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

Episode · 7 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 and I'm the director of digital engagement and force management. Managing Partner John Kaplan is joining me today. Welcome John. Good morning, Rachel. Thanks for having me again. We're going to use this time to talk about how to give great feedback to your team members. It's important, whether you're leading a small sales team as a frontline manager or you're leading a large sales organization, feedback and really foster a culture of improvement and one of success. Yeah, I think 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 a lot of attention and it's really really good hygiene for sales manager. So I'm excited 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 is really starting with the positive. Yeah, so, I mean we talked about always starting with the positive, because feedback should be a really, really good experience, even if the feedback is is difficult. And when you give that feedback, one of our tactics is to...

...let the person who's in the hot sea, the person who's receiving the feedback to go first. Yeah, that concept 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 it a hot seat. I mean, I get the get the Cliche of saying that, but I think what the leader should always try to do is to make that seat, though, you know, a little bit cooler and and one way that you do that is to, you know, to focus the conversation, to focus the feedback, on getting the participant to start by giving you two things that they like about what they're doing or about what they just did, and two things that they would do differently. Because, Rachel, one of the things that we know is that, you know, we ourselves are always harder on ourselves than anybody else is going to be, and so it's a great way to kind of begin and kind of level set with where somebody thinks that they are. But don't be surprised, even though you asked to start with, you know, the...

...positive feedback, or start with two things that somebody like. The what I find is the people normally start with things that they didn't like, and so it's a great way to just kind of 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 and start focus on a couple of things that you like. There's always some things that the we can find that we like about what somebody's doing and it really helps drive that positive experience that we were talking about earlier. And you always want to make sure your feedback is constructive and actionable. If you're debriefing a sales call for a sample, you want to make sure that feedback you're giving is something the person can actually improve on next time. Yeah, I think you're right. And so one of the things that we like to do is we 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 an acronym. And so the s stands for specific, the M stands for measurable, the a stands for achievable, the...

...ore stands for what I call realistic and relevant and the tea stands for timely. So, for example, you know, one of my favorite sayings that I hear people say all the time that 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 if you 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 know you 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, you have to look at the skill set of the individual, but that needs to become, you know, contemplated. It really needs to be analyzed on whether or not it's realistic or relevant. I can't stand when people give me feedback that is outside of the situation. That's what I mean by kind of Repu know, realistic, irrelevant. It's feedback...

...that doesn't have much to do with what we're kind of focusing on the topic at hand. And then also timely time based by when, with WHO? By when? That's a great way to remember good methodology, to remember how to give great feedback is to remember that smart acronym. It also makes me think of something else that we teach our frontline managers and command of the message is to make sure that you're providing the how. So don't just tell your reps, hey, you got to make your number this quarter. You need to be able to provide them the how of which to do that, and remembering that smart acronym is a great way 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 saying good job, do better next time. I think you just spoke to that, but it really is a discipline and as a sales leader, you need to approach giving great feedback as a discipline. Yeah, I like the word you're highlighting there. I like the word discipline. For sure. It is a really, really critical discipline. It's... of those little small things that I think people take for granted. Giving feedback is is a really, really strong, 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 huge difference. And you know, one last kind of thought that I have is we're talking about this subject. As the leader, don't be afraid to ask for feedback yourself. Sometimes it'll freak your salespeople out. Will make a sales called, will make a presentation or what happen? I'll turn to my team and I'll say hey, tell me two things you liked about what I just did and tell me two things that you do differently, and we have some fun with that. Some people are little freaked out at first, but I think it really sets a good and actually I get great feedback, so it really sets a good tempo. If you are, as the leader, are willing to receive feedback, you're probably a heck of a lot better at giving it. That's a great great to end..., John, and I'll just ended by saying that I thought you did a great, outstanding job on this podcast. Well, thank you for the feedback. Right. So, just to recap all of our tips here, you want to make sure you frame that feedback positively. Ask the person who's receiving the feedback to start with great things that he or she did. Remember the smart acronym and remember that giving feedback is a discipline and it's something that you, as a leader, need to be disciplined about thank you, John. Thank you to all of you for listening. Don't forget to follow force management on twitter, on Linkedin and make sure you subscribe for a blog on force managementcom.

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