When it comes to sales coaching, feedback is key. If you coach your reps to practice and reinforce what they learned during training, it’s these critiques that will lead to a change in their behavior – and improvement in their performance.
Video coaching technology allows sales managers to scale the delivery of feedback so it’s still individualized, but can be tracked and sent in an efficient manner. However, sales managers can get stuck in a rut of providing unimaginative feedback that doesn’t always help reps with their specific needs.
Here are 5 ways to give better feedback with video coaching technology.
1. Be sincere
When you’re dealing with team-wide coaching, there’s a high probability that your reps will discuss their experiences with each other. If a sales manager provides the same feedback from one rep to the next, it could be perceived as insincere, which will be less impactful. Never copy and paste the same feedback from one coaching challenge to the next. The sales team will figure it out and you’ll risk ruining credibility while also demotivating them. Employees will appreciate thoughtful and honest feedback that’s specific to the skills they’re working on.
2. Be specific
Feedback should also always be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying "good job" , tell the rep specifically what they did well. Example: "Good job telling a story of the value of our product and relating it to how our solution has solved customers problems!" This is a much more specific way of giving feedback. When your reps know exactly what they have done well, they will be more likely to repeat those good habits in the future.
Providing constructive feedback can also be a positive experience and can foster employee trust and growth. Example: “You certainly demonstrated that you understand the features and functionality of our product. With a little more practice, you’ll be able to cut down your pitch from 7 minutes to 3 minutes and only highlight the features and functionality that are most important to the client.” This is a specific way to provide feedback while establishing a goal for the rep to work towards.
Your goal should be to challenge the employee, not flatten their confidence. Feedback should always be descriptive and directed to the action, not the person. Finally, keep your ideas on improvement and strengths succinct. This will ensure that the rep will be more likely to remember them all.
3. Respond in a timely fashion
Ideally, you’ll want to give your feedback as soon as possible after coaching video has been submitted. It’s ideal to provide coaching feedback within 48 hours, but it should never take longer than a week to respond with feedback. As a best practice, set expectations and a realistic timeline upfront with the rep so they know when to expect as assessment of their performance.
4. Acknowledge the effort, not just the results
Offer praise for the reps effort, even if they don’t achieve the desired result(s) you were looking for. The art of feedback is about helping someone to improve, but it’s important to acknowledge their preparation and participation. This is especially true with coaching since it’s not easy to record videos or simulate situations for others to see. In fact, 78% of employees say just being recognized motivates them in their job and 69% said they would work harder if they felt their efforts were recognized.
Balance the feedback on what needs to be fixed or adjusted. As a best practice, don’t end with constructive feedback as it will overshadow the positive feedback you’ve already provided. Be sure to express your belief that they can improve and ask the participant what you can do to assist in them in the process to achieve the desired results. Ask what training, mentoring or resources they need to move forward. Also, be clear on next steps, such as the timeline on when they should complete further training or when they will be expected to re-submit a coaching response to show they've incorporated feedback.
5. Show “what good looks like”
When possible, be sure to provide examples of “what good looks like” using the best video submissions from the team. This is a great way to encourage peer learning and:
- “Talk the talk” as a leader – showing them what good looks like in advance will provide a foundation for the reps that may be struggling with the coaching requirements. It demonstrates that leaders hold themselves accountable for achieving the same skillsets.
- Motivate the team by recognizing reps that are the first to complete the coaching assessment and have achieved the desired results.
- Turn your top coaching submissions into content that can be used moving forward – if you have new hires in the future, would they benefit from seeing coaching videos, or for existing employees, will it help them as they improve?
For more on using video coaching technology to improve sales readiness and performance, check out our eBook: Next-Gen Coaching for the Next-Gen Sales Force.