Sales Coaching: Debriefing with Your Team


In this blog we are going to walk you through how to debrief with your sales team so that your organization can win more deals & so that you can be more effective with developing your people. 

You’ll be walked through the 4 debriefing questions and the 3 the debriefing philosophies that will enable you to better coach your sales team.

Before we get into the questions, let’s make sure we understand something. These debriefing questions can be used for any type of sales conversation. Whether it’s an initial prospecting conversation to survey for interest or need, a business case development conversation, or a presenting & closing conversation – these 4 questions can be asked of your sales rep to guide your debriefing.


The Four Debriefing Questions for Developing Your Sales Team

Did you engage the BUF decision makers?

Remember from the Smart Sales Methodology and the sales strategy post we define BUF as the business-level decision maker (responsible for profitability / competitiveness of the business unit), the user-level decision maker (the technical person that will be using / delivering your offering) and the financial-level decision maker (the person with the procurement and price negotiation responsibility). No matter the conversation, we want to debrief with our team to understand if they are working with the real decision makers. If they are, great – that’s a huge part of the equation. If not, what can be done to involve the other decision makers so can we fully understand the business case and are able to manage stalls and objections?

Did you create / uncover the business case?

If our sales team is doing their job effectively, they are going to understand the business reason why a customer’s competitors, colleagues, or contemporaries are doing something and demonstrate why the customer should have it as one of their business objectives. When debriefing, inquire on your rep’s progress on developing that business case. If the business case isn’t strong enough (is simply a symptom rather than the root cause) or is missing - point them in the direction of reengaging the customer to asking them appropriate questions for developing the business case. (By the way, the corresponding questions for developing the business case can be found in the Smart Sales Method)

Did we establish / gain agreement on why this must be done now?

Next, we check in with our rep to see if they have comprehended and set the timeline for the solution to be implemented. If this hasn’t been done, let’s coach our rep to achieve this timeline agreement during the next conversation and add that to future due diligence.

Did we attempt to close, close out, or advance to the next step?

If there was a chance to close the sale, did we take it? If there was a chance to rule the engagement out as not a right fit for both parties, did we do it? Did we move the sales cycle farther along? Let’s get our team thinking about taking one of these three actions in every conversation.

If you standardize these four questions into your debriefing, your sales team will begin asking themselves these questions before, during, and after conversations with prospects. In turn, they will naturally become better salespeople capable of monitoring their own performance.

Okay, you have the questions, now let’s run through the three philosophies that will make your debriefing much more effective.


The Three Coaching Philosophies for Developing Your Sales Team

Philosophy 1: Catch somebody doing something right.

From the sales rep’s perspective, debriefing can be an extremely revealing part of their job that puts them at risk of exposure. To get our reps to stay in a learning mindset, we are going to focus on getting them to replicate the things they are doing right instead of focusing on the things that they are doing wrong. For the amount of time you have to debrief with your team (for a sales manager – we see an average of about 30 mins/day), the most impact/minute spent would be by focusing on reinforcing correct actions and keeping debriefing conversations positive.

Philosophy 2: Provide the questions, not the answers.

During debriefing, it is our job to leverage the Socratic Questioning methodology to inspire our salespeople to develop their own answers and achieve sales development. We are never giving the salesperson the direct answer. Our goal is to create a level of self-sufficiency within each sales rep, so we don’t have to allocate large chunks of time to monitoring them. Take the time to ask them the right questions that will inspire your team to seek out the right answer and develop

Philosophy 3: Point them to the right data sources.

You’ve provided the questions, now let’s make sure they are going to the right data sources to get the answers. We recommend the WorldTeam Online Training & Monitoring Platform coupled with the Smart Sales Method book. The WorldTeam Online Training & Monitoring Platform contains training for prospecting, business case development, presenting & closing, and sales management scenarios. It also includes a conversation monitoring and AI system that will allow you to know exactly what your team is saying to your customers.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss debriefing, please feel free to schedule a consultation with us.

Thanks for stopping by!