Sales leaders that commit to growing and developing their people through effective feedback boost sales performance, attract and retain top talent, and outperform other organizations that fail to make feedback and coaching a priority.
Recruiting and Selecting highly talented people for your organization is critical - but you can’t stop there. Innate talents cannot develop into strengths until your team members can use them consistently, confidently, and productively.
Providing consistent and specific feedback on performance is key in helping direct reports learn, grow, and maximize their strengths.
3 Best Practices for Providing Effective Feedback
94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn. And, the Media Sales Report found that 95% of salespeople said that learning and development are important to them.
1. Go in the Field to be the Coach
There are times when you will go on calls with sellers to be involved in the process and help them sell, but you should also schedule time in the field to give them the coaching they need to grow. This may be more difficult during the pandemic when many people are still working from home, but you can join video meetings or phone calls when possible.
2. Make Your Feedback Specific
Whether you’re providing praise or delivering constructive criticism, be sure to be specific. Vague information, saying good job or bad job, is frustrating because it’s difficult to understand what behaviors you should repeat or avoid. The more precise the feedback, the more helpful it is to the individual.
3. Provide More Positive Than Negative Feedback
People need more feedback on what they are doing well than criticism on what they are not doing well. Both are necessary, but it’s also important that you focus on the ratio of positive to negative feedback. We suggest aiming for 5 positives to every 1 criticism.
When observing your sellers, take detailed notes on all of the things each individual does well and one or two things you think they could improve. This will help you provide lots of feedback on positive behaviors they should repeat and give them a few things to improve.
Feedback is Valuable
The most important job of a sales manager is to develop each person on the team individually, holding distinct expectations for their performance that are tailored to their unique talents.
Studies show that people who regularly receive feedback on their strengths sell 11% more than those who do not. Helping both sales managers and salespeople to better understand and manage their own strengths is key.