Better Call Coaching For Your Team

call coaching

Got a beef with call coaching?  Let me guess, “How can I get my sales managers to do more coaching?”  maybe, “Call coaching isn’t getting the results I need.”

Frankly, I have yet to meet a sales leader (correction: an honest one) who is thrilled with the coaching that’s happening on their floors.  And let’s be even more honest, do we really set up our sales managers for success in this arena?  Most are managing more than 12 people, running custom reports, talking to customers, and attending all of the meetings we send out. (Who, me!?  True story, just put someone in charge of sales and then LITERALLY filled up his calendar.  Doh!).

Enter outsourced call coaching.  We call it Coaching As A Service.  A client asked us to develop it.  We did.  It worked.  More clients tried it.  They loved it.  Now, it’s available to you.  Check out the video for some interesting stats on why to use it an what it is.  In the meantime, here’s what you really want to know:

Q: Who provides the coaching?  

A: An inside sales expert from my team

       

Q: How often?  

A: Once or twice a month – your call

 

Q: For how long?  

A: 6 or 12 months, what do you need?

 

Q: Is it weird for the rep?

A: Nope. Think of us like your golf coach.

 

Q: Who on my team should get this?  

A: I suggest top reps and B reps.  They can get the most from an expert, and your manager is probably already on the newbies and low performers.

 

Q: How do you get calls?  

A: We ride along live or use call recordings.  We have a recording/sharing solution if you don’t.

 

Q: How have other leaders used this?  

A: 1) Give me feedback – will this rep make it?  2) Have my manager shadow and learn how to coach. 3) This guy could be a star; get him there.  4) Help me get her up or out. You have 6 months.

 

Q: What else?  

A: We grade the calls, fix the messaging, provide scoring, give reporting and feedback to you.

 

Q: How much?  

A: $750 – 1900 / month / rep (we’ll quote exactly when we know the average call length, rep level, number of sessions).

 

Did you know that the Sales Executive Council recently reported that the number one worst skill for sales management is call coaching? But, Aberdeen and the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals report year after year that the number one reason people leave is a lack of development. Folks, your reps are craving coaching. So help your managers and show your managers how it’s done with Coaching As A Service. Reach out to John Healy at info@factor8.com to get started.

 

Find Us At Frost & Sullivan Alpine Retreat!

Frost and Sullivan Alpine Retreat

If you’re like most companies, your buyers have evolved more in the last 5 years than they did in the previous 20….has your sales team evolved at the same pace? Your team needs to be better prepared, better trained, and better equipped in order to remain relevant to modern buyers. In addition, your company needs to adapt the structure of the team and method(s) of engagement to meet your buyers where they are. Are you putting your frontline sellers in the best position to succeed when the customer is on the line?

Our own John Healy, VP of Sales, will be discussing this topic at Frost & Sullivan’s Alpine Retreat Feb 7-9, 2018, along with VP of Inside Sales at Zip Recruiter, Jason Blais. Key take-aways from this session include:

  • Strategies for building a structure to support your sales team
  • Best practices for modernizing your sales force
  • Insight on the needs and values of the modern buyer

Join John Healy and Jason Blais on Feb 8th for Leveraging Sales Intelligence to Identify Profitable Customers, New Opportunities and Quality Leads at 10:45am. Come say hello or simply join the heckling crowd and test John’s ability to concentrate. 😉  Check out the full agenda to see a full list of speakers.

I’m glad we cleared that up…

There are a lot of sales training companies on the market. With all the noise, we’re always grateful when people come to our little corner of the internet and ask more about how we are different at Factor 8. Hey, we all try to categorize vendors and do apple to apple comparisons (Before starting Factor 8, I evaluated vendors as a Sales Leader too!)

