Freddie Marryat, Marketing Manager, EngageIQ

Sales call recordings are chronically underused by sales and marketing professionals.

 Most sales managers only use them for training SDRs. Most marketers never use them at all. 

It’s a huge shame because sales call recordings hold so much value for both sales and marketing leaders. They can be used to:

  • Improve individual SDR training
  • Run group training sessions
  • Inform and improve marketing campaigns
  • Create better sales enablement content
  • Deliver more effective onboarding
  • Validate marketing personas
  • Get insight into lead quality 

Intrigued? Trust us, by the end of this article you’ll be thinking twice about how you utilise sales call recordings in your organisation.

Improve Individual SDR Training

Let’s start with the most obvious use of sales call recordings — and the one sales managers are probably doing already — individual SDR training. 

Sales call recordings are a fantastic way to provide feedback, identify weaknesses and help reps overcome any issues they are consistently struggling with.

It’s amazing what a difference it makes to hear yourself on the phone. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment on a sales call that it can be all but impossible to step back and take account of what you’re doing and saying. Reps often won’t realise they are developing poor habits unless you point them out. 

Here are some of our favourite things to keep an ear out for:

  • Are reps actively listening? We all know the best SDRs listen way more than they talk. But your reps need to be actively listening to what prospects are saying and to respond accordingly. Engaging prospects in a genuine conversation is the best way to get as much information from them as possible and, ultimately, convert them.
  • Does something keep tripping them up? Managers should listen to several sales call recordings to identify any patterns of behaviour or areas reps continuously struggle with. Maybe they can’t handle objections. Perhaps they aren’t closing effectively. It might not be obvious from one call, but if you keep hearing the same problem occurring then you need to fix it.

What have they done well? It’s important to help SDRs rectify their mistakes, but don’t forget about praising them for the things they do well. Sales is a tough industry, and positive reinforcement can make a world of difference to a rep’s performance and mental health.

Run Group Training Sessions

Most sales leaders will use sales call recordings to conduct individual training sessions. But it can be even more powerful and productive if you use them for group training. 

For Refract’s Richard Smith, team sales call reviews are “the most productive 90 minutes of the working week.” It’s a great way for the team to discuss what went well and how the call could have been improved. It’s also a great way for you, as a sales leader, to learn about different approaches, says Richard.

As a sales manager, you have a lot of wisdom to impart. But other reps are often the best people to provide feedback and advice. They’re the ones in the trenches all day, selling the same product and overcoming the same objections. If you’ve stopped doing sales calls, your SDRs will often have more insight into how to overcome a particular issue than you will. It’s not a weakness of sales managers to include other reps in training; it’s a huge strength.

“the most productive 90 minutes of the working week”

Inform and Improve Marketing Campaigns

Marketers who are in touch with their target audience’s pain points create better campaigns. Fact. Better campaigns bring more prospects into your funnel. 

Sales teams need to feedback information to marketers whenever they uncover a new pain point. But nothing compares to hearing a business owner explicitly talk about their problems first hand. 

That’s why marketers need to listen to sales calls. 

Remember, the vast majority of a customer’s journey will happen before they reach a sales rep. The more a company can speak to the specific needs of a prospect, the more likely they will be to convert. 

Everything they come into contact with up to that point has to be saying the right thing and speaking to their problems. From the copy on your website to the rest of your marketing collateral, everything should be backed up by sales call recordings.  

Create Better Sales Enablement Content

Marketers don’t just bring in leads at the top of the funnel. They also create the sales enablement collateral that sales reps use to close.

Sometimes there’s a disconnect — or rather a lag — between the content that sales teams need and the content that marketing produces. Rather than wait for feedback from sales teams, your marketing department can take a proactive approach to sales collateral creation by listening to sales call recordings for themselves. 

In doing so, marketing teams can pick up on the pain points and needs of prospects, the questions they routinely ask and the objections they have. If there isn’t sales enablement collateral to cover all of these topics, marketing teams can start creating them immediately rather than having to wait for feedback from sales.

Deliver More Effective Onboarding

Every time you listen to a really good sales call or find a recording that provides an excellent teaching example, make sure you save it to a central repository. Real-life sales calls are the best way to show new SDRs exactly how it should (or shouldn’t) be done.

Listening to successful calls is one of the things every new rep should do in their first week, says RingDNA’s Jesse Davis. It allows them to start their career off on the right foot by copying your most successful reps. 

Naturally, you’ll need to explain what makes these calls effective so that SDRs learn why to say something and not just how to say it. But there are few things better than real-life sales calls at providing an example of how to do it right.

Call recordings are also an excellent way for new recruits to learn about your product or service. Garrett Serviss, Head of Sales Development at Moveworks, has new SDRs listen to calls to gain a better understanding of the product, its technical details and the kind of questions that prospects typically pose.

Validate Marketing Personas

How do you know that the prospects entering the top of your marketing funnel actually marry up to your target personas? 

Do you only look at the prospects that convert? What about all the ones that fell out of the funnel on the way?

By listening to sales call recordings, marketers can see how well their campaign targeting delivers the kind of prospects they want. Sales and marketing managers can then work together to identify the personas that are the most accurate and the ones that convert the most. Additional budget can be focused on these personas while others are revised or removed. 

Get Insight into Lead Quality

The handover of leads from marketing to sales is a two-way street. Some think sales staff should be thankful for anything thrown their way, but it’s important for “qualified leads” to actually be vetted. When unqualified leads are passed over too often, it speaks to a breakdown in communication between sales and marketing teams. 

Listening to call recordings is a great way to rectify this. Of course, sales and marketing managers should be meeting regularly to discuss the quality of MQLs and SQLs, but nothing tells a story like a live sales call recording.  

When marketing teams listen to sales calls, they can get a fantastic insight into the quality of the leads they pass down. When it’s clear that there’s a constant gap between where marketing thinks a prospect is in the sales funnel and where they actually are, it’s easy to redefine qualifying metrics so that leads can be better going forward. 

Have we convinced you of the value of sales call recordings? You don’t have to implement all seven of the strategies. One or two can be enough to improve your marketing efforts and grow your pipeline.


Images by: Stas Knop, fauxels, Lukas, Canva Studio