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How to Improve Your Sales Ride

Manager Ride-in is a staple in business-to-business sales. This structured ride-along allows you to view sales reps at work and provide insights and training to improve performance and increase revenue. However, most ride-lengths are corrupted and can do more harm than good. Over the past two years, the shift to virtual sales calls has exacerbated the problem.

There are several reasons why a typical ride can be ineffective; Take a look at the top three:

1. Not representative of typical sales day

As a sales manager, the salesperson arrives at the place where you agreed to meet you with a defined schedule to meet specific customers. Key customers get long meals at a good restaurant. Then, after more than an average day, you return to the starting point. During the day, your job is to provide training and encouragement after every sales call.

The first problem is that the ride-along is usually pre-programmed. It does not allow you to watch what happens on a day-to-day basis. The day’s schedule is carefully crafted, bringing you to specific customers, usually good customers. As a result, you will not see the seller dealing with difficult objections, price concerns and competing customers. You never see expectations that the representative never met. Therefore, you cannot help a rep by training on the more difficult aspects of a sales job.

To fix this ride-along problem, set a ride-along schedule with a little instruction, not just in the evening or early in the morning. Follow the representative schedule of the day. In this way, you will experience the real world. You may find that sellers don’t usually schedule dates, prepare a pre-call plan (that’s a problem), or generally meet good, easy customers and not competing accounts. There may be several coaching opportunities before you step off the curb.

2. Managers are selling, not salespeople

Many operators take the call. The only training salesman can do is train the manager, which I hope will never happen. When you become a super seller instead of a manager, it takes away the credibility from the agent and prevents the agent from seeing the action. The seller waits to squeeze a word in the conversation.

To fix this, after introductions, say nothing. Your job is to see the representative in action, not to take over. You don’t see a batting coach or quarterback coach toss the ball to bat. Coaches take note, take some notes and project their coaching remarks. There may be situations where you bring in a specific customer for a specific reason, but there should be a unique ride that provides training and performance improvement. Stick to this rule: Say nothing during the call.

3. The manager evaluates the deal, not the sales call details

Check the call, not the contract. Start with what went well. Then ask the rep for their opinion on the call. What went well? Representatives think where they stumbled or could do better? We are our scathing critics, so there is plenty to discuss. Ask the representative what their plan for improvement is and work with a representative to make a plan consistent with the timeline and milestones. Now, add your observations. It is best to provide your observations last to prevent the agent from becoming defensive. Try to accept that you can improve your behavior or modify it more effectively. Then, put an action plan in place with timelines and milestones.

If you and the representative have scheduled another call, agree to a revised call plan based on observations from the previous call. This is a wonderful way for coaches – refine the behavior, try again and train some more. For example, the best managers I have ever asked me if I would like to go back to see clients again after our hallway training sessions. We have never had customer complaints and most were happy to continue the discussion. Also, my manager didn’t say a word in my sales call.

Doesn’t matter if the call is online or in person; The training aspect is the same. What you train may be different, but the method is the same. In a conference call, you should notice the look and feel of the call and conversation. Subtle things like lighting, background, sound quality and wear are all areas you should be aware of and train for. Provide training on these video issues and help marketers understand the appropriate steps to fix the problems.

Set improvement goals and timelines by following an easy-to-use formula:

1. We have accepted it [this behavior or skill] Need to improve.
2. You will [action] On the next [timeline].
3. We check in [timeframe, daily weekly, etc.] To see how you feel it is happening.
4. I’ll spend another day with you [timeframe].

Record this in writing so that it is fully clear on actions and timelines.

Listen for an effective training ride, or stay calm and listen, train on specific behaviors, get agreement on next steps and set your salespeople for success.

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