In One Ear and Out the Other: Why Your Sales 1:1s Aren’t Impactful

By Rachel Serpa

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According to Merriam Webster, a “coach” is “one who instructs or trains.” Such a broad definition leaves a lot open to interpretation, making it easy to see why there are so many different styles of coaching, especially when it comes to sales.

For “instruction” and “training” to be effective, sales managers must find a way to get reps to listen and take what they learn in their 1:1s and apply it to their day-to-day activities. Of course, this is much easier said than done, especially when you consider the following statistics:

– Only 12% of learners apply what they learn in training to their actual jobs
– 62% of managers believe that they are not doing a good job meeting learners’ needs
– Ineffective training costs companies $13.5 million a year per 1,000 employees

Clearly, for every successful sales coach, there are dozens of mediocre or misled managers. So how do you ensure that the golden nuggets bestowed upon your reps aren’t simply going in one ear and out the other? Read on for three harsh yet honest truths about why your coaching and sales 1:1s may not be as impactful as you would like.

You’re talking too much.

“But how do you instruct and train if you don’t talk?” you might ask. Good point, but think of it this way: would you rather a rep make 1,000 calls and book one meeting, or make 100 calls and book ten meetings? The same mentality of quality over quantity applies when providing feedback in your sales 1:1s.

Too often, sales managers fall into one of the below traps during 1:1s, causing them to spend too much time talking and not enough time listening:

1) One-sided Conversations: The most negative of all coaching tactics is to talk at a rep, rather than with him or her. During these conversations, managers spout off about all of the things they would have done differently if they were in the reps’ shoes, offering subjective feedback that provides little value.
2) Performance Evaluations: One of the most important things to remember about coaching is that it is not a performance evaluation. Sales 1:1s should never be spent providing play-by-plays of past behaviors and rehashing everything a rep did right or wrong.

To avoid become “that” manager, it’s important to listen more than you speak. This will allow you to uncover the true challenges and issues that your reps may be having, and provide more strategic and valuable advice. Before providing feedback, try this quick litmus test: is what you’re about to say going to contribute to your rep’s career development or performance improvement? If not, save your input and wait for a more impactful moment to speak.

You haven’t taught your reps to fish.

As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Fishing aside, this same sentiment applies when it comes to sales coaching. When sales 1:1s Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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