When it comes to call coaching, the majority of sales leaders fall into one of two managing styles to keep their reps’ skills strong: a proactive or reactive approach.
Proactive managers prioritize coaching their reps for the future to help further their development. Reactive managers on the other hand, respond to the reps’ past performance, analyzing and critiquing.
While each approach has some merit, constantly focusing on a rep’s past performance and trying to fix any blunders retroactively won’t help your rep to develop their skills in the moment, under pressure, where it really matters. With a proactive approach you adhere to a strict coaching schedule that reinforces call best practices and vital lessons that can improve your rep’s proficiency.
How can you implement a more proactive approach to manage your sales reps’ calls? Let’s explore three proactive methods so you can adjust your managing style and positively influence your reps’ calls.
Listen-In with Real-Time Call Coaching
Reactive managers coach their reps when they realize it’s necessary. This is often after a call has already gone wrong. But proactive managers actively coach reps in the moment, using real-time call coaching.
Whether you sit next to the rep, dial into a conference call, or use specific call coaching tools like SalesLoft’s Live Call Studio, hearing your rep’s call live gives you the opportunity to provide useful, actionable feedback. Real-time coaching even allows you to instruct your reps about skills and tactics they can put into immediate action. This not only results in a more successful call, it allows your reps to learn faster by putting insights into practice.
Instead of grinding away for hours on recorded calls, you can set aside at least an hour per week for real-time call coaching. Listen in to your rep’s calls and provide feedback where you see fit. Live Call Studio allows you to monitor all active calls at once, and use whisper mode to speak directly to the rep and offer any word of advice without the prospect’s knowledge.
Review Call Recordings One-to-One
While real-time coaching provides valuable assistance during live calls, one-to-one call coaching allows you to teach your reps the practices to improve their call skills based on their own experiences. By listening to a previously recorded call with your rep together, you can highlight the rep’s call strengths as well as instruct them on areas where they can improve.
Individual call coaching creates a supportive environment where you can offer constructive feedback. But most importantly, the one-to-one nature of call reviewing allows you to focus on areas your rep may be struggling during their calls so that they can overcome those issues and make progress.
The key to success in call coaching lies in repetition. Schedule a weekly one-to-one with each of your reps to review some of their call recordings. During the meetings, walk your reps through calls that didn’t go well and provide them with a valuable take-away. Then, reinforce those lessons each time you meet to make sure your rep puts them into practice.
Perform a Monthly Script Audit
Providing you reps with a script to execute on their calls is already proactive. But if you leave the same script in play for too long you’ll find yourself scrambling to update outdated or inadequate messages. So to keep your messages strong and relevant you occasionally want to review your call scripts.
When you review your call scripts, analyze your call analytics to determine whether or not the script has been successful. You can pull a report that shows the call connection rates associated with that script. If your connection rates are low, edit the script so your reps adjust their messaging. You can even test out multiple scripts at once with A/B call testing. The comparison between two call scripts will allow you to make quick decisions on what messaging works and what doesn’t for greater call success.
These proactive strategies will have your team in tip top shape. While you may still have to resort to reactive measures for the occasional fire, your proactive efforts will have the whole team operating more smoothly.
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