When done effectively, your 1:1âs can change your sales culture, maximize your teamâs performance, and save you loads of time.
But wait...you're doing 1:1's, right? The secret: not every 1:1 serves the same purpose.
When I was first a sales leader, I was constantly running from meeting to meeting and managing reactively. I missed more 1:1 visits that I care to admit, because I was busy "fixing problems." But I was working non stop and quickly wearing out.
Then I discovered a proactive sales leadership strategy: 3 different types of 1:1s, and each served a different purpose. My world changed.
My team became more empowered and began to "run their business."
My team became more skilled and began to hit their numbers more consistently.
And I had more time to become a better leader, and enjoyed less stress.
I began holding these 3 different types of 1:1s consistently with my sales team.
- The 1:1 to review results. With everyone, every month, period.
- The 1:1 to Strategize and Advance sales leads. Weekly with some, bi-monthly with others, depending on their level of expertise.
- The 1:1 to Observe them in Action and Coach for Skill Development. Monthly at a minimum with each sales team member, whether new or experienced.
1. The 1:1 to Review Results:
The purpose of this 1;1 is for the sales leader to meet with the sales person consistently every single month and review face to face, (or virtually face to face) last monthâs results, year to date tracking, and this monthâs goals. If the goals are metâ¦.YAY, HIGH FIVE them. IF not, dig deeper, explore what the pipeline of A prospects looks like, and look at the activities completed to see if they took the correct actions to achieve the results.
This meeting should take 20 minutes, holds the sales team accountable and gives you an opportunity to focus strictly on results. Think about it, when the sales person knows youâre going to visit them monthly to review their individual results, they know thereâs no sliding under the radar. The numbers speak for themselves. The sales person is held accountable. This helps you stay in tune with the sales person on the most significant aspect of their job: results. If more than one month goes by without meeting the results, you need to dig deeper and determine the next appropriate step.
2. The 1:1 to Strategize and Advance Sales Leads:
Most sales leaders are holding this 1:1, but not always effectively. The purpose of this 1:1 is to COACH the sales person and help THEM find the solutions that will help them move the prospects forward and close more sales, it's not to "tell" them what to do! If we're not helping THEM find solutions, we become their crutch and rob them of their ability (and confidence) to grow into a great sales person.
This meeting should consist of the 5 Pâs:
- PLAN the timing of your meeting so the sales rep is ready with prospect information, and you are able to provide your undivided attention.
PROSPECT Review: Review the A and B/C prospects. Why A prospects? To ensure their strategy is powerful and they are prepped and confident to close the sale, and to help them see any blind spots so they're prepared. Why B/C prospects? Because we want them to get incremental sales. The key questions:
1. What is the prospectâs story? Whatâs their current situation, their dominant buying motive and their needs?
2. How did the meeting end? How did the sales person close, and what happened?
3. What is the next step, and is it agreed upon?
- PREPARE the strategy: Coach them on a strategy to advance the sale: What additional information do they need from the prospect? How might they probe for it? How can they best present their solutions in a compelling way that will most impact the prospect? What if the prospect responds like this? Like that? The better prepared they are, the more confident theyâll be with solutions and the more leads they'll convert.
- PRACTICE the strategy: Role play the necessary steps. Often it's helpful to model what a good job looks like, and then they practice. Maybe you brainstorm it together. The more they practice with you, the more prepared theyâll be with the customer. And let's face it, the easier they'll move the process forward with the prospect. (This is a step that's often missed. Just talking about the strategy is only part of the process. Perfect practice gets preferred results.)
- PROVIDE positive feedback: You might have to practice multiple times. But you ALWAYS want to leave them with positive feedback and fully confident so they're mentally and strategically prepared to advance their leads and close the sales. (This is a game changer.)
3. The 1:1 to Observe and Coach for Skill Development:
There is no athlete that grows and achieves higher levels of success without the help of a coach. Same holds true for sales professionals, who sometimes need a mental lift as much as skill enhancement. The more you interact with them 1:1, learn their motivations, observe them in action, coach them to hone their craft, and demonstrate your belief in them, the more you lift them to higher levels of performance and help them develop into self-managing high achievers.
This 1:1 is a game changer. Most sales managers spend the most time with their lowest performers and try to "fix" their weaknesses. But that's short sighted. This 1:1 is essential if you want to develop your average performers into top performers and your top performers into rock stars.
I hear what you're probably thinking. You don't have time. And I get it. These 1:1's take focus and time, but they DO help you manage more proactively because they
- hold the team accountable for results
- empower them to run their business more strategically
- help the team develop into highly skilled, self-managed high achievers.
It takes time to get to that point, but when you do, it changes the trajectory of your sales team, and of your life.
If you like this and think others would enjoy it, please share!
For more guidance on how to coach your sales team and how to develop the systems to create rockstars, contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathy Tucker Coaching & Consulting is a boutique sales and leadership training company specializing in helping builders and real estate companies develop top producing sales teams and brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high-performance sales culture.
After over 25 years leading top-producing sales teams with the nation's leading homebuilders, Kathy saw many sales leaders being under-trained or burning out, or wanting to get to the next level of their career but not knowing how to do it. So she started her coaching business to help sales managers learn the systems and skills to take their performance to the next level and THRIVE in the role of the sales leader.
Virtual Sales Training Workshops, 1:1 Coaching for Sales Professionals and Sales Leaders, and her Signature Leadership Program: 9 Steps to Leading a Rock Star Sales Team.