Have you succumbed to the data dashboard? Boris has, so have the BBC. Are you being tantalised by the reams of data available to you on every aspect of your sales force? Modern CRMs can give you all the data you need.
We’re being mesmerised by chants of “follow the data” by the government or policy decisions made when the “data” allows us to do so—seduced by being at home but still being able to manage them from your study.
If so, you need to be wary of relying on this as your salespeople will not be getting the best from your skills as a sales manager.
The answer is to rely less on it and to do much more coaching with your teams. Sales Meetings work, one to one helping them achieve their goals or just some quality field observation with coaching feedback.
Online, here’s how. I know I do coaching online all the time, and it works incredibly well.
- Set up a 45-minute zoom session and invite two or three of your advisers along. Run role-plays between them, ensuring they all have a job – adviser, customer and observer. Just leave the role-players on the video to do their thing; you and the other salesperson can hide but watch and listen. Give coaching feedback afterwards.
- Rather than using each other to role play, you might bring some actors to play the part. I’ve used other company staff or AmDrams, who are exceptionally talented and not particularly expensive either.
- If your people conduct video calls with customers, ensure they keep their video on to simulate the real thing. If they’re telephone-based, ask them to mute their cam. Easy.
- Set up a 45 to a 60-minute coaching session. Ensure you prime the salesperson to appreciate the value and what’s going to happen.
- Pre-brief, the salesperson pick up on their previous actions from training or coaching and help them illuminate the areas they’re working on or improving.
- Enter the customer call as a non-video participant and check the box on oom or Teams to remain hidden. Naturally, you’ll be introduced as a coach by your salesperson.
- If it’s a phone call with the customer, enable listening mode on Zoom or Teams and hook onto the call. Most of us are using VOIP call systems that are digital and use the system which you’re part of online.
- If it’s a mobile phone they use, ensure you record the calls for training purposes. I’m sure you do and continue the coaching session with pre-recorded calls.
- I’m doing this later today with two adviser salespeople. I’ve asked them to choose two calls they recently made to customers – one they liked and the other not so good. Let them decide which, but they must be recent calls from the last 24 hours to maintain freshness.
- Listen to the call and SPAM afterwards – Self-assessment feedback, Positive feedback and lots of them, Alternative idea to develop them and an Overall meaningful positive impact statement.
One to Ones
- As before, set up a 30-minute Zoom call, making sure you’re both on cam and mic and conduct your usual agenda.
- Focus on metrics, data and KPIs, of course; it would be rude not to.
- Talk about their goals – use GROW to mature these.
Data, data, data everywhere and not a coaching session to be seen. Make sure you don’t get condemned to the line of dashboard managers.