It was around the year 2012 that Conversational Intelligence software first came into the world, and sales representatives finally found a new, arguably better way to help with call coaching. Sales leaders tried to find time in their calendars to listen to previously recorded calls, and sales reps fought the “big brother” feeling of having all of their interactions with prospects recorded. It took a few years, but when tools like Gong, Chorus, and Refract came to market and brought with them a sense of brand identity, Conversational Intelligence software finally became accepted as the norm and widely adopted. Fast forward five or six years, and here is where we are today:
- Special folders, and email routing rules to “objection” folders in the inbox for the endless notifications sent by these systems.
- Email stopped being effective, so Slack channels are now filled with red dots of certain keywords being mentioned
Red means stop, or wait, does it?
There is a very specific reason that stop signs, traffic lights and push notifications are red. When humans see red, their reactions become faster and more forceful. We, as humans, associate red with danger (think about the last time you saw someone get mad or angry, what color did their face turn?). So, it is only natural that tech companies use that color to draw user’s attention to the actions they want them to take. The problem becomes when that push notification or number starts to lose its emotional connection with the pain of not taking action. When call coaching, after the sixth time of role-playing with a single rep hasn’t worked, the notification associated with a competitor being mentioned on that rep’s call stops being cared about.
B2B sales is kinda like Groundhog Day… but, it doesn’t have to be!
If you find yourself in any of these five situations, it’s probably time to reconsider whether or not reactive call coaching is working for you:
- You feel like Bill Murray every time a certain competitor is mentioned! We have all been there, as a sales representative or sales leader during a call coaching session. The playbooks are out, the talk tracks have been role-played and the notes from the previous 3 other sessions are brought up on the screen. You find yourself, stepping into the ice-cold puddle of pain, scratching your head, day after day, trying to figure out why the team isn’t capable of remembering how to handle a certain competitor. We have listened to calls on our call intelligence platform over and over again, yet nothing changes.
- Musical chairs becomes the adjective for which you describe the call coaching meetings on your calendar. Ask any sales leader, and the number one meeting they are ok with “rescheduling” is the call review session. Meeting with a prospect, internal tasks, and reporting, 1:1 over lunch or a call blitz session with the team… basically anything starts to take priority over the call review session with the team because it’s already been done before, 100 times.
- The plays change just because they aren’t being used. It would be like a Doctor saying a certain medical treatment plan doesn’t work, not ever having actually used it on a patient. Sales leaders review calls on their call coaching platforms, and recognize that their reps aren’t following the established playbook. So, as opposed to fighting the uphill battle with changing behavior, the playbook needs to change (obviously).
- Poor sales rep performance obviously means more of the same coaching tactics, right? When will this madness end?! From early childhood, we are taught (and experience) the profound impact that confidence has on producing a positive outcome. So, in sales, what do we do? We decrease confidence by putting more and more time on the calendar to role-play the same scenarios over and over again. Never once, do we look introspectively and ask ourselves if the technology and approach we are taking is to blame.
- The excuses just keep coming! How many times have you logged in to your call coaching platform lately? Our guess, not many, because the act of logging in usually results in the same outcomes. That is why you get the notifications, which then get sent to folders, which never get looked at.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but it’s time to stop being looking back
Technology, like ABSTRAKT, can put an end to all this madness today! Let’s stop acting like Phil, and living the same day over and over again by relying upon reactive conversational intelligence software. Let us be thankful they brought us to this point today and laid the foundation for tools like ABSTRAKT, but let us continue to evolve as technology evolves!