Sales coaching is something that a lot of companies tend to neglect or outsource.

Many times the guy who comes in to train the reps has barely closed a deal or two in his entire life.

Sales coaching is something that sales leaders just can’t neglect. Even if they claim they are doing it, they might be only tracking metrics like:

  • Number of contacts in the lists
  • Connection requests sent out
  • Number of calls made
  • and a lot of the usual metrics!

All of these metrics have ONE thing in common, they’re quantitative.

And all of these metrics move towards one singular authoritative metric: TOTAL CONVERSIONS.

The Marketing folks were smart enough to track meaningful metrics like ‘Avg time spent’, ‘Bounce rate’ etc because these metrics give a qualitative insight. Whereas other metrics like ‘Number of users’, ‘Total sessions’ are purely quantitative in nature.

Similarly, tracking the right metrics in sales conversations doesn’t only lead to more conversions. But, it also improves the overall quality of the conversation. And customers love meaningful conversations.

NOTE: I am not claiming that quantitative metrics shouldn’t be tracked at all. However, a perfect balance of tracking both these type of metrics will help you with Sales coaching.

Sales Coaching with the right metrics

Sales coaching is something that must never be outsourced. It must be done in-house and by someone who’s involved directly in the customer interaction process.

With the advent in Machine Learning, one can now discover insights from Sales conversations that were never possible before. Identifying patterns in your best calls and then matching it against your worst calls will tell you instantly what needs to improve.

It’s important to make behavioral changes in your reps to actually see results.

Following is a complete list of the best metrics to track in a sales conversation. Remember, tracking these metrics not only leads to higher conversions. But, you’ll see an uplift in the happy customers.

Talk to Listen ratio

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A healthy conversation is like a relationship. It can never be one-sided.

As a Sales professional, it is crucial to understand that Sales is less about just selling, and more about helping the other person solve an existing problem.

In order to understand the existing problem, reps need to LISTEN!

Our analysis of 9,894 conversations tells us that the healthiest and most meaningful conversations have a ‘golden talk to listen ratio‘. The ratio is 43:57.

This implements that sales reps need to talk 43% of the time and LISTEN 57% of the time.

So, don’t track how many calls your reps are making instead track how much your prospects are talking on the calls.

Number of questions asked

You can’t expect a 43:57 talk to listen ratio without encouraging your reps to ask questions.

  • “What are your key goals for this quarter?”
  • “What did you like the most till now?”
  • “Would you agree to this?

Above are some examples to get your prospects engaged. Questions will not only keep them engaged but also help your reps collect crucial while they speak.

Click here to get 18 Open-Ended questions that will get your prospects talking.

Following is a video by Steli Efti from Close. He explains how to ask powerful sales questions.

NOTE: It is important to note that the quality of the questions asked matters a lot. The prospects shouldn’t feel he’s been interrogated with a bombardment of questions. Ask your reps to ask relevant questions.

Long Monologues

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“A long speech by one actor in a play or film, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast program” that is the definition of a monologue by Google.

Should your reps have monologues in their conversations? short answer, NO.

Long monologues can be very BORING from a prospect’s point of view. Imagine not being able to ask your questions while the other person is going on and on.

Tracking long monologues can make sales reps conscious of this pattern.

They can avoid long monologues by asking the right questions, this improves their talk to listen ratio as well! Amazing, right?

Dead Air

“Hey, are you there?”

“Excuse me, are you still on the call?”

These are some questions which you would never want your prospects to ask.

What Is Dead Air ?

Dead air is the periods of silence during a prospect–rep interaction, it’s a damaging part of the rapport-building process.

Although dead air is more prominent in the Customer Support side, it’s present in Sales as well.

It can occur due to slow software, lack of knowledge and in worst cases, sheer carelessness. Prospects and customers don’t like to be kept waiting. They need answers and engagement.

Check out the following video where she explains some techniques to avoid Dead Air.

Mastering the art of Sales Coaching

Every rep is different.

Tracking both, qualitative and quantitative metrics of reps will provide you deep insights into their performance.

This not only gives you a vivid picture of their strengths and weaknesses but also enables you to craft the right Sales coaching plan for all your reps.

When you do it month on month, you will start observing behavioral changes in your reps. This leads to better conversations, better brand identity, and ultimately higher revenues.