I'd like to share with you one of the “slight-edge” manager’s strategies.
You've heard the concept before (debriefing a sales call) but I want to give you a couple specifics today that are the best practices that lead to more effective debriefing.
If you think about a sport like football.
There's a game on Sunday and then Monday morning they watch the game film.
They basically debrief the game from before, and that's how they learn what they did right and wrong. They can make some changes for the future games and they can overall have an awareness of where their strengths and weaknesses are.
That's the same thing with debriefing as a sales manager.
Salespeople (and you as the sales manager) need to drive this process. Salespeople need a process to be aware of what they need to work on, and being self-aware to the level of debriefing on their own is not what 99% of the sales people do. If you don't have this as part of your process it's just not going to happen.
So the first step is don't ever say, "How did the call go?”
If you've asked that question, (that's a good idea to debrief) you most likely got a 20 minute dissertation and at the end of it you, were a little lost and you didn't know what really happened there.
Instead of using the open-ended "How'd the call go?”, I'd suggest you have a debriefing checklist which I'm including [DOWNLOAD HERE].
This is just a sample of 10 questions we would ask. So when the salesperson comes back from a call, instead of saying
"How did it go?”
"Hey, let's debrief the call. Let's just get the checklist out."
Each time I'm going to ask the same questions. Not only does this lead for a really targeted conversation in the debriefing, it also sends the message to the salesperson that if I'm debriefing regularly, they know I'm asking these questions.
If they're not asking the questions that they're expected to ask on the call, then at some point they're going to make the connection:
"Okay, you know what? I better ask on the call the questions I know I'm going to be asked about when I get back. Otherwise, it's not going to go well, because it'll be like the tenth time in a row I didn't ask what their pain was.”
You can come up with your own questions, but the point is having a checklist that keeps you on track. Having a checklist helps shape their behavior when you're not on the call with them.
So here's your action item:
With your debriefing, making it formalized and coming up with your 10 questions as an example. When are you going to get that done by? Use the one I'm including here as a way to edit, but overall what's your commitment, and when is your formalized debriefing checklist and process going to be in place?
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