The problem with BO, is that no one tells you. Your prospects don’t tell you (though they sure do ignore you), your colleagues are probably too polite to say, or feel it isn’t their place to. Your only hope is that your manager does, and that they help you see the error of your ways and help you find the solution.
Unfortunately, too often your busy manager buries their head in the sand and your BO lingers on.
Which of your reps has got BO?
BO - Bad outreach. It takes different forms - both over the phone and email. Do not despair there is a remedy that taken regularly will ensure the only odor your reps give off, is the odor of success.
The perfume that is ‘Coaching & Feedback’
Much like a bodily odor, we can live in blissful ignorance - doing the same thing, making the same mistakes or leaving opportunity on the table through poor execution. In fact, until someone tells you differently….
How do you know what you’re not doing right?
What does good look like?
Or perhaps most frequently - what ‘good’ moments of your calls or emails could be ‘great’?
The impact and value of sales coaching is well documented and universally accepted. Just 3 hours coaching per month per rep has a hugely significant impact on performance, according to the Sales Executive Council study.
The CEB Executive Briefing “World-Class Sales Coaching” found that sales managers who are highly effective coaches drive 19% more sales than their less effective colleagues. - https://www.cebglobal.com/blogs/are-your-managers-effective-coaches/
But these numbers can be comfortably multiplied when we are talking outreach.
- There is no buffer in outreach.
- No second chance to make a great first impression.
- No second chance to demonstrate a fit.
- No established rapport to forgive an ‘OK’ response.
Every mistake, every missed opportunity, even every ‘good’ rather than ‘great’ answer can be terminal. Its sink or swim. The outcome is pretty binary.
Coaching - Not just for managers
Despite the proven impact in coaching, nearly ¾ managers spend less than 5% of their time coaching according to a TAS Group study.
Whilst this is clearly a flaw in our industry and indictment of not spending our time where we have the most impact on results. We can all appreciate why managers fall into this trap. Busy managers, who may or may not be great coaches, are tasked with measurable KPI’s (of which coaching is rarely one), prioritize other task even if ultimately less meaningful to performance and revenues.
How can we ensure reps get the coaching they need, if their managers don’t?
Share the playbook
By showing best practice examples and moments of email and call outreach, we can allow reps, whether onboarding or experienced members of the team to really up their game. Take the elements of the playbook they are missing and learn from what is proven to work.
Without this visibility of playbook moments - creating value in X, or handling an objection on Y, how can we expect reps to eliminate mistakes and missed opportunities or make good answers into great answers?
Experienced members of the team and best performers must be encouraged to share their wisdom. Its part of their own career journey to demonstrate that they can impart their knowledge and expertize, on other less able or experienced team members.
Its also part of their responsibility within a sales team. Whilst all may strive to be ‘top dog’ and the competitive nature of sales can yield positive results, sales is ultimately a team game - and we are tasked with maximizing ‘the team’s’ success.
Give reps the ability to review their own outreach with an analytical eye, identifying with the benefit of time and without the pressure, the things they said or wrote that could be improved. By identifying these coachable moments themselves, managers can help them with a small investment in time - the grunt work has been done for us. Maximum ROI from an investment in coaching time.
So what are the most common mistakes, missed opportunities or ‘good’ moments in your reps outreach calls or emails? And more importantly, at what cost?
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