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November 15, 2021
4 min read
Welcome back to The Weekly Pitch! Today's issue explores how we can spice up our one-on-ones and make them the most valuable part of our week.
In our Feature Story, we reached out to five sales leaders who each offer up a unique one-on-one format to try with our teams.
Let's start with our chart of the week.
This chart is courtesy of Hypercontext and its State of One-on-Ones Report. No surprise, a weekly 1:1 is most familiar. The go-to length for these meetings is 30 minutes.
Moving our 1:1s to bi-weekly or even monthly can be optimal if the working relationship is long-standing and we're performing at a high level.
Whatever frequency and time we prefer, 1:1s shouldn't replace our impromptu check-ins with our manager and team.
Five sales superstars weigh in and offer their advice and experience running effective one-on-ones with their teams. Connect with each of them on LinkedIn.
Danielle Waknine spends one week focusing on the skills her account executives want to develop to make that next career move. That could be drawing up a path to leadership or how to move to a senior AE role.
The following week, Danielle gets back to current goals with her reps digging into top opportunities and planning a path to help them hit their quarterly number.
She stays busy in between those one-on-ones too.
"I typically run biweekly call reviews with peers and a team key deal meeting every Wednesday where we focus on our top opportunities in early stages or where deals have stalled. We then crowdsource tactics on how we can win!"
Matthew Toth has a philosophy. "One-on-ones are for coaching and mentoring, not for deal or pipeline reviews." He supports his team by discussing three areas of employee growth: personal, current role, and career. Matthew prefers one hour to explore each area:
The CEO of Patagonia created the "5-15," which asks the employee to take no more than 15 minutes to answer how they're feeling and discuss wins and losses from the past week.
Skill development is all about improving in an area that would positively impact their current role. Think closing skills or leveraging tools in our tech stack.
Finally, exploring a career skill is about identifying a gap to close with their current skill set to help them make that next leap. That could be a management role or becoming a mega-deal seller one day.
"Typically, we set one to two skills a quarter and make sure they master them, especially on the career side. The current role skill may only require a few sessions if they show mastery quicker."
Melissa Murray Bailey leveraged this quick-hitting agenda back in her frontline manager days. This format gives sales managers a look at the real-time forecast for the rep while giving them a chance to reflect on last week, discuss upcoming calls in the current week, and prioritize actions needed to hit their quota.
Ed Hunter likes the employee-led ownership of the one-on-one from his LinkedIn days.
"It empowers your direct reports to own a portion of the agenda and to bring what's top of mind. It also creates a level of accountability. I am a huge fan of having them send a follow-up email with agreed actions."
Here's the structure:
Pre-meeting (employee emails the manager the agenda one day prior)
During the meeting
Post-meeting (employee emails the manager agreed actions).
Corey Farley offers this simple format to focus on rapport and trust-building with his team:
What makes this agenda unique is the opener. Corey opens the first few minutes asking each team member about life's happenings between 5pm-9am.
"The game has changed. If we don't invest in our direct reports from a personal and professional growth perspective, leaders are missing the mark. To do that, we have to get to know them as people first, sales professionals second."
Check out Gong's 11 Hyper-Persuasive Sales Email Templates. Let's quickly share #9 – the "closing" email.
Send to: Decision maker
Subject line: [Our Company Name] Proposal
Hi [FIRST NAME],
Great catching up today – I’m sending a quick note to share [our company name] proposal we reviewed today. Also, I just sent an invite to connect [DATE/TIME] to [review questions and finalize]. Looking forward to it. - [OUR NAME]
Only send our proposal AFTER the call. Never send a proposal without scheduling a call to walk through it with our buyers. We’ll be able to control this crucial part of the conversation (and get a sense of how our proposal was received, instead of refreshing our inbox while speculating on what they’re thinking).
Top reps are paranoid about their deals: Get as much information as you can to identify any last-minute hurdles.
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