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Dates and Venue

23 - 24 April 2025 | ExCeL London

17 - 18 April 2024 | ExCeL London

Why Winning Enterprises are Trading Their LMS for Integrated Sales Enablement Solutions

Friday 12 April 2024

Why Winning Enterprises are Trading Their LMS for Integrated Sales Enablement Solutions

Mindtickle Hall: S3-S9 Stand: K65

 

At many organisations, a learning management system (LMS) is the cornerstone of a revenue enablement program. But these tools alone aren’t enough to prepare roles like sellers for success. As HR and learning teams work to expand their scope and impact, many are considering how they can better support the unique needs of roles on their GTM teams.
 

Sales is a challenging career in the best of times. But in today’s world, sellers face more hurdles than ever. It’s no wonder the average quota attainment for a B2B sales organisation is just 47%.
 

Revenue organisations are under pressure to ensure sellers can overcome key challenges and emerge successful. Today, many are turning to revenue enablement. A recent report found that 84% of organisations invest in a revenue enablement department. 
 

This article will explore how enterprises use LMSs, why these tools aren’t cutting it, and why a comprehensive approach to revenue enablement is in order. 

LMSs are a quick fix – but they aren’t built for the needs of sellers 

The idea of having a dedicated revenue enablement team is a fairly new concept, but it’s one that’s quickly caught on. That’s not surprising, as sales enablement – when done well – is proven to boost sales performance.
 

But claiming to practise revenue enablement isn’t enough to guarantee great results. You must build a holistic strategy and programs to prepare your sellers to build relationships, overcome challenges, win deals, and protect revenue. You also need the right technology to power these programs.

 

Many revenue organisations depend on learning management systems (LMSs) to attempt to enable their sellers. At face value, this seems like a great option. In today’s economic climate, budgets are tight, and gaining buy-in (and budget) for a new software platform can be challenging. Other teams within your organisation may already be using (and paying for) an LMS. So adopting this platform for your enablement efforts seems like a quick, easy solution.

But LMSs aren’t the silver bullet some organisations think they are. 
 

Make no mistake: LMSs have a big role to play. They can be an effective tool for quickly delivering information to many people. For example, the HR team may use an LMS to develop and deliver training modules to new hires focused on company policies. Or, the IT team can leverage an LMS to assign training to employees that helps employees avoid cyberattacks. Typically, these trainings are one-size-fits-all; all employees complete the same modules. In addition, success is measured using completion metrics. 
 

But LMSs aren’t built for the unique needs of GTM teams, such as sales.

Field environments are extremely complex and dynamic. Reps need the right skills to navigate these challenges, such as objection handling and competitive intel, and soft skills, such as active listening. Of course, training programs are one tool that can help build these skills. However, sales reps are unlikely to adopt the learning modalities common to LMSs as they often lack features like two-way interactive role-plays, deal and call coaching, and sales-specific playbooks
 

Furthermore, LMSs typically only measure completion or engagement. For example, a sales enablement team can assign generic training to all sellers, and sales managers can track what percentage of their sellers have completed the training. However, LMSs fail to provide insight into how (or whether) a piece of training or enablement content is helping reps master key skills and close more deals. That means your teams may be wasting their time on training without being able to show outcomes and impact.
 

Modern buyers demand outstanding sales experiences. Organisations must equip their sellers with the skills and best practices necessary to meet (and exceed) these expectations. Organisations must ask themselves: Is my reliance on an LMS for GTM training standing in my way? Is it preventing us from being able to show our impact on skill gaps and revenue?

A comprehensive approach to revenue enablement drives sales performance 

While “sales enablement” and “sales training” are often used interchangeably, they differ. While sales training is certainly important, true sales enablement doesn’t stop at training.
 

The most successful revenue organisations recognize this and take a more holistic approach to sales enablement. Those that do see huge gains in terms of sales effectiveness and efficiency.
 

The first foundational step is to define what excellence looks like at your organisation. A good way to approach this is to take a long, hard look at your top performers to determine what they’re doing differently. You’ll identify key characteristics and skills, which you can compile into an ideal rep profile. It's important to remember that different roles within the revenue organisation require different skills and competencies. For example, sales development reps (SDRs) need different skills than pre-sales engineers. So be sure to establish an IRP for each role. 

Once you’ve defined excellence, you can leverage the different elements of sales enablement to help sellers boost their skills and close more deals. Few—if any—of these elements are effectively delivered via LMS.

1. Personalised sales training 

Sales training is arguably one of the most understood subdisciplines of sales enablement. You’re likely already doing it and may be using an LMS.
 

