Future sales leaders learn best practices from Chorus

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Challenge

The Center for Professional Sales at UT Dallas offers an intensive, advanced sales class that Dover says is “grueling for both students and teachers.” The class includes a boot camp that simulates a three-month, part-time job in entry-level sales. And one tool that all students in the advanced class are learning to use is the Chorus conversation intelligence platform. “Our students are getting their hands dirty, learning firsthand what it’s going to be like in the work world engaging with AI — which, at most schools teaching sales today, is just two letters,” says Dover.

The Center for Professional Sales initially brought in the Chorus solution to help it expand the role-playing aspect of its advanced class. Before Chorus, the center was very constrained in its ability to provide role-playing opportunities for students, according to Dover.

“We wanted to increase the frequency of role-playing because it would benefit our students, but the logistics didn’t support it,” he explains. “Professors need to score the videos, which can be a very time-consuming process. Peer-to-peer evaluation was tough, too, because it depended on how thoroughly the other students had looked at the videos. So, we were only able to offer three role-plays in the boot camp and one live-scored role-play.”

“Our students are getting their hands dirty, learning firsthand what it’s going to be like engaging in the work world with AI — which, at most schools teaching sales today, is just two letters.”

Dr. Howard Dover

Clinical Professor and Marketing Director, Center for Professional Sales, UT Dallas

Solution

Since implementing Chorus, Dover says he has been able to assign role-plays to his students every week — and give them faster and more meaningful feedback on the fundamentals of selling. The platform is also saving Dover a lot of time, as an instructor.

“I can go straight into Chorus and look at the metadata from a call and immediately know that I don’t even need to watch that call because it lacks the necessary elements,” he says. “For example, I can tell if a student talked 90% of the time, used too many filler words, and didn’t have any structure to the sales conversation. So, now I can walk into a class and say, ‘This week, we were at 80% talk time, folks. And I’m not going to look at any more videos until we get to 50/50.’”

Taylor Barrington, a student in the advanced class, says that type of feedback helps him to improve: “If I’m talking more than 50% of the time on the call, I’m not listening. So, that means I’m not able to present the value to the customer because I don’t know what needs they have.”

“I never noticed before how often I say the words ‘you guys’ in sales calls,” says Karianna Baretto, another advanced class student. “Chorus is not only helping me to improve my professionalism but also, the clarity of the message that I’m presenting to customers.”

The Results

Dover says his students learned how to use the Chorus platform, and get value from it, very quickly. “One of the biggest problems that sales leaders have when bringing in new technology is that they can’t get their team to adapt,” he says. “But our students are now able to use Chorus to coach themselves, which is also accelerating their ability to learn.”

He adds, “We’ve seen an increase in student performance of up to 300% from last year. We’ve also seen record-setting performance by our students when they go into the field.”

Chorus is helping the whole team to improve, says professional sales student, Connor DeShaun. “We ended up being the highest-scoring advanced class of all time during our pro sales competition thanks, in large part, to Chorus helping us to learn and win as a team.”

DeShaun says Chorus has been especially useful in helping him to improve his sales technique in follow-up calls. “I go back and listen to the first calls so that I know exactly what phrasing the prospect used and what their personality is like,” he says. “It helps me to warm up for the follow-up, so I can pick up right where I left off with the prospect and just take things from there.”

Dover says students are using Chorus to learn from each other, as well, and that’s benefiting everyone in the advanced class. “Students started watching videos of other students to learn best practices, and we started to see some cross-pollination,” he says. “There was some group learning that was a bit serendipitous, and we hope to make that more intentional in the next semester.”

Seeing individual students improve because of the insights they get from using Chorus is also very rewarding for Dover, who offers this success story: “I have a student with amazing potential who never speaks up in class. At the beginning of the semester, she was way behind, and I thought she might fail. Today, she’s the sixth-highest closer in the class. Why? Because she went into Chorus and watched the calls from the top five students and realized, ‘I can do that.’”

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