Managers face tremendous challenges in today’s remote sales environment. There’s the challenge of visibility – what really happens to sales reps when you can’t see them at work. Managers are challenged through coaching – providing real-time, constructive feedback that sales reps appreciate. Finally, there’s the challenge of time – making time to be relevant to every employee on every call.
Studies show that more than half of salespeople are actively looking for another job. This leaves a talent vacuum and creates an onboarding challenge.
The “great resignation” is not yet over and the loss of critical talking points in this mass exodus means potential sales are being left in the funnel along with a squandering of lead costs.
This isn’t new to the sales leaders who are on the line every day, managing data, assigning leads, tracking activity, and driving sales (as best they can).
What can the industry do to counteract this phenomenon?
Three approaches are most commonly used, but each approach has serious shortcomings.
- Telephone call recording. This is an important part of sales management, but managers are overwhelmed with too much unstructured data to process it all effectively. If a manager has six employees and each employee talks 20 minutes an hour 30 hours a week, they will have 60 hours of recorded calls to listen to every week.
Managers need a way to hear only the key parts of each sales pitch that matter to them as the sales coach and the person forecasting sales to executives.
Sales reps would love it because it would save them time, should have their customer relationship management system automatically updated for them, and should allow them to always be relevant on every call.
- Transcribe recorded calls. Virtual selling has become the norm. But that doesn’t mean every sales rep is great at engaging and building relationships virtually. If they do Zoom calls (or similar), their CRM could be a great tool as it should allow the manager to see the faces of everyone on the call, hear what they’re saying, and ‘move hand’ to read what they say. who guides you through every conversation log.
Sounds reasonable, even technically feasible in 2022, right?
But here’s the thing.
Every hour of recorded calls generates six pages of printed transcripts, i.e. “Your printer is going to hate you for the 360 pages you print every week!”
The solution – their CRM should include this see, hear and read feature that allows the manager to log in from anywhere, anytime, click on the most relevant parts of a call and see, hear and read everything what was communicated.
- keyword detection is an attempt to show the part of recorded calls that the manager wants to hear. And that sounds reasonable, but it’s not! Why do you ask?
If every hour of a recorded call generates six pages of printed transcripts, how long does it take a manager to listen to a 1-hour call for a 50-person representative center? Who has that much time?
And who do you listen to? There are only so many places in a call that the manager could see where and what the sales rep could have done differently or picked up on something the prospect said or didn’t say? Really, isn’t the duration of a given topic of conversation the most important fact?
Keyword spotting is very inaccurate (read user feedback from users on any CRM platform that uses this philosophy).
Duration, that’s the key. How long a particular issue has or hasn’t been discussed can be spent by a manager figuring out what the sales rep can do “differently” on the next call. Isn’t the only place the sales rep can make changes happen on the next call?
But with actionable, real-time, example-based coaching, the sales rep can learn from their last call and improve.
And that brings us back to the beginning. Today’s work-from-home selling environment poses tremendous challenges for sales leaders. Challenge #1 is providing your sales reps with insightful and helpful feedback that sales reps will appreciate.
To do this, today’s CRMs require the latest technology, relevant content, and coaching tools that enable managers to connect with today’s work-from-home sales environment.
Lloyd Lofton is founder of perfomance behind the sale. He is the author of The Saleshero Guide to Handling Objections, Voted 1 of the 11 Best New Presentation Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority. Lloyd can be contacted at [email protected].
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