Sales development is the most crucial aspect of every business. And your sales development representatives play a vital role in the demand generation process, especially in the B2B company. So, it should be worth paying attention to your SDRs coaching.
The secret to successful sales development coaching lies in avoiding the five most common coaching mistakes. Some of them seem too small, but they can really hurt your business. They can hurt your SDRs performance and hinder your sales coaching efforts.
Personally, I would hate to spend days training SDRs only to realize a month later that it’s not improving their performance in fact in some cases it’s even hurting it (and I’m sure you would, too!)
So, I thought I’d write this post to highlight some of the most common sales development coaching mistakes I’ve come across and explain, why you need to stop making them today.
1. You think Coaching = Giving Lectures
Every company gives training to its SDRs, but most of them just focus on giving lectures and showing powerpoint presentations.
Make sure you’re not making this mistake.
Giving lectures isn’t enough.
You need to provide your SDRs practical experience.
Because most of the time people will learn by doing rather than just reading and listening stuff. So, make sure you provide hands-on learning to your sales-development reps from the beginning.
You can put them on mock phone calls this way you will be able to give them instant feedback and techniques to help them improve their performance. I know many SDRs will initially resist as it will make them uncomfortable but once they start realizing that your feedback is enhancing their performance they will begin to appreciate it. Instant feedback is always the best way for an SDR to learn as it’ll help them to excel in their roles and eventually become successful salespeople.
Also, you can have them use dual headsets to listen to experienced SDR’s on live calls this way they will learn how to handle a real situation from a real person. Also, you should provide an easy-to-read playbook to your SDRs for future reference.
2. You teach your SDRs not to compete with each other
Encourage peer competition.
You need to motivate your SDRs to compete with each other.
Peer competition will boost your SDRs productivity, efficiency and effectiveness as SDRs are super competitive by nature.
Encouraging competition doesn’t mean putting SDRs against each other. Sure, in some cases it will happen but most of the times it will act as a kickstart and will encourage your SDRs to work a little harder.
You can use incentives to push your SDRs to do more. Not only this will motivate low performers to do better, but it will encourage good ones to work a little harder too.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on these incentives to get good results – a small prize will do the task if you know how to motivate your sales reps
3. You think communication skill is the only skill that matter
Communication skills matters. If you want your sales reps to perform well, you’ve to teach them the language of sales.
But what about listening skills?
Do you know most people are generally poor listeners? If you don’t listen as much as you speak, you’ll never become a great communicator. So, teach your sales reps to listen actively and -listen a lot.
Now the question is, how do teach your sales reps to become a good listener?
Well, tell them to listen with an open mind not just with an aim to fix problems and seal the deal – be genuinely interested in what they have to say. Also, tell your reps to pay close attention to the other person’s choice of words as well as their tone of voice to understand their problems in a better way.
4. You think all your SDRs need is a pitch
I know the script is essential, it can help your sales reps in navigating the conversation. But take a second and think about it again. Will you be interested in listening if somebody calls you and reads a sales pitch? I bet, you don’t. Successful selling is all about building a relationship with your prospects and demonstrating how your product or service can help them in solving their problem. “A successful sales pitch isn’t a monologue. It’s a dialogue.” – Jacqueline Smith
So, give a pitch to your sales reps but tell them not to reach out a prospect without researching them or their company. Tell them that quick one-minute research is the key to learn a lot about the prospects. And the more they will research about the company and person they are pitching to the better informed and prepared they’ll be and the stronger their pitch will be.
5. You don’t take a balanced approach while giving feedback
Feedback is one of the most powerful tools available to sales development managers. By telling your SDRs how well they’re performing and what they could be doing to be even more effective, you can enhance their skills and help them become better in their roles. But feedback can be a double-edged sword – it can improve your sales reps’ performance as well as can kill their confidence. So, it’s extremely important that you take a balanced approach while giving it – I know using a balanced approach while giving feedback might seem like common sense, but it’s hardly common practice.
As a coach, it’s your job to be direct and honest with your SDRs, but at the same time, you have to be respectful. Constructive feedback allows them to work on their flaws and address the issues sooner. Also, you need to do it consistently as your sales reps need constant feedback so, they can quickly learn from the results of their actions and to see what works and what doesn’t.
When giving feedback – don’t be too harsh but don’t sugar coat your feedback.