Improve your sales calls: Feedback that’ll boost the performance of your senior sales reps (Free checklist)
In our previous post, we explored how to successfully evaluate sales calls with your junior reps.
The post tackled seven attributes that are crucial to having a successful sales call.
- Setting a goal
- Knowing the pitch
- Sticking to the facts
- Exercising confidence
- Maintaining high energy
- Creating a connection
- Listening to your prospect or customer
If you’re working with junior sales reps and haven’t read it yet, do take a look.
This time around, we’re going to look at some of the more advanced attributes giving your senior reps feedback on their sales calls.
The below attributes is what you’d want to judge your more senior sales reps on.
Let’s get started.
1. Proposing solutions
The prospect’s needs sit at the core of sales. If your rep doesn’t understand their needs, how can they propose a solution?
As you’re providing your sales rep with feedback, keep these questions in mind:
- Did your rep fully understand the challenges the prospect was facing?
- Did your rep assess those challenges properly?
- Did the rep propose suitable solutions?
Proposing solutions is not just about your product, it’s a teaching opportunity that will (if done correctly) provide the prospect with insights that are valuable for their business.
2. Red flag sensitivity
On almost every call, one or more red flags will pop up. These indicate that something will be difficult. There might be hesitation, indecisiveness, or unwillingness to commit.
Provide your sales rep with feedback based on these questions:
- Did your rep notice any red flags during the call?
- Did your rep ask questions pertaining to the red flags spotted?
- Did your sales rep approach conflict or run away from it?
Often, salespeople will want to ignore red flags instead of investigating them and trying to find a solution the problem.
Here’s an example of how not to handle a red flag during a sales call:
Prospect: I’m not sure if my boss will agree to this.
Sales rep: Okay, let’s forget about your boss for now. What do you want?
Now, compare it to this example:
Prospect: I’m not sure if my boss will agree to this.
Sales rep: I’m glad you brought this up. Let’s talk about your boss. What can you tell me? Why would he or she be opposed to this?
See the difference? You want your reps to tackle red flags upfront so they can manage and control them.
Learn more about this in How to “virtually” close every single customer.
3. Level of creativity
The same old objection management techniques might not always bring the deal to a close. Sometimes the same objection requires a completely new maneuver. How good is your sales rep at coming up with new stuff on the fly?
Here’s what to bear in mind:
- Was your sales rep creative during the sales call?
- Did your rep come up with new ways of disarming a reluctant prospect?
- Did your rep have a new way of working around a specific obstacle?
You’re in sales, but per definition, you’re a consultant. All of these things will be a testament to how good of a consultant your reps are.
4. Time management
Time management is a challenging discipline, not just for salespeople, but for everyone. Making the most of the time comes down to the goal you’ve set for the call.
Here’s what to ask:
- What was accomplished during this call in relation to its duration?
- Could it have been accomplished in less time? How?
- How well did the rep respect their own time as well as their prospect’s time?
Time management is a skill that requires a lot of practice, it’s about taking control of your time and working smarter—not harder.
Don’t overwhelm your sales reps with feedback
In the past, I’ve had a bad habit of overwhelming sales reps with feedback, leaving them with no clear points of improvement.
This is demoralizing and takes away their energy and passion. It also doesn’t provide your reps with a clear path toward improvement. How are they going to fix 40 things at once? They can’t.
Focus on one area that needs improvement
As a sales manager, you need to have the discipline to focus on one thing—the most important thing that you think will have the biggest impact.
You can look critically at every single thing your reps do and add it to your internal data, but give your reps only one thing they need to work on.
Learn as a team
A question you need to ask yourself as the sales manager is, “What are the learnings from this call that go beyond the individual sales rep?” Things the entire team can learn and benefit from, but also things you can learn as the sales manager.
Perhaps you’ve seen multiple people on the team make the same mistake. That might mean that you weren’t as effective in your coaching as you thought you were.
When you’re reviewing a call, take it one step further. What are the opportunities for growth and learning? Is there something your entire sales team can learn? Perhaps there’s even something the whole business can learn? Always look at the bigger picture.
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