How to do a ride-along, without the the ride

Marc Miller Complex Sales, Sales Coaching, Sales Training, Selling Effectiveness 2 Comments

Choosing the right sales training isn’t enough. To generate results, you must provide reps with ongoing feedback for 1-6 months after training.

Ongoing feedback makes sales training stick

There are 2 ways for providing ongoing feedback.

  1. Traditional Way:  Have Sales Managers observe actual field calls post training.  This is the “slow, costly, and inconvenient” way.
  2. Digital Way:  Have Sales Managers give feedback via field calls that were recorded on mobile devices.   This is the “fast, cheap, and easy” method.

With mobile devices already present in every sales call, applications that visually help salespeople traverse complex conversations is now possible. For example, a rep can now observe pre-planned questions on a tablet screen during conversations. That ensures reps don’t forget important questions, stay on message, and execute process. The fact that those same conversations are recorded and uploaded to a CRM gives sales managers unfettered access to field sales calls – without the inconvenience and costs of travel.   That means more performance feedback to the field.

We have learned some very important lessons from our venture into the new world of field conversation capture, management, & CRM integration:

  1. It is impossible to keep up with the client information via normal notetaking, especially in today’s increasingly complex customer world. Capturing by hand or keyboard doesn’t cut it anymore in rapid-fire information exchanges – whether field or phone. Think you’re getting it all? You’re missing a LOT.
  2. Flawed self-assessment may be the norm – but it’s costly.   Salespeople believe they can recall about 80% of a conversation only a few hours removed. The actual recall ability is closer to 40%. That over-estimation means rich data loss, customer frustration, and lost sales.
  3. Field coaching is the key to sales effectiveness. When Sales Managers gain instant access to field calls without travel, feedback increases and sale call quality improves.  One follows the next. If you understand the importance of selling effectiveness and it’d direct correlation to win-rate, you’ll appreciate that last learning.

It’s been interesting to observe how field sales call transparency so closely impacts selling effectiveness and productivity. Transparency, simply put, improves sales call quality and accountability.  Classroom sales training is important, but in reality, all that really counts is whether someone can do the skill or not.  Any real sales leader worth their salt figured that out a long time ago.

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