Weekly 1-on-1 meetings are an integral part of the growth and performance of any sales team. The coaching a manager provides to her sales reps helps improve their skills and ensure they’re focused on the right sales activities that promote growth. However, too often, these meetings end up focused on the sales cycle (pipeline management or individual deals) which help in the short term but don’t promote long term growth. Sales managers need to focus on activities that develop their sales force and ultimately lead to higher performance.
Fortunately, our existing sales stack is ripe with enablement tools that help sales reps do their job each day. These tools enable sales managers to engage each of their reps in development focused 1-on-1 meetings. The following three tips enhance our 1-on-1s by leveraging our sales enablement tools for training and coaching opportunities, and they can help your team, too. Here are the big three:
- Game film using your conversation intelligence platform.
- Digitally practice using your sales training platform.
- Virtual role-play using your online meeting platform.
1. Game film using your conversation intelligence platform.
Game film is one of my favorite activities to do during a 1-on-1 because it gives me the opportunity to focus my coaching on specific scenarios from actual interactions with prospects and customers. Here’s how it works—prior to coming into a 1-on-1, instruct your rep to pick one call from the previous week that went well, and one call that didn’t go as well as planned. When you start your 1-on-1, discuss the two calls focusing on what made the “good” call better than the “bad” call. The goal is to identify what the rep is doing well and enable them to replicate those same behaviors in all of their customer interactions. Starting a 1-on-1 this way gives both the rep and the manager a clear idea of what’s needed and how to improve.
After briefly discussing the two calls, open the “good” call in your conversation intelligence platform and begin listening (or watching if it’s a video call) together. The great part of using a conversation intelligence platform here is you can leverage some of the key features to your benefit as you review. While you review your rep’s interactions with a prospect or customer, focus on the aspects you identified in your discussion and make comments in the comment section and specifically highlight those areas. This will reinforce those behaviors and provide a good record for you and your rep to reference later.
Once you are through enough of the “good” call that you feel like you have strong examples of the desired behavior, switch your attention to the “bad” call. Follow the same process as before, but this time focus on the areas of opportunities. Like before, be sure to document each part of the discussion as you progress through the call in the comment section of your conversation intelligence tool.
Finally, it’s time to put an action plan in place for improvement. Remember, your goal here is to help your rep identify the specific areas of improvement, and then replicate the behaviors identified in the first call. Action plans should be individualized to match your rep and the behavior they need to improve. One great way to do that is by leveraging your sales training and coaching platform for additional practice. Let’s look at what that might look like next.
2. Digitally practice using your sales training platform.
Now that you’ve identified specific areas your rep needs to improve, leverage the digital practice functionality in your sales training and coaching tool. As a part of the action plan, assign your rep with targeted practice scenarios that focus on the desired behaviors you’re trying to develop in your rep. Practice reinforces the “good” aspects from the calls you reviewed during the 1-on-1 and help your rep dial in those skills. Once submitted, be sure to give your rep detailed feedback so they know if they are moving in the right direction. If more practice is needed, assign additional scenarios to continue the practice.
3. Virtual role-play using your online meeting platform.
The final step in this progression is to use subsequent 1-on-1 meetings to execute a live role-play. Again, you want to focus this role-play on the same behaviors you identified in your original 1-on-1 to continue the rep’s development as a part of their action plan. A great way to execute this is by simulating a real prospect or customer meeting leveraging your online meeting platform. This may be second nature for managers with remote teams, but when you manage a team of local reps, it isn’t quite as obvious. The advantage here is putting your rep in a scenario that is as close to an actual interaction as possible.
Here’s how it works—provide your rep with a scenario that’s similar in structure to the call you reviewed in the original game film session. Instead of meeting in your standard location for your 1-on-1, go to separate locations and call into your online meeting platform. Do your best to structure the call in a way that gives your rep an opportunity to demonstrate the behavior they’ve changed in order to replicate the aspects of the “good” call from earlier. Finally, be sure to build in time to deliver feedback and coaching after the role-play is complete. You can either do this during the same 1-on-1 as your role-play, or you can schedule a follow-up to do a game film review of the role-play to even further focus your coaching.
Use these tips to get the most out of your 1-on-1 meeting by leveraging the sales enablement tools you already have in place. When we focus on the development of our reps, we help them grow, sell, and do better work.
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