One of the fundamental aspects of any successful sales team is setting up a feedback system. A sales team leader knows to do this, but the leader must ensure that he or she is honoring and being purposeful with this system.
Feedback is a practice. In a recent conversation I had with our Head Coach, Julie Youngblood, she said it perfectly, “it is easy to forget about feedback when the market is gifting us a bunch of transactions.” Even when the market is strong and we are performing well, it is important to uphold our systems and consistently practice giving and getting feedback. If we fail to do so, our teams will become lackadaisical, at some point in time (or when the market slows down), our team members will start to underperform.
This is not about micromanaging, but rather instilling a sense of accountability in the team. The most successful people in business are the most accountable ones.
“When you build a team that is based on feedback, it is a growth mindset and everyone is on board.” – Julie Youngblood
Here is what we teach our clients at Metrix…
As a sales team leader, you must be intentional around preparing for and providing feedback within your team. You must ensure that you are having purposeful coaching conversations and 1-on-1 meetings with your team members each week.
During the 1-on-1 meeting it is important to first restate the team’s standards — expected number of hours for practicing scripts and role play, expected time on the dialer, etc. Dig into this further with the team member and get his or her perspective on how they think they are doing in relation to the standard. Then, provide your perspective. Address how the team member performed compared to what is expected of each team member.
Remember that this 1-on-1 meeting should be a conversation between you, the leader, and the team member; this is not a one-way feedback loop.
Here are some questions that you can use to help facilitate the conversation with the team member to help him or her uncover where the disconnect in performance lies.
- “What is one this you think you did well this week?” followed by, “Here is something that I thought you did well this week…”
- “What is something that you think you can do differently to get a better outcome?” followed by, “Here is something that I think you could do differently next time…”
- “What is something that you did that you are really proud of?”
- “If you were going to give advice to a new agent on this subject, what would it be?”
Once the team member is clear on where he or she faulted on performing up to standard, facilitate the conversation to discover why. What is the team member doing, or not doing, that is keeping him or her from reaching the team standard? This ‘discovery’ is a very important part of the feedback process. Your job here is to ask questions. Once you uncover why this is happening, you can help the team member create a plan or a system to get back on track such that he or she can start performing up to standard again.
For example, let’s say the team member is always late to the office or does not start making calls until 30 minutes later than other agents. This is where you, the leader, ask questions and help ucover why this is happening. The agent may say that they don’t wake up in time and are always rushing to get to the office in the mornings. By continuing to ask questions, you will learn that the agent continually hits the ‘snooze’ button because he didn’t go to bed until midnight. Together, you come up with a plan to go to bed earlier each night. To hold the team member accountable, you ask that he or she text you each night at 10:30pm letting you know that he or she is in bed for the night.
While this may seem like you are invading their personal lives, you are actually helping them to establish better habits for themselves such that they can perform better in their professional lives. Furthermore, if you help your people achieve their professional success, their personal worlds will start to fall in order.