Episode OneHundredThree

New Sales Reps: How to Coach Through Success

Guest: Waylon McGill, Director of Sales at Indeed.com

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About This Episode

How do you become the next Jimi Hendrix of sales?

You might research some tips from the current superstar of sales.

Maybe you watch a keynote he or she delivered. Or subscribe to their podcast.

Or maybe you have an excellent coach.

Waylon McGill, the Director of Sales at Indeed.com, is in the business of making rockstar-level sales reps. His passion for coaching has allowed him to develop a unique approach to training reps.

We had the opportunity to discuss three ideas with Waylon, including

  • The biggest mistakes new reps make
  • Coaching a new sales rep
  • Learning from success versus failure

Let’s dive in.

The biggest mistakes new sales reps make

Being brand new on the job can be severely intimidating. Especially if the rest of the company is counting on you to bring in customers. There’s pressure right from the get-go.

Waylon understands this feeling completely. He’s seen a lot of new and unexperienced reps come through the doors of Indeed and has found a few commonalities in nearly all of them.

  1. Monologuing. New sales reps tend to talk too much when they’re on the phone with prospects. It might be a natural reaction to simply being nervous. Nonetheless, it’s a characteristic that needs to be adjusted.

While sitting in on sales calls, Waylon oftentimes hears new reps over-promoting the product or service and asking only a few questions. When questions are asked by the reps, they many times fill in with suggested answers, making it hard for the person on the other end to add anything. Sales reps should have engaging questions that allow the prospect to ponder and respond thoughtfully.

  1. Not preparing enough. Waylon sees new sales reps eager to get on the phone and show what they can do. One issue that they commonly run in to, however, is being underprepared to speak with an actual human being.

The rep’s responses are often delayed and choppy when they’re asked a question they haven’t prepared for. This can immediately turn the prospect off to any future business with your company. Sales reps should have quick, helpful responses and understand what they’re going to discuss before the call even begins.

Successfully coaching a new sales rep

New reps are going to make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. Luckily, you can still guide them by demonstrating what a successful sales call looks like.

Before getting on the phone, Waylon helps his reps prepare for difficult questions through role-playing. Having a good idea of what they’re going to say before the question is asked will encourage confidence in your new reps. Plus, the collaboration involved in role-playing is great for team-building.

Once it’s time to pick up the phone, Waylon sits in on the call to offer assistance wherever the conversation starts to go awry. He suggests the best way to do this is to introduce himself as a resource for any questions he might have an insight into. This adds value to the call for the prospect and helps the employee-supervisor relationship seem more like a partnership.

Moreover, Waylon being involved in the calls allows the new rep to learn by succeeding as opposed to learning by failure.

Learning from success rather than failure

Waylon recognizes that many lessons can be learned from failing. But, at the same time, those lessons can be gained from succeeding, as long as the success is examined.

Whether you succeed or fail, there will be an emotion tied to that particular memory. For his team of reps, Waylon rather have that be a feeling of pride than despair. It’s for this reason that he supports and encourages his team in any way he can.

For Waylon, it’s worth the extra effort to see new sales reps grow in confidence.

Coaching for success

Being an encouraging coach and an advocate for your sales reps can mean more than you know. At some point, the training wheels will have to come off. But, while they’re still finding their way, coaching through successes could be the best route for your team.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Waylon McGill from Indeed.com. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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