Sales team managers have a tough job, don’t they?
They used to be great sales reps and hit quota repeatedly. Eventually there came a time when they had to take up a much bigger goal - build a team of quota crushers! Now they have 5 people to work with but are responsible for a 5x higher goals as well.
As any manager knows, it is a completely different ball game when you have to motivate, guide, coach, and assist others into hitting their quota - so that you end up hitting yours! But some sales managers excel at taking the challenge on and end up building stellar teams.
Sales managers use Chorus.ai Conversation Intelligence regularly to listen to calls, provide guidance on specific moments, identify skills or processes that teams and individuals need help with, etc. The Chorus Science team looked at many millions of data points around sales manager behavior to identify what top performing teams’ managers do differently.
From all teams and managers, we isolated the top 100 teams by their win rates for the last 12 months. Sales Managers of these teams displayed some very interesting coaching behaviors. Here's what they did and how you can do the same:
Spend (a lot) More Time Reviewing Calls
When we think of a successful sales manager, we usually picture a flamboyant person meeting customers or haunting their team member’s cubicles. Data suggests, the top 100 managers actually spend 30% more time listening to their team’s call recordings than the average sales manager. They were also early to notice the impact on win rates if they heard the customer’s or prospect’s voice for their own understanding.
Top managers who increased their call review time by 3x over a year saw an average increase of 50% in win rates.
LEARNING: If you aren’t reviewing key moments from the meetings with critical deals, you will not be able to improve win rates significantly.
Review Longer Calls and Bigger Deals
Top managers were able to spend about 12 hours a month in call reviews. With limited time on their hands, they prioritized their efforts immaculately. Top 100 managers reviewed longer calls and larger deal sizes. The average duration of a call reviewed by top managers was 9 mins longer than the average call recorded. They also focused on deals that were on average $3K higher than the company's ACV. Talk about ruthless selection!
LEARNING: You cannot possibly review every call and every deal. Use your limited time on the highest opportunity sizes and the best calls.
Focus on Account-based or Deal-based Coaching
Sales reps need both deal-focused and skill-focused coaching - so where should a manager spend more time? Top 100 managers spend 71% of their time reviewing calls from specific deals involving fully ramped reps. Here they provided advice on how to approach the deal, what to present or propose in the next meeting, and how to try and convert the account. 15% of their time is spent reviewing calls from new hires. In the remaining 14% of their coaching time, managers looked for a specific skill or process gaps in the team or an individual. Given the fact that quota achievement is the top goal for sales managers, it is no surprise that most of their time is spent in deal-specific coaching.
LEARNING: Ensure your forecast for the month / quarter is watertight by focusing on critical deals and ensuring your reps are on top of their game.
Spend More Time Discovering Pain and Value in the Customer’s Voice
Top managers spent as much as 63% of their time reviewing early stage calls where they looked for customer pain points, rep’s qualification or discovery questions, and how the demos were executed. Even as they were focused on closing the month and quarter successfully, they also maintained focus on knowing if their reps were leading with value and being relevant to the prospect’s situation.
LEARNING: Spend more time on early stage calls to ensure that reps are being relevant to the prospect’s situation throughout the sales cycle. Even if your deal is stuck in pre-contract stage, the clues may lie in discovery.
Sales is all about timing, timing, timing. Every week added to the sales cycle is a deal delayed and possibly lost. No one knows this better than managers. They know there is no point locking the barn after the deal is gone. In 50% of cases, top managers reviewed their rep’s meetings within 5 days. Providing timely advice before the next call can make all the difference to a deal.
LEARNING: Never delay advice on a deal. If there is something you can discover and help the rep with, do it as soon as you can.
Join In Where Needed
Top managers also believe in leading by example. In about 15% deals, the manager joined a meeting with the rep to add potential value to the discussion. When they joined the next meeting, they also reviewed the last call at least 7 days before the next meeting. Top managers go prepared into meetings, as they expect their reps to do.
LEARNING: When you hear something from the prospect that you should best address yourself, join the call. Sometimes, it adds value to have them speak directly with you.
Sales managers can be successful only off the back of a successful team. And building a successful team take a lot of effort. We wanted to leave you with a resource that you can use to coach and build a team of quota-crushers...