Imagine walking up to a stranger on the street and asking them for advice on how to improve your sales process.
They’d probably say “get away from me, weirdo!” but let’s again imagine that they say something like “I don’t know how. I don’t know anything about you or your current sales process.” Not too farfetched, is it?
It’s hard to offer advice when you’re missing details on what needs improvement. The more insight you have into a process, the easier it is to identify problem areas.
Okay, back to B2B sales. The average B2B sales coach is flying blind.
They don’t have the capability to monitor every single sales rep every moment of the day, so what happens is that they rely on inaccurate CRM reports and generic sales numbers. This process isn’t bad. It’ll get you slight levels of improvement in performance over sales reps with no coaching and guidance, but I’m betting you don’t want to settle for slight levels of improvement.
Unless you already have visibility into sales situations, it’s hard to dig down deep into problem behaviors—all your time is spent on the diagnosis, leaving no time for treatment.
So how do you get that visibility? It boils down to 5 key areas:
1) Daily sales rep activities
How are your sales reps spending their day? Are they focusing on making calls, sending emails, conducting product demos, etc.? If you don’t know, that’s a problem. If they’re focusing on non-selling activities such as searching for relevant content or entering data into CRM, that’s also a problem.
2) Time spent on each activity
Okay, once you know what activities your sales reps are doing each day, the next question is how much time they’re spending on each. Yeah, maybe the sales rep did 3X the average number of phone calls, but if those phone calls were each only 2 minutes long, the rep probably needs some coaching.
3) The differences between A, B and C seller activities
What are your top performers doing that your low performers aren’t? It may be easy to say “Be like Jim. Jim always makes his quota,” but that’s not actionable advice. Saying “Jim spends twice as much time scheduling follow-up demos as you do,” ties coaching to something the sales rep can easily change.
4) Buyer engagement metrics
If your sales reps are doing everything by the book, but they’re still not closing deals, it’s time to look at the other side of B2B sales: the buyer. By tracking buyer engagement metrics, you can identify which sales reps are focusing on opportunities that are likely to close…and which are pursuing dead leads.
5) The email templates and content used by each rep
The type of content and messaging sent by each rep can tell you a lot about their performance. Compare content sent to all your buyers to identify the most effective materials. Look at what your top performers are sending out. Look at the messaging used with buyers that never respond. This visibility is vital if you want to improve buyer engagement over time.
Don’t go into sales coaching blind. Get the visibility you need to help your sales reps improve. With these 5 areas of visibility, coaching turns from guesswork and blanket advice to real-time, tailored training for each sales rep.