How do you know if your reps are getting better?
This is the question that I want you to think about for a second...
Now for those of you that know me, you know that I am a HUGE believer in sales training. I've written about it, I've done webinars, I've presented at conferences like AA-ISP Unite, Rainmaker, Sales Performance, etc.
So I want to share with you the most valuable training tool I've ever used.
The Call Scorecard.
Now before I start I want to give credit where credit is due, I learned about this from Mike Brooks aka Mr InsideSales (such a great name by the way), and I'm sure other people have learned from him too, but I have yet to run into anyone doing it the way we do, or at the level we do.
All things being equal, what is going to have the biggest impact on whether or not a deal comes across the line?
The quality of the phone call/demo/presentation right? aka how well did your rep actually sell on that call?
Now if you're never listening to your reps calls, you're already WAY behind in the rep improvement game. Like waaaaaaaay behind. Not nearly as many companies listen to their sales people as they should, they need to step their game up big time.
I talk about sales training further in "The Sales Industry is Backwards: Part 1"
But for those that do, what's interesting is that very few companies have a formalized process to rate whether a call was good or not good. Your managers are giving feedback ad hoc, at random, with no real structure to what a good call should actually sound like.
The point of the scorecard is to tell the difference between your reps SOUNDING GOOD and BEING GOOD
There are certain things that as a sales leader/person that you know should happen on every single call, and that certain things mean more than others. There are certain things that your best reps do/say on every call that make them your best reps.
So you know what you do with all that? You build a scorecard that you can use as a guideline for your reps, but also a tool to show true rep improvement.
- Found the key metrics/areas they are looking to improve
- Clearly defined the key differentiators between our product and the status quo
- Asked for the sale
- Established a clear timeline for the decision to be made.
What I love so much about using a scorecard is that you can also show reps or managers can show upper management, that reps are improving, long before the close.
To answer the earlier question of "how do you know if your reps are improving" most companies will answer "if they are closing more deals" or "if their conversion rate goes up", but for many of you, if the sales cycle is longer than 2 months that means you are waiting MONTHS to see if a rep is performing well and if they are not, you have to wait MONTHS to see if they are getting better.
I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of time.
We have a scorecard for SDR Calls and for Closing Calls.
I also don't want reps waiting that long to see if they are getting better. When using a scorecard I have seen reps improve in DAYS. When they can actually see where they are scoring low on a call, they can quickly self-correct on the very next damn call.
Also by using a scorecard it gives your reps a framework and structure of how a great call should go. It's not the script, it's not telling them what to SAY, it's showing them what they need to achieve in order for a call to be great.
Examples from our Scorecard at SnackNation
- Created a gap for the might make sense- 1 2 3 4 5
- Discussed benefits that pass the STFW test - 1 2 3 4 5 (If you don't know what the STFW test is read this)
- Justified the cost with the results (happiness, productivity, health, etc) they stated they were looking for earlier – 1 2 3 4 5
- Confirmed that the individual they are speaking to is sold and WHY - 1 2 3 4 5
When a rep is struggling, the very first question I ask a manager is "How are their calls scoring right now?" 99% of the time if they are having closing issues, it's because their calls are scoring poorly.
If their calls are scoring high, and still not closing I know now that either A - We have a lead/opp quality problem or B - The scorecard isn't built in a way to actually help reps close.
But at least know I know where to focus/fix.
It is also an amazing tool for my managers to know WHERE to focus their coaching with their team members. Instead of practicing the entire call, we chunk it and just focus on the areas that a rep is struggling with.
At SnackNation my reps are responsible for listening to and scoring at least 3 calls a week, managers responsible for scoring 2 calls a week per rep, and if I could hire a full-time call scorer I would.
In fact many of my reps, especially the new ones, have this in front of them for every call. As simple as it is, we bought laminate folders you can drop the scorecards into, and score w/ a dry erase marker, wipe it clean and do it again!
There is no better real-time tool to show how well your reps are selling and in my eyes no better way to see if reps are getting better.
Because if your reps aren't getting better, they're getting worse.
Kevin "Scorecards don't lie" Dorsey
PS - Very interested to hear how other people are doing this.
PPS - If you want advice/help on how to build out your own scorecard, just shoot me a msg.