Link To Guest Website: https://www.allego.com
Title: “Giving Sales Teams Training, Tech, Content, & More To Help Them Succeed”
Guest: Mark Magnacca – Allego
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC
Click here to read the transcript
Oh, here we are sitting in our zoom Radio Entrepreneurs, studios, a all over the Boston area. My name is Jeffrey Davis. Welcome back to all our listeners and friends of Radio Entrepreneurs. We’ve connected us two over a million people over of the last few years. And I just got a report this week. We are actually ranked in a entrepreneurial searches in England now a so our, our connections continue to get out there. Our next guest is a Mark Magnacca co-founder and president have Allego. You’ve got it. Oh, sorry about that. Got your name. Right. Well, welcome mark.
Tell us about the company.
Okay. Well thanks Jeffrey. Allego is in a sales enablement space and a, those of your listeners who aren’t familiar that sales enablement basically relates to everything that’s involved in helping to enable salespeople to get ready to sell. So that includes both the training they received, as well as the technology that supports them everything from content that they need to consume themselves to content they need to share with their customers as well as coaching, as well as collaborations. So all of that fits under what used to be called sales training. And
Jeffrey (1m 21s):
Does that include a, I’m not trying to expand you further, but that does that include some form of CRM as well?
Mark (1m 28s):
It does not. It does not. It actually, we are a separate space from CRM. So if you think about the average sales person, you know, they log into their CRM program that has typically their calendar and their contacts. And you can think of it as sort of a separate swim lane. Although one that’s connected for some of our clients who use, for example, salesforce.com, the short form video content. That is a big part of the Lego platform actually populates right inside of there CRM, whether it’s Salesforce or another one. So it allows them to consume information that they need. You could think of it as almost like a, a, a corporate YouTube in the same way that we’d go to YouTube to learn how to do things quickly from short form videos, imagine being a sales person and you’re new.
Mark (2m 15s):
And your trying to remember, how do I fill out that expense report? Or how do I describe that product that you would be able to just click a short video from a peer who is recognized as someone whose really good at doing that? So, one of the things I’ve
2 (2m 29s):
Read about you as that you think the traditional sales training is broken. Can you talk about that? So,
Mark (2m 34s):
Yeah, well, I think traditional sales straight training was broken actually before the pandemic and the pandemic pretty much sealed it. And the reason I say that is because the idea of flying people across the country from a multi-day program, having them drink from a fire hose from say six or eight hours in a day, having virtually no followup training or reinforcement, which is pretty standard among the most of sales training companies. And I can say that cause I was in a sales training business, and I was guilty of doing the same thing as everybody else, because that’s how we did it, but now we know better. And we know that that’s just not the way adults learn. Most of us learn by modeling behavior and we need to practice and we need to have reinforcement.
Mark (3m 18s):
So the paradigm of flying away for sales training, and then coming back has really changed big time. And then when the pandemic people realized, or you can actually in many ways do it better, but that’s not to say there is no value of getting together in person. It’s just doing it with the expressed purpose of learning. It has proven to be a challenge.
Jeffrey (3m 42s):
Well, it sounds like you’ve embraced more of a coaching model, is that correct?
Mark (3m 46s):
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think if you look at any of the statistics, what you’ll see over and over again is that sales reps want coaching, but they want coaching that is precise. They want coaching. That’s direct. One of the best tools that we’ve seen is a whole new arena in the sales world. That’s called conversation analytics. And you can really think of it as call coaching. So imagine being able to take every zoom call every online interaction like this, have it recorded, but not just record and have a transcription, although that is valuable for note-taking, but be able to look at how often you were speaking Jeffrey and how often I was speaking, be able to match that up as a prospect and a as a sales person, and then be able to synthesize what is it that the top salespeople are saying versus the average or bottom salespeople who’s talking more, what words are they using and really bring science to the art, you of sales.
Jeffrey (4m 44s):
So if you’re talking about art versus fire-hose, which I understand a I’ve observed ended part of both types of sales training programs, that I’m a bigger fan of, of what you’re describing. How do you have as staff is very important? So tell me about the team.
Mark (5m 1s):
Well, the team is a, a pretty amazing team. I have to tell ya, we’re just over 200 people strong right now. And I want to make a distinction here in terms of the Lego team and our clients. The beauty of our platform is that the coaching that I’m referring to is coming from the sales managers and the sales leaders at our respective clients. We’re the ones who built the platform, but the ones that are actually doing the coaching are our clients, sales management, not a lot.
