To achieve aggressive sales growth numbers, a sales team must efficiently onboard and grow sales talent. In today’s market, much of that talent is provided by millennials. As with any employee demographic, sales leaders must ask: How can we help those contributors to be the absolute best they can be?
Enter “Peers, Cheers, and Jeers,” our not-so-secret weekly feedback and motivation roundup. Here’s how it works.
On a weekly basis (normally Friday afternoons), our SDR and AE teams huddle together in a conference room — and, virtually, over web conference for our remote teammates — to review the good, the bad, and the ugly from the previous week. Each rep is asked to bring one recorded sales call that went well, along with one that did not. Over some beverages and snacks, we play through the calls and offer feedback.
Sounds pretty standard, right?
Here’s the important difference: This must not be a review from sales leadership. The feedback must be contributed by peers. Leadership is only there to facilitate; everything else is up to the team.
For these meetings to work, it’s crucial to create an environment where vulnerability is not simply acceptable but encouraged. In order to be effective, Peers, Cheers, and Jeers must be done in a safe environment where salespeople are rewarded for exposing bad calls and habits. If there’s any hesitation to share weaknesses and struggles, the exercise won’t work. To cultivate this vulnerability, leadership should get a key rep to buy into this process prior to the initial meeting — and then get that rep to go first.
Sales leadership should also reach out to some of the people on the team and ask them to contribute their particular specialties to the call reviews. For example, if one rep is fantastic on leading the prospect through next steps and another rep has great objection handling, you should invite them to actively participate in the session as appropriate.
To keep the meeting on track, here’s a structure we like to follow:
Prior to the meeting, the sales leader aggregates the calls submitted by the reps
At the start of the meeting, the leader plays the first rep’s good call
The leader can pause the recording at key inflection points and ask for feedback about what went well — and what could have gone better
Rinse and repeat, with each of the reps switching between good and bad calls
After the meeting, the leader should send an email to the presenters; Thank them for exposing their faults, for having a growth mindset to get better, and for providing positive coaching to the other members on the team
In addition to being a wonderful vehicle for training sales reps, this format is also a great way to “test-drive” individual contributors who want to move into sales leadership positions. It gives you — and your team — a chance to see how they handle giving constructive feedback and encouragement. So please raise your glass to Peers, Cheers, and Jeers for leveling up your sales team.
“It’s crucial to create an environment where vulnerability is not simply acceptable but encouraged.”