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Podcast 130: What World Class Sales Coaching Looks Like With Dave Kennett
world class sales coaching with dave kennett
By Kelly Driscoll | January 7, 2020

We’re pleased to welcome Dave Kennett to the podcast this week. Dave is the CEO of Replayz, helping sales reps learn the lessons they need to go through to be more successful. In this episode, Dave and John talk over what sales coaching looks like on a day to day level and what truly world class sales coaching looks like. Here’s a hing, there’s a big difference between what most companies do and what the best do!

In This Podcast You’ll Learn:

  • How Sales Coaching Actually Gets Done
  • Which Reps Need Sales Coaching Most
  • Reps Participating Or Not Participating

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How Sales Coaching Actually Gets Done

Dave Kennett: There’s not a ton of companies doing it, right. But there’s certainly out there, there’s no question. And the ones that do, I mean there’s a few commonalities. Number one, they systematize it, right? So they build it into the fabric of the culture systemically. So they will at least on a weekly basis be doing role plays in their sales huddles. Ideally they would be creating an environment where they’re doing role plays daily with their sales rep. So, one quick quick tip actually that I strongly recommend is first, you have to create a safe environment. One where people feel comfortable being vulnerable. You and I both know through sales training that there’s no scarier thing for a sales rep to do than to actually pitch in front of all their peers, right?

If everyone’s in the same boat, then my experience has been they get very comfortable very quickly doing it. And so I would put them in a scenario where daily, they’re in a scenario where they’re pods of threes. So one person can be the seller, one person could be the customer, the other is the observer. And then once they go through a role play and pick a topic could be differentiators. So here’s three minutes of explaining your differentiators and navigating through discovery or whatever. And the best companies out there I see are doing that because they know that when they’ve got a one-to-many scenario with someone in sales enablement is supposed to be coaching 150 reps it’s a broken model. Plus you’ve got sales leaders that are a one person with  eight or ten or twelve people as their ratio. You need to supplement that somehow. So you almost do a coach the coaching thing with your team where they get into groups of three and just practice for 15, 20 minutes each day.

Which Reps Need Sales Coaching Most

John Barrows: There’s an argument around should you coach the best reps or the worst reps, if you had to choose. Where would you say it’s happening most of the time?

Dave Kennett: I would say it’s probably 70% would be reps in their first handful of years and 30% would be reps that have been doing it for a while. Every single sales rep has blind spots. When I’m talking to an executive group and explaining why I think they should move forward with us, they are judging every single thing I’m saying how I’m doing it right?

I really gotta eat my own dog food. And so, I’ll often say to them, they’ll say can you help our tenured reps that are selling like seven figure deals, have been doing this for 25 years? My answer’s always yes, because they’r there’s probably three things you’ve seen me do in the last 45 minutes that you’d say, Ooh, Dave, no, you shouldn’t, right. There’s just there and we all have things. And so I do think it’s important that everybody, take the opportunity to put himself out there and be vulnerable and open to feedback.

John Barrows: The best athletes in the world yearn for coaching. Tom Brady, to be his offensive coordinator is actually one of the hardest things out there. Because you’ve got to know how Tom works and think on his level.

Tom goes to Josh and asks what do you think about this? Coach me, and if he doesn’t or if Josh isn’t challenging him, it’s not good. The greatest of all time quarterback in NFL history is pushing his coaches to coach him to get better because he knows he’s got that chip on his shoulder.

Reps Participating Or Not Participating

John Barrows: I’ve spoken about when I do training, not everyone in the room is super actively taking part. I used to get hung up on that but now I know you can’t make someone wanna listen. So how do you take that thought into sales coaching? You must see the when people buy from you, not all the reps on their team are gonna use it.

Dave Kennett: Yeah, we have some tough customers for sure and I have a lot of respect for them and often, they are very good. I find that, the proofs usually in the pudding, right? So, we will review one of their demos and discovery calls. We will always give them two or three key things to work on. So there might be 15 things throughout the course of 45 minutes, but we want to make it a bite sized, digestible action items that they can run with and not overwhelming.

And so with those two or three things, be very straight with them. These two or three things can be an absolute game changer for you. And it’s up to them whether they deploy it or not. What we find is those ones that are a little resistant at first and reluctant, I will watch their next demo a few weeks later and I’ll see that they deployed those things.

So they’ll kind of talk up both sides of them. But then they actually do it. So that’s why I say the proof’s kind of in the pudding in terms of a the value that a coach can bring. But B, in terms of them, you know, their actions speak louder than their words. There’s going to be folks of course that aren’t coachable and that’s fine. Good on them. And you know, I’ve actually had customers where they’ve said you can coach these five people, the sixth person though, it’s not even worth it. Don’t bother. And so we don’t and I’m fine with that cause I want to work with people that want to learn. As I’m sure you do and if they don’t like I’m totally good with that because we all have the prerogative to participate or not participate.

That’s a wrap. Join us next time

If you made it this far, you’re the best. Thanks for reading and listening to this podcast. We hope you gained a ton from it and will listen in next week too. Don’t forget to check out our recent podcast episode highlights too.

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