Sales coaching for organizations can sometimes feel like a thankless task, but it’s a critical step to building a successful sales team.
Coaching from a sales leader is an effective method for empowering sales reps. Drawing on the insights from a battle-tested sales leader can provide a sales rep with the insights they need to overcome objections, prioritize prospects, and close more business.
That being said, how are sales leaders supposed to identify “coaching moments?” When should a sales leader step in and assists a sales rep and when should they back off, because things are humming along just fine?
At People.ai, we’ve seen winning sales leaders leverage the power of the People.ai solution to unlock these coaching opportunities, and that is one of the key use cases of using our platform. Below are four of the ways some of our clients are unlocking those hidden coaching opportunities.
1. Monitoring Customer Responsiveness
“Time’s lethal effect on closing a business deal is conventional wisdom… In nearly all cases, the longer it takes to close a deal, the more that gets negotiated away.” – David Heitman, FastCompany.com
Shaving downtime in the sales cycle is one of the easiest ways to increase your sales reps conversion rates.
Leveraging the “Rep Response Time” metric (The average amount of time it takes a rep to reply to an email from an external party) on the People.ai “Activity Trend Graph,” sales leaders are able to monitor how long their sales reps are taking to reply to customers.
We’ve found that there is a direct correlation in customer responsiveness with rep responsiveness. Building and maintaining momentum in the deal cycle is essential to deal progress and increasing overall close rates.
After implementing People.ai, one of our clients discovered that some of their sales reps had relatively long response times, up to 6 to 8 hours. Those same reps had customer response times at roughly the same level.
After surfacing this insight, the sales manager at our client had their sales reps decrease their response time to a maximum of 1 hour. After instituting this policy, the client not only saw a corresponding increase in overall customer responsiveness but also saw their clients mirroring their response speed with an average of 1 hour response time.
This change in behavior shaved down days in the sales process, resulting in better deal visibility, fewer deals “going dark,” and more overall closed deals.
2. Where Are Your Sales Reps Spending Their Time?
Which accounts are sucking up your sales rep’s time? Are they spending all of their time this quarter building new pipeline or closing down older deals? Even worse… Are they sandbagging deals for next quarter?
Having insights into how your sales reps are actually spending their time is extremely valuable to sales leaders. It’s difficult to coach to how the rep feels, or how they think they’re spending their time. Having data and metrics simply tell you the answers is always preferred.
The People.ai “Activity Trend Graph” allows sales leaders to see sales rep activities by account, opportunity, emails, phone, meetings, and more.
Using this tool, sales leaders are able to identify where reps aren’t spending the right amount of time and provide those coaching nudges at the right moment.
If you don’t know where you are today, it’s difficult to know if you’ve made progress and as we all know, salespeople are inherently competitive.
Setting goals and benchmark activities based against the team’s top performers can help drive and measure desired behaviors from the rest of the team.
With the People.ai’s “People Insights,” tool, sales leaders are able to create goals and metrics directly on the People Insights homepage. Bringing your team’s goals and performance front and center.
Having these goals and benchmarks at your fingertips allows sales leaders the opportunity to find the struggling reps and turn around deals which might need their attention.
4. Are Your Reps Talking to The Right People?
Are the deals your reps working single threaded? Are the right people engaged at each stage of the sales cycle?
Forecasting a deal as “likely to close” in the pricing stage might seem like a safe bet, but if your sales rep hasn’t yet engaged any decision makers – that deal probably hasn’t even gotten past fact-finding.
With People.ai, managers are able to easily set up reporting to determine if reps are engaging the appropriate stakeholders during each stage of the sales cycle. Doing this helps to both mitigate the risk of a deal slipping through the cracks as well as improve overall sales forecast accuracy.
Are you ready to start leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to close more deals?