Anyone can find themselves misaligned on goals, messaging, procedures, etc whether it’s marketing and sales teams, the c-suite and managers, managers in the same department… the list goes on. What’s more important than pointing fingers about how it happened is knowing how to fix it and get everyone back on the same page.
At a recent coaching academy in Atlanta, Salesloft manager Blanche Reese had an “a-ha!” moment. Steve asked attendees to pair up and write down the names for each part of a call. One would expect two managers from the same team would have the same answers, right?
Blanche quickly found out how wrong that assumption was. As she worked through the exercise with fellow Salesloft manager, Brad, she realized they weren’t using the same nomenclature for the different parts of a call. If they weren’t fully aligned on the terminology, how can their reps be?
Getting Back on the Same Page
Rather than spending time planning out how to realign their teams, Blanche and Brad sprung into action. Their team gets together for stand-up every morning to discuss goals and review company news. Once a week they include a skills lesson and as luck would have it, that session fell the morning after the coaching academy.
When the team arrived, Blanche asked them to each write down the five parts of the call, plus some good and bad words that appear on calls. The managers weren’t surprised to find their reps had vastly different answers from one another.
Instead of creating a mandate of “these are the five parts of a call”, they asked the team to break out into groups of three or four and come up with names for call segments they all agreed on. Afterward, they reviewed the answers from each group and narrowed it down to a single set of names. The new language for the five parts of a call was presented to their VP of sales for a final blessing and added to the onboarding process.
As for the good and bad words the reps came up with, those are being put to good use. The managers pulled the most relevant words to their sales process and built a cheat sheet. Each rep has a copy of the sheet at their desk to reference while they’re on calls. Some reps are even using a swear jar to help reinforce the behavior change–creating their own habit loop.
How Managers Get Out of Sync
Sales managers tend to have their plates pretty full so it’s incredibly easy for them to fall out of sync when it comes to coaching best practices. In some cases, there’s a breakdown of communication, managers use different training methodologies, or they don’t agree on what good looks like.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case at Salesloft. Blanche and Brad became managers at the same time (on the same day, in fact) and work together closely. They agree on what good looks like and their coaching program. The discord is a result of their team nearly doubling in size over the course of a few short months. Between coaching, training, onboarding and other managerial tasks, the managers found little time to check-in with each other.
After the exercise at the coaching academy, Brad and Blanche realized that call phases were missing from their onboarding process. This easily explained why their newer reps had some pretty out there answers and how reps from the same start class didn’t agree with one another.
Going forward, the managers have time on the calendar each week to sync up and make sure they’re a united front. Blanche and Brad will also spend more time getting to know all of the new reps, not just those they oversee. This has two benefits: better team relationships and better coaching when their manager is out of the office.
How does your sales management team stay in sync? What would you do if you discovered your team was all over the place with messaging?