Sales Coaching Blog

A model to turn negative feedback into a learning opportunity

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

June 13, 2011

It is fun to give good feedback to your sales reps, but it isn't so fun to give negative feedback.  If you re-frame it from giving negative feedback to giving constructive coaching, you turn this potentially uncomfortable situation into an effective learning opportunity.

We found some tips for giving constructive feedback, written by Alex Shootman, Chief Revenue Officer, Eloqua,  on the FOCUS website. He shares a simple three step model that will help you understand how to change it to constructive feedback and turn it into a sales coaching moment.

The model is Observation, Effect, Recommendation.

Observation has to be something you have seen happen and you can describe factually. Not, "in that meeting you made other people feel uncomfortable" or "I heard you did not do so well in that meeting". It needs to be "when you said, XYZ, 60% of the room crossed their arms or stared down at their notes and looked away from you".

Effect; when you did XYZ, the effect on the client was... or when you did not do XYZ, the effect on the organization was...

Finally, Recommendation; "I recommend next time you have difficult news to share with the team you have facts to back it up not just your intuition. You will get a more positive response to your point of view"

Observation, Effect, Recommendation - practiced much and delivered with authenticity and care for the other person has enabled us to move towards the 'straight-talk' culture in which we want to operate

To help you when you do ride-alongs with your sales reps, please download this "Sales Call Evaluation Form". Sales Managers can use this evaluation form to measure sales rep effectiveness during sales calls with prospects.  A great sales tool, especially for needs analysis meetings. This form gives the Sales Manager a great opportunity to give immediate feedback during ride alongs.

Topics: front line sales managers, one on one meetings, poor performing sales reps, sales coaching

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