Part 6: Life at 1,000 Dials a Day — Too Fast to Coach? Or Just Fast Enough?
Everyone has coaching on their mind. Are we coaching enough? Are we coaching effectively? How can we know if our coaching is making a difference?
Then someone from ConnectAndSell comes along and says, “Hey! Did you know your reps can comfortable cruise at 1,000 dials a day? That’s something like 50 conversations with decision makers every day. What could go wrong?”
And you think, “Well, I can think of one thing. If one of my reps needs to improve now, at 50 conversations a day they really need to improve! I’m not going to pay a bunch of money to amplify ‘suck’. I know from experience that a little suck goes a long way! My reps need coaching. And at 1,000 dials a day, I’ll be coaching a blur, not a rep.”
My experience with ConnectAndSell tells me, however, that there are at least three reasons that going faster makes coaching easier.
- More reps. Not more sales reps: more repetitions! Practice may not actually make perfect, but it sure helps. And simulated conversations don’t really count as practice. They are awkward enough — true — but to get better at sales takes both coaching and a bunch of real sales conversations.
- More confidence. A scared rep lurches rather than learns. The comfort of knowing the next conversation is only a click away provides mental space to actually try what the coach recommended. Fear is the enemy of sales performance, and a loose sales rep has a much better shot at getting better through coaching.
- Faster feedback. Improvement needs to be measured by outcomes. But when? At a handful of conversations per day, there’s too little feedback to connect the coaching directly to the performance. At dozens of conversations a day, there’s plenty of feedback to work with — every day.
Of course, even at something like 50 conversations a day, there’s too much going on in most shops to support live coaching. Recordings are needed. But whether working in real time or with recorded conversations, you still need the repetitions, the confidence, and tight feedback loops to turn coaching into consistent improvement.
Speed turns out to be the key, not the curse, to coaching success. Life at 1,000 dials a day is a coach’s dream. It just looks like a blur until you plunge in and try it.
Links to Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, and Part 12 of this blog series.