All too often, what passes for a debriefing is little more than a casual, uninformative conversation on the fly between salesperson and sales manager. You know how they go – you run into the salesperson in the hallway and ask, “By the way, what happened in your meeting the other day with ABC?” The information exchange is limited to what the salesperson can remember off the cuff and what he/she wants to reveal. In order to be effective, debriefing sessions must occur regularly and be well planned. The following tips can help your debriefings be more informative:
Have a set time for the meeting and a format, and your salespeople must agree to “full disclosure” about events that occurred during the sales call.
Be prepared with questions and a knowledge of where the salesperson is in the sales process – and what information he/she should have and which objectives are accomplished.
Your lead question could be, “What happens next?” This way, you can find out immediately what the outcome of the meeting was. Also, it prompts the salesperson to give an objective account of the conclusion of the sales call, rather than a blow-by-blow retelling that may not be systematic or relevant.
You will find that conducting regular, systematic sales call debriefings will give you the information you need to manage your salespeople, not just their numbers!
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