Sales Best Practices

3 Ways Sales Managers Use Technology to Scale Onboarding and Coaching

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Cari Murray

Senior Manager of Content Marketing

There’s never been a more difficult time to be a sales manager. They’re overwhelmed by requests to support deals, join customer calls, guide reps, and pull together accurate reporting. They’re frustrated by the amount of time it takes to ramp up new sellers and build efficient sales training processes.

They're also left to figure out how to make it work, while hitting a number this quarter, next quarter, and beyond. And they also must do all of this in an environment that’s constantly changing.

It’s not enough to operate in the same way and expect a different result.

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Revenue Innovators, the leaders at the forefront of modern sales, know there is a better way. They know they must invest in a thorough data strategy with the proper underlying sales technology architecture to support it. With that in place, they can scale sales onboarding and coaching. They can take time back to focus on long-term strategic initiatives. They can dynamically shift their revenue strategy to meet changing market and buyer demands. With that in mind, here are three ways Revenue Innovators are using technology to scale onboarding and coaching within sales organizations.

How the Sales Manager of the Future Scales Coaching and Onboarding Programs

1. Use data to drive the business

Let’s face it. Sales managers have a hundred things they could do in a day. It’s easy to get pulled into the weeds. But if you want to scale your efforts, you’ve got to stop and ask what’s going to give the biggest ROI back to the sales team or organization. Data can help you do that.

Outreach CRO Anna Baird, in a recent roundtable discussion, shared how data has changed the game for her and her team. “I have a dashboard that shows which of my teams are getting the most positive sentiment on the messages they're sending to customers.” There’s power in knowing how messaging is landing, which messaging is working, and what the best practices look like: “That is game changing as a leader to say, 'Not only do I know what's happening, but I know where to focus my time because I can see where the challenge is and then know exactly where to go to help.'”

That’s just one example. With data-driven decision-making, sales managers can look broad or narrow depending on what they’re navigating. If they look at their data broadly, they can get a pulse on buyer engagement at all levels of the funnel. Managers can also get benchmarks for what best looks like in areas such as timing, messaging, and numbers. When they narrow their scope, they can focus on the top deals and drill into specifics of what areas to coach reps on to close the deal faster.

The sales manager of the future uses data to react quickly, pulling the sales levers that will give the biggest pay-off.

2. Contextualize sales coaching

Sales managers need to scale coaching. Your teams are growing. You need to know to how to coach reps to become more productive, in less time. So, you coach them on the same objection handling strategy, right? Not so fast.

The latest research shows the frontline sales manager of the future is analytical and thoughtful, so they can contextualize insights using data.

Rather than coaching on intuition, managers of the future are curious about what the data is telling them, how it applies to different scenarios, and ultimately understand that the way one rep sells is different from the way another one does.

Some may be thinking, “Wait, I thought we were talking about scale here.” Contextualizing coaching doesn’t require individualized plans for hundreds of sellers. Really, it's about encouraging sellers to get better at their own game by steering them towards the right resources using data. The manager of top performers use tech to scale fundamental, in-the-moment coaching opportunities. For example, they look at talk to listen ratios and length of monologues and use that data to guide their feedback.

3. Lean into conversation intelligence

Conversations between a buyer and a sales rep used to simply be a subjective record in your CRM. There may have been an area for the rep to put some notes that may or may not have been filled out. With little information to go off, sales managers would struggle to know exactly what’s happening in a deal.

Now, with conversation intelligence, a conversation isn’t simply a record. It’s a rich data source where managers have real insight into the conversation. They can be alerted to key words or phrases or bookmark moments they want to provide some coaching on. They can even provide in the moment coaching when on calls with their reps.

When they aren’t there, they can still feel confident sending their reps (new or established) out in the field. Conversation intelligence provides reps information in the moment they need it. For example, let’s say a customer asks a tough competitive question. Instead of the rep having to cull through their memory, dig around on their desktop, or tell the question they’ll get back to them, they can just rely on conversation intelligence to trigger a flashcard with all the information they need.

Managers can spend less time hand-holding and more time focusing on the bigger revenue picture.

Want more insights on onboarding? Check out our new ebook, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Better Rep Onboarding

Then, dive even deeper with expert advice on coaching with 3 Best Practices Every Revenue Leader Should Know about Coaching.