How To Handle Reps That Aren’t Retaining Information
You’ve given the same coaching advice 1,000 times and a rep still comes to you (or other colleagues) with the same questions. It’s monotonous, it’s exhausting, and it’s a huge waste of time for everyone involved.
So, what’s really going on here? Are they just not retaining the information? Do they simply lack confidence in their own ability? Or do they doubt your advice and expertise as a coach?
Here are a few tactics you can use to diagnose the underlying issue and steer them in the right direction.
Direct them to their notes. As long as you keep granting that quick and easy access to your brain (AKA the answers), they’d be a fool not to take advantage of you. Cut off that instant gratification and it will force them to review what they’ve noted and truly learn the material. Try saying something like “I don't really have anything to add since the last time we reviewed this scenario. If you have any follow up questions after you’ve reviewed your notes, lets sync up.” This is a great exercise if you know they have the information but suspect they're not referencing it. However, it may not work for a rep who hasn’t been taking notes. So, jump ahead to one of the next two.
Before responding, ask them what they think the answer is. This puts the rep in a position where they have to think through the question analytically and work through different solutions. This tactic will not only refresh their memory on the subject matter, but it will help them gain confidence in their instincts and decision-making ability for future scenarios.
Share success stories. If you suspect a rep is second guessing your advice, try to include references in future consultations. “Tim used this strategy with deal ABC and it proved to be highly effective. Sara and John also used this strategy and made remarkable progress on several recent opportunities.” Sometimes reps just want validation that the advice the advice has been tested in the real world. Referencing a colleague in a similars situation is a great way to ease their anxiety about trying something outside of their comfort zone.
There is another solution that can help you address all three challenges: invest in a sales enablement tool that will streamline and automate your sales coaching.
Accent CRM Supercharger automates guided selling by using big data analytics to recommend next steps to the rep to move an opportunity forward. It also serves up relevant content to support the rep’s customer engagements and provides visualizations, such as a buyer matrix and communication table, to help the rep identify key contacts missing on an opportunity or any gaps in their communication cadence.
But there are also a few tools designed specifically for coaches. Sales managers can inject their expertise and tips for complex or unique situations into our recommendations engine. The tip is delivered right within the rep’s opportunity like a post card memo … and is actionable! So, if the tip was “Share our Firm Overview.pptx with Tom Brady,” the rep could click a button to write the email with the recommended content attached. Additionally, when the message is sent, the sales rep’s activity is automatically logged in CRM.
So not only does our tool make giving and receiving advice insanely efficient, but over time coaches can analyze the tips that became actions and compare it to their reps’ overall performance to measure the effectiveness of their coaching. Reps can also see what’s popular among their colleagues and feel confident in the advice they’re receiving.
To learn more or see a demo, contact us today!