Written by: Brian Trautschold
If you’ve been on the internet in the last few quarters you’ve probably noticed that sales coaching is back.
Yes it is back. And of course we at Ambition are thrilled.
(we’re kind of into sales coaching)
But sales coaching isn’t just buying a tool to listen to calls to highlight poor phrase choices or using a product to send emails that get opened more often. Those are great, but they aren’t Coaching.
Coaching happens when sales leaders help their team members improve.
Coaching happens over conversions when both context and data come together to provide clear areas of opportunity and sales leaders.
Coaching is a recurring process that develops the skills that reps can leverage to develop their careers.
Every Modern Sales org needs to be running simple, effective 1:1s today.
The risks are too severe: performance plateau, attrition, slow ramp, souring culture.
Ambition’s sales performance management platform helps sales leaders run amazing 1:1 coaching programs out of the box. (technically there is no box but you get it)
But the right tool is just one piece of the puzzle – the right process and open attitude to change is critical for success.
1:1s – Recurring FTW
- we suggest weekly one-on-ones with your reps but bi-monthly or monthly can certainly suffice.
- when possible, schedule your teams’ one-on-one meetings on the same day weekly out for the full quarter. This helps with muscle memory and consistency.
1:1s – Consistent Format
- a horrible trend in younger orgs is the “water cooler one-on-one” or the “coffee chat” – we call this the laissez faire model.
- No agenda, no clear context, no direction = No results.
- ideally, based on the role of your reps you can provide a template of questions that need to be answered beforehand (more on this below).
- consistent questions and format allow you to dive into the priority issues quicker and dedicate the maximum time to address those key topics.
1:1s – Prepare Before (both managers and reps)
- by having questions answered before and data already gathered (cough, cough out of the box in Ambition) the meeting starts on a level playing field. Straight into real discussion.
- before the meeting you should have the facts (the answers to your key questions and the reporting data on what’s happened) – in the meeting with a rep, your goal is to focus on the context and then prescribing go-forward action
- it’s hard to concentrate on context if your’e still wrangling the facts
Create Assign Action Items
- every 1:1 should conclude with at least one clear assigment for the next meeting. (in best cases this goes both ways)
- don’t expect the action item to always be as simple as “did X occur” – maybe its just a task to log a few more ride-along hours on senior reps calls.
- maybe its personal development focused – whatever the case, action items create accountability.
- whether its increasing pipeline by $X, moving an opp to stage Y, or introducing yourself to the new hires on the SDR team – by defining Action Items each 1:1, you can kick off the next meeting with a clear win or two.
1:1 – Emphasize Importance and Adopt Up
- question – if you let your top reps off the hook re their 1:1s, do you think your “middle” reps will buy in?
- if your managers aren’t doing 1:1s with their leadership org – are theybought in?
- consistently communicating that 1:1s are about developing careers, increasing the skills of your team, and driving everyone’s performance up is critical.
- DO NOT make 1:1s a “pipeline clean up” exercise.
Coaching is more than just tools. Its the collision of data, context, future objectives, and the actions or improvements your reps need to execute to achieve those objectives.
1:1s are proven to help orgs increase performance and decrease attrition.
Running simple, effective 1:1s for sales teams has never been easier.
All you need is some buy in, a plan, and Ambition.
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