In my last post, I introduced this series as an opportunity to share insights from our 2019 Customer QBRs. Read that first to see if your mindset around sales coaching is in line with that of our customers.
Retrospectives can be hard but important. Our goal is to help each customer make better decisions about how to engineer to the rest of the year’s revenue plan using the assessment data from Coach.
An Expectation Has Been Set For Sales Managers To Coach
Part of every Coach implementation is setting expectations for sales managers. As a baseline, the expectation is that:
- Managers will spend regular time alongside their reps on joint sales calls in the field or over the phone.
- On those joint sales calls, they will assess and coach against their sales process and methodology.
- They will use Coach to guide each assessment. Remember, Coach is customized to score based on your key selling behaviors that result in advancing the sale.
When these simple expectations are met, we are able to see things such as: Where are managers spending their time and with whom? How effective are they in spending that time? What is the behavioral profile by region, district, team and seller?
By building assessments that track simple yet very specific behaviors by stage in the sale, we’ve done a couple things that make all the difference to the coaching outcome:
- Removed the bias of forgetfulness and vague inklings by the sales manager (e.g. “He doesn’t sell very hard”), and
- Made the job of coaching simpler by providing a consistent framework to provide feedback that builds over time
As managers subscribe to using the assessment framework for ongoing coaching and feedback, sales leadership has a unique window into the coaching skill set of its managers — Who are your A, B, and C sales managers based on their ability to coach and develop more sellers to goal?
Components of a Coach Customer QBR
Each QBR we conduct with our customers is comprised of headlines (highlights of interesting and relevant findings from your data), detailed data and observations, and recommendations and discussion topics from our in-house coaching SMEs.
That last part is for your sales managers, but is also designed to be specifically relevant to whomever you bring to the table: Sales Executives, Sales Operations, Learning & Development, Human Resources, etc. I’ll get into the meat of that in the next post in this series.
Below are highlights from an actual customer’s 2019 QBR.
Note: This represents a sampling of output; Your results could show something completely different.
Allocation | Where are your managers spending coaching time?
- Your managers met 72% of your coaching objective in Q1, having completed 210 assessments across the quarter.
- 92% of your reps were coached.
- 47% of coaching took place at the top of the funnel — Stages 1 and 2.
Your A, B, and C Managers | Measured by consistent assessment, getting across the team, assessing opportunities across the funnel, scoring criticality, and quality of feedback.
- The composition of your sales management team: 19% As, 56% Bs, 25% Cs
- The average manager has a span of 8.4 direct reports, yet your As have a span of 7.2, while your Cs have a span of 9.3.
Behavioral Gaps and Strengths | Which behaviors — at which stages and with which sellers — should be prioritized for training?
- At Stage 1, the average score is 3.4. The prioritized behavior for development is “Reveals Business Pain Points,” which scored a 2.7 with 37% of sellers recommended for training.
- At Stage 2, the average score is 3.2. The prioritized behavior for development is “Determines the Path Forward,”which scored a 2.3 with 42% of sellers recommended for training.
A Foundation for Coaching and Development in One Quarter
Customers leave the QBR having cemented the following for the organization in one quarter:
1. The Key Behaviors that Drive Sales Cycles
In order to change behaviors, they need to first be identified and agreed upon. Once managers begin to assess in the field, this moves from concept to reality, helping the sales organization further align on a common language for selling.
2. Build Development Profiles by Seller, Team, District, and Region
To optimize development resources, we must know where and how to allocate for biggest impact.
3. Identify A, B, and C Managers
Managing a team of sellers is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Understanding the characteristics of highly effective managers allows the organization to move beyond the anecdotal. The next generation of management talent will be the growth engine of the business going forward, especially if we can move more Cs to Bs and Bs to As.
And finally, reallocation of resources for span imbalances may have a material impact on delivering the revenue plan.
4. The Ability to Coach Managers on How to Spend Time, with Whom, and Where
Every day sales managers walk into the office with many choices as to how to spend their time. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in a reactive posture. A coaching cadence moves managers away from this and toward more proactive management.
In the final post of this series, I’ll share what our customers are doing with the results of their first QBR with Coach.
If you’re ready to collect actionable data on your sales managers, fill out our 8-question Coaching Diagnostic to receive a custom read-out of your results.