The best sales development representative (SDR) managers inspire their teams to reach their full potential. How? By being the most effective coaches they can be. (As opposed to being bosses who basically suck; we’ve all had ‘em.) 

When your coaching skills are top-notch, it becomes that much easier to help your team sharpen their skills. 

This article explores what you can do to optimize the coaching process and includes tips to keep in mind in order to have productive conversations and drive the outcomes you’re aiming for. 

Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to have productive one-on-one sales coaching meetings—instead of meetings your team absolutely dreads.


>>Want productive 1:1 conversations that drive outcomes? Take our masterclass!<<


What is the right way to do one-on-one sales coaching?

A recent Gartner report found that B2B sales reps forget 70 percent of the information they learn within their first week. After a month, that number shoots up to 87 percent. 

Taken together, the need for consistent coaching becomes readily apparent. 

But not all coaches are the same. 

Think you’re a great coach? Think again. According to the Harvard Business Review, 24 percent of executives “significantly overestimated” their coaching skills.

You definitely don’t want to be the sales leader who thinks they’re way more awesome than they actually are. Luckily, there’s an easy way to avoid that fate: by becoming a data-driven SDR manager and using data-backed coaching in your one-on-ones.

After all, one-on-ones give managers the best opportunities to steer their employees in the right direction. But you can’t just schedule one-on-one meetings, throw your feet up on the desk, and call yourself Coach of the Year. You need to schedule the right kind of one-on-ones, which are data-backed and proactive. Simply put, the best SDR managers use these meetings to coach their reps so they can identify and remedy issues before they impact results—and not the other way around.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips to increase the chances your one-on-ones deliver the results you’re hoping for.

What are some tips for holding the best one-on-ones? 

If your goal is running the most effective one-on-ones possible, the good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you transform these meetings into the highlight of your employees’ weeks.

Follow these three golden rules.

Successful one-on-one sales coaching meetings are built on a foundation of these three rules:

  1. You own it.
  2. You always prepare for it.
  3. You don’t skip them or skimp on them.

By understanding that this is one of the most critical functions of your job, spending enough time to prepare for each meeting thoroughly, and making sure to actually hold the meetings, you increase the chances you will achieve your goals. 

While it’s OK to reschedule meetings from time to time, definitely do not cancel them!


>>How do you guarantee your 1:1s are productive? Take our video masterclass to find out!<<


Use proven templates.

In addition to keeping these rules in mind, you should also consider using templates that have already been proven to deliver results. For example, here’s a template for effective coaching meetings between VPs of sales and sales managers. And here’s a template for meetings between sales managers and reps.

There’s no sense in starting from scratch unless you have to. And who couldn’t use a bit of a head start?

Measure and track KPIs that help improve performance.

Keeping one-on-one sales coaching meetings on the schedule is one thing. Transforming that investment of time into actual results is quite another.

For the best results, you need to measure and track KPIs that help you achieve your team’s performance goals. Essentially, you’ll want to benchmark the average SDR’s output and measure whether each teammate is living up to their end of the bargain. 

For example, you’ll want to measure things such as pipeline health, conversion rates, total opps engaged, win rates, and more. Only when you start measuring things can you begin improving them.

Ready to become the best SDR manager you can be?

Helping your sales team reach its full potential starts with embracing the promise of data-driven coaching and the importance of being proactive instead of reactive. You don’t want to have to put out fires after they burn down half of the proverbial building. 

Instead, you want to stop the fire from existing in the first place by getting to the source— that’s where being proactive with your one-on-one coaching efforts truly makes the difference.

For more information on how to knock one-on-ones out of the park, check out this Masterclass on the topic we ran a couple months back..