How to Coach Sales Reps to More Effective Sales Calls
Are your sales reps struggling to deliver results over the phone? Making effective sales calls is a real, bankable skill, but it’s rarely one that comes naturally. It takes practice, coaching from someone who’s been there before, and commitment to improvement from the salesperson.
Coaching breeds confidence, and it becomes much easier for your reps to pick up the phone when they know they’ve been given the tools they need to succeed. Coach your reps up to the point where their calls generate consistent results, and you won’t have any trouble getting them to pick up the phone.
As the leader, your job is to identify the key challenges of making successful sales calls, and show your team how to navigate them.
If you want your prospect to stay on the line, you need to give them a good reason. By showing value up front, you’ll often earn a few extra minutes of attention from the prospect. Identify metrics that speak to the prospect’s challenges, and your ability to solve them. This isn’t the time for a long speech. You’re aiming to pique the prospect’s interest, so you want to be short, sweet, and to the point.
If you can increase the prospect’s website traffic by 50 percent over three months, tell them. Explain the what, and they’ll be more likely to ask about the how. You can also communicate value simply by being prepared. As the conversation continues, be ready to answer questions without hesitation and dive deep on product details.
Credibility is everything. Your prospect needs to know that they’re speaking with someone they can trust. If you’re company has built a reputation and a well-known brand, leverage it. You can’t expect every prospect to be familiar with your company, but a recognizable brand builds credibility with the prospects who’ve heard of you before.
If you don’t have a familiar brand, you can still build credibility in different ways. In health insurance sales, for example, the name of the brokerage itself often means little to the prospect. So sales reps back up the brokerage name with the names of the insurance products it carries. However you choose to do it, it’s important to establish credibility early in the game.
Empathize with the Prospect’s Problems
If you want the prospect to consider your solution, you need to show them that you understand their problem. Hopefully, your reps were paying attention during the on-boarding and training process. In learning about the applications of the products or services you sell, the rep should gain a solid understanding about the problems that lead prospects to a purchase.
The best way to show empathy is to remain present in the conversation. Prospects are constantly revealing little details on their state of mind, through the questions they ask, the words they choose, and even their tone of voice. Paying close attention to those indicators allows your reps to adjust on the fly.
Choose the Right Call to Action
There’s definitely an art to choosing the right pitch at the right time. Some prospects will be open for business, and ready to respond to an aggressive, no-frills call to action. Others will shut down as soon as the feel like a sales rep is getting pushy, regardless of the rep’s true intentions. It’s up to your reps to decide when to go straight for the sale, and when to play it slow.
Help them make the right choice by training with real-world examples. Leverage your experience to create training scenarios that match what your reps can expect in the field. Develop alternate calls to action based on your real experience with prospects, and teach your reps when and why to use them.
Handle Objections Effectively
Prospects will object. Maybe they’re happy with the company they currently deal with, or they’re simply not ready to trust you yet. They’ll object because they’re confused, or because the genuinely need more information to proceed. Point is, your reps will have to deal with objections.
The important thing to remember is that an objection is not a rejection. There’s no need to be combative, or to push too far back in response. An objection is really just another opportunity to demonstrate your value. Teach your team about the most common objections they can expect to face, and how to diffuse those situations effectively.
Making effective sales calls really comes down to attentiveness and flexibility. Your reps need to be attentive to the prospect’s needs by showing empathy, dealing with objections calmly, and establishing credibility quickly. They also need to be flexible enough to choose the right pitch for the right situation, and find creative ways to demonstrate value.
With quality coaching, you really can improve your team’s performance on the phone.