Do you ever wonder why certain salespeople always seem to fall into the same traps (selling on price, not knowing next steps, working with a lower-level non-decision maker, the prospect controlling everything, etc.)? It happens every day. There is a good chance that if you were to ask the salesperson how the meeting went, she would say “Great!” or “It was really good.” Who’d admit that it stunk? Who will tell you, “the train went off the tracks early?”
If you have a strong culture of accountability, you may not hear the inevitable positive response. But even if you do have a strong culture of accountability there is a fool-proof way of knowing exactly what is happening on your Sales Teams appointments – join them on calls. Ride-Alongs (or Virtual Join-Alongs) are an invaluable way to learn what your Team needs in terms of Sales Coaching. You can see it with your own two eyes. Just make sure you follow these
4 Rules for Ride or Virtual Join Alongs.
- Not their Favorite (or easiest customers)
How much will you learn about a salesperson if he is calling on his best buddy? Nothing. Have your salespeople schedule appointments (preferably with new prospects – new opportunities). Give them a week or two notice & have them schedule appointments and be prepared to include you in the invitation. No friends.
- Use a Scorecard
There is no need to commit the entire sales appointment to memory. Use the Sales Coaches’ Corner Scorecard to keep you on track (& to make sure your Salesperson stays on track). This Scorecard is a simple Excel Spreadsheet with all of the steps in the Sales Coaches’ Corner Selling System – from Ground Rules at the beginning to determining next steps at the end. You’ll be able to “grade” your salesperson in real time!
- No rescuing. It’s Their Meeting, Not Yours
The hardest step by far – for you! As hard as it may be to do, you must resist the temptation to rescue your salesperson in an effort to save the deal. The best “learning” of all will come in the post-meeting Sales Coaching session with you & your salesperson. As good as you are, you likely do not have what we call “transferable skills” (the ability for someone to learn from you by watching you do it). You can resist!
- Post-Meeting Sales Coaching
There is no need to join them on the appointment if you aren’t going to review it with them & provide valuable observations & coaching. This needs to be done as soon as possible (either same day or next day) when it is fresh in everyone’s mind. But what will you coach the salesperson on? The Scorecard. That Scorecard provides a great opportunity for you to pin-point strengths & improvement areas for all appointments that you tag along on.
And another thing . . . ride alongs are not just for new salespeople or low performers. High performers need them too.
They may not tell you, but their potential for growth is strong.