching guides the sales person in real-time, to recognize optimal sales performance. Imagine if you could give your sales people a mentor, hovering over their shoulder, to guide them to the most optimal outcome with a prospect. Awesome, right? That’s what micro-coaching is all about – focused mentoring, provided in context, at just the right time. This approach is an excellent application of a key principle of the cognitive apprenticeship learning methodology. Now we’ve come full circle, back to the one-on-one expert coach. So how can we implement this level of access to a one-on-one expert coach, in a practical way?

“Micro-coaching guides the sales person in real-time, to recognize optimal sales performance.”

Improving Sales Performance with Cognitive Science and Technology

Using virtual game technology, we can create realistic, conversational, sales situations with responsive virtual prospects. Cognitive science shows us that authentic realism is important to effectively transfer this virtual experience to real-world performance. Next, we need challenging decisions and intelligent mentoring from conversant virtual coaches, so your sales people can recognize and experience optimal decision patterns within your proprietary sales process. Essentially, we’re capturing your best, desired sales behaviors from your sales experts in software, through responsive algorithms, for real-time micro-coaching. Each situation is a virtual role-play, with built-in one-on-one coaching.

So, we won’t need to clone your best sales coaches. Instead, we can clone the decision-making models of your best sales minds, to create a virtual role-play training solution that can help you decrease ramp up time, and increase sales velocity.

About Syandus: Virtual immersive learning technology that transforms knowledge into real-world performance. We immerse participants in realistic virtual situations with one-on-one expert coaching that gives them experience making optimal decisions. Syandus Learning Modules combine cognitive science principles, the realism of game technology, and our customer’s proprietary content, to deliver rapid skill acquisition. Modules are cloud-based for easy deployment, fully trackable with embedded analytics, and can be used on any web-enabled device.

Topics: Sales Training

Douglas Seifert, PhD

Written by Douglas Seifert, PhD

Doug leads a team at Syandus that combines cognitive science with virtual game technology to create rapid skill acquisition. The company has won several awards from the National Science Foundation’s Education Division.