Is your sales coaching platform complete? If not, you are dropping the ball.
Current state of sales platforms
I remember my first time using a call coaching platform… It was a love hate relationship, but one that I have grown to be fond of. With many companies adopting work from home technologies including video conferencing, coaching has become more than just listening to your reps speak over the phone. Companies like Gong and Chorus have changed the game with call coaching to allow for after-the-call coaching that is in depth and has many tools to help the modern sales coach. They provide iron-clad evidence of what is happening in calls and what reps can do to bolster their results. But are these call intelligence softwares complete? We are going to dive into a few critical components of your sales coaching tech stack to see if it is doing everything it can to fulfill your team’s coaching needs.
The first real value I ever experienced as a sales rep was actually call transcripts. As a rep, there was a ton of value in being able to go back and review the transcript of a call to help aid in notes and prepping for the next call. As a manager, transcripts were very important because they allowed me to quickly figure out what my reps were saying, and how prospects were responding. You know what wasn’t really helpful or used? That is right… the recording. As both a rep and a manager I did not have the time to go back and listen to an entire call. But there are a handful of needs that were not addressed by the conversational intelligence software that we used:
- Delay in transcription time – have you ever needed the transcript, but it was still processing? We needed something fast that could actually help with notes.
- No in-call-tagging – Being able to have reps ask critical questions and then highlight those questions in the transcript would have saved hours of time reading through the text
- No way to summarize specific talk tracks – Back then, we could not see snippets of talk tracks that the team was trying to implement, or how well (or poorly) the talk track actually worked.
- No way to ensure reps covered specific topics – another painful tech snag was that there was no way to make sure that reps were actually covering topics that we knew would lead to higher close-won rates.
Responding to objections
Responding to objections was another painful piece of coaching that we could not quite nail down. Our approach was to use battle cards and playbooks, but when the time came for reps to use the go-to playbooks, they would forget or evade the prescribed talk track until it was too late. We would constantly coach after the fact using the transcripts, but it took a great deal of effort just to nail down the major battle-card points, let alone all of the smaller points. What we did not have at the time was something to deliver real time talk tracks to a rep to remind them in the moment. Today’s modern sales intelligence platforms should include some type of live performance reminders for reps to allow them the opportunity to nail the talk track and save the coaching session a subject to review.
Framing the conversation
Probably one of the most highly coached mechanisms of a sales call is framing the conversation in the right way to get the most desirable outcome. I remember distinctly when my first sales manager started working on how I would set up a conversation. There were no great tools to help me remember the key bullets other than my word doc that I scraped together. What was worse, was that as a manager I couldn’t tell what my reps were actually saying to frame their conversations. We could coach all we wanted to, but it wasn’t until after we dissected 10s, if not 100s of calls that we could identify gaps in their frameworks. It would have made life much easier if we had modern technology to prescribe frameworks using key-words that our top reps were already using.