The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 6 years ago

Giving Effective Feedback to Your Sales Teams


Managing Director John Kaplan covers best practices for giving effective feedback to your sales teams.

Hello, I'm Rachel Clap Miller andI'm the director of digital engagement and force management. Managing Partner John Kaplan isjoining me today. Welcome John. Good morning, Rachel. Thanks for havingme again. We're going to use this time to talk about how to givegreat feedback to your team members. It's important, whether you're leading a smallsales team as a frontline manager or you're leading a large sales organization, feedbackand really foster a culture of improvement and one of success. Yeah, Ithink this is a great podcast because I think it's a critical, critical skill. It's kind of a simple concept, that the one that doesn't get alot of attention and it's really really good hygiene for sales manager. So I'mexcited to talk to you about it today. So let's get right into it.One of the most important principles that we teach about giving great feedback isreally starting with the positive. Yeah, so, I mean we talked aboutalways starting with the positive, because feedback should be a really, really goodexperience, even if the feedback is is difficult. And when you give thatfeedback, one of our tactics is to...

...let the person who's in the hotsea, the person who's receiving the feedback to go first. Yeah, thatconcept of the hot seat should really be focused on for just a second.I think that the you know, the leader should try to not make ita hot seat. I mean, I get the get the Cliche of sayingthat, but I think what the leader should always try to do is tomake that seat, though, you know, a little bit cooler and and oneway that you do that is to, you know, to focus the conversation, to focus the feedback, on getting the participant to start by givingyou two things that they like about what they're doing or about what they justdid, and two things that they would do differently. Because, Rachel,one of the things that we know is that, you know, we ourselvesare always harder on ourselves than anybody else is going to be, and soit's a great way to kind of begin and kind of level set with wheresomebody thinks that they are. But don't be surprised, even though you askedto start with, you know, the...

...positive feedback, or start with twothings that somebody like. The what I find is the people normally start withthings that they didn't like, and so it's a great way to just kindof ease nicely into the conversation and get redirect the person. Say Hey,we'll talk about things that you could do differently, but let's go ahead andstart focus on a couple of things that you like. There's always some thingsthat the we can find that we like about what somebody's doing and it reallyhelps drive that positive experience that we were talking about earlier. And you alwayswant to make sure your feedback is constructive and actionable. If you're debriefing asales call for a sample, you want to make sure that feedback you're givingis something the person can actually improve on next time. Yeah, I thinkyou're right. And so one of the things that we like to do iswe like to think there's a there's an old saying out there on smart objectives. Make sure that your objectives and your feedback are smart. And that's anacronym. And so the s stands for specific, the M stands for measurable, the a stands for achievable, the...

...ore stands for what I call realisticand relevant and the tea stands for timely. So, for example, you know, one of my favorite sayings that I hear people say all the timethat I like to give them feedback on it's they tell reps, you know, you got to call higher in an organization. Well, no, kid, you know every salesperson wants to call hire and an organization. But ifyou take that kind of smart acronym and put that on top of it,you know it fails in a in a an overwhelming fashion. So you knowyou have to call hire an organization. It isn't specific, it's not measurable. I don't know whether it's achievable or not. That you know, youhave to look at the skill set of the individual, but that needs tobecome, you know, contemplated. It really needs to be analyzed on whetheror not it's realistic or relevant. I can't stand when people give me feedbackthat is outside of the situation. That's what I mean by kind of Repuknow, realistic, irrelevant. It's feedback...

...that doesn't have much to do withwhat we're kind of focusing on the topic at hand. And then also timelytime based by when, with WHO? By when? That's a great wayto remember good methodology, to remember how to give great feedback is to rememberthat smart acronym. It also makes me think of something else that we teachour frontline managers and command of the message is to make sure that you're providingthe how. So don't just tell your reps, hey, you got tomake your number this quarter. You need to be able to provide them thehow of which to do that, and remembering that smart acronym is a greatway to make sure that, as a manager, you're providing the how.I like that. That's a really, really good way to put it.It's a great, great howl and giving great feedback is more than just sayinggood job, do better next time. I think you just spoke to that, but it really is a discipline and as a sales leader, you needto approach giving great feedback as a discipline. Yeah, I like the word you'rehighlighting there. I like the word discipline. For sure. It isa really, really critical discipline. It's... of those little small things thatI think people take for granted. Giving feedback is is a really, reallystrong, strong discipline and you got to make sure you're delivering, you know, valuable and actionable feedback and the way you give feedback actually makes a hugedifference. And you know, one last kind of thought that I have iswe're talking about this subject. As the leader, don't be afraid to askfor feedback yourself. Sometimes it'll freak your salespeople out. Will make a salescalled, will make a presentation or what happen? I'll turn to my teamand I'll say hey, tell me two things you liked about what I justdid and tell me two things that you do differently, and we have somefun with that. Some people are little freaked out at first, but Ithink it really sets a good and actually I get great feedback, so itreally sets a good tempo. If you are, as the leader, arewilling to receive feedback, you're probably a heck of a lot better at givingit. That's a great great to end..., John, and I'll justended by saying that I thought you did a great, outstanding job on thispodcast. Well, thank you for the feedback. Right. So, justto recap all of our tips here, you want to make sure you framethat feedback positively. Ask the person who's receiving the feedback to start with greatthings that he or she did. Remember the smart acronym and remember that givingfeedback is a discipline and it's something that you, as a leader, needto be disciplined about thank you, John. Thank you to all of you forlistening. Don't forget to follow force management on twitter, on Linkedin andmake sure you subscribe for a blog on force managementcom.

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