So please, allow me to explain Factor 8. Unlike most training companies, we were built by people who get sales. And we try really hard to not be apples. In fact, let’s call this the apples to . . .um. . .beer…comparison. 🙂

Here’s why you should drink beer with us instead of buying apples from them (this is getting better and better!):

  1. THIS ISN’T YOUR DAD’S SALES TRAINING: We teach digital sales / phone sales / inside sales / telesales / voice to voice sales…however you and your company phrase it. If you run a team that doesn’t primarily sell by knocking on doors, setting up face-to-face meetings, or giving live PPT presentations, we’re your vendor. Not sure the difference? Go ask any inside rep who’s been forced to attend the field’s training. We hear horror stories about this about once a month. We’ve all tried it. It. Doesn’t. Work. And in addition to wasting precious selling time, it makes your inside reps feel insignificant. Instead, teach them strategies to get people to call them back, start a call, navigate phone trees…you get it.
  2. GET ON THE PHONES: Don’t want sales down time? Sick of skills not getting applied? We got you covered baby. In every Factor 8 class we teach a skill, practice the skill, and then go back out on to the floor and get on the phones to try that skill! No kidding. Nobody else does this. Here’s why you should care:
    1. you may get better sales results during a training day than a regular sales day. Yes, that happens a lot.
    2. you may pay for the sales training before training is over. Again, really common.
    3. if you’re paying for new skills, why not make sure your people can actually do them before your trainers leave?
    4. when reps try the skill, see it works, and get results, “training fall-off” is really a non-starter. In the wise words of a recent rep who came back to class over fifteen minutes late, “This Factor 8 shit really works!” He was asking the prospect questions and just couldn’t get him to stop talking to get back to class in time! High-class problem, right?
  3. CUSTOMIZED TRAINING: This is a really big deal. Even if you don’t consider using us, ask vendors to show some specific examples of their materials customization. If your reps have to “translate” the generic sales theory in their heads to figure out how to use it, well, they’re not going to use it. I think this is the number one reason we see fall off from training application. They can spit back a “right answer” right after training because it’s in their short-term memory. But they don’t know how to use it and aren’t using it post-training so no wonder they can’t remember it a month later. Our workbooks include messaging examples, references to your product, your customer’s top objections, and even recorded calls from YOUR reps. Seriously, we’ve never taught the same class twice. Don’t practice selling a widget. Get experts to help you practice selling your services to your customers in your industry. THEN it sticks.

Quick aside: you guys, this is why most of you haven’t heard of Factor 8. It’s really HARD to customize each class. It’s not uber PROFITABLE to customize each class. It certainly isn’t SCALABLE to customize each class. This is why the big dogs don’t do it. They’re in the business of selling workbooks. Pre-printed, mass-produced workbooks. That’s why their idea of customization is a one-page role play at the end of a chapter. Not bad, but not good. Kind of like comparing apples and beer. By the way, it IS super EFFECTIVE to customize each class. That’s why most of you came to us by a referral.

  1. EXPERT COACHING: Here’s my last thought. Every Factor 8 Advisor has made the calls, coached the calls, and probably even run the team. My facilitators are ex reps, ex managers, ex Directors and ex VP’s. ALL from Inside Sales. And in every class, we coach live calls and recorded calls. Don’t let an adjunct professor or HR employee teach your people how to sell! Anyone can read a facilitator’s guide, how many can add value to messaging and delivery right on the spot?

Bottom line: Your sales training should get immediate results. By providing the right training with customized materials with live practice and expert coaching, we get SPIKES in performance. Account managers uncover millions in pipeline. Hundreds of new buying contacts are added to the database. Triple the voicemails get returned. Close percentages double. These are pretty standard Factor 8 results. Check out the case studies!

Thanks you guys. This has been a lot of fun. When I’m talking to prospects on the phone, it isn’t polite to throw-up values and differentiators! It certainly isn’t helpful to LIST them all! (We teach your reps to never “stack” values, we teach them to ask questions and then pick the differentiator and value that best matches!). But man it’s fun when you just get to brag.

We’ve built something amazing over here. We’re not trying to be the biggest, just the best. That’s why each year over 50% of our business is from referrals. I hope you’ll use these differentiators to demand more from your own providers. And if they can’t deliver…we’ll be right here waiting for you. With a beer!

LB

Building Your 2018 Sales Management Strategy

For many years in corporate America I felt a little bit in the dark. As a Sales Leader of about $30M, I had a number to hit but I didn’t have a great resource for new ideas on how to hit it. As a Training Leader with a team of 20 I had a vision for building a department and offering new services, but so often I wondered if I was doing it the hard way. Were my goals realistic? Were we best in class?

When we get entrenched in our teams, our goals, our fires and our corporate dramas (c’mon, we all know they’re there!) we aren’t always able to get “outside of it” all and develop strategy.

