SalesTechStar Interview with Brian Bar, Founder and CEO at Victory Lap
Why do today’s sales and marketing leaders need to be more proactive when planning their sales training and upskilling (or onboarding!) initiatives? Brian Bar, Founder and CEO at Victory Lap weighs in with his thoughts in this QnA:
Hi Brian, welcome to SalesTechStar! Tell us about your journey through the years…we’d love to hear about the Victory Lap platform…its growth story…
Hi there! Founded in 2016, Victory Lap is an intensive sales bootcamp that bridges the gap between sales professionals and top companies through aligning education with opportunity. Leveraging world class content, industry insights, & scientific research, Victory Lap empowers students regardless of experience, to have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their potential and launch a successful, life-changing career. Since 2016, Victory Lap has helped 950+ alumni accelerate their career in sales and 225+ companies, from Series A to Fortune 500, have hired Victory Lap graduates.
Prior to Victory Lap, I was the former Vice President of Sales at ThinkCERCA, and the creator of Groupon’s sales onboarding department where I managed 500+ new hires. It was during my time building, growing and leading sales teams where I saw first-hand how people from all different backgrounds – extroverts, introverts, people with an Ivy League degree, people with no degree – all have an equal chance at success. This is one of the things that really led me to want to build a Sales Education company that provides aspiring professionals with world class education and career opportunities, as well as give companies access to the most prepared and in-demand sales talent pool on the market. Only 4% of colleges teach sales, yet it’s reported that over 50% of college graduates end up in a sales role. This gap is astounding – and as someone who has spent a good part of their career leading sales professionals, I lived the problems associated with this. Victory Lap was started with the belief in human potential. We’re also passionate about the fact that a sales career path is a noble one and can lead to personal and professional success.
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How according to you can sales leaders help create more impact for their sales teams with the right training and education: can you talk about a few interesting ways in which you’ve seen leading teams upskill their sales staff?
Sales leaders need to be more intentional about creating 1-1 time with their team members. Good sales leaders have figured out that 1-1 coaching has a much higher multiple of return vs. group coaching. A manager’s job is to find out why someone is great and then coach and work towards each person uniquely to maximize their output. Similarly, they should spend as much, if not more time, with their top performers as they do with those missing quotas. By doing this, they will find ways to empower, add value and coach & develop these employees, which increases the likelihood of them hitting goals and decreases the likelihood that they will lose these top performers to turnover.
In today’s business and economic environment, with hybrid and remote sales and work cultures reshaping the customer and employee experience: how do you feel leaders need to invest time and effort in adequate and constant training of the team to meet sudden challenges? A few tips for developing remote sales teams for the better?
Constant and consistent focus on skill development and people growth without it becoming stale or routine. One way to accomplish this is to mix up the medium in which the training is happening – books, videos, small group discussion and more. It’s also important to build in structure for sales teams to have 1-1 interaction with peers – both on their sales teams, as well as cross functional team members. This helps foster better internal relationships, learnings and insights across the entire organization.
What are some of the biggest lags you’ve observed in the tech market when it comes to training and development of staff?
It’s reactive, not proactive. Often, we see employers wait until a problem is too large before they put some sort of training or development together, but by this point, it’s too late. Whether it’s on a company or individual level, it’s important to focus on the problem when it’s small enough to fix.
A few must-dos that every sales and marketing team should follow, especially when implementing a new employee training practice?
When implementing any new training program, it’s important to remember that teaching doesn’t always equate to learning. Everything that is taught must be followed by both application and assessment within a training environment to ensure employees leave with a full understanding on the topic and how they can apply it to their sales role and customer interactions moving forward.
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You should also always keep it fresh, especially as it relates to new hire training and onboarding. Make sure you’re updating your curriculum to align with the job being done today, not the job or role 6 months or a year ago.
Lastly, you should be clear on who the customer is and seek feedback from them. In training programs, the customer is the employee but also the employee’s manager. It’s important to solicit feedback from both to have a better understanding on how the training went, what could be improved and what can be adjusted for the next round of new employee training.
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Brian Bar is the Founder and CEO at Victory Lap