“CallSource® Reflections” is a blog series by CallSource’s® co-founder and President, Elliot Leiboff. Elliot co-founded CallSource® alongside the late Jerry Feldman in 1992. Over the years, Elliot has developed a small call tracking company to a full service lead generation performance organization. CallSource® invented call tracking. Elliot has witnessed a myriad of inventions, tried different strategies, invested in technologies and basically seen it all.
CallSource® is a classic American tale of an idea that turned into a business that has thrived through grit and determination. “CallSource® Reflections” is Elliot’s blog series on lessons learned as a business owner before the era of startups and VC funding.
Elliot’s monthly blog contributions take the reader on the journey of how our solutions have evolved.
For Sales Performance Improvement, One Size Does Not Fit All
A more nuanced and specific approach to sales training and coaching is necessary for ultimate performance improvement.
While it may be convenient for an instructor to offer identical advice and training to a room full of salespeople with varying experience levels and different skills, it is bound to yield sub-optimal results. At any given moment, some employees will be bored and will disengage from the lesson.
Some training may be basic level knowledge for more qualified salespeople, while other training could be above another’s experience level and therefore not able to be retained well. Simply put, it just doesn’t work well to yield the best performance results for an entire team.
A more effective approach begins with an analysis of actual, on-the-job performance of each employee and delivers coaching and training that is specifically targeted to each individual’s needs.
A generic lesson on closing skills would only be a turn-off to a salesperson great at controlling the conversation and driving toward the appointment. If that same employee is having trouble establishing rapport with clients, a lesson on proper greeting and exchanging information would, undoubtedly, add a lot more value.
On the other hand, coaching on overcoming objections and closing can almost certainly improve results for another employee who is great at client engagement, but who can’t seem to convert those client relationships into appointments or sales.
The ideal solution is to coach and train each employee separately, either one-on-one or together with other employees who have been assessed as having similar training needs. Yes, it is more work for the coach or trainer to review and evaluate employee interactions with clients than to pull a training handbook off the shelf, but the results justify the added time and effort – and coaching with role-playing can imprint new behaviors in a way a generic training session never can.
Remember, mastering any skill takes time and practice. Coaching and training on sales and customer service skills should always be viewed as an ongoing process, not as a one-off event.