Coaching is critical to the productivity of sales reps. According to SEB, no other sales investment improves rep performance like coaching can. When it comes to sales coaching, call recordings are a cornerstone. Recordings provide full visibility into each reps’ sales process and create a variety of different points to review and perfect.
Each call needs to have a specific goal. Goals vary from call to call and include qualifying a prospect, scheduling a demo or follow up, or speaking with a decision maker. Regardless of the actual goal, it’s important that the call end with both parties agreeing on next steps. As you start the call review, be sure to ask your rep what goal they were trying to accomplish on the call. After listening to the call with them, ask them if the goal was attained.
There may be other aspects of the call that require coaching or more critique, but simply focus on identifying whether or not the goal was accomplished. This will help give your rep clarity in terms of what you’re looking for, especially as it relates to conversion metrics. From there, you’ll be able to dig a little deeper into the more qualitative components of the call.
It’s only natural to simply focus on your rep when completing a call review. However, you should pay special attention to the prospect or customer as well. Consider the following when doing so:
Effective communication takes two. When reviewing call recordings, be sure to listen to both sides of the interaction, not just what your rep says.
It takes practice and feedback to become really effective at delivering an excellent sales pitch. When reviewing it, break it into sections such as pre-pitch research, asking the right questions, objection handling, finding/providing a solution for the prospect’s problem, and understanding the persona. Evaluate each part based on the type of sales call it is. Consider if your rep followed the correct structure and if they stuck to the guidelines in their sales playbook. If you don’t have a playbook, you may want to develop one as a guide for new reps.
It’s not unusual for sales reps to bend the truth. Listen carefully to determine if they stick to the facts, tell white lies, or stretch the truth. If they are presenting inaccurate information, hiding a truth that they perceive could create an obstacle, or are making unrealistic promises, you’ll need to correct this behavior. Remind them that honesty is always the best policy. Besides, not being honest may lead to customers that churn quickly once they realize you can’t deliver on promises. You want customers that are a good fit and will stick with you on the long term.
With practice and reinforcement, your reps should become increasingly confident and proficient. Confidence can impact success in sales. This makes it important to evaluate rep confidence when reviewing calls. Consider how confident your rep sounds when using the script. Are they in control of the call or has the customer taken control? Also, listen to how effectively they’re handling objections and other scenarios they’ve been trained in.
It’s easy enough to be influenced by the energy level of others, so it’s important to assess how well your rep maintains their energy throughout the call. Listen to hear if they are being affected by the prospect’s attitude, tone, etc. or if they’re controlling their own energy level. They should sound like they are having fun and that they are smiling. Prospects and customers can hear this over the phone! Some reps may also do better with this at certain times of the day. Figure out if their calling schedule needs adjustments and continue to optimize from there.
Listen to determine if your rep was able to successfully connect with the prospect and develop a level of rapport. This can be the difference between successfully advancing the deal or failure to do so. Remember, people want to do business with people that they like, and especially, trust.
When completing call reviews, be sure to set your emotions aside. Focus only on criteria in an objective manner. It will allow you to provide better quality coaching feedback for your reps and help them to improve their productivity that much more. Start assessing these areas during call reviews for continual rep growth. Check out part 2 of this series where we’ll discuss the other seven call characteristics to review.