How Seismic Reenvisioned Seller Training to Meet the Needs of Remote Sales Teams

In today’s dynamic business environment, go-to-market (GTM) alignment is even more critical for success. Because GTM alignment involves so many different components, it can be difficult to know exactly where you should focus your efforts. To be truly aligned, every customer-facing employee in your organization needs to learn and be in agreement about what you are selling, who is buying it, and how it is going to be sold. That means seller onboarding and enablement should be top priorities. 

In the current environment, when so many employees are working from home, and it is no longer possible to simply gather everyone into a conference room—many organizations have had to reenvison their training processes. Seismic is no exception. 

In the past, Irina Soriano, Head of Enablement at Seismic, and her team used a blended approach for seller onboarding and continuous learning & development, one that drew from three different elements: ILT (instructor-led training in classroom), VILT (virtual instructor-led training), and self-paced e-learning. Once everyone started working remotely, it became obvious that they would have had to rely exclusively on the two digital approaches. They went to work immediately modifying our content to work better for a digital-only approach and integrating Seismic’s many tools to deliver training content seamlessly. 

Rolling out remote enablement for sellers

Here’s just one example to illustrate the point. The team had spent a significant amount of time this winter collaborating with one of our partners in preparation for the global in-person rollout of a new methodology for training. But, once COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, they had to shift direction and make that entire event virtual. Fortunately, the team was able to use the Seismic platform to capture all of our content in one place and make it accessible to everybody, regardless of where they were located. This created a seamless remote learning experience leveraging the power of content display for enhanced knowledge transfer in Seismic. To make Seismic the “place to be” for knowledge development, they furthermore integrated interactive e-learning modules to create a unique well-rounded learning experience for sellers. 

The team had to pivot quickly, breaking down silos and reimagining not only the traditional, in-person presentations, but the virtual ones, as well. Irina recalls, “It was clear to us from early on that attendees were likely to suffer “Zoom fatigue” from training that could last several hours.” To alleviate that issue, the team pared the content down to the essentials and sprinkled breakout sessions, surveys, and small project work throughout to add variety.

Focusing on the human elements of training is essential, especially today, when so many in the workforce are facing considerable stress and distractions in their personal lives. As Irina told me, this is not the time to focus purely on “hard” performance metrics. Instead, she’s keeping her teams motivated and productive by communicating openly about the challenges associated with working remotely and how to overcome them.

“Right now, you have to have the EQ (emotional quotient) dialed up really high and make sure you understand people’s personal situations,” she said. “There are so many different scenarios that no one has encountered before.” 

The results of our new seller training made all of the Enablement team’s hard work worthwhile. Seller engagement has soared and our satisfaction scores are the highest we have ever received. The team is now considering how we can adopt, and add to, these improvements going forward.

Rethinking how you train your customer-facing teams isn’t easy, especially during these unpredictable times—but it is critical to your business success. Remember: The goal is for your entire go-to-market organization to know who the customer is, what your solution is, and how the selling process works. Once you are aligned in this way, you can create an exceptional experience for your customers and ultimately, exceed your revenue targets.

To learn more about how to optimize GTM alignment at your organization, download our eBook, GTM Alignment: Forging a Stronger Future.

Rekha Thomas
Rekha Thomas
Vice President of Web & Content
Rekha Thomas is Vice President of Web & Content at Seismic. She brings close to two decades of experience in marketing leadership roles at DocuSign, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, and technology startups to her current role. She is passionate about helping companies elevate their brands by delivering world-class thought leadership content and digital experiences that inspire, educate, and engage their customers.