Managers face tremendous challenges with today’s work-from-home sales environment. There’s the challenge of visibility – what is really happening with sales representatives when you can’t see them at work. Managers are challenged with coaching – providing real-time, constructive feedback sales reps will appreciate. And finally, there’s the challenge of time – having the time to be relevant to each rep on every call.
Studies show more than half of sales reps are actively searching for another job. This is leaving a talent vacuum and creating an onboarding challenge.
The “great resignation” is not over and the loss of critical discussion points with this mass exodus means potential sales are being left in the hopper along with a waste of lead cost.
This isn’t new to the sales mangers who are on the line every day, managing data, assigning leads, tracking activity and driving sales (as best as they can).
What can the industry do to help address this phenomenon?
Three approaches are most often used, but each approach has tremendous shortcomings.
Call recording. This is a key part of sales management, but managers are being overwhelmed with too much unstructured data to effectively process it all. If a manager has six reps and each rep talks 20 minutes per hour for 30 hours each week, they have 60 hours of recorded calls to listen to each week.
Managers need a way to listen to only the key parts of each sales call that matter to them as the sales coach and the person who is forecasting sales to the senior management.
Reps would love it because it would save them time, their customer relationship management system should automatically update for them, and it should allow them to always be relevant on every call.
Transcribing recorded calls. Virtual selling has become the norm. But that doesn’t mean every rep is great at virtual engagement and building relationships. If they are doing Zoom calls (or similar), their CRM could be a great tool because it should allow the manager to see the faces of everyone on the call, hear what they say and Read what they are saying with a “moving hand” that walks them through every call transcript.
Sounds reasonable, even technologically viable in 2022, right?
But here’s the thing.
Each hour of recorded calls generates six pages of printed transcripts, i.e., “your printer will hate you for the 360 pages you are printing each week!”
The solution – their CRM should have this See, Hear and Read function built into it, allowing the manger to log in, from anywhere, anytime, click on the most relevant parts of a call and see, hear and read everything that was communicated.
Key word spotting is an attempt to point out the part of recorded calls the manger should want to hear. And that sounds reasonable, but it’s not! Why, you ask?
If each hour of a recorded call generates six pages of printed transcripts how long will it take a manager to listen to a 1-hour call for a 50-seat rep center. Who has that kind of time?
And who do you listen to? There are only so many places in a call were the manager could identify where and what the rep could have done differently or picked up something the prospect said or didn’t say? Really, isn’t the duration of any particular talking point the most critical fact?
Key word spotting is very inaccurate (read the user feedback from users on any CRM platform that uses this philosophy).
Duration, that’s the key. How long a particular point was discussed or not discussed is where a manager can spend their time to pinpoint what the rep can do “differently” on the next call. Isn’t that the only place the rep can affect change, the next call?
But with real time, actionable, example-based coaching, the rep can learn and improve from their last call.
And that takes us back to the beginning. Today’s work-from-home sales environment has given sales managers tremendous challenges. The No. 1 challenge is being able to provide their reps insightful and helpful feedback that reps will appreciate.
To do this, today’s CRMs need the latest technology, relevant content and coaching tools that enable managers to connect with today’s work-from-home sales environment.
Lloyd Loftonis the founder ofPowerBehind the Sales. He is the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections, voted 1 of the 11 Best New Presentation Books To Read in 2020 by BookAuthority. Lloyd may be contacted at [email protected].