Your bank of recorded sales calls is a data goldmine.
Steve Richard, Founder and CRO of ExecVision.io, refers to this as the call-recording paradox: recorded sales calls are available, but they aren’t being utilized for any positive impact.
ExecVision.io is sales software for extracting data from sales calls to help figure out what works and what needs improvement within your sales processes.
Here are Steve’s five steps for getting the most out of your recorded sales calls.
1) Have Reps Self-Assess
Traditional wisdom says that managers should listen to the recorded calls of their sales reps and coach based on what they hear. However, this is a major time sucker, and as it turns out, it’s actually less effective than having the sales reps listen to their own conversations.
Have your reps self-assess one of their own recorded calls each week and annotate key moments from that conversation. Then, have them share the annotated call with the manager.
This makes the sales reps responsible for their own development. They’ll go into the coaching session with a general idea of what they need to work on, which will make for a more productive meeting. Flip the paradigm of manager rep coaching on its head.
Reps will often spot issues during their self-assessment faster than you will. Also, recognizing their own mistakes drives home what needs improvement far beyond simply being told what they need to work on.
After the sales rep has listened to the call, you’ll want to listen to it with them. Let them explain what issues they heard first, and then move on to the next step.
2) Lead With Positivity
Have you heard of the feedback sandwich?
Lead with positivity – Deliver constructive feedback – End on a high note.
You want to kick off the coaching session with a positive note from the recording. This gets the good chemicals swirling in the brain so that the rep is more open to the constructive criticism they need to hear.
3) Deliver Constructive Feedback
For the actual feedback, stick to one to two improvement points maximum. Anything beyond that is too easy to forget. If they try to retain it all, the rep will likely lose all of the information.
Honing in on one or two points will allow you to dive deeper into those issues and find solutions that will benefit both the rep and the company.
4) Role Play
In order to cement the feedback in the rep’s mind and turn it into actionable content, reenact the sales call you listened to together. Roleplay through the call, but this time, ask them to implement the suggestions from the coaching session. Coaching Tip: Role play to turn feedback into something your sales rep can actually use.
Often, they’ll still get it wrong the first and probably even the second time. However, by the third go at it, the information will begin to solidify in their mind for future calls.
Repetition during this learning stage is critical. You’ll probably be working with a rep for a week or two before feedback really starts to sink in.
If you are encountering the same issues repeatedly, you can build a library of excellent sales call examples to help with training and coaching. People often pick up both good and bad habits from others, so having a repository of ideal sales practices and responses can help nip those bad habits in the bud.
Of course, a gallery of what not to do can be a morale issue. Everyone wants to be in the hall of fame, not on the wall of shame. Still, you can encourage individuals to keep their own libraries of past experiences that were less than stellar as a reminder of how far they’ve come.
Understand Call Recording Laws
Now that you have the 5-step process, it’s important to talk about the most misunderstood laws in the word – call recording laws. These laws vary widely by state, and even when you know which state you’re dealing with, they can be confusing.
For instance, in Maryland, it’s usually believed that there is a two-party consent law, meaning that both participants in a conversation must agree to the recording for it to be legal. This is somewhat true, except Maryland doesn’t actually have call-recording laws; they have wiretapping laws that overlap into what would be call-recording.
It’s easy to see how quickly things like that can get confusing. A general best practice is to try gaining consent from the other person for each call. When dealing with scheduled calls, it’s pretty easy to get consent to record. Cold calls are a bit trickier, though.
This article from the blog at ExecVision explains the need-to-know facts about these ambiguous laws.
Your catalog of recorded calls should be working for you instead of just sitting there gathering metaphorical dust. By using this process, those calls can become one of your greatest coaching assets.
For more on how to get the most out of your recorded calls check out the free Call Camp from ExecVision.
This article is based on an interview with Steve Richard. You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode by clicking here.