Chapter 2: Team Coaching
Coach sales teams to greatness using leading indicators
Good sales managers coach their team members toward the end goal of additional revenue for the business. With data, managers can benchmark their team’s performance, analyze sales goals, and set clear paths to achieving them. In this chapter you will learn how to:
- Achieve greatness through an objective lens
- Apply the equation for predictable revenue using leading indicators
- Coach and inspect deals without micromanagement
Achieving greatness through an objective lens
Exceptional sales reps are always in motion and are quick to pivot their game strategy in response to changes in the field. But self-reported activity data can be subjective and variable depending on each salesperson’s method of recording and characterizing interactions. To really know what good looks like, sales managers need objective metrics that are measured identically across their team. People.ai allows you to tap into your mail system to capture:
- Total volume of emails, phone time, and meetings
- New business meetings booked and completed
- Decision-makers engaged
These objective, quantifiable data points serve as powerful indicators of the results your team members can be expected to achieve. Armed with this information, you can model the behavior of your top performers, and develop engagement activity scorecards that will:
- Quantify what best-in-class looks like based on activity of top-performing sales reps
- Benchmark sales team members against your team’s gold standard
- Rank team members and provide them with clear quantifiable data on how they can improve their rankings.
Data-driven benchmarking is an important coaching tool that can help your team members visualize the activity levels required to drive their success. When you know what good looks like, you can model your best in class sales reps and start unlocking the full potential of your team.
The equation for predictable revenue with leading indicators
Leading indicators are the activities that happen before a deal is closed. These are important metrics to track to ensure that you have a predictable business. An easy way to visualize the role of leading indicators is to think of the sales activity funnel: calls and emails lead to meetings, which lead to a pipeline, which leads to won deals. But this funnel means that stumbles at the beginning of this process can seem magnified if they cause unmet goals in each subsequent stage.
People.ai Team Performance gives you visibility into:
- Who is on track
- Where people are stuck
- Why conversion rates are low
Maybe you have a sales rep with a low conversion rate. Using Team Performance you can dig deeper into underlying causes to try to get things back on track.
- Maybe he/she wasn’t meeting the right people
- Maybe he/she wasn’t identifying pain
- Maybe he/she wasn’t identifying a champion
- Maybe he/she was spending too much time on existing business and not enough on new business opportunities
As a manager, you will want to make notes of these potential issues as you prepare for your one on one with your rep. In your one on one, you can jointly analyze trends and patterns, validate data, and dig into the components of your sales strategy to empower your sales rep to identify and fill the gaps that will put him back on track.
Inspection without coaching is micromanagement
With the ability to delve into the details of data, you can coach more specifically rather than highlighting gaps in a way that might seem negative or unproductive. Maybe your sales rep who was spending too much time on existing business rather than new business opportunities has a client who was about to renew, and the renewal is a significant potential upsell opportunity. Being able to see that and respond to it rather than simply demand more meetings, can build a greater partnership between you and your rep.
Perhaps when you review the data with your sales rep, it becomes apparent that there has been a messaging problem. Maybe the sales rep doesn’t have the right questions for connecting with the client. In reviewing data, these are issues that you and your sales rep can identify and solve together. With better direction, you can get better productivity from your team.
The goal is to use data to create a forward motion. When you can show your team members the significance of the activity data, you can empower team members to understand the process, how it is measured, and visualize the end goal. When your team members understand what data is being tracked and how they can impact it, they are motivated to take action.