Nick Rini, Co-Founder & CEOAt the controls of a 747, a pilot is experiencing his worst nightmare-critical hydraulic system failure. Making matters worse, a panicking flight attendant is banging on the door asking him what to tell the passengers. Fortunately, this emergency isn’t happening in the skies above a major city. Instead, it’s happening inside a 747 flight simulator.
The airline industry has been using flight simulators to evaluate the flying judgment of pilots for years. However, pilots aren’t the only professionals who must make quick decisions in stressful situations. Sales professionals also face unpredictable situations that put their selling judgment to the test. And to evaluate, salespeople help them improve and to develop selling judgment, they’ve been placed in role-play scenarios with peers and superiors. And while this helps, there are many flaws with live role-plays.
Selleration, a company formed by seasoned sales veterans, has developed an innovative cloud-based system called UPtick, which it terms a Flight Simulator for salespeople. A flight simulator serves as a powerful way to know how a pilot prioritizes, reacts to, and resolves real-world situation that occur in flight without putting passengers, crew, and those on the ground at risk. After the completion of the task, the simulator produces volumes of data on the pilot’s performance.
“UPtick immerses salespeople in real-world selling situations using automated, scalable, 3D simulations with virtual customers without any risk to their company’s brand, them, or their customers,” says Nick Rini, Co-Founder and CEO, Selleration.
UPtick also collects volumes of data on the salesperson’s experience in UPtick. This gives executive sales leadership the ability to understand the selling competencies of their team.
Sales leaders are provided a profile on each salesperson, granting real insight on who has the “right stuff” to be successful, reduce the time to sales competency for those new to sales, and reinforce fundamentals for those with more experience.
UPtick also provides management coaching cues and prescriptions tailored to solve the salesperson’s problem areas, advancing from a behavioral to a selling judgment perspective. “It’s immersive and experiential to empower salespeople to practice in a safe, private, non-threatening environment,” says Rini. “UPtick is used by sales managers, sales trainers, and executive sales management, all throughout the lifecycle of the sales process,” he adds.
Understanding the Selling Behavior
“Sales organizations generally have no visibility into the crucial aspects of a salesperson’s performance—their selling behavior and selling judgment,” Rini explains. “This is precisely why we built the flight simulator-equivalent for salespeople,” asserts Rini. With automated and scalable role plays, Selleration offers a combination of algorithms that do everything from predicting the likelihood of sales success to producing various performance improvement strategies. And like pilots do with flight simulators, salespeople return to UPtick to improve. A recent pilot test showed that UPtick improved Selling Judgment Scores by an average of 34 percent.
Bad hires are a real problem for all sales organizations, so UPtick can be used as a pre-hire assessment tool as well. Sales leaders can establish a hiring profile based on the UPtick results of the top performers on the sales team. This provides not just a profile of what it takes to be successful in sales, but the specific combination of selling skills, judgment and personality traits it takes for a rep to be successful within a particular sales organization.
Sales leaders can then use those results as a benchmark to compare against potential hires and determine which reps are the “right fit” for the organization—before they are hired.
In one instance, a large financial services company used UPtick to address their complex recruitment challenges. Selling behavior and selling judgment, among variety of other critical attributes, of the entire sales team were assessed to establish a view into the performance metrics of each salesperson. Sales leaders were able to identify where changes needed to be made.
“Our product is used by large organizations to empower and educate new employees to make sales closures”
Additionally, they have prospective sales new hires run through the UPtick simulator, giving the hiring executives an opportunity to compare the performance attributes of the candidates to those of the top performers. “This gave sales leadership more confidence around these decisions than ever before,” said Rini.
Sales Skill Assessment
By using technology to establish a baseline understanding of a candidate’s selling mindset, Rini’s mission for Selleration is simple and straightforward: to offer sales professionals a modernized method to improve their selling abilities, while providing sales leaders the line of sight into the ability of their teams to succeed.
UPtick focuses on a complex set of psychometrics or “Selling Intelligence” (SI) to measure a rep’s sales prowess. Made up of a combination of a salesperson’s cognitive, behavioral, and sales skills, SI is measured with the help of evaluative tools. A rep’s level of Selling Intelligence indicates their capacity to manage the sales process, address problems, and advance the sale to fruition.
While UPtick’s cognitive skill assessment provides a clear picture of how well a salesperson solves problems and articulate themselves, it also collects data on sixteen key behaviors including assertiveness, work ethic, and initiative. This produces recommendations to management on leveraging the strengths or working around weaknesses.
“We have integrated psychometric measurement, gamification, coaching and automated role-play in 3-D virtual business environments to create a comprehensive sales performance management system,” Rini affirms.
Sales representatives often face a series of challenges during high-pressure sales situations. The ability to manage emotions and stay calm under pressure has a direct link to sales outcomes. “Our product is used by large and small sales organizations alike to empower and educate salespeopleto make sales closures. UPtick has been used to expose sales engineers and consultants to sales and assess certain behaviors, skills and judgment of experienced staff with customer-facing responsibilities,” says Rini.
Sales Growth Stimulator
Several leading clients rely on Selleration to improve sales productivity. In a compelling example, a client in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry, faced internal communications difficulties between account managers and the sales team. This communication breakdown was interfering with important deal closures.
To solve the communication issue, the client used UPtick to ensure transparency in the team’s operations. “UPtick provides insights into each sales member’s activities and helps them better understand responsibilities of other team members who are involved in the sale,” Rini explains.
Igniting sparks of creativity and encouraging quick decision making, Selleration is committed to understanding its customers’ goals. “We’re laser-focused on the sales performance management space and will continue developing solutions that would help executive sales management meet and exceed their business goals,” says Rini. The firm looks for opportunities to reach new levels to enable fluid conversations in the UPtick simulator. “The key to success lies in our passion to explore and understand what makes a sales organization deliver better results for their customers and their company,” concludes the CEO.