But all too often, sales training within an LMS does not include practice, reinforcement, or the ability to shadow peer deals and calls. Organisations put their best effort into creating role-specific sales training content and hope it sticks. Training is created without regard to the whole organisation or individual but is not often personalised enough to the seller’s skills. A recent report found that a mere 40% of C-level executives can identify rep strengths and weaknesses for customised training.

Instead, teams must measure each seller’s top and bottom skill gaps to help them perform at their best and inspire their peers with winning best practices. Then, enablement teams can deliver personalised training that better motivates and engages roles like sellers. This requires the power of an integrated sales enablement platform.
 

With the right sales enablement platform, sellers get training that meets their unique needs with real-world examples and practice opportunities. That means these reps have more time to engage with buyers and close deals. In addition, sales and enablement managers have access to data to help them determine how sales training improves business outcomes. That means they can prioritise their efforts on initiatives moving the needle.
 

2. Ongoing opportunities for practice and reinforcement 

Most companies deliver onboarding to new sellers. It’s often powered – at least in part – by an LMS.
 

But the harsh reality is that most of what is covered during onboarding is forgotten soon after. According to Gartner, B2B sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within one week of training; 87% will forget it within a month of training. 

Personalised, ongoing reinforcement is key to ensuring learning sticks. For example, microlearning can reinforce a topic covered in a training session – specifically one that a rep struggles with, such as objection handling against a particularly strong competitor. Reps can consume this microlearning on their own time from any device. 
 

In addition, practice opportunities enable sellers to put their skills to the test – before money is on the line. For example, a rep can participate in a human-like interactive role-play with an AI bot, submit a real call from the field for review, and get feedback from peers or their manager.

With the power of AI, they can even get instant feedback on things like good choice, tone, and active listening or buyer engagement, which they can use to sharpen their skills.
 

While personalised reinforcement and practice opportunities are essential, they’re difficult (if not impossible) to deliver via a traditional LMS. Instead, winning organisations are tapping into an integrated sales enablement platform to deliver reinforcement and practice opportunities at scale.

 

3. Personalised, data-based sales coaching

Coaching is a critical component of a sales enablement strategy. The most successful organisations have adopted a coaching culture and empowered their frontline managers to make it work.
 

As with other types of enablement, sales coaching must be personalised to each rep’s unique needs. Furthermore, sales managers must factor in deal coaching, call reviews, and skills-based coaching.
 

LMS tools aren’t built for coaching. Instead, a comprehensive sales enablement strategy – coupled with the right sales enablement tools – is key.
 

With the right tools, sales managers can access hard data that helps them understand each rep's behaviours and performance. This includes what’s happening in buyer and seller interactions, such as how people show up on deals and calls or engage prospects with content. They can leverage this data and observations to create a coaching plan that helps the sales rep strengthen their skills and improve performance. 
 

4. Analysis of in-field performance

A rep might complete all training assigned to them. They may even ace their practice pitches and certification opportunities. But in-field performance is where the rubber meets the road.
 

Expecting sales managers to sit in on every sales call to gauge a seller’s performance isn’t realistic. Integrated revenue enablement platforms incorporate conversion intelligence to bridge the gap, and those Platforms now leverage AI to pinpoint key customer insights and coachable moments that must be addressed, such as a competitor or product feedback
 

Conversation intelligence enables sales calls to be recorded and analysed. Each call is scored, which helps sales managers quickly identify where additional coaching is needed. In addition, AI can deliver real-time feedback to the seller after the call, which they can use to improve the deal's outcome while automatically updating the CRM with notes This enables sellers to remain present on calls and sharpen their active listening skills. 

A comprehensive approach to sales enablement requires the right tools

At many organisations, sales training is synonymous with sales enablement. Often, revenue teams depend on traditional learning management systems to power their enablement programs.
 

This approach won’t cut it. 
 

Winning revenue organisations recognize that sales training is important – but it’s just one piece of the revenue enablement puzzle. Furthermore, while learning management systems are useful for distributing high-level content across multiple employees, they aren’t built for the unique needs of your GTM team, such as sales.
 

Increasingly, teams are developing comprehensive revenue enablement strategies and tapping into integrated enablement platforms to ensure their sellers are ready to conquer any deal.
 

It’s time to trade the LMS for a holistic sales enablement program powered by an integrated revenue enablement platform. With the right strategy and tools, you’ll be well-positioned to build a team of top performers who crush quota every quarter. 

 

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