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2 Things I Learned about Call Coaching from Interviewing 36 VPs of Sales

June 6, 2017
Chris Orlob

Chris Orlob

Sales Management

Much of my job comes down to interviewing sales leaders so we can understand how to help them do their jobs better. Especially when it comes to call coaching and scaling the effectiveness of sales conversations.

In the last six weeks, I’ve interviewed 36 of them.

As you can imagine, I was able to pinpoint many patterns and trends among these interviews about how the best sales leaders handle coaching.

I’ve written about many of those patterns elsewhere, but I want to talk about two call coaching routines that emerged from my interviews that I never would have expected.

I’m highlighting these two practices due to the combination of how valuable and uncommon they are.

Call Coach Your Call Coaching

19 of the VPs of Sales I interviewed were Gong customers. As you can imagine, they use Gong to record their sales team’s calls and demos and perform their call coaching within the platform.

But if a VP of Sales has a layer of sales managers underneath him or her, it’s no longer his job to do the call coaching. It’s the job of his sales managers.

Instead, what these star sales leaders do is they have their sales managers turn on Zoom or GoToMeeting during their one-on-one call coaching sessions with an account executive, and they’ll record the coaching session within Gong.

So the VP of Sales has access to the recording of the coaching session.

Now, instead of the VP of Sales doing rep-level call coaching, they are coaching their sales managers on how to coach.

In other words, the calls that sales managers review within the conversation intelligence platform are their reps’ calls and demos. But the “calls” the VP’s of Sales review are the recorded 1-on-1 coaching sessions the managers and reps are having.

This is an incredibly high leverage activity a VP of Sales can engage in. They can ensure the right information is being relayed back to their account executives in the right way.

Coaching is already one of the most high leverage activities one can perform in a sales organization.

Coaching the coach on how to coach is as leveraged as an activity can get.

Call Coach Swapping

The next innovative call coaching practice I discovered is that several VPs of Sales mandated that their sales managers coach a rep that belongs to a team other than theirs at least once a week.

So instead of each rep getting feedback from the same sales manager every time (who is limiting to their specific way of thinking), they are getting a mix of coaching feedback and perspectives from all of the sales managers in the organization.

I heard one VP of Sales refer to this as “cross-pollinated call coaching.”

What are some of the sales call coaching practices you’ve implemented in your sales organization? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below.


If you liked this article you may also be interested in:

Sales call recording – read about how it beats call shadowing for sales coaching

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