Employee Spotlight

5 Takeaways for 2022 from Training Week | Blog by anecdotes

Eden Amitai
April 27, 2022


In early December, we had our first international F2F sales team training week.

As we closed out 2021, nearly all members of anecdotes’ sales organization, from all ends of the US and Israel, met up in New York for a week-long sales retreat. It was crazy, amazing, and exhausting, all rolled into one unbelievable, impactful experience. As I reflect on this time, there are just so many facets that come to mind as being the most transformational and the most critical to take with us as we head into 2022.

But in this particular blog post, I want to focus on our goals (and KPIs), the reasons we chose to organize a training blitz in the middle of the freezing cold Eastern Seaboard winter, and give you some quick takeaways you can use to meet your own goals in 2022.

So what were my goals as the Director of Product Marketing in organizing full training in the US?

Goal 1 - Increase ARR  

Well, duh. But TBH, this wasn't the only reason we went through all the effort. Increasing sales is always a great thing, but the goals behind our most intense work week ever went far beyond the desire to help our sales organization sell better in 2022.

So let’s take a step back and look at the Deeper Goals, which support the main goal above:

Goal 2 - Gibush (yes, it’s a real word, learn it)

We started out this trip as individuals, who all happen to work on the same team at the same company. We knew this fragmented sentiment wasn't exactly ideal; so one of the main things we wanted to achieve on this trip was GIBUSH, a Hebrew word that just doesn’t translate well to English, but whose colloquial meaning is to make a group of people feel closer to each other.

After a day of small talk, each member saw it was okay to leave their comfort zone. Everyone became relaxed, and slowly, they were able to express their own ideas, and then, new ideas were born from previous ones. A tangible air of collaboration started to grow, and by day 3, we reached that truly magical (if slightly cringeworthy) state of synergy, wherein we put our heads together and came up with strategies and ideas that none of us could have on our own. It’s this exact feeling that helped our incredible team feel like more than just colleagues, but actual friends.

Takeaway - Bond with your team–remote and in-office–as friends. This will become the foundation for everything that follows.

Goal 3 - Training, training, training!

A lot can get missed when trying to train overseas. Zoom calls last only so long and teams working remotely often get the sense that they are “on their own”. My goal was to completely banish this feeling. I wanted the team to be as involved, and in-the-know, with every nuance, just like the people who work at our headquarters.

My go-to for training is to make everything cool, fun, educational, and with a bit of humor. To that end, we had product feature-based Kahoot! sessions, we role-played, we asked about a million questions, and even had a pitching competition. At the beginning–though I’m loath to admit–there were some gaps. But by the end, everyone knew (and still knows) the solution and its features and benefits like the back of their hands. I get such satisfaction from hearing our sales team sharing ideas–and moreover, arguing–about the best approach to demonstrate and explain security features (BTW: That was the aha! moment that made me come up with this blog).

Takeaway - Start with basics and locate gaps. And by making training engaging, fun, with real stories from the field, the knowledge will stick.

Goal 4 - Gather In-the-field feedback

I always say, salespeople are the footsoldiers, the team on the ground. They are on the front lines, in the trenches, hearing the questions prospects ask (and the ones they don't ask!), seeing where hesitations come in, and being there to support those lightbulb or aha! moments. These insights are some of the most critical to understanding how to improve or enhance your solution/marketing efforts.

Even though I try to get info from the field on a regular basis, there’s nothing like a group of sales people in the same room, sharing experiences, horror stories, and successes. Our sales team is more in touch with the customers’ actual needs and wants than nearly anyone else on the team. So I listened deeply to what our sales team had to say, and believe me, it provided gems I’ve been searching for.

Takeaway - Listen to your sales people, they are troves of information waiting to be mined.

Goal 5 - Mentoring and empowerment

Like any other team, our sales team consists of newer and more seasoned members. I've been in organizations where the modus operandi was to simply wait for newbies to “catch up” to the others. But we realized we didn't have to take this path of least effort, and we theorized that a new approach might have more than one benefit.

Our hypothesis paid off in dividends; by setting up a system in which we paired veteran teammates with newer ones, not only did newbies get caught up faster, it created instant friendships and mentors. It also worked wonders to empower the more senior members, putting them into the role, and thus, the headspace of a leader. They started devising tailored strategies to help their mentees succeed and took responsibility for their progress.

Takeaway - Look for opportunities to help your team grow, according to their own level.

Make 2022 the year for team goals

Now here is a question – Do these positive and rosy feelings in-and-of-themselves translate to better business outcomes? And in that vein, did we achieve our first goal? Well, in that week and ever since, we have had a 3-fold increase in demos booked. After some years in the industry, I must say, you can't get a better ROI. Seeing this latest achievement, with our incredible team as our eyes and ears on the ground, I have no doubt we'll meet goal number one in 2022 (Also, we just happen to have an amazing solution that actually solves acute Compliance challenges, but more about that on a different time).

To me, this trip demonstrated the true meaning of Aristotle’s quote, “the whole is better than the sum of the parts.” To my dear friends from sales (and marketing, product, and RnD), together, we can achieve incredible things. Proud of you all, and can’t wait to see what 2022 has up its sleeve.

Eden Amitai
Love Technology, User Psychology, and Marketing. Believe in working hard to play hard. Director of Product Marketing at anecdotes.

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