Sales Strategy

Level Up Your Next 1:1

Go into your next one-on-one with a more innovative format that's engaging for both the manager and the rep...

November 13, 2021

Level Up Your Next 1:1

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.


1. Weekly change-up

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!"

2. Three areas of growth

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:

  1. The "5-15" (5-10 minutes)
  2. Current role skill (25 minutes)
  3. Career skill (25 minutes)

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."

3. F.L.I.P.

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.

  • Forecast
  • Look back
  • Inputs
  • Priorities

4. Employee-led

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  

  • Manager-led state of the business (10 minutes)
  • Employee-led (20 minutes)  
  • Highlights from the week
  • Recap on actions from last week
  • Questions aimed at understanding the business
  • Requests for support and feedback

Post-meeting (employee emails the manager agreed actions).

5. Outside the lines

Corey Farley offers this simple format to focus on rapport and trust-building with his team:

  • Outside the lines
  • What's working?
  • What's not?
  • How can I help?

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."

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