Sales Coaching A New Area of Performance Management | John Richardson, Attest – SaaSGrowth Summit

When we think about high-growth VC backed SaaS businesses they care so much about metrics, I could spend my entire seven minutes talking about different metrics and things that we can measure, and things that we can track in our businesses. But the reality is is that there’s a ton of them right, and we need to be careful about the ones that we pick, and it’s no surprise that our business set a test where we encourage our customers to use data to back the decisions that they make with their marketing and their branding efforts, that this plaque sits above our SDR team. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So when we think about SDR teams and what it is that we can do to improve them and to manage their performance, there are three key levers that I like to try and pull. The first one is are we doing enough activity are we making enough calls are we sending enough emails to drive the right outcomes. Second is that we being intelligent about when we do those activities and we’re using some of the technology that we’ve learned about today to be intelligent about when the best times are to call, when it’s intelligent to reach out to certain types of prospects. And then the final one and as a sales enablement person an SDR coach, my personal favorite is are we saying the right things to our prospects. The how of what we’re doing.

So when I started as a test earlier this year the objectives that I were given were very much focused on outcomes on helping to drive the team towards the performance and achieving their targets. But again as an SDR coach my role was going to be very focused on that how, how do they do the things they do, what messaging are they using. So we decided to build a proper coaching plan and platform for them, so we use refract technology, refract here today you should definitely go speak to them, and to identify which cause we should be listening to you which conversations we should be diving into to help us coach our reps. We then have one-to-one training sessions or coaching sessions where we would review those calls and share insights and areas that they could improve. We would then use the insights that we get from those sessions to drive group and team training sessions focusing on common areas that were difficult. And incredibly for me, within six weeks we started to get some validation for this with the team we’re no SDRs had managed to hit their target in the existence of the team, we had our first two STRs achieve their target. A few months later and culminating in the end of October, we had all of our ramped SDRs achieving hundred percent of their target with two of the SDRs setting new records for performance, and at this point in the month we’re on track to do so again. Which is great and that you know hugely validates the coaching process, but what it doesn’t do you know we can track outputs but what it doesn’t do is give us a platform to track the inputs and to look at how we de-risk the coaching process and de-risk our SDRs going forward. You know we can look at things like core stats and how many conversations are having and we can say right based on our conversion metrics, we need to be having more conversations in order to achieve the targets that we expect to so my next slide if it would work would show that what we were able to do by using refract’s technology is track what was happening in the conversations of our top performing SDRs in our top performing months. And none of these statistics should be surprising right we know that top performing SDRs will be asking more questions, we know that they’ll be having more engaged conversations with their prospects where the conversation switches between the SDR and the prospect, and we all know that they should be talking about use cases and challenges and problems that they can solve, but now we can profile what a solid top performing SDR core looks like, which means we can track as a leading indicator if our new SDRs are ramping effectively. We can track mid month and as a leading indicator if going to have performance issues we can also identify if the SDRs are doing the right things but they’re having a one-off on looking month, or if we have a performance issue which gives us all the resources we need to throw training and coaching at the SDRs when they’re having problems and when they’re struggling, rather than just hit and hope with our coaching strategy.

So if there’s two things that you can remember from my section today: one coach your salespeople, they absolutely need it and it can be a huge lever that you can pull in order to drive performance, but secondly there is technology out there that can not only track what your best performers do but how they do what they do.

Thank you very much.

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