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How Sales Leaders Can Develop Their Teams In Real-Time Sales Calls

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In the ever-evolving landscape of sales, the virtual workplace has become increasingly prevalent. However, some traditional practices remain invaluable. One such practice is the “ride-along”—a powerful tool for sales leaders to develop their teams through real-time sales calls. Let’s explore why ride-alongs matter and how they can benefit both salespeople and organizations.

The Ride-Along: A Time-Tested Approach

What Is a Ride-Along?

A ride-along involves sales managers accompanying their team members on sales appointments. Whether in-person or via digital platforms, these sessions provide firsthand experience of the sales process. Here’s why they are essential:

  1. Heightened Importance: When a sales manager is present during a meeting, prospects and customers feel a heightened sense of importance. Their confidence in the salesperson increases, leading to better interactions.
  2. Network Building: Ride-alongs help salespeople forge alliances with subordinates and superiors of key contacts. These expanded networks can open doors and enhance collaboration.
  3. Skill Enhancement: Sales managers gain insights into their team’s strengths and weaknesses. Observing sales calls allows them to identify areas for improvement and tailor coaching accordingly.
  4. Immediate Coaching: Unlike quarterly reviews, ride-alongs allow for real-time coaching. Managers can address issues promptly, leading to faster skill development.

The Art of Debriefing

After a ride-along, effective debriefing sessions are crucial.

  1. What Went Well?: Begin by asking the salesperson what they liked about their performance during the sales call. Encourage them to reflect on their strengths and successful strategies. This positive focus sets the tone for constructive feedback and reinforces their confidence.
  2. Areas for Improvement: Next, inquire about what they would do differently next time. Encourage self-awareness and critical thinking. Discuss specific aspects where improvement is needed, such as communication, objection handling, or closing techniques.
  3. Affirmation and Recognition: Acknowledge their accomplishments. Celebrate wins, whether big or small. Recognition fosters motivation and a sense of accomplishment. Highlight specific instances where they excelled, reinforcing positive behavior.
  4. Constructive Feedback: Now, as the sales manager, share your observations. Be specific about what they did well. Did they establish rapport effectively? Handle objections gracefully? Balance this with areas for growth. Provide actionable feedback on how they can enhance their performance. Remember, constructive feedback is about growth, not criticism.
  5. Coaching for Next Time: Based on the debrief, outline actionable steps for improvement. Set clear goals and expectations. Emphasize continuous learning and development. Encourage them to apply the insights gained from this coaching session in their next sales interactions. In the dynamic world of sales, ride-alongs and thoughtful debriefs remain essential tools. Sales leaders who invest time in these practices empower their teams, foster growth, and drive organizational success.

Remember, it’s not just about the ride—it’s about the journey toward excellence.

Clint Unrau

Clint Unrau

The Captain.... at Anchor Sales Knowledge - Sandler Manitoba