How Data Can Help Coach Sales Reps

We all need some coaching every now and then. There may be an employee with two to three years under his or her belt, who wants to learn how to close deals faster. Or, a senior-level sales executive who wants to learn how to better manage a team. Or, the most common scenario, a new employee who needs to ramp up on processes and best practices.

To better train and coach sales reps, here are three ways you can use data to understand weaknesses and communicate best practices:

Identify Problem Areas

Coaching programs often follow a one-size-fits-all approach. You cover the high-level basics and common challenges, and then expect sales reps to do the rest on their own. While this kind of training may be easier to scale, it will only create more issues down the road because every sales rep is different, and will have different strengths and weaknesses.

Before implementing a coaching or training program, make sure the reps spend time in the field selling, no matter how new they are to the organization. Have them make calls, send emails, and do demos, and use that initial data to customize a coaching program.

Here are some examples of data you can collect on these reps:

  • What is the total number of outreach activities each rep performed? Of those, how many emails, phone calls, and instant messages did they send/make?
  • What percentage of these activities resulted in a response?
  • What is their average open rate and click-through rate with emails?
  • What times are they most likely to make phone calls? How many times do they leave a voicemail and how long are their voicemails?

Analyze Patterns of Experienced Reps

While gathering data on your newer sales rep is important, you should also do it for all sales reps, no matter how experienced they are. In fact, the more experienced the sales rep, the more data you should collect from him or her. By studying experienced reps’ activities and patterns, you can start to develop a series of best practices that can be used to onboard new reps and coach mid-level reps.

Here are some data points to collect from your top performing reps:

  • Best performing email subject line
  • Most clicked piece of content sent via email
  • Best email delivery time
  • Most successful voicemail that results in a call back

Create Templates Based on Best Practices

When onboarding new reps or training more seasoned employees, nothing is more effective than giving them a real life example of what they should and shouldn’t do. In addition to sharing best practices gleaned from experienced reps, you can also create pre-written templates for colleagues to use and customize.

For example, you can create a series of email templates for different scenarios that the whole team can use. You may create one template for cold outreach, invitation to demo, follow up, post-sale, and more. You can also create a library of most successful voicemail scripts and have reps pre-record their own voicemail based on the best performing ones. And lastly, share a handful of pre-made message snippets that reps can use to instant message prospects when they are online.

The Importance of Sales Data

Data can help streamline and organize your coaching program, but its benefits don’t stop there. In fact, sales teams should get into the habit of collecting data for every stage of the customer lifecycle as well as every stage of the sales reps’ careers. Whenever someone has a question like “am I doing this right” or “how do I improve,” look to data for the answer.

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