Most sales leaders find themselves in an endless struggle to find time to coach and manage their teams. As a result, rep performance suffers, leading to stalled deals, missed quota, and slowed growth. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. And it’s not your fault! Every sales leader these days struggles to find the time to coach and manage their teams.
Yet while the issues may vary from company to company — too many reps per coach, too many sales tactics to try and teach, a complicated product to sell — the solution is the same. Too many sales leaders have bought into a top-down approach, where they need to figure out what’s wrong with each rep’s or team’s approach to selling and then teach them how to fix it.
But as we know from research by Gartner, B2B sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within a week of training, and 87% will forget it within a month if it’s not reinforced. Thus the top-down approach creates a Sisyphean task for coaches where they need to fix the same problems over and over again.
But those tactics that coaches are trying to impart (and that reps are promptly forgetting) do actually hold the key to improving win rates and revenue. They simply need to be taught differently.
Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.
We’ve all heard that quote before, but it’s repeated because it’s true. If you want a team of reps to learn and improve as much as possible, the answer isn’t to teach them as much as you can.
The answer is to teach them to learn on their own.
English teachers know this when they focus on prioritizing giving kids a love of reading over making sure they read the assigned books. Similarly, coaches and managers should focus on giving reps a love of improving their selling technique.
This has multiple benefits:
But how can companies create an environment that encourages this to happen? It isn’t as simple as saying “Ok, go coach yourselves!” now, or plenty of companies would have done it already.
These three elements enable reps to take advantage of the conversation intelligence cycle, a powerful feedback loop that works by using coaching, after-the-fact, and real-time solutions in tandem to create a flywheel of success.
Sales coaches and managers who spend their time cultivating a culture of self-coaching and empowering reps with the conversation intelligence cycle will reap the benefits of happier, more productive reps and higher quota attainment. And for the cherry on top, they’ll even gain a little time back for themselves too.
For more information on how to set up and use the conversation intelligence cycle with your team, check out our eBook The New Conversation Intelligence: What Your Competitors Don’t Want You To Know. In this eBook, we also cover the critical must-have elements of the new Conversation Intelligence Platform and the next steps you have to take to adapt to the new reality.
Mara is a Senior Brand Copywriter at ringDNA, the revenue acceleration platform that leverages AI to transform sales teams into high-performing revenue engines. She loves reading and writing, and one of her most prized possessions is a pair of socks that have "I am silently correcting your grammar" embroidered on them.