Coach Your Sales Representatives with Shadow Calls

Shadow Calls are useful to coach and train your sales representatives for their steady progression and for them to become Sales Superstars.

One of the ways to get your sales representatives to progress is by organizing Shadow Calls, that is, randomly selecting one of their telephone conversations in order to listen to it, evaluate their performance, and give them advice for improvement.

Shadow Calls for Your Sales Development Representatives

The main objective of making Shadow Calls with your SDRs is to ensure that they can follow your scripts and the conversation leads potentially to schedule an appointment. Your SDRs have to be able to assess your prospect’s needs.

Here are some points that you should look at during these Shadow Calls with your SDRs:

  1. Are they able to follow their script?
  2. Are they asking all the qualification questions necessary to score their prospects?
  3. Do they know how to respond to major objections?
  4. Are they able to answer certain questions beyond their scope (for example, questions about prices or very specific questions that should be addressed by Account Executives)?
  5. Are they able to assess whether a prospect is worthwhile at the end of the qualification?
  6. Do they know how to rapidly disqualify a prospect who does not fit the ICP (and how to avoid scheduling an appointment if the prospect is not qualified)?

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Shadow Calls for Your Account Executives

Similar to Shadow Calls for SDRs, you’re going to select an appointment for an Account Executive and look at the following points:

  1. Do they verify the prospect’s good qualifications in the first few minutes?
  2. Do your Account Executives steer the conversation or are they just dealing with it?
  3. If the prospect isn’t actually qualified, are they able to shorten the call?
  4. Can they create comfort and gain the prospect confidence?
  5. Do they ask the right questions which move the call forward and moves it a bit closer to the deal?
  6. Do they position themselves as an adviser and not as a dealer?
  7. Do they have bad reflexes? Verbal tics?
  8. Do they know how to respond to major objections?
  9. Do they take notes in the CRM and avoid missing important information?
  10. Do they wholly follow the call’s fixed advancement process?
  11. Can they conclude the meeting on a “next step” and, if possible, on a closer call?

This list is naturally not exhaustive. You can also look at other points which might prove to be obstacles. For example: ways to speak and articulate, voice speed, etc…

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The Shadow Calls State of Mind

It’s also important to brief your team about the benefits that this practice will bring them. That’s why they have to accept that you have an omniscient point of view, which is not always obvious. It must also be understood that the goal of Shadow Calls is to improve them. This goes for everyone, the employee and the company. This is not a case of inappropriate curiosity.

So, Shadow Calls must be done in a benevolent state of mind because even the best sales representatives will make mistakes. Indeed, it’s a lot easier to notice someone else’s mistakes by only listening, without ever joining in the conversation. It is therefore vital for the manager not to intervene in the call, even in the event of a considerable error, but has to debrief the employee after the fact.

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