The topic of today's interview - the qualities of a great sales coach, and what it takes to build a scalable coaching process inside your B2B sales organization.
Ep. 42: The Shortest Path to Success in B2B Sales
Ryan's Background. 0:00 - 7:09.
Less than 5 years into his career as a sales professional, Ryan has made 4 President's Clubs, earned two promotions, and served as a dedicated internal Sales Coach for Constant Contact's Colorado sales force.
As Sales Manager, Ryan oversees 8-10 direct reports and works in coordination with the company's Boston sales office to align processes and achieve revenue targets at the rep-level and team-level.
Constant Contact was the very first company Ryan joined out of college. His first interview went so poorly, his manager told him he 'ate the pen.' He credits his success to one thing above all else - being the most coachable person in the room.
Ryan also credits Constant Contact's onboarding and training program for salespeople. Ryan won a raffle ticket to attend a Broncos-Patriots game in his first few months with the company. That unlocked his competitive mentality. He also saw the excitement around President's Club. His manager told him what he needed to do on the phone to be successful. And Ryan ended up winning the March Madness sales competition. From then on, Ryan went to his manager and asked for feedback on how to get better and rise within the organization.
The Role of a Sales Coach at Constant Contact: 7:09 - 11:01.
As a sales coach, Ryan would work with all the reps on the floor and do whatever it took to help them hit their goal and get better. Usually people would raise their hands or managers would ask to meet with reps to help make them better.
Pictured: Sales Coaching App Ryan Uses for 1:1's.
Ryan was surprised at the lack of repeatable processes among reps. He reached out to other sales coaches and managers and asked how they got reps to follow the process. He developed a philosophy called WIN Coaching.
WIN Coaching is an acronym. It standards for:
- W: What happened?
- I: Implications.
- N: Next step.
Instead of force-feeding someone an answer, WIN helps people understand what's going on and come up with the idea for themselves as to how to be better - it's way more impactful. The goal is to help people have a 'click' moment, build a plan to fix it, then provide regular reminders and check-ins to help ensure the plan is being followed.
How Constant Contact Uses Tools for Coaching? 11:01 - 12:20.
Pictured: Ambition Visuals of Real-Time Salesforce Data
Salesforce reports also help Ryan and his peers drill more deeply into what reps are doing.
Ryan's Philosophy on Sales Management: 12:20 - 19:06.
Ryan has a great team he manages now. They are competitive and take ownership over their work. Ryan looks for people who are competitive, take ownership over their work, and are coachable.
Right away, Ryan puts new hires on a board against top reps. He switched to Sales Manager because some of the company's more senior managers - who had trained him - had moved on to new roles. Ryan found himself in a position to move onto being a manager and building his own team, so he could have total ownership over the development of reps and have the broadest impacts in his organization.
Pictured: 360° Coaching Schedule in Ambition
Ryan believes in hiring people who are hungry and coachable. Ryan's philosophy with training focuses on keeping it simple. Find the basics, drill them into new hires, and ensure reps can 1) close the bookends of the call; 2) ask the right questions to find the purpose of 'why reps want to use your product.'
The other philosophy Ryan has is feedback. He's looking for the right ways to give feedback - based on the feedback he gets from his reps - and models his feedback approach to meet them.
Lastly, to retain talent, Ryan believes that you have to value your reps. Show that you truly care about them. And they'll respond by crushing it for you, for the team, and for themselves.
How Constant Contact's Culture Creates Success. 19:06 - 21:33.
Ryan credits Lauren Chacon and other sales leaders at Constant Contact (including his original manager, Mark Alig) for his ongoing growth and development as a leader. His colleagues in Constant Contact's sales leadership positions are great sources of influence and inspiration to Ryan.
Ryan also reaches out to senior reps on his team to get feedback on his own coaching. He gets phenomenal feedback from them and his sales coaches.
Top Challenges and Opportunities for Sales Leaders. 21:33 - 24:11.
There are reps who don't have confidence in themselves and their own process. Another challenge is finding new talent and keeping talent engaged. One of the other biggest challenges is that buyers aren't picking up the phone anymore. So that means Ryan and his reps have to adjust their processes appropriately.
Ryan sees big data as one of the best opportunities for modern sales leaders. Instead of throwing a dart at a board, you can now use buyer signals to reach out at the appropriate time.
Final Thoughts and Where to Contact Ryan. 24:11 - 25:32.
Ryan advises fellow B2B sales pros - be coachable. There are always people who can help you get better. The best ways to contact Ryan are via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 970-203-7849.
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The Sales Influencer Series Library
To check out further Sales Influencer Series podcast episodes, just click on the links below.
Episode 1. John Barrows
Episode 2. Lori Richardson
Episode 3. Max Altschuler
Episode 4. Matt Heinz
Episode 5. Mark Leslie
Episode 6. Kyle Porter
Episode 7. Jon Bradford
Episode 8. Eks Anderson
Episode 9. Matt Hottle
Episode 10. Heather Morgan
Episode 11. Ilan Ferdman
Episode 12. Ryan Jenkins
Episode 13. Tamara Schenk
Episode 14. Mike Weinberg
Episode 15. Scott Britton
Episode 16. Mark Kosoglow
Episode 17. Dionne Mischler
Episode 18. Ken Barton
Episode 19. Kevin Karner
Episode 20. Jill Rowley
Episode 21. Brandon Redlinger
Episode 22. Will Wickey
Episode 23. Drew Woodcock
Episode 24. Dail Wilson
Episode 25. Nathan Sexton
Episode 26. Tucker Max
Episode 27. Bruce Tulgan
Episode 28. Dallas Hogensen
Episode 29. Morgan J. Ingram
Episode 30. J. Ryan Williams
Episode 31. Emily Mikailli
Episode 32. Lee Bartlett
Episode 33. Rex Biberston
Episode 34. Marcus Cauchi
Episode 35. Gary Vaynerchuk
Episode 36. Joe Gianni
Episode 37. Jason R. Jordan
Episode 38. Mike Kunkle
Episode 39. James Carbary
Episode 40. Skye PoVey
Episode 41. David Priemer