Call recordings are a powerful coaching tool — it’s the game film of sales teams. Reviewing your reps’ call recordings can help to improve their pitch, presentation skills, and so much more. In part 1 we discussed the first 7 of our 14 key elements. Hopefully, you’re already finding them helpful in your call recording reviews. Below are the additional 7 key elements and how to assess each during sales call recording reviews.
Listening is critical to sales success for a variety of reasons. Reps won’t learn much about their prospect’s needs and concerns if they’re doing all the talking. They also won’t be able to effectively qualify them or close the deal if they don’t listen carefully. There are schools of thought concerning the exact best ratio for listening and speaking. It all boils down to what Richard Branson said, “Listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak.” There are several things you want to pay attention to when evaluating your reps’ listening skills. First, you’ll want to look at their talk-time ratio. What’s the overall talk time percentage compared to the prospect? Did they interrupt their prospect? Did they ask clarifying or additional questions when the prospect provided vague or incomplete information? Watching for these and bring them to your rep’s attention so they may strengthen their listening skills.
Your reps need to understand the needs and challenges that their prospects have before they can present the best solution. When you’re evaluating this portion of the call, do you hear your reps summarizing prospect’s pain points? Are they proposing solutions that are aligned with the prospect’s needs?
It’s important that your team members be able to recognize and handle red flags as they occur during calls. Some potential flags include a prospect’s hesitation or indecisiveness or their unwillingness to commit to next steps. Listen to see if your reps identified these as they come up on the call. Did they ask more questions to get to the root of the issue? Did they face it head on or retreat from it? It’s crucial that your reps handle red flags in the most appropriate way, even if that means asking for additional help internally.
Your reps need to be consultants, not just salespeople. Because of this, sometimes the usual objection handling won’t actually address the challenge being presented by the prospect. In situations like these, creativity may be necessary. You want to listen to see how well your reps think on their feet. Were they able to come up with a creative response when needed? If so, what new ways did they neutralize a prospect’s reluctance or work around specific obstacles? If they weren’t successful in working through the situation, this is a chance to discuss it. What went wrong? What went right? And what might be the best ways to deal with this type situation in the future? This way they’ll be better prepared next time.
Time management is something we all strive to improve. When it comes to sales call duration, reps need to primarily be mindful of the prospect’s time and schedule. Depending on the type of call (discovery, demo, or follow up), the call duration will vary. Focus on the pace of the call — are reps setting clear expectations at the beginning of the call? Consider what was accomplished during the call. Could this have been done in less time? If so, how?
To make call time most productive, it’s critical that reps be able to effectively identify unqualified prospects. Otherwise they will be wasting their time with the wrong prospects. Are they qualifying prospects that they shouldn’t? Listen to be sure that reps understand what questions to ask prospective clients based on roles. Are they recognizing the roles correctly? If they need to strengthen this skill, check out this resource. It might help you help them improve.
One thing reps need to remember is to stay on topic. It’s easy enough to take a tangent when speaking with a prospect. This is especially true when rapport develops and the conversation gets off track. Reps need to be sure to redirect when this happens. What to watch out for here? Look at call length. Long calls aren’t necessarily bad, but you want to be sure they are productive. If the call took a detour, did the rep artfully bring it back on track or lose a lot of time on the tangent? Underperforming reps who learn to avoid losing focus during calls can improve their performance by doing so and become top closers.