Getting visibility into your team’s sales conversations is the single best way to eliminate the “performance gap” between your few star salespeople and the rest of your team.

But there are a few ways to go about doing that.

The best way for you is going to depend on a few variables, such as the size of your sales team, sales management bandwidth, etc.

With that in mind, here are three approaches to getting visibility into sales conversations, with advice on how to decide which option is best for you.

1. Call Shadowing

This is when you participate in a live sales call or sit in without participating. It’s a great way to get visibility into your team’s sales conversations if you have a small team of three to six reps.

But I’m guessing if your team is that size, visibility is not your most pressing problem. You likely overhear every call happening by sitting in the trenches.

For larger teams and those planning on growing, it isn’t a practical approach.

You can’t be on 10 calls at once.

Shadowing sales calls can be a massive burden on your calendar, so if you have a large or growing team, it’s simply not scalable.

The other downside to this approach is that facts evaporate when the call is over.

People have selective memories, so it’s tough to refer back to what actually happened on a call without any hard data. When coaching your reps, they can claim “I never said that…” and you’re left with no evidence.

Not a productive way to have a coaching conversation.

Coaching based on anecdotes and impressions is futile, and everyone will remember calls differently. You need good, solid playback about what really happened on calls.

Which brings us to option number two …

2. Raw Call Recordings

Many SDR teams use these successfully.

They record and review calls all the time with tools like SalesLoft and Outreach.

But I’ve never (literally) seen a closing/account executive team use this option successfully or with consistency.

Why?

There are a few reasons:

  • Forgetting to record: Daaaang. Forgot again. Why is it that reps who need the most oversight are often the ones who “forget” to hit the record button on GoToMeeting?
  • Manual processes: There is a handful of manual tasks required to make a call recording useful once recorded: downloading them to the desktop, dealing with storage issues, uploading the recording to a cloud platform, etc. How many sales reps do you know that actually do manual labor like this? Check how up-to-date your CRM is for evidence.
  • Not enough time: Sales managers are time-strapped and can’t slog through hour-long raw demo recordings over and over again.

If any of those three challenges sound familiar to you, consider this third and final option… 

3. Conversation Intelligence Technology

This is the new kid on the block for getting visibility into sales conversations.

Conversation intelligence technology is an emergent category of technology that helps sales leaders get visibility into all their teams’ sales conversations quickly and easily.

And that scalable visibility is the key to closing the “gap” between your top reps and the “middle-of-the-pack”.

The technology also makes the “recording” part automatic for account executives, skipping all of the manual steps I outlined above.

The way conversation intelligence works is it records, transcribes, and analyzes all of your team’s sales conversations so you can drive sales effectiveness across the board.

This is truly the best option for any team that has grown beyond 20 or 30 sales reps.

How Does It Work?

The point of this article was to present you with three options to get visibility into your team’s sales conversations, not to dive into either one of them in detail.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the third option – conversation intelligence technology – stay tuned for my next post…

I’ll walk you through exactly HOW you can increase the effectiveness of your middle-of-the-pack reps using conversation intelligence technology.

Or, feel free to jump ahead…

Check out a free, live demo of Gong, the #1 conversation intelligence platform for B2B sales teams:

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Chris Orlob

Chris Orlob is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io

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