The success of your sales team is not defined by the number of calls your sales reps make or how many emails they send. It’s the quality of those customer conversations that matters.
But do you really know what’s happening during your sales team's calls? Do you listen and provide feedback to sales reps?
Companies with continuous training programs have 50% higher net sales per salesperson. Conversation reviews are one of the most effective forms of continuous sales education.
Sales QA improves your sales reps’ performance - just like code reviews work in engineering teams and editorial processes for writers. Regular feedback and coaching help your team become better at what they do. This translates into better sales results immediately.
Here’s how to set up Quality Assurance in your sales team.
The goal of sales QA is to make sure that your sales reps’ interactions align with your sales goals and quality standards. Most sales teams know what they want their emails, chats, and calls to sound like - but without analyzing those sales conversations there’s no way of knowing that they actually do.
Before digging into your sales conversations, build a quality framework for your team:
- Know your sales goals: For example, are you aiming to max out the number of cold calls or focus on going in-depth with all leads? Maybe upselling is your gold-mine?\ \ If you haven’t defined your sales goals yet, it’s high time to do it now. Here’s a quick guide on how to set SMART goals.
- Define sales conversation quality standards: What does an ideal sales call, email, or chat look like to you? Is it defined by how hard the reps can sell or maybe by how well they get to know your customers’ needs? Do you have a specific tone of voice that you want the salespeople to nail?\ \ Until you’ve communicated your sales conversation quality expectations and standards to your team, there’s little chance that your reps will fulfill them. Start from there.
Your sales goals and quality standards will lay the groundwork for your quality assurance program. These will also be used in your sales scorecard. Let’s move on to building that.
Your sales scorecard is the rubric you will use to assess your sales reps’ performance. Scoring how your sales conversations align with your quality standards will help you pinpoint your team’s areas of growth.
Here’s how to set up your sales conversation scorecard:
Create rating categories. These are the quality standards you will be checking in your sales reps’ conversations. Make sure you cover everything you’re expecting your salespeople to do, but don’t overburden the rubric with details. Most teams use 3-5 rating categories per scorecard; here are some of the most popular ones:
- Suitable tone and empathy,
- Correct product information,
- Appropriate sales proposal,
- Adherence to internal processes.
Choose a rating scale for your sales scorecard. From simple binary scoring to a complex 11-point scale (and everything in between), your choice of the evaluation setup will impact your review results. Try to find a sweet spot knowing that:
- The smaller the rating scale, the easier it is for the reviewers to understand when to use different scores - and the simpler it will be to compare the results.
- The more scoring options you add, the more detailed your review results will become.
- Decide who will do the reviews. In most sales teams, managers are responsible for conducting sales reviews. However, more and more companies are hiring dedicated sales trainers for the job, and some are using peer feedback to manage the workload and boost team morale.
Keep your sales scorecard as simple as possible but make sure it’s meaningful and helps your reps improve their performance. Your goal is to find your team’s areas of growth and, with constant feedback, help them close more deals.
Transform sales QA into a healthy habit in your sales team. Conversation reviews only work if you really do them, so make sure that the process is easy for everyone.
- Define a proportion of all sales conversations to review. In order to keep track of your sales team’s performance, you need to analyze a set percentage of all interactions at a regular interval. This will give you an overview of how your entire team is doing.
- Review all conversations for salespeople who are underperforming. Providing consistent feedback to the reps who are struggling to meet their goals could help them boost their performance in a matter of weeks. Pinpoint their areas of improvement and add comments on how to do better next time.
- Review all conversations for new sales reps. Getting your newest salespeople up to speed can take time. If you want to fast forward the process, review all their conversations during the onboarding program to help them get accustomed to your quality standards.
Coaching has proven to be one of the most efficient ways to improve employee performance. Sales quality assurance is a great example of how to make it a regular part of your team’s work.
Once you’ve created a sales scorecard and set up a quality assurance program for your team, you can start measuring the quality of your sales conversations. Internal Quality Score (IQS) - the metric of conversation reviews - tells you how well your sales representatives met your quality standards in their customer interactions.
- Track IQS over time to see how your sales team is progressing. If you notice any changes in your customer conversation quality, you’ll know where to focus your efforts on - for example, which additional training your team needs.
- Zoom into individual sales reps’ IQS scores to understand what’s driving sales and what’s bringing it down. See who is struggling with meeting your internal standards and help them improve their performance through regular feedback.\ \ Notice your top performers, too. See what they are doing well and share this know-how with other sales reps.
Internal Quality Score makes sales quality easily measurable, trackable, and reportable to higher-ups. Compare your IQS results with your sales results and see how they correlate.
Quality assurance is a must for all ambitious sales teams. You can’t close more deals without making your sales conversations better - and without looking into them, there’s no way of knowing your shortcomings.
If you want to set up your sales QA program with little effort, try out Klaus - the conversation review tool for customer-facing teams. It’s an out-of-the-box solution that connects to your sales CRM and pulls sales conversations automatically in for review.
Klaus comes with custom scorecard sand a variety of rating scales you can choose from. In addition to that, you can adjust your IQS calculations by giving more weight to some rating categories or marking some of them as critical.
You’ll enjoy gaining control over your sales conversation quality with sales QA on Klaus. Even more so, you’ll love the results that conversation reviews will bring to your sales results.