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About This Episode
I heard that Jonas Master gave an incredible talk at the SiriusDecisions Summit back in May. And that in that talk he shared a lot of really cool thoughts about sales training and sales coaching.
Naturally, we thought, “Let’s get that guy on the podcast.”
So, on the latest episode of The Sales Engagement podcast, Jonas joined us to share some more thoughts about sales training and coaching. Jonas is currently the Director of Global Sales Training at LogMeIn.
Why the talk caused so much buzz
LogMeIn recently did something really unusual.
They took one of their top performing sales reps off the floor.
And then had him coach other sales reps all day long.
He did nothing else.
Obviously this isn’t how companies typically approach sales coaching and training.
So, why’d they do it?
How does the program work?
And what were the results?
So, why’d they do it?
#1: Reps are, more than ever, joining companies with the expectation that they are going to be professionally developed.
If you don’t want to lose reps to competition, or if you want to be one of those destination employers, you have to have a really tight and robust professional development program.
#2: There’s a paradox of growth.
The better you do, the more you’re going to get budget to add additional headcount to really scale out your organization.
But the downside of this is that you’re diluting your base of veteran sales reps with so many new hires.
LogMeIn wanted a way to preserve this expert knowledge and get their new reps ramped up to that maturity more quickly. Investing in coaching seemed like the best way to accomplish that.
#3: There are questions on how effective front-line managers really can be with everything that’s on their plate.
This is by no means an attack on front line managers.
They have one of the hardest jobs out there.
But LogMeIn found that, sometimes, it can be tough for these managers to coach in a way that leads to long term rep development. Often, because of everything they’re trying to juggle, managers are more focused on coaching for a specific deal or to reach end of month numbers.
Let’s talk mechanics
So, how does the program work?
Every month LogMeIn selects ten reps to get coaching for that month. They choose two of their top performers, six of their average performers, and two performers that need some extra attention.
Keeping this mix of performance levels is crucial for three reasons.
First, your top performers are often the ones most starved for investment. They’re hungry to grow and take on new challenges. So, by giving them some extra attention, you’re likely to see a big lift in an already great performance.
Second, by investing in your average performers, your investing in the moveable middle, again contributing to a large lift.
Finally, if you just focused on coaching your lowest performers, no one would want to receive coaching. Because participating would identify them as needing help.
So, each rep in that cohort meets with the coach for at least one hour per week for one month. The coach will do some background work and then will work with the rep at the first meeting to choose 2-3 things they want to work on.
At the end of the program, the coach does a handoff to that rep’s manager so they can continue working on improving those areas.
And the results?
To measure the program’s effectiveness, LogMeIn compared the ten reps’ attainment to goal the month before they got coaching and the month after coaching.
In the first month they ran this program their reps were hitting about 80% to quota before coaching.
And after coaching? They hit 200% to quota.
Those numbers show 120% improvement, which is amazing.
But LogMeIn also recognized that the calendar year was affecting these results a bit. The month before was July and the month after was September, so, considering end of quarter, obviously Sept was going to be a better month regardless.
To account for this, they compared the performance of a control group to the group that received coaching. The results were still great — those who got coaching improved their performance, even after accounting for the calendar effect.
Who would have thought that taking your best reps off the floor could actually improve overall performance?
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