How to Improve Sales Coaching with Call Dispositions

improve sales coaching with call dispositionsGoing more than a week without coaching a sales rep is a problem.

That’s according to ConnectAndSell CEO Chris Beall.

He recently joined Founder Steve Richard and AA-ISP CEO Larry Reeves for a webinar about sales coaching — specifically, using call dispositions to identify points of resistance for reps and coach around them.

Here are some tips for sales coaching with call dispositions, but first, just so we’re all on the same page:

What are call dispositions?

A call disposition is simply a label for the outcome of a phone call. Here’s how Steve described it:

“When you log your call in your dialer in your CRM, in your ConnectAndSell– whatever that might be — there’s a record of there being a conversation, how do you categorize the type of conversation you had? That’s what dispositions are all about – categorizing those, because what we know is that there are different buckets that these go into. So the fact that they received a referral versus they asked for that and were not given the referral. Outcome of generating appointment versus sending more information,” he said.

Chris also emphasized that sales leaders don’t need to coach every part of every conversation, and call dispositions help in that regard.

“Call dispositions are a great way to … go into the part of the conversations with the reps who need the most help in order to do precision coaching,” Chris said.

If you’re ready to engage in precision sales coaching, check out these four steps.

4 Steps for Sales Coaching with Call Dispositions


  1. Communicate clear definitions.

Both Steve and Chris emphasized that sales leaders strive for consistency when creating and using call dispositions. Their teams have 8-9 call dispositions to choose from. This is an example list of outcomes they shared during the presentation:

  • Don’t call back
  • Busy; call back later
  • Incorrect contact; no referral
  • Referral
  • No interest; no reason given
  • No interest; reason given
  • Interest; send information
  • Interest; call back later
  • Meeting scheduled

It’s up to you to choose which outcomes you want to include. Chris pointed out that dispositions are likely not taught and not managed at most organizations, so don’t feel pressured to select the right outcomes. The key here is to make sure that every rep understands exactly what counts as a “don’t call back” and what doesn’t. Provide crystal clear definitions for your team so that everyone knows how to properly log calls.

“What we’re lacking in Inside Sales is some standardized [call] dispositions that will work across different types of organizations. There’s a lot of variation,” Steve also mentioned.

  1. Log and track enough data.

Once your team knows how to log the data, it’s time to start tracking. (You’ll need to make sure you have the ability to log calls according to your defined outcomes in your CRM.)

Of course, you’ll need to train your reps on how to properly log the calls. After they get the hang of it, Steve recommends collecting data on 100 conversations before you start to analyze.

Gather the data from those conversations and look at which reps are struggling with what call outcomes — or look at where the group needs to improve as a whole.

“The way you gotta think about this stuff is: You form a hypothesis for your coaching based on the numbers. So now that I’m looking at the numbers, I can interpret the data,” Steve said.  

  1. Coach around areas of need.

When you interpret the data, select one or two outcomes to coach around at a time.

Per Chris and Steve’s example, if you wanted to focus on helping reps get around the “busy; ball back later” outcome, you could coach them around showing the prospect why they should listen, keeping a positive tone and developing an attention-grabbing opener.

In the same way, the “no interest; no reason given” outcome can be coached with communicating the value prop, helping prospects understand why they should care and asking for reasons.

“We coach way too much. So instead of coaching too much, focus on the one or two things that the one individual needs to work on in their own game — level them up in that — then go to the next round,” Steve said.

  1. Rinse and repeat.

Coach your reps around those first one or two problem areas until they’ve reached their full potential, and then move on to a new one. Collect another decent sample size of conversations, and analyze the data to find the next problem area.

“Level them up to the best in that group for that particular round,” Chris said. “Then you measure them again. Stack rank them again. And repeat that process.”

Do this continually so you can have ongoing sales training in the areas your reps need it most.

How to Improve Sales Coaching with Call Dispositions
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How to Improve Sales Coaching with Call Dispositions
If you’re ready to engage in precision sales coaching using call dispositions, check out these four steps.
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Level Eleven
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