Let’s get right to the meat of it: With data from over 50 million sales calls, Balto found that sales leaders should focus their training on the calls that happen the most, not the ones where reps struggle the most. It feels wrong, but the numbers don’t lie. After tracking millions of calls, the best ROI from coaching may not come from tackling objection rebuttals or cross-selling opportunities; it’s perfecting the first few seconds of a call.

We all know first impressions are crucial, but don’t take that for granted. Assuming all reps will remember to say the right thing at the top of every call – while choosing to drill down on mistakes happening after the fact – could have a bigger impact than you realize.

Let’s Look at a Hypothetical Example:

Your sales team just can’t figure out how to handle pricing objections. Whenever a customer balks at the price, your reps overcome the objection only 1% of the time. Why?

Our natural response might be to coach your reps on working through these objections; you devote hours of training and resources, and your conversion rate jumps from 1% to 70%. That’s a seriously impressive jump, but the metric that determines your bonus this year – revenue – hasn’t improved much at all.

Why? Because for many sales teams, pricing objections only happen on roughly 7% of calls.All those hours you spent training your reps to overcome objections? Not a great ROI.

Even if your reps overcame every single pricing objection, the best you could hope for is improving overall call performance by 7 percentage points. And if you’re only overcoming price objections 70% of the time, that number drops to less than 5 percentage points. Not ideal in the grand scheme of things.

Instead, Focus on the Parts of Your Call that Happen the Most:

Over 90% of calls make it through the first 3 seconds, a much bigger piece of the sales call pie.

Taking the scenario above, let’s say your reps answer calls with an effective introduction 50% of the time. You host a coaching session with all reps to help them nail introductions. But then you have an awful day, the session is mediocre, and you only increase effective introductions to 57%.

This may feel marginal at first glance, but look closer: a 7 point improvement on 90% of calls is a 6.3% improvement on all calls. Meanwhile, a 69 point improvement on 7% of calls is only a 4.83% improvement. And the former only took a quick training, compared to multiple hours of coaching for the latter.

So what’s the final result? Training on introductions made a 30.4% bigger impact on calls than training on pricing objections.

Using Real-Time Guidance to Nail the Intro Every Time

Big mistakes are costly, but helping your reps get the intro right every time could be the difference between smashing revenue goals or missing the mark entirely. But you can’t be there to remind all your reps what to say on every call – you don’t have the time (or the physical ability). Rather than hoping your coaching sticks, why not use the technology to do it for you?

Real-Time Guidance is an AI-powered technology that listens to both sides of a conversation and visually prompts agents with the best things to say, live on every call. RTG allows you to automatically remind every rep of the perfect intro on every call. And on the backend, RTG tracks who’s actually using the intro. It even allows for A/B testing so sales leaders can continuously refine the intro for maximum conversion rates.Open to learning more? Check out how Real-Time Guidance is helping sales leaders maximize revenue on every single call here.