Has this happened to you? You lose a winnable deal. Or you won, but it was with a massive discount at the end. These are common outcomes of late-stage deal coaching.
(Too) Late-Stage Deal Coaching
This is when a sales rep has been working on an opportunity for some time. It moves into an advanced stage in your CRM system. And now, as a manager, you can finally dig into it.
Turns out this deal that’s supposed to close this month only uncovered a surface-level problem. You give the rep this feedback but isn’t much they can do. There’s too much that’s happened. The problem with (too) late-stage deal coaching is that the rep won’t be able to reframe the project. Or be able to connect with the other key stakeholders.
You’ve seen this movie play out before. The deal pushes. Or you need to offer a big discount to get it over the line. Or you lose to “no decision”.
It’s too late to apply feedback. It’s (too) late-stage deal coaching.
Early and Often Deal Coaching
What you want to do is coach early and often. When you coach earlier, reps get feedback earlier, and they apply it earlier. This cycle repeats throughout the sales cycle. We call this the Guided Coaching Loop.
It has a material impact on outcomes. CSO Insights says, “Companies where sales reps use the company’s methodology and get consistent coaching to see 73% more quota attainment”.
Proactive deal coaching is one of the benefits of the Guided Coaching Loop (GCL). Here’s how it’s different than the Traditional Coaching Loop (TCL) that leads to late-stage deal reviews.
Traditional Coaching Loop
Let’s talk about the three key steps of the Traditional Coaching Loop:
- The sales rep has an interaction with a customer or prospect
- The manager provides feedback on what the rep uncovered
- That feedback is applied by the sales rep to strengthen their deal
Sales managers can’t provide feedback until they have information.
Where is the info?
Specific to late-stage deal coaching, managers have an information problem. They can’t get it. Not in a timely manner, anyway. Not in a way that makes it easy to review and coach.
Don’t take my word, put it to the test. Try this right now. Think of a random sales opportunity and ask yourself,
- Where would I go to get the information I need to coach?
- How much time did it take me to get this detail?
If you said, “all this information is in a call recording”. Ok. Guess what? Now you have to listen to every meeting to get the full context of what’s happening. It’s not scalable.
If you thought, “I would Slack/WhatsApp/text my reps”. This process is, also, not scalable. And it’s annoying for sales reps.
If you said, “I’d look in CRM”, great! Now we are talking! But where is it in CRM? Thrown into one big field? Good luck reading through fragmented sentences here and there spanning a 4+ month sales cycle. Or maybe when you don’t see much more in CRM than Amount, Close Date, and Next Step.
Guided coaching starts with readily accessible information
To go from traditional to guided coaching, information accessibility must improve. The three key elements to improving accessibility are:
- Available – everyone knows the one place where the most current information lives
- Segmented – everything is broken down by your sales qualification framework and other important information
- Scored – you can see what deals are at risk and what areas need attention
Are you getting this today? Put it to the test! Look in CRM and let me know if you have all the information that you need to be able to coach it. Otherwise, you’re stuck doing (too) late-stage deal coaching and leaving revenue on the table.
If you want accessible information, let’s chat. Noted Analytics helps guide reps on what details they need to capture right where they work.