According to an inside sales research paper, four of the six most common challenges sales leaders face today have to do with building and developing their sales teams, and less to do with meeting financial goals.
This is less than surprising as conditions in which most new-age sales teams operate today – demand-constrained economies, tech-enabled businesses, fast-changing markets, and aggressive competition – puts a lot of pressure on a salesperson to consistently act fast, do well, and meet financial goals.
What makes it all the more challenging for a new-age sales leaders is the lack of skills and tools required to intervene and impart behaviors that can help their sales team stay on the right path under rigorous and constrained external conditions. Especially in the banking sector, which is essentially a relationship development business, and a high-touchpoint one, there is a need to intentionally align behaviors and goals (financial and non-financial) across every touch-point, instead of simply establishing the goals and assuming that people will adopt necessary behaviors and take actions to achieve set goals. This requires sales leaders to be a position to effectively intervene and coach/correct behaviors in their teams to keep them on the track to success.
One of India’s leading private sector banks approached worxogo to help them set up a scalable, intuitive system that allowed their sales leaders to effectively monitor and intervene meaningfully in their team’s day-to-day functions and bring in more alignment between individual everyday actions and business goals. worxogo implemented its sales team-focused, AI-enabled, behavior-design system to help the bank meet this objective.
The banks’ inside sales team’s numbers were low – customer connects were sporadic (low at the start of the month, then rising dramatically at the end of the month) and sales reps displayed a tendency to sell low-priority products to meet financial goals. While the sales leadership had been focusing on outcomes rather than behavior changes – almost 60% of the time was being spent on outcome metrics (sales) and only 10% on lead indicators (e.g. #customers met, or %market coverage etc) – the need was felt to step back and distill behaviors and patterns of behaviors displayed by the bank’s inside sales team that led to suboptimal performance.
The Behavior Link
At the outset, the worxogo behavior team helped the organization understand the behaviors behind the numbers. For starters, month-end skews pointed to procrastination – a result of the irrational decision-making process which caused a salesperson to choose immediate reward over a reward in the future. Default bias, another behavior principle, emerged as the reason that caused sales reps to revert to the familiar and avoid directing conversations towards a newer, unfamiliar product, even though it was a priority product for the sales team.
Mia: The behavior coach for sales reps
Mia is an AI-enabled behavior coach and can learn and impart behaviors it is directed to dispense. It uses principles of behavioral economics to direct daily behaviors and actions in sales reps, play-by-play.
In the case of the bank, Mia chiefly nudged the inside sales reps to maintain their daily run-rate – prompting them to make that call, and hit those daily targets and then rewarding them for their efforts. Mia’s coaching almost immediately led to a doubling of customer interactions on a daily basis, and maintained month-on-month.
Furthermore, the effective use of contests and social recognition helped sales reps overcome their bias and step into unfamiliar territory – conversations around new products turned leads into meetings and finally sales.
Using behavior design, Mia was able to understand sales reps motivations, define their persona and nudge them to outsmart their cognitive limitations and unlock exponential growth in the sales team’s productivity.
The bank saw a 2.25x improvement in customer interactions, which led to 30,000 additional product pitches with Mia’s help. Leads and meetings around high-value products doubled in all the bank’s locations.
“In the long run, Mia helps clients progress faster in their productivity maturity journey by ensuring that the entire organization works to the same drumbeat, the same KPIs and the same business and behavior benchmarks”, notes Saurabh Jain, Head of Customer Success at worxogo.
Among others, Mia’s goal is to help managers link day-to-day activities to big business objectives. And as the company’s goals and values evolve, Mia will too, ensuring that the successful efforts and outcomes don’t stop happening. It evolves with KPAs and KPIs and helps sales leaders maintain a focus on coaching, mentoring and developing their teams, in addition to outcomes.