Sales Managers, the Ultimate Guide to Sales One-on-Ones

When I started out in sales, I dreaded my weekly one-on-ones with my manager.

I treated these meetings the same way I would treat jury duty. I better show up, or I’d be in trouble. But much like arriving at court for my duty, I didn’t see the need to prepare in any way. And I figured that most of the time I’d just sit there and be dismissed after zoning out for an hour.

Man, was my attitude dead wrong!

As I went from a green sales rep to a seasoned manager, I learned the benefit of having a weekly one-on-one.

Why One-on-Ones Are Integral To A Successful Team

What I learned was that weekly check-ins with your sales reps are vital to managing a successful team. I tried to avoid the trap of spending 30 minutes just going over status updates on each and every deal. Instead, I looked to find a way to make these meetings productive and helpful for both me and my reps.

The goal should be to gain valuable insight into what your team is working on. If you have the tools to provide detailed and informative reports, that will allow you to steer the conversation down a focused path, and make your one-one-ones productive.

What Not to Do in Your One-on-Ones

As a sales manager, you have probably heard rumbling from your reps how much they dislike having a weekly meeting. I’ve overheard everything from, “He’s only concerned about the numbers” to, “ My manager doesn’t really understand what it takes to make sales happen anyways”. Don’t let these comments persuade you into cancelling the meetings. Don’t bail! Make them happen.

Also, make sure you aren’t putting the onus on the rep to do all the leg work in preparing for the meeting. This can lead to you both feeling frustrated and unfocused.

Meetings should be honest and open discussions. Sales isn’t always about high fiving and popping champagne. Don’t avoid talking about losses. The negative things have to be discussed and can be turned into teaching moments.

Looking for ways to increase your sales? Learn more about Spiro, the self-writing CRM that advises you on who to call and email.

What One-On-Ones SHOULD Be

As a manager, your job is to steer your team in the right direction — helping them go after their best deals, setting priorities and making sense of their pipeline. Let your team focus on selling and you focus on the numbers.

This means that you need to set clearly definable goals and metrics. For example, to achieve the company’s goal, the team might need to reach out to more prospects, set up more introductory meetings, or simply close more deals.

I’ve learned the most important thing that I could do as a manager is to make it very clear what we needed to be accomplishing over the next week or so. The one-on-one is your chance to articulate and get buy in on that.

Set up dashboards to help you keep track of how your reps are doing, and ones that will allow you visibility into every deal they are working on.

If you have data driven reports analyzes and ready before each meeting, then you can ask your reps to prepare in other ways. Have them focus on bringing specific requests — what deals they may need you to help use access to certain people, or feedback they may be looking for related to their performance.

How Spiro Can Help

At Spiro, we work to make sales professionals more productive and efficient by not only providing the reps with a self-writing CRM that helps move deals along, but also by providing sales leaders with the tools they need for greater insight into what their team is doing.

And Spiro now comes with a pre-built, the ultimate one-on-one report to help your weekly meetings be focused and successful. This report shows you individual information about each of your team member, and will point out important topics for discussion.

You’ll likely not need each of the reports each week, but taking a few minutes to review before your one-on-ones will make them much more productive.

Here are the reports that are included:

1. Sales Funnel — One thing you should know is what stage your reps deals are in and how much total value is assigned to each of those stages. If you see more opportunities in the prospecting stage then you’d like, and nothing in the proposal phase, then you can talk to why some deals may be stuck.

2. Risk Analysis — It’s also good to know if they are actively engaged with their opportunities, or have they stalled. Looking at a break-down of working, engaged, and stalled deals will let you assess what your rep should be closing out or working harder on.

3. Forecasting — You should always be on top of how much each rep has brought in versus where they are supposed to be at the end of the month/quarter/year. Performance to quota ratio is key in helping you forecast where you may end up. It’s also helpful to see a forecasting report based on sales stage and close date for each member of your team.

4. Meeting Goals — It’s hard to close deals if your reps aren’t booking any meetings. So it’s important to look into how many sales meetings they are booking and how does it compare week over week. Discuss any downward or upward trends and make sure they are hitting their target.

5. Focusing on the Right Deals — Not only should your reps be focusing on all their deals, but they need to give attention to the right deals at the right time. You should go over these “high priority opportunities and discuss any specific details in your weekly one-on-ones.

6. Opportunity Velocity — How fast are your reps closing deals? Does it take them 90 days to go through the sales cycle? It’s key to look at how quickly on average each rep is closing their opportunities. If one rep is falling behind, you can be on top of this and talk about ways to increase their closing time.

Here’s a sample of the reports:

Sales One on One Reports

Wrapping it Up

Weekly one-on-ones are important to you and your reps. Make the most of them by utilizing your CRM’s reporting features to help you gain complete visibility into every deal your team is working on. If you’re already using Spiro’s Team Edition, check out the awesome new report we built right in. Or set up your own dashboards to get you prepared, and make your weekly meetings more productive for all.

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Originally published at Spiro Technologies, Inc..