Sell to Win

7 things managers should listen for in a sales call recording

Jacob Thomas
Contributor, Sell to Win
Jacob Thomas
Contributor, Sell to Win
sales manager listening to sales call recordings what to listen for sales call coaching

Every sales manager wants to make their sellers more productive and effective, and coaching sales calls is one of the most impactful ways to do that.

This article is all about sales call recordings—why sales managers like yourself should listen to them on a regular basis, and seven specific things you should listen for so you can provide actionable feedback.

By the end, you'll know exactly how to coach your reps to greater success by listening to their conversations with prospects.

Do sales managers really have to listen to sales call recordings?

Nobody is going to force you to listen to sales call recordings. But if you want to coach your reps to greater success, drive more revenue for your company, and become the best sales manager you can possibly be, you'll treat each call as a valuable resource.

Think about it: by listening to your team's sales calls, you'll be able to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each rep. You can then develop customized coaching programs based on this information that helps them close more deals.

In addition, sales call recordings keep reps accountable. Your team will be much less likely to “phone it in” on sales calls (pardon the pun) if they know their manager is evaluating their performance.

Sales call recordings: What to listen for

Listening to the conversations between your reps and their prospects can lead to huge wins for your department, but only if you know what to listen for. Here are seven things you'll want to assess every time you play back a sales call recording:

1. Your qualification process

First things first, are your reps talking to the right people? It doesn't matter how talented your sellers are, if they aren't building relationships with people who need the products and/or services your company offers, their sales numbers will be disappointing.

So do yourself a favor and assess your qualification process while listening in on sales call recordings. Make sure your reps are actually targeting your ideal customers.

This begs the question: how do you know who is a viable prospect and who is wasting your reps' time? First, you dig into your company's data to discover similarities between your top customers. You then look for these traits in every new lead that comes your way.

Finally, you instruct your reps to ask specific qualifying questions to all prospects. These questions should reveal whether a prospect is a good fit for your brand or not.

2. The prospect's problem

If a prospect agrees to talk to one of your reps on the phone, it's because they have a specific challenge they need to overcome. When listening to sales call recordings, try to identify the most common challenges. Then brainstorm all of the ways your products/services solve them.

Many reps use outdated sales scripts because they're familiar with them. But customers change—what they care about today could be vastly different from what they cared about last year. Your sales processes need to change with your target market.

Listen to sales call recordings to learn what your target market is concerned with right now. Then adjust your team's approach to accommodate.

3. Proper phone etiquette

Your reps won't close very many deals if they don't display proper phone etiquette

If you notice that your team regularly cuts prospects off in the middle of sentences, only half-heartedly listens to prospect concerns, or overuses filler words like "uh" and "um", it's time for an etiquette refresher. Like, immediately.

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest problems to fix. A simple reminder to "let the prospect talk" and "listen to what the prospect says" will probably get your reps back on track. And greater familiarity with your company's products and/or services, as well as its sales scripts will probably help eliminate unnecessary and annoying filler words.

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4. Accurate information

Are your reps sharing accurate information with prospects? This is super important! Bad info can lead to missed opportunities, unhappy customers, higher return or churn rates, and a general sense of disdain for your company. After all, no prospect wants to feel like they've been lied to.

Sometimes inaccurate information is shared on accident. When prices change, for example, a rep might quote an old, outdated rate to a prospect—not on purpose, but because he or she simply made a mistake. Listen to sales call recordings to catch these errors

But sometimes, unscrupulous reps share inaccurate information on purpose. They deliberately over-promise on what your company's solutions can do, just to make a sale. This almost always backfires and should definitely be avoided!

By listening to sales call recordings on a regular basis, you'll catch inaccurate information and can have a conversation with your reps about the best way to handle the situation.

5. The prospect's objections

Why do prospects decide NOT to purchase a product or service from your company? You need to know the most common sales objections your team hears so that you can help them develop strategies to either avoid or overcome these situations in the future.

For example, if a percentage of your prospects think your company's products are too expensive, teach your reps to expound on benefits. Maybe prospects balk at your pricing because they don't understand the value of your offerings.

Another idea is to allow your reps to offer a certain amount of discounts every month. This will help them close deals with customers on tighter budgets.

6. Missed opportunities

When replaying sales call recordings, we also suggest listening for missed opportunities.

Did your rep miss a chance to plug a product? Should they have steered the conversation in a different direction? Did they have the chance to share a relevant piece of content and didn't take it? These can all be turned into valuable learning experiences.

One of your jobs as a sales manager is to coach your reps and help them reach their full potential as professional sellers. By making them aware of missed opportunities, you'll give them the tools they need to close more deals down the road.

7. Surprising product use cases

Finally, analyze sales call recordings to discover surprising product use cases.

What if a potential customer has been using a free version of your company's software to do ABC, even though it was created to do XYZ? This is valuable information! Chances are, other prospects will be interested in doing ABC, too. By promoting these unconventional use cases to tomorrow's leads, you may be able to make more sales.

You can also share this information with your company's marketing team. Maybe they'll create content around these new use cases and you'll be able to reach an entirely new demographic of people with the same products and/or services you already sell. How cool would that be?

Final thoughts

Listening to sales call recordings is an important task that every sales manager should complete on a regular basis. Doing so will help you coach your reps to greater success. We encourage you to keep the seven things above in kind the next time you hit "play" on a recorded sales call.

By the way, you can't listen to your sales call recordings if you don’t have them stored in your CRM. Nutshell can help with that! Our Click-to-Call feature, which is included in Nutshell Pro, allows reps to click a contact in their CRM database and immediately call them via their browser. The call is then automatically recorded and logged. This helps reps save time and skyrockets their productivity levels.

Sign up for a free trial of Nutshell today to give Click-to-Call and our other sales features a try!

Photo credit: Austin Distel on Unsplash

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