Driving Behavior Change: Skillsoft

Driving Behavior Change: Skillsoft's Global Sales Initiative

Categories: Sales Coaching Tools  |  Opportunity Reviews  |  Company Alignment  |  Customer Success

When a growing EdTech firm set assertive revenue targets, it partnered with Force Management to help create the transformation necessary for reaching those goals. Skillsoft is a global leader in corporate training and enterprise learning experiences. Together, we implemented a multi-phase engagement to redefine their selling motion and align teams worldwide around the new, customized approach for driving consistent revenue.

Skillsoft’s Global Director of Sales Coaching Enablement Jeff Scannella describes the planning stage that outlined the game plan. “We worked cohesively in the executive alignment conversations to build out and really structure the key activities and customer-verified outcomes for each stage of the sales process: looking at how we drive consistency and true organizational alignment from that first step into lead generation. What drove a lot of the success was the specific focus on how we dive deeper into accounts and opportunities on a much more granular level.” 

The plan started with installing the MEDDICC qualification framework to improve pipeline health and increase forecasting accuracy. After a period of aligning teams to ensure consistency in execution, Skillsoft launched Command of the Sale®. This phase helped customer-facing teams define the specific selling actions informed and enacted by data gathered via MEDDICC. 

Throughout, Skillsoft emphasized Opportunity Coaching on the desired actions. Scannella, acting as point person for the sessions, explains part of his approach to coaching: “How do we more align with customer-centric initiatives, their buying behavior, and how they want to be engaged with – and doing so in a way that focuses on understanding where we truly sit in an initiative; how do we provide value a little bit differently than our competition?”

Scannella described the challenges of creating alignment when teams are scattered across continents and time zones. Part of the effort meant ensuring that teams have access to the same learning and development opportunities – and then are aligned on execution. “We needed everyone to have the same rigor around process, specifically the same militant approach to qualification,” Scannella explains. 

Before long, Skillsoft realized early indicators of targeted outcomes: shorter sales cycles, improved forecasting accuracy, and increased average deal size on net new accounts. The energy of success also had a positive impact on company culture and mindsets; the annual employee survey showed a notable bump in employee satisfaction scoring. 

Scannella reports, “We as an organization are getting feedback from our stakeholders that the qualification piece is transforming the way that we’re able to look at a deal; to feel confident and comfortable with how we are thinking about that deal - that’s another great step.”

Building Buy-In: Selling Your Initiative to an Internal Audience

With each team staffed by seasoned sales professionals, Scannella and other leaders decided that the best approach was to avoid mandates or telling their people how to sell. Instead, they made the Opportunity Coaching sessions optional and counted on the success of early adopters to speak for itself. In the clip below, Scannella describes how they created “internal champions” for the new initiative and how word-of-mouth helped achieve buy-in across the organization:


Here Scannella elaborates on the dynamic he creates in Opportunity Coaching sessions, where titles are left behind and the environment is one of support, considering new perspectives, and collaborative work towards deal progression:



Setting Up for Long-Term Success

In order to maintain momentum, Scannella completed Force Management’s Train the Trainer program, a comprehensive certification program for designated facilitators to take the program in-house. Through interactive calls, online prep work, and in-person sessions, our Train the Trainer program provides companies with the tools for independent training, refresher events, new-hire programs, and cross-functional sessions. 

Since taking over the training agenda, Scannella has conducted between six and eight Opportunity Coaching sessions each week. The number of teams opting into these sessions has doubled every quarter. 

In this short video clip, Scannella describes the value and new energy created when companies invest in coaching:


Watch our full interview with Jeff Scannella and how his team used Opportunity Coaching to reinforce Skillsoft’s new selling strategy across international teams here. Check out our library of success stories, including Skillsoft and other leading tech firms whom we’ve partnered with on journeys of transformation.

Define the Right Initiative for Your Organization

Whether your revenue teams are virtual or traditional, worldwide or condensed in one region, every selling organization is looking ahead and trying to gain an edge. What can leaders do today that best positions their teams to chart the path for a prosperous tomorrow? For Skillsoft, creating that tomorrow started by designing an initiative that addressed its top obstacles. 

Take charge by defining your priorities and addressing your top challenges. We’ve designed this eBook for leaders to build a customized strategy that aligns each component of your selling machine to what matters most in the current market. Our latest guide breaks down qualification methodology, value-based sales messaging, and the selling process as they should look through stages of organizational growth. Jump-start your team’s evolution with guidance from Command What’s Next: A Guide to Sales Evolution.

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