03 October 2023 |

Accountability Anchors

By Alex Alleyne

Here’s the thing: accountability doesn’t just happen. You have to weave it into the fabric of your team. 

One of the first things I did in my last role was to double the 1-to-1s between my sales directors and their teams. Face time ( even over video ) is crucial to keep people accountable for their growth as individuals and sales professionals. 

The first meeting I suggested, usually on a Monday, was the “all-about-you” session—personal concerns, professional needs, the works. Then, later in the week, usually a Thursday, was time for the second 1-to-1, solely dedicated to coaching and development. 

Coaching Cadence

Now, what do these Thursday coaching sessions look like? That depends on your company’s chosen sales process. Whether using Challenger, BANT, or MEDDIC, dissect these frameworks into bite-sized weekly topics for incremental growth. Another approach is a ‘Deal Clinic,’ where reps bring a current deal to the table and together, dissect it, understand its dynamics, and strategize for success.

Trench Time

Coaching isn’t just about what happens within the four walls of your office. Sometimes, you’ve got to lace up your boots and jump into the trenches. Join your sales reps on customer calls. There’s no better coaching environment than real-time sales scenarios. Following the call, a quick 15-minute feedback session can do wonders. 

Here’s a pro tip: Always start with positive feedback before layering in the constructive bits. And yes, encourage your reps to self-assess first. Their insights might surprise you.

Summing It Up: Your Blueprint for Coaching Success

So there you have it. Three pillars that can elevate your sales coaching game:

  1. Accountability Anchors: Implement double 1-to-1s each week, focusing the second one solely on coaching and development.
  2. Coaching Cadence: Align your coaching sessions with your company’s chosen sales process for incremental growth. Alternatively, opt for a ‘Deal Clinic’ approach for hands-on learning.
  3. Trench Time: Don’t just talk the talk; walk the walk. Spend time on customer calls with your reps and provide balanced, real-time feedback.

Ready to transform your sales team? Here’s how to start.

  1. Start with a Self-Audit: Assess your team’s current state of coaching and development.
  2. Schedule the 1-to-1s: Implement the double 1-to-1 strategy starting next week.
  3. Choose Your Coaching Style: Decide whether you’ll follow a structured sales process or opt for deal clinics.
  4. Join a Live Sales Call: Plan to join at least one live sales call within the next fortnight.

Remember, the journey from hiring A-players to leading a high-performing sales team is a marathon, not a sprint. But with focused coaching and unshakeable accountability, you can quicken your pace.