Growing businesses know they need more sales staff in order to scale up and increase revenue. But there’s a problem. It takes time to train new sales agents – and while they’re learning, these trainees are a cost that does not contribute to the top line; even worse, the responsibility for training these new agents often falls to the existing sales team, which is pulled away from the day job.
SaaS Labs, a technology business with a suite of services aimed at small businesses, thinks it may have the answer. Its new Dialworks service aims to replicate key parts of the training process that sales teams go through internally, getting new recruits up and running more quickly and reducing the need for current staff to stop selling while they’re teaching their new colleagues.
“The existing solutions for sales teams are complex, expensive and often aimed at the largest enterprises,” says Gaurav Sharma, the CEO of SaaS Labs. “We wanted to create something specifically for smaller businesses.”
Sharma’s idea was to focus on the practice calls through which sales agents typically hone their skills before they are cleared to begin talking to real clients and potential sales leads. These simulations usually involve the trainee agent trying to sell the company’s product to one of its existing sales team. The fully-fledged sales representative is able to ask challenging questions about the product – and then provide feedback on how the trainee handles the whole call. It’s a good way to ensure that sales agents are prepared for the field, but it takes time and drags existing sales agents away from calls of their own. So Dialworks offers an alternative, connecting trainees to its own coaches, who pose as customers and play the role that the sales team usually provides.
“Using our platform, you can connect your trainees to demo customers so they can perfect their pitch,” Sharma explains. “These coaches can rate your trainees and advise them on how to improve.”
To ensure its coaches are well-placed to provide this support, Dialworks has recruited a panel of demo customers who formerly worked in sales roles. When new companies sign up to the surface, they brief the coaches on the product so that they are able to ask informed questions and replicate real-world interactions with clients as closely as possible. Once this onboarding process is complete, the existing sales team can concentrate on selling, rather than having to train each new recruit.
Sharma built Dialworks on the basis of what SaaS Labs has learned about small businesses while providing them with telecoms and productivity services. “Using insights from our over 6,000 customers who use our customer support product JustCall, we identified that sales training was a huge issue in addressing customer needs,” he explains.
“We analysed thousands of calls, call analytics and rep performance and found that the only way to improve selling was to create training tools that ramped up learning by mimicking an actual workflow as closely as possible.”
Dialworks is launching into a market where many companies report frustrations with the training process. Research suggests companies in the US alone are spending more than $70 billion on training programmes – but that sales representatives forget around 70% of what they learn within a week. Sharma believes that a training process that offers a much closer simulation of what sales teams will experience in the field is likely to prove stickier.
“We found the sales training approach in companies today remains archaic and follows an old school style classroom playbook approach,” he adds. “This method isn’t fit for purpose in 2022 and no one is really spotlighting this or innovating in the space.”
SaaS Labs sees Dialworks as perfect for businesses selling into the consumer market, but also for those selling simpler products to an enterprise audience. The real estate sector is another potential opportunity. More complex products requiring sophisticated training and nuanced product understanding are probably a less good fit. The company is starting out by targeting companies in English-speaking markets, though it has plans for Spanish and German iterations of Dialworks.
The product is sold via subscription, with businesses paying a fee starting at $50 a month to access the Dialworks training panel.