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The Anatomy of Effective Sales Feedback

· Jeremy Boudinet · 4 Minute Read

Yesterday, we looked into the 7 deadly sins of sales feedback. Today, we're diving deep into the subject -- taking a look at some of the concepts every manager should keep top of mind when providing sales feedback.

Anatomy of Effective Sales Feedback

A great starting point is John Kaplan's post for Force Management, 5 Ways to Give Better Feedback to Your Sales Teams. Kaplan provides some great insight and offers 5 short, sweet pieces of advice for sales feedback that will make your conversations that much more impactful.

#1. Disarm the Recipient

Kaplan's analysis opens with two critical points: 1. Stay Positive. 2. Let the Receiver Go First.

The rationale for these two approaches is simple. Most people enter conversations that involve feedback guarded and on the defensive. They may shut themselves off from truly hearing what you have to say.

By taking these two initial steps in your sales feedback, you disarm the recipient and let them know you intend to have a dialogue, rather than a monologue. You also demonstrate that the feedback is meant to be helpful and provide a 360° analysis of their performance.

#2. Provide SMART Analysis

Kaplan lays out an excellent acronym to adhere to with your sales feedback: S.M.A.R.T. All told, S.M.A.R.T. goals and feedback represent the pillars of effective goal setting and feedback delivery: 1. Specific. 2. Measurable. 3. Achievable. 4. Realistic. 5. Timely.

Kaplan's post is a must-read on this topic, so prior to having a one-on-one with a rep, check yourself to make sure the feedback you plan to provide is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

#3. Work in Sales Contests

A great way to ensure that sales feedback gets followed is to run a sales contest. We love Mark Roberge's Hubspot post, 6 Tips to Run an Incredibly Effective Sales Contest, wherein Mark also points out how effective sales contests, especially those with a team format, can be at reinforcing desired behaviors on your sales floor.

We've provided our own list of epic sales contest ideas we think you should follow, so check those out as well.

#4. Focus on Coaching 

As we alluded to in yesterday's post, all sales feedback should incorporate coaching. Jeff Hoffman's post for Hubspot, 4 Differences Between Sales Coaching and Feedback, comes down a little harshly on the concept of "sales feedback" in general. But, he does make some valid points about the need to make the focus of feedback coaching.

In this post, Hoffman fleshes out key distinctions between what constitutes effective sales coaching and mere feedback. 

Getting the Most out of Sales Feedback

Effective sales feedback will get the maximum value out of your sales team. You need your one-on-one meetings with sales reps to be as effective as possible, and leave resonant, immediate and sustainable impacts on their mentality towards selling.

Follow the approaches listed above and don't forget to check out the 7 deadly sins of sales feedback. We'll leave you with a few videos that show how sales leaders use Ambition to create powerful, real-time feedback loops for their sales force.

Ambition: The Sales Coaching and Feedback Platform

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs every sales organization department, data source, and performance metric on one easy system.

Ambition clarifies and publicizes real-time performance analytics for your entire sales organization. Using a drag-and-drop interface, non-technical sales leaders can build custom scorecards, contests, reports, and TVs.

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review, AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization), and USA Today as a proven solution for managing millennial sales teams. Hear from our customers below.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  • ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  • Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  • AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.