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July 19, 2018

Video Sales Coaching and Practice Helps Reps Avoid ‘Cringe-Worthy’ Moments

If you’re an experienced sales manager, you’ve probably witnessed a “cringe-worthy” sales moment. Your waking nightmare may have occurred during a ride-along when a newly-minted rep fumbled a presentation, mixed up product lines or froze in panic when a customer asked a tough question.

As you sat there trying to smile, you may have suddenly realized that your onboarding and coaching processes were inadequate. After all, this rep was so unprepared that they just practiced on a live customer!

You may have also realized that no amount of sales coaching would prevent a repeat of this fiasco without the rep getting some supervised practice sessions under their belt.

Deliberate Practice

For most reps, onboarding sessions are “information fire hoses.” They can’t possibly absorb and retain the volume of knowledge that’s fired at them all at once.

Though one-on-one coaching can help address this problem, a better – and more cost-effective solution – is to supplement it by driving deliberate practice that’s supported by video sales coaching recordings and feedback. Without goals-focused, mobile video practice, trainees have little way of knowing whether they’re correctly implementing their coach’s advice.

The term “deliberate practice” is from a Fortune article called, “What it takes to be great.” It refers to an activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance – one that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results, and involves a lot of repetition.

For example, a golfer who simply hits a bucket of balls is not engaging in deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don’t get better. But hitting an eight-iron 300 times with the goal of getting the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80 percent of the time, and continually observing the results, and making appropriate adjustments? That is deliberate practice.

That is a system that organizations should apply to their sales forces.

Natural Talent Isn’t Everything

According to Fortune, “research now shows that the lack of natural talent is irrelevant to great success.” Unfortunately, many sales departments have a culture that mythologizes the “natural-born salesperson” – the notion that great reps are born with an intuitive sense of what to say. Buying into this culture can be especially harmful to new salespeople, who should be developing their skills instead of blaming their failures on lack of talent.

If you study great sales reps, you’ll see that these are people who are constantly working to refine their craft. They treat sales as a discipline, not a form of magic.

For more on how Allego curtails cringe-worthy sales presentations, download our Blueprint for Sales Certification. 

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