Sales 1-on-1 meetings shouldn’t be viewed as a task to get through or something that sales reps dread. Rather, they should be viewed as an opportunity for the sales manager to coach and train the rep and help them with any challenges they might be facing. Successful sales one-on-one meetings can be fruitful for reps and managers alike when they’re done well. In this blog, we’ll be providing you with 7 tips on how to run a sales one on one and improve your sales coaching methods.
What Is a Sales 1 on 1?
In a simple sense, a sales one on one is a meeting between a sales rep and their sales manager. But it’s more important than just a meeting. Sales managers can get extremely busy, and newer sales reps won’t always be able to have their attention, ask them questions and learn from them.
A sales one on one serves the purpose of a time for reps to talk to their manager, pick their brain, get valuable feedback and grow as reps. This is the ideal version of a one on one, anyway. Not every rep will have a manager who is willing to give them an insightful one on one, but the ones who do will become much better sales reps down the line. Now, let’s look at some advice on how to run a sales 1 on 1 successfully.
Tips for Successful Sales Coaching
These tips are by no means the end all be all guidelines for sales one on ones. They are, however, some best practices that many sales coaches and managers have found useful in the past. You can apply all of these tips to your sales coaching, or you can carve your own methods from the details. The important thing is that you give your sales rep the best version of yourself during these meetings so they can get the most out of it and feel like part of the team.
Create Space for Safe and Open Dialogue
First things first, you need to make sure your sales reps feel safe in the one-on-one environment. New reps undoubtedly are going to be nervous when they meet with their sales managers the first few times. When sales managers establish a baseline of safety and comfort, their reps will be able to open up more easily and feel more secure in their role. There have been too many sales rep horror stories where one on ones are just times where reps get chewed out by their sales manager or given heaps of negative feedback.
Make sure your one on ones aren’t like this. Your sales reps should feel like they can speak openly and give feedback of their own on the sales process. When you encourage open dialogue, your sales reps will feel more empowered in their role, and your sales team as a whole might benefit from their ideas.
Schedule Recurring Coaching Sessions
It can be easy to let one-on-one sessions fall by the wayside. Everyone gets busy, and things can fall through the cracks. But these sessions are incredibly important, especially for new reps in a growing team. It’s essential to schedule recurring coaching sessions and set time aside for them on a regular basis. As the reps get more comfortable, sessions can become less frequent. But establishing a regularity to the coaching schedule is a great way to ensure everyone’s voice is being heard and that they’re getting the feedback they need to succeed.
Maintain a Standard Format for Meetings
Make sure your meeting format is standardized and that reps understand what that format is. Your meeting format is the methodology for how you run your meeting. For instance, is the meeting divided in half — one half for you to give feedback and one half for them to respond and give feedback of their own? By establishing a set format, your reps will know what to expect any time they enter a meeting.
Prepare a Planned Agenda
It’s a good idea to outline what a meeting will look like and prepare an agenda. This will help keep you and your sales reps on track and get the most out of your meetings. For instance, you could divide the meeting into blocks: one section for feedback for the rep, one section for their thoughts and one section for free conversation. That’s just one example of what a meeting could look like. You should format your meetings in a way that makes the most sense for your team. You could even talk to your reps about how they would like meetings to go, so everyone can agree on a meeting agenda.
Be Clear and Goal Oriented
Your reps should walk out of their one on one feeling like they have clear goals in mind for how to improve or capitalize on their success. Vague language and beating around the bush won’t help anyone. Make sure you’re concise with your feedback, that you walk your rep through their goals and sales targets and that the meeting ends with actionable plans on how the rep should move forward.
Keep It Collaborative
Your meetings should have plenty of give and take. It shouldn’t just be a full session of you talking to your rep without them getting a word in edgewise. Foster a collaborative environment so your reps can express their opinions and elaborate on their feedback. This will be more productive for both you and the rep.
Be Ready to Teach (and to Learn)
New reps are likely going to have lots of questions, and they’re also going to be hungry for information and tactics that can help them quickly improve and find their path on the team. Make sure you’re ready for this and you’re ready to be a teacher — not just a manager. Because you have experience selling for the company, your reps are going to be looking to you first and foremost to help them through the initial growing pains. And as with any teaching role, you’re sure to learn something from your students in the process, so always keep an open and curious mind when interacting with them in a one-on-one setting.
Flockjay Has the Tools to Help Managers Train Top Sales Teams
If you really want to take your sales coaching to the next level, Flockjay is here to help. Flockjay is a sales elevation platform with a suite of tools that help your sales team be the best they can be. Our peer-to-peer training platform can help you create a more engaging and effective coaching process. Learn more about how Flockjay can make a difference for sales managers.