As I build my own business today (10 people and $2M revenue) I find myself in the same seat. I’m so head’s down that it’s hard to think “up” and “out” and I often wonder if I’m on the right track. Oh, and I forget to make time for that track of strategy and planning – sound familiar?

As a consultant for the past ten years, something I consistently hear from clients is the value they get from an outsider perspective. We don’t know the “way it’s always been done” at their company and we slay elephants in rooms and sacred cows in departments like there’s a shortage of meat at the local grocery store. What they appreciate even more is hearing stories of how multiple other companies are doing things. With one resource they can ask a question and hear real-life stories about new trends people are trying, mistakes most people make, what works and what doesn’t.

I’d KILL for that right now as an entrepreneur.

Here’s the good news. On December 13th, as a sales leader there is a HUGE opportunity to do this with not just one consultant but four.

And not just any consultants, but leaders in the inside sales industry that have been around the BLOCK! Steve Richard with ExecVision has run sales teams AND implemented sales training and enablement tools at hundreds of companies! Trish Bertuzzi from The Bridge Group literally wrote the book on sales development and has a deep client base she’s been helping for over 20 years. Jared Houghton and Ambition have built one of the coolest new tools I’ve seen on the market and he regularly rolls up his sleeves with sales teams to build process, set goals, and drive results. I round out number four and I bring ten years of client insights benchmarking inside sales best practices and listening to thousands of sales calls every year when implementing hands-on rep and manager training.

Building Your 2018 Sales Management Strategy

THIS is a killer opportunity to gain insight! And it’s not a pitchy BS webinar, it’s a town hall. Submit a question and get four (hell, at least three and a half) of the top minds in sales answering for you. The webinar is happening on December 13th at 11:00 am ET. Here’s where to register.

These are three of my favorite people in the industry. Don’t miss this session!

Sign up here (and yes, you’ll get the replay so even if you don’t get your questions answered, you can see if other have the same ones and learn from them – and feel better about having that question in the first place, right?)

voicemail mistakes inside sales reps

No, they’re just not calling YOU back

Reps often tell us they feel like they could be replaced by an outgoing voicemail message. Sound familiar? Pretty much nobody returns a call, right? Wrong.

voicemail mistakes inside sales reps

In training we’ve seen the percent of returned calls increase 2-4X. In fact, we like to run contests to see who can get the most returned calls DURING training (because we put reps live on the phones during training – doesn’t your training vendor?) 😉

So why aren’t they calling you back? You’re probably making one of these fatal voicemail mistakes:

  1. Selling in voicemail: Really, what are they odds they call you back with a PO? The voicemail is like the resume: it’s there to get you the interview, not the job. Quit the pitch and instead sell why they should call you back.
  2. 3 – 3 – 7: Those were the magic numbers to fast forward and delete when I was a Sales Leader. In other words, “Shut up already!” Voicemails should be about 20 seconds or less or I won’t even make it to your name and number.
  3. The obvious sales call: In intros we call this the setup: you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Unless you strike it lucky (1:1Million) your contact isn’t waiting for you to call and sell them something, so get creative and think of what value you can add now that WILL get their attention.

Now, two confessions.

Confession #1: I collect bad voicemails. We play them during training and point and laugh. Last week I got one that was seven minutes long – and I’m pretty sure he was drunk (“Sheriously LV, we gotta get doo in here and help these peeelew…”) Actually, that might have been a lead. Still didn’t call back.

Here’s another favorite.

 

What would YOU fix on this one?

So help a sister out. Let’s collect tips on fixing this voicemail, AND more voicemail sins. What’s the worst you’ve received (or left)? I’ll start:

Confession #2: Nine years ago I hung up the phone and said, “Oh no. (Actually, I said something else but I’m supposed to swear less in blogs.) Did I seriously just tell Steve Sharr that I am single in a voicemail? How did that even happen? How do I get it back!?”

Dear readers, we’re married now with two amazing little boys age 6 and 5. So all’s well that ends well, right? Actually yeah. Some of the best voicemails are less robotic and more human. Be authentic, be real. You’ll be more memorable (and apparently desirable! Ha ha).

Share your story on LinkedIn and tag me @LaurenBailey so we can all learn from each other’s mistakes. And, watch for the next blog post where we’ll give our four secret recipes for killer messages.

 

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His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

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His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

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His stet corpora nostrum in


eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id.

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