28 March 2024 |

the problem with sales dashboards

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

More coaches, less dashboards

Not going to lie…there are times when I just cannot figure out how to turn things around in my team’s performance and the monkey in mind taunts me, trying to get me to believe I’m:

  • Not good at my job
  • Have no business being a manager
  • That someone else would have figured this out by now

But here’s the thing – while my dashboard may signal we’re hitting all the right inputs, the results don’t always reflect the effort of my team.

That’s where call review and coaching comes in…

What the calls say

Whenever my team is hitting all the inputs, but we’re not seeing results, the first thing I’ll do is check out what’s happening in the calls.

Enter: Watching game tape…

Call #1: No authority, no problem

First call that’s up features one of the newer reps on my team. Their tone is calm and measured. The person on the other end of the phone lets them know that they’re a sales rep at the company and while they like our content, they wouldn’t be the one to talk to. I’m wiggling in my bed while listening to the call in excitement, waiting for the moment when my rep plays the “Who would you recommend I reach out to to learn more?” card. “Boy oh boy I can’t wait to see who they’ll get referred to!”, I think to myself.

🚨 Spoiler alert: we didn’t get the referral

🚨 Spoiler alert: we never asked for the referral

I take a note down for myself to review the call in the coaching session I have with the rep today and to review and role play scenarios where we’re running into reps. 

Great! There’s something more than just “make more calls and work more accounts” that I can come prepared with.

Call #2: Why you + why you should care

The second call features one of my senior reps who isn’t shy or discouraged by the phones. This is also a rep who just recently joined my team so I can’t wait to hear what they do on the phone.

Ring. Ring.

Prospect: “Hello.”

Rep: “Hey, this is [REP] with [COMPANY] on a recorded line. Did I catch you at the worst time humanly possible?”.

Prospect: (There’s sounds of movement and children in the background)…”Uh, it’s not the best time. What’s this about?”

Rep: “I had sent you an email last week, but hey, I definitely want to be respectful of your time and sounds like you might be with your kids maybe. But did you see the email I sent you?”

Prospect: “I have some family over right now, but no, I don’t remember receiving your email or if I did, I can’t recall what it was about.”

1 minute into the call and we still haven’t shared why we’re calling this person specifically and why they should care that we called them.

I enter into the notes “need to get to the point faster and more effectively” while making a mental memo to walk through how to capitalize on the first 15-30 seconds in a cold call to launch a conversation that uncovers insights about the prospect and their team.

Call # 3: Skip the jargon

One of the newer reps who’s been off to a fast start with no indication of slowing down anytime soon has a bunch of calls I can listen to.

Checking the stats, I see a call that went for 6 min and 38 seconds. Juicy.

I click into the call and see that we talked 78% of the time. Not so juicy.

The call starts as we’ve trained reps to start the call. We get into our 3×3 and ask to give the pitch. We say all the things we’re told to say, and then the prospect hits us with “What is actionable intelligence?”.

The rep starts sharing what actionable intelligence means and asks “does this make sense?”, to which the prospect responds, “do you have examples of what actionable intelligence is?”.

The conversation goes like this for the next 5 minutes.

We speak a language that the prospect doesn’t connect with.

The prospect is the one asking us clarifying questions.

And we walked away not having learned anything about the person we were talking to.

Wowza. We needed to dumb it down, flip it, and reverse it.

What I’m learning

It’s not enough to tell a rep to do more dials, while it might make me and my boss feel better for the moment.

It’s not enough to screenshot the dashboard to tell everyone where we’re at for the month. They already know.

What is more than enough is being able to look at the calls that have been going off and see if and where there’s a coachable moment.

So instead of pressing refresh over and over on the dashboards, dig into the world of the reps and see if and how there’s something there that you wouldn’t have known unless you reviewed the calls.

Speed round advice on call coaching

  • Check call dispositions and/or reasons for why calls aren’t converting to the next stage – start listening to whichever disposition is most represented to find the biggest opportunity for improvement for your team
  • If your team has an outbound sales motion, I’d recommend using 15-17% connect to opportunity booked rate as the threshold for a great conversion rate
  • Add a call review meeting to a weekly team meeting – more often than not, if one rep is struggling with one objection, other folks on the team are too. By doing call reviews, you’ll quickly amplify your coaching efforts and impact