six questions

Six Questions To Make Your Sales Team More Productive

successA key to great coaching is feedback. Legendary University of Alabama Coach Bear Bryant gave feedback to his football players on how to run the play better. Béla Károlyi gave feedback to his gymnasts on how to tighten their flips, turns and other gymnastic feats. Even a star, like Andrea Bocelli, has a voice coach who provides feedback for improvement.

You can’t improve as an athlete, musician or even salesperson unless you get the right feedback from your coach or instructor and incorporate that feedback into your performance.
These six questions originally appeared on the company blog of Force Management, and were shared again by Force Management’s Assistant Marketing Director Rachel Clapp Miller. She advises joining your sales team members in their calls and then asking these questions to help them focus on which areas to improve. The process will likely lead to more sales and more revenue for your company.

  1. What was the ratio of speaking to listening? Did the rep listen to the customer and try to uncover key pain points that will allow them to demonstrate value throughout the sales process?
  2. Did the rep adjust his or her message to the buying audience? Was the rep audible-ready to adjust the message based on what the customer said?
  3. Did the rep ask open-ended, two-sided discovery questions? Effective questioning makes for an effective sales conversation. Alternatively, closed-ended questions can kill the call. As an observer, be sure to listen to the questions your sales rep asks. They’re almost as important as the answers.
  4. What are the prospect’s largest technical and business problems? Has the rep uncovered them? You need a solid understanding of the impact your solution can have on your buyer’s business issue. Has your seller earned the right to move the conversation forward by uncovering key problems?
  5. How well did the rep attach solutions to the biggest business problems? If he or she has uncovered the right business issue, the next step is to attach solutions. Has an effective connection been made between what you’re offering and what the buying organization needs?
  6. How well did the rep associate pains and uncover requirements before discussing solutions? You don’t want the conversations to be focused on solutions too early. Even if the rep is asking the right questions, be sure they listen enough before they articulate solutions and differentiation.

Miller explains that when debriefing after a sales call, always ask your reps to explain how they performed before offering your own feedback. Another tip: Discuss two things that went well and two areas to improve during the next call. Providing constructive and consistent feedback can make the difference between a team of underperforming reps and one that is exceeding quota.

Try these effective coaching tips to develop your all-star sales team.


Source: Rachel Clapp Miller is the assistant marketing director at Force Management. The company specializes in sales transformations that help B2B sales organizations increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Compiled by Cassandra Johnson, a frequent contributor to Promotional Consultant Today, where this article first appeared.