It’s an enthralling time to run a business. Not only do companies find themselves facing worldwide economic turmoil, but they must also contend with dynamic customer behaviors as people continue to cope with the effects of the coronavirus.
By now, most of us have become accustomed to remote or at least hybrid work. The next humbling phenomenon could be the metaverse. It holds the power to offer everyone a virtual dimension without any internal boundaries, greatly increasing our ability to harmonize social experiences through technology. Here are three strategies companies can use to prepare themselves for sales enablement in the metaverse.
1. Adapting Carefully To The Changing Tides
Most of us are as baffled as we are intrigued by the never-ending possibilities enabled by this next evolutionary leap in internet computing. The metaverse is currently taking the tech industry by storm and has become a frequent topic in the news. The most important message we seem to be able to deduce from the million-dollar investments being made in the creation of this virtual space is that the metaverse will be the future of the internet: a new way of working, collaborating and learning virtually.
It’s highly unlikely that the metaverse is a fad, which makes it both daunting and exciting. Any feelings relating to apprehension or skepticism about how it will impact your business are legitimate. However, it is worth researching how your organization and its eventual sales enablement efforts will adapt to swim with this approaching tide.
“Walk, don’t run” might be a good starting point, as one of the most prevalent champions of the metaverse and thought leaders in tech, Cathy Hackl, estimates that the fully-fledged version of the metaverse will be open to the public after this decade.
2. Preparing For Sales In The Metaverse
So how can sales enablement teams and professionals acclimate to this new, hyperconnected virtual space? From the outset, enablers ultimately aim to optimize the customer and buyer experience by preparing their sales representatives to be effective, empathetic and knowledgeable. This perfectly coincides with the “experience layer” of the metaverse, as depicted by Jon Radoff.
This layer represents the interface in which both users and developers of the metaverse will interact in real time. Whether their avatars meet in a virtual environment like Fortnite or Roblox, or they find each other through other channels that have yet to develop, communication between vendors and consumers is going to change dramatically. Sales enablement needs to learn how interactions between sales teams, prospects, buyers and customers will be modified by this new medium.
Businesses should embrace an opening phase of experimentation and shifting around internal sales curriculums, coaching programs, processes and trainings to suit the metaverse’s new approach to collaboration. We can start now by investigating the various ways VR, AR and AI might affect our customers’ journeys.
3. Considering The Effects Of The Metaverse On Training And Education
The gaming industry offers a brief glimpse into the freedom of self-expression enabled by virtual spaces as well as the opportunity to bring gamification to other areas such as learning. One core sales enablement principle is to continually partner with sales teams to become more effective and efficient. This is achieved by methodically educating them on the different features of their offerings, how to thoroughly use their tech stack and how to improve their empathetic communication skills.
In the metaverse, we must redouble our training efforts by building more dynamic, entertaining and interactive methods. New frontiers will be introduced with the creation of realistic virtual offices, learning spaces and state-of-the-art VR headsets, to name just a few.
Sales teams might be able to fully immerse themselves in the shoes of their customer to see what sales meetings and situations are like from their perspective. This new direction could also help our salespeople learn more freely from each other, overcome collaboration limitations through the use of new mediums, make the hybrid environment a more social and enjoyable experience and boost team spirit.
A final way enablement might leverage the capabilities of the metaverse internally is through the development and introduction of AI-driven sales coaching. As this virtual universe is envisioned to be a readily accessible, immersive space, an online coaching avatar could be readily available to salespeople at any time. They could be programmed to include simulated examples configured by your sales managers and teams. Imagine having the opportunity to run through impromptu role-play sessions or call a customer and receive coaching tips in real time.
Our sales coaches today are also acting sales managers, yet we often hear the argument that they don’t have the time or ability to preside over all sales calls. This ends up being the primary reason many companies consequently fail to follow through with dividing their time between their responsibilities as a manager, leader, coach and trusted advisor to customers. The metaverse could open the doors to an AI-driven coach available to all sales professionals across hybrid and remote work settings. To ready ourselves for this adjustment, we need to start building a continuous learning culture right now and recognize the need to promise adaptability when the metaverse becomes a daily reality.
It is an exciting time for tech companies, the younger generations in particular and all businesses as we are daily discovering new potential uses for the metaverse. Amid this change, we can’t allow ourselves to set aside human personality. Excitement and nervousness feel the same for all of us, but how we choose to face this phenomenon is up to the individual. We must prepare ourselves to remain authentically human throughout this transition, which means helping one another feel brave enough to fail and learn. As in communities we find among our work colleagues, friends and family in the physical world, we must bring the same approach to building and nurturing our communities across the metaverse. How are you going to integrate the metaverse into your enablement strategy and initiatives—while never losing sight of the human factor?