The traditional process of coaching field salespeople is broken.
Consider the typical sales manager who does 10 monthly “ride alongs” with their team. Of the 10, expect that:
- 1-2 are cancelled
- 3-4 are plain vanilla calls – no learning opportunity here
- 1-2 require the sales manager to sell to save the call
Netted out, only 2 coachable opportunities – a lot of time and aggravation for tiny, incremental gain.
Not only is traditional field coaching inefficient, it’s not scalable.
That’s a big problem for sales leaders struggling overly-long rookie ramp and closing the productivity gap between core and star performers.
Jim Burns, President of Avitage, and I were recently discussing limitations associated with field coaching. He sees 3 constraints making field coaching impractical for sales managers: time, data, and access.
- Time: Who really has the time to coach – especially when travel is factored in? Unfortunately, Sales Enablement often falls last on the list for Sales Managers focused on making sure the team hits quarterly numbers.
- Data: No data exists to give feedback to sellers on their daily conversations.
- Access: When salespeople are available, managers are not. When managers are available, salespeople aren’t. Meshing schedules is a constant problem for both parties.
Lastly, no sales manager has a crystal ball to know AHEAD OF A CALL whether a coaching opportunity exists! So, unless you have a team of psychic sales managers, your salespeople do not get much feedback on their actual performance. And, no feedback means that the same selling mistakes are repeated again and again.
It is more effective to do sales call coaching after the fact, after every spoken word of a sales conversation is collected on a tablet device – without requiring the presence of the Sales Manager. Those collected sales conversations are automatically flagged for the Sales Manager that alerted them to the most coachable calls. Since tablet-captured sales conversations can be uploaded and accessible via the web, exponentially more coaching feedback occurs.
A Commercial Conversation Management platform moves Sales Coaching into the 21st century by removing the constraints of time, data, and access.
As a result, Sales Managers no longer need to hope they show up on a good coaching call anymore. With hope removed from the equation, first-line sales managers finally gains a way to make the entire sales team better and get those new rookies up to speed more quickly.