A Guide to Great Team Call Reviews

A Guide to Great Team Call Reviews

Last updated: 

March 20, 2024

Jeff Whitlock

Jeff Whitlock

Co-authored by: Cedric Charpenet @ Chapstrat.com

Sales is one of the only business areas you can coach and improve in, like a performance sport.

Specifically, it shares four things in common with them:

  1. There are objective ways to measure performance
  2. It’s competitive enough that performers have a strong incentive to practice and improve
  3. It’s well-established, with the relevant skills having been developed over a long period
  4. Top performers become coaches and help develop training techniques

Recording and reviewing performance is a common training practice for almost all performance sports & activities.

It is the best way to identify opportunities for improvement. 

To maximize growth, each team should adopt 3 recording review practices:

  1. Manager review
  2. Team review
  3. Individual review

This post will focus on the team review process, sometimes called “Game Film Sessions.”

Why do team reviews

Team reviews offer several benefits you don’t get from manager and personal coaching alone:

  1. Reps get to see how others do things
    • Brings new ideas on how to approach situations
    • Builds camaraderie and lets them see that the entire team faces similar challenges
    • Learn to analyze how they would do something differently from their peers and understand the reasons behind it
  2.  Reps get to receive feedback and support from more people than just their manager
    • Team members might notice things you didn’t
    • Peer support and feedback can help in ways a manager can’t
  3. It’s a high-leverage activity for a manager—if you have 4 reps, one hour of your time provides 4 rep-hours of coaching.

Cultivating the Right Culture for Team Reviews

Two cultural attributes are required to get the true benefits of a team review:

  1. Growth mindset: Sales is not innate; anyone can improve: Make it clear that being a salesperson is not innate, and with the right type of practice, anyone can become great at sales. It just takes an openness to feedback and diligent practice.
  2. Collective success: Non-zero-sum attitudes: Peer-based competition in a sales team is great, but it has to be a non-zero-sum game. Each rep has to know that the success of another contributes to their success.

By pushing these two fundamental aspects, feedback is seen as a path to growth, as opposed to a way to put people down and show status.

Three Steps to Running an Effective Team Review Session

Step I: Selection of Material for Review

Commence by deciding whether to review a complete call or to examine segments from multiple calls. This decision allows for flexibility in focusing on specific learning objectives. Here’s how to identify the most instructive calls:

  • Criteria for Selection:
    • Choose calls that presented unique challenges or where the team faced difficulties, such as with a particular customer segment or at a specific stage in the sales process.
    • Identify calls that highlight an area for improvement previously agreed upon, such as enhancing trial closing techniques. Select examples from each rep to foster a comprehensive learning environment.
    • Enable the team by having the manager set the overarching theme but allow individual reps to propose calls they believe are illustrative. This collaborative approach ensures engagement and willingness from all participants.
    • Distribute the chosen calls before the session, encouraging team members to familiarize themselves with the content to foster more insightful discussions.

Step II: Conducting the Meeting

Instruct the team to jot down feedback and observations as you play the selected calls. Pause after each segment to facilitate discussion. Use a structured feedback framework to ensure critiques are constructive and pertinent to the call under review. Avoid straying into unrelated topics.

  • Feedback Framework Suggestion: Utilize the "STAR" method—Situation, Task, Action, Result—to guide feedback. This approach encourages specificity and relevance by focusing on the context (Situation), the objective (Task), what was done (Action), and the outcomes (Result). This method aids in understanding not just what was done but why, and its effectiveness.
  • In cases of disagreement, acknowledge the differing perspective with appreciation, then clarify your standpoint. This open exchange promotes a culture of constructive critique and mutual respect.
  • Aim for objectivity in feedback, reserving subjective impressions for designated open discussion segments.

Step III: Follow-Up and Action Plan

Strive to conclude each review session with actionable takeaways:

  • Consolidate the session’s insights into 1-3 actionable items for the team to focus on, ensuring everyone leaves with clear objectives.
  • Cement a commitment from the team on specific actions to undertake for improvement, establishing accountability.
  • Schedule the next review session, setting a time and place for follow-up, thereby maintaining momentum in the team’s developmental journey.

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