Strategies for a World-Class SDR Program

Live vs Recorded SDR Call Coaching. Which is Better?

call coachingLet’s face it: You could have the best product out there, but if your SDRs can’t consistently set qualified meetings, your whole company could be in jeopardy.

That’s why it’s important to invest in call coaching, which is ongoing one-on-one training where an experienced salesperson listens to an SDR’s calls and gives feedback. Call coaching is an effective way to improve your SDRs’ performance — and more importantly, your prospects’’ experience.

There are two main ways to go about call coaching: you can either have someone sit with the SDR and listen to a bunch of calls live, or you can use recorded call coaching, where the manager has a repository of calls they can listen to in their own time.

Which option is best for your business? Read on to decide:

Why should I use recorded call coaching?

While live call coaching is the traditional method many companies use, recorded call coaching comes with a host of benefits:


It saves time.

One of the best things about recorded call coaching is it could save your managers precious time. Instead of them having to wait for the other line to pick up, listen to calls that have no real engagement, or sit through calls where the other party immediately hangs up (or doesn’t pick up at all), they can see which calls ended up being lengthy conversations and choose those to evaluate.


Managers can review on their own schedule.

Recorded call coaching is also useful because it allows managers to review calls and give feedback whenever they have time. Gone are the days of giving up large chunks of time during their prime working hours to listen to calls. With recorded call coaching, they can attend meetings, interview more SDRs, and reply to urgent emails without worrying about the two-hour block on their calendar. Instead, they can listen to recordings in the mornings when the office is quiet, during a 30-minute break between meetings, or during their commute.


It’s less distracting for the SDR.

Your SDRs will never do their best work with their manager hovering over their shoulders. No matter how seasoned they are, they’ll either become robotic or distracted, wondering what their manager is thinking. With recorded call coaching, even if they know their conversation will be eventually listened to, it’ll be easier for them to get into the zone without the physical presence of their manager next to them.

Additionally, their managers won’t be tempted to coach during the call, allowing the SDR to concentrate on what the caller is saying instead of splitting their attention between the caller and their manager.


It allows SDRs to listen to themselves.

It’s one thing for a manager to say an SDR needs to work on a certain technique — it’s another to show them why. With recordings, managers can review past calls with their SDRs and allow them to see how they’re coming across to the caller. Then, they can engage in a proactive discussion about the experience the caller had, what the SDