Do Your Sales Managers Have the Data They Need to Be Effective Coaches?

It’s an all too familiar tale. Erika, a former rock star sales rep recently promoted to a frontline manager role, now has nine reps in different regions reporting to her, each with varying levels of product knowledge and sales know-how. And while she’s a highly motivated manager determined to ensure her team delivers a strong quarter, she’s increasingly pulled in many different directions. From attending multiple daily meetings, to creating forecasts and various sales reports, Erika’s finding it challenging to focus on the needs of her team members – on whose success she relies. Her goal to go on ride-alongs regularly with her reps so she can offer personalized, strategic coaching has quickly fallen by the wayside. Rather, she’s focusing more on immediate deal-based coaching.

Erika has come to realize, like many frontline managers today, that the opportunity to observe reps “in the wild” can be few and far between. To get an idea of her reps’ true capabilities, she’s become increasingly reliant on her CRM system, along with some observations from peers and colleagues. Of course, these methods alone cannot give Erika the full picture of what her reps are ready to bring to every client interaction, so she might miss where and when her coaching can make an impact.

This is where the performance insights Qstream delivers add significant value for frontline managers. Here are just a few of the data points your sales managers might be missing when it comes to coaching:

Product Proficiency

It’s not uncommon for B2B sales reps to represent multiple products, or a larger solution platform with multiple applications. This diversity, not to mention the complexity of many B2B products, requires reps to master a tremendous amount of feature and function information, as well as the ultimate benefits to customers. Qstream helps strengthen key product and brand messages by engaging reps in a series of brief scenario-based challenges, delivered directly to their mobile device or desktop.

The data resulting from this clinically proven approach gives sales leadership unprecedented visibility into what reps truly understand about your products, and where the gaps are, while helping to make the skills that matter most stick. This allows managers to take action immediately against a set of highly targeted coaching opportunities – and not just at the end of the quarter when it might be too late.

Competitive Positioning

Your reps must not only understand your products’ value, they must be able to convey them in a compelling, highly differentiated way. The reality is that competitive threats can arise with little warning. Whether it’s the hot start-up with millions in new venture capital, or the established player with a leap-frogging new product, sales enablement pros must respond fast to prevent erosion of critical market and mindshare.

With Qstream, scenario–based text and video challenges can be deployed quickly, often in just a few hours once content is approved, ensuring that competitive messaging – even promotional pricing or service package changes – are swiftly and effectively reinforced with field reps. Real-time analytics then help measure critical recall and understanding of competitive kill points, and alert managers to reps that might benefit from additional coaching.

Negotiation & Closing

Different phases of the sales cycle require different skills and behaviors. Every rep is unique, and it’s not unusual for reps with the personality and temperament to be great openers to struggle when it comes to asking for the deal.

Reinforcement of key selling skills, even the adoption of a new sales methodology, is a common and highly successful use case for Qstream. Our management reporting can help identify reps that are struggling with core selling skills such as closing and negotiation, supported by flexible content tags that pinpoint specific gaps and provide coaching guidance to managers before revenue is at risk.

While it’s not uncommon for sales managers to focus the majority of their coaching time on specific, near-term opportunities, it can be shortsighted. A data-driven approach that helps managers develop their reps’ full arsenal of skills and capabilities will pay dividends for the long-term.

Ready to learn more? Check out our new eBook: Do Your Sales Managers Have the Data They Need to Be Effective.

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