As I found out in this interview, nothing makes Steffaney - Sprinklr's Digital Adoption Leader - more enthusiastic than, er, digital adoption! Here, she answers questions on how to use it to help salespeople reclaim their time and enjoy greater success during this crazy time.

Q. You’ve recently moved from T-Mobile to Sprinklr - tell us a bit more about that career change.

A. It's actually really exciting. Before the role of digital adoption, helping with platform and systems training at T-Mobile was housed in the learning and development team and kind of hidden away.

But, at Sprinkr, it's pretty exciting because it's actually a more strategic role. I'm sitting on the team with different business analysts and different systems administrators, so I have a big view of all of our systems and platforms. And it gives me a much better opportunity to really promote best practices within each platform and help users adopt and adapt all these different systems for their day-to-day work.

Q. What parallels are there between your sales enablement role at your previous company and now in digital adoption?

A. I think a lot of things are similar. I'm still working with sales teams, and helping them learn Salesforce, helping them close deals, learn how to manage accounts, and push more leads to opportunities. So there's a lot of sales enablement involved.

At Sprinkr, we have a few different tools. At T-Mobile, we had ZoomInfo, Outreach and Salesforce. At Sprinkr, we're supporting a lot more platforms for sales teams. Salesforce, of course, as our CRM; we have ZoomInfo for prospecting, and we have SalesLoft for lead management and lead engagement. We also really support our sales enablement platform, Highspot.

With digital adoption, we want to reduce friction as much as possible, and really get a user to hop around from these different programs and use different systems in their day-to-day as easily as possible.

Personally, I hate going from system to system, I feel like I always have like 15,000 tabs open in my browser every day.

One great thing with digital adoption is that you can make it as seamless as possible. So they know they can use WalkMe when they're prospecting and when they're engaging with their leads, and they can do everything with the digital adoption platform within their CRM as well. So it's just taking away any of that friction.

Q. What advice would you give to someone working in sales enablement who’s facing that challenge? What tips would you give to someone who's trying to enable that kind of adoption within their organization?

A. My big tip is just to start small. I think everyone, every sales professional on their first day, is introduced to Salesforce and getting used to making clicks throughout the platform. Just finding things and managing their accounts is a good first step. And then of course, you can bring in more platforms like ZoomInfo and LinkedIn Navigator for prospecting. At every step of the way, you need to support them with lots of systems trainings, preferably in-platform, so you're not taking time away from them to go into workshops or training sessions.

Give them little bite-sized chunks to help them be successful from day one. Don't try to feed them a whole elephant at once. Just give them little bites that they can take and be successful throughout their day.

Q. In terms of how things have changed over the weird past year, has it been straightforward to adjust?

A. I feel like, for me, it definitely has. But for my colleagues, other individuals and sales enablement, it's been a big challenge.

There's lots of people in the house - we've got dogs coming in, my girls will probably run in here at any minute. Our sellers have the same issue.

We have these people who are used to being in an office or used to being able to go into a conference room, and they now have a house full of people and dogs, and it's been a big shift.

With all this going on, we just want to make things as easy for our sales teams as possible. We want to get them out of calls as much as possible with training and support issues, and we want to provide as much as we can, through different means.

Digital adoption is really great because we don't, for example, need to pull them into a webinar to teach them - we can put it directly within WalkMe and have them perform it step-by-step within the tool.

We don’t have tonnes of free time, and we're all trying to multitask. We're all trying to feed the kids, feed the dog and have calls with our prospects and land deals. So the more time we can give people back is a huge opportunity to help everyone be more successful during this crazy time.

Q. What challenges do you think salespeople are facing when they're speaking to customers? And how are you helping them to overcome them?

A: I think... just letting them know where to find things. The goal with any sales enablement platform is that they start their day there. So any update, any changes, or any new pitch decks could be found directly within their sales enablement tool.

We had really poor engagement at T-Mobile with their sales enablement tool. Unfortunately, our sellers weren't going there very often, and it was hard to get them to use pitch decks. So that was a big challenge. But at Sprinkr, their sales enablement platform is fantastic. It's very well-organized. Just like you feel better working at a desk that's clean and organized, your sales enablement platform has to be equally organized.

Q. Tell us a bit more about your career journey and how you ended up working in enablement and then moving into digital transformation.

A. I worked for nearly a decade as a French translator. I graduated with a degree in liberal arts and I had no employable job skills, but I was fluent in French. A software company took me on, luckily, and I was able to be a French translator, but I also worked in software testing and customer success in different capacities.

I loved being able to train people and helping people learn new skills. So, I went back to school, and I got a Master's degree in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University. It was all online, so I was able to keep working and studying.

During my Master's degree, I was actually learning about new types of technologies. I came across WalkMe and I thought, “this is cool”. This is a totally different way of training people that I'd ever seen - normally you either sit next to somebody and learn how to make clicks throughout a platform, or you just do virtual trainings or simulations. So I used that for one of my final projects, and that little bit of experience got me my first job in sales enablement with a recruiting company.

We helped all of their employees onboard from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning, which was a really big challenge. It was really interesting because we had 10,000 users, and six different languages all over the world, and we had to get them to get their heads out of Salesforce Classic and be excited about Salesforce Lightning.

But we really wanted them to use the very customized solutions that the development team had created for them. It was a combination of trying to get people aware of the changes as well as have the desire to change.

Q. One of the top reasons customers can stop buying is because organizations make it difficult to buy from - the customer wants a frictionless experience. When it comes to aligning sales processes with the customer journey, where do you think those points of friction are most likely to occur?

A. I definitely think they are most likely to occur after the first meeting. Especially if there's zero follow up, or if the seller wasn't really listening to the customer and trying to find their pain points. If you send a follow-up email that doesn't speak to their needs, and doesn't speak to what could potentially sell them on your product, then you've completely lost them, and there will definitely not be a second meeting.

I was reading an article where they talked about sending a proposal versus walking a customer through your proposal as well, and I think that's another place where it can really fall off.

If you feel like you've almost gotten a proposal to your customer, and you're sending it out, you're probably excited you think you've got it in the bag. But, if you don't take that time to call up the customer, explain the proposal to them and walk them through everything and make sure that they're clear, that proposal could probably sit in their mailbox unread.

Q. One final question: how do you see sales enablement transforming over the next few years? And do you think the current pandemic situation will have a big impact on that trajectory?

A. I think it absolutely has, I think that sales was already going digital. But Covid definitely accelerated that. I was reading the Gartner report on sales, and they mentioned that with Millennials becoming decision makers, upwards of 80% of people want a rep-free buying experience.

This can be scary for sellers, but that also enables marketing teams and our customer success teams to provide more content upfront. For example, instead of doing hard, grinding sales calls, they could be putting more marketing content out there to reach the buyer, and to give them as much information and education about their product as possible, before meeting with a sales rep. I think that's really where it's going.

Buyer enablement and giving the buyers what they need, speaking to their pain points and answering their questions even before getting to a first call, needs to happen. I think that the companies that are already doing that are the ones that are closing much more deals and getting that much more market share.

Imagine what Gen Z is going to be like! It's just going to keep accelerating. So really pivoting the sales enablement training and preparing our sellers to be answering questions, after our buyer has educated themselves, is really important. And it needs to happen quickly to meet this acceleration.

You can listen to this interview with Steffaney as part of our Sales Enablement Innovation podcast series - or catch up with all our previous podcasts here.