Jeffrey (5m 31s):
Do you teach them how to coach so well, we’re giving them the
Mark (5m 35s):
Tools to be able to scale there coaching. So whether it’s the call coaching that I just described, the ability to have people record a short form video, where they are rehearsing in effect, practicing what they’re going to say, and then being able to get direct what we call a point in time feedback from their managers. So imagine Jeffery, you record a short video and its the initial opening conversation you’re gonna have with a prospect or you share that with me in this asynchronous format, I get to watch the video and I can put the equivalent of sticky notes throughout the video for you. We call it a point in time feedback and say, Jeffrey is spot on, right at that point. Did you notice what happened to your expression at this moment?
Mark (6m 15s):
Did you notice how your tonality changed? I want you to do that part again so we can do this back and forth privately asynchronously until you’re ready for prime time.
Jeffrey (6m 27s):
So you’re using a lot of videos also in the year of delivery. Okay.
Mark (6m 32s):
Yeah. A fundamental to the platform is the power of video. So we have, we have the ability now in our platform to embed content within videos, we have the ability to embed hyperlink. So I think of it like a traditional video on steroids, you could do a lot more with video and what we find both in terms of engagement with employees, salespeople, and with their customers is that the short form of video is just a compelling way to communicate content, especially in this modern era vs a long form e-mail or a white paper or any of those things.
Jeffrey (7m 11s):
Interesting. A and where are you located or is it all virtual? So
Mark (7m 16s):
Yeah, I know our office is a actually located in Needham, Massachusetts, a just outside of Boston. What we do have people who are a virtual all over the country. Do you find that certain industries like to use your business more than others? Yes we do. We do it. We are, we’re heavily focused in the financial services business in the medical device business and in the high tech business. And what to, of those three they have in common is that there are a highly regulated businesses. And what that means is that getting what you say right. Really matters if you’re the type of person that works for large, a medical device company who is literally recommended to surgeons about medical devices, sometimes in the operating room about what to do your ability to be trained on anything from an orthopedic in-plant to a titanium screw his critical that you have any information, right?
Mark (8m 11s):
Likewise in financial services that they know the words that you use really do matter. So we find that in those industries, there’s a special appreciation for what we do it in the high-tech world, even though they don’t have the regulation, getting things right. Really matters over time. It’s, it’s expanding beyond those groups. And we’re finding that there’s value in retail environments with companies like Verizon as an example. So it’s not just for what I’ll call the, the highest end of the sales world, but that’s where we started. And now we’re seeing this cascade out to additional business centric circles. What
Jeffrey (8m 50s):
Does that engagement look like with you guys as a short-term short-term long-term a both, yeah,
Mark (8m 57s):
It’s a great question. I mean the, the, the basic premise is, umm, you know, we have people up and running in as little as 30 days and generally we do that by picking a project. Then our team can engage with the sales enablement team and get them up and running for our larger enterprise clients. It, you know, it could be a multi year. It’s a multi year engagement in many cases where we’re helping them to start something their team takes over. And then over time maybe a new project emerges. They require our assistance again, just to get that thing set up. And so we have a, a really fantastic a customer success team whose job it is to provide the amount of help that the customer needs depending upon where they are on the lifecycle.
Mark (9m 42s):
And it’s all
Jeffrey (9m 42s):
Very exciting, a big supporter that I came
2 (9m 44s):
Out of your first model, the medical surgical products, a training, but my training was nine months of coaching and to get me where they wanted me to be and those models don’t always exist anymore. Ah, but mark, I found it very exciting. What you’re doing is somebody else is interested in how Lego Lego, like, can I get it wrong? And I don’t know. I think
Mark (10m 4s):
Of Lego’s think of it rhymes with like Allego, if someone’s looking for you, how would they find you? Yeah, they can, they can go to Allego.com. So that’s allego.com. And that really has everything you need to know, including the ability to contact me or anyone else. You can also look me up on LinkedIn if you want to know more. Great.
2 (10m 29s):
Thank you very much. And we look forward to speaking to you again. Great. Thank you, Jeffrey. You can have remind everybody, this is Radio Entrepreneurs.
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