Proving the Power of Situational Enablement

By Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer

July 30, 2020

proving the power of situational enablement with research

Situational Enablement has tremendous benefits for your organization. Imagine being able to ready your sales force to respond to urgent threats or opportunities in weeks, instead of waiting months.

But realizing the power of Situational Sales Enablement requires a new approach to training and coaching your salespeople on new skills. And it hinges on what we call Inline Training—a flexible, on-demand training model that works in line with your sales team’s day-to-day workflow.

Inline Training Versus Live Classroom Training

In a controlled field test with a Fortune 250 software client, we compared the effectiveness of Inline training versus live classroom training and “stand and deliver” practice.

The field test used comparable sales teams, in the same market segment, over the same period of time, and exposed them to the same training concepts. The only difference was whether the training was delivered live or using our Inline training model.

The results? Sales teams who completed Inline training had greater pipeline increases, similar Annual Contract Value, and twice the boost in confidence levels when engaging executive decision-makers, compared with those who attended live classroom training.

Another client surveyed their participating sales force and discovered that reps preferred the Inline training approach over classroom training nearly four-to-one for being more effective and providing more personalized coaching.

Fluency Coaching: Deliberate Practice, Better Coaching, Greater Proficiency

Inline training is statistically more effective than the live classroom, and participants prefer the experience four-to-one. So, what’s the secret?

In a classroom environment, sales reps don’t get the personalized 1:1 coaching they need to master their new skills. A few participants get the opportunity to present in front of the room. But due to time constraints, no one receives the kind of detailed feedback they need to practice, improve, or become fluent in their delivery.

By combining Fluency Coaching and online training modules, the Inline training model ensures your reps submit practice assignments that are reviewed and graded by an expert coach using a rubric. Every participant receives tailored feedback on their practice recordings, so they know precisely how they can individually improve.

Plus, when reps know they’re about to be judged on their delivery, they’re more motivated to get it right. In fact, the average learner completes about six practice runs before hitting the submit button.

All of this is reinforced by top-tier examples of great delivery from their peers, so they know exactly what good looks like, and what qualities make those performances stand out.

The Power of Situational Sales Enablement

Scheduling sales training and enablement to follow a yearly plan won’t help you address your most critical business challenges when they arise. And the speed at which you’re able to develop and deploy new messages, content, and skills can mean the difference between gaining the edge or falling behind.

Market changes, competitive moves, and business strategy shifts don’t fall neatly on a calendar. Responding to these urgent needs requires flexible, responsive Situational Enablement that you can deploy in weeks—not months or years.

Inline training and Fluency Coaching make it possible. And, as you see from these field test results, it’s proven to be as effective, if not more effective, than live classroom training.

Learn More About Situational Enablement

In this blog series, I showed you what it looks like to execute Situational Sales Enablement at your company.

Watch our on-demand webinar, The Power of Situational Enablement, to learn more about this new model for training and enabling your team.

Read the other articles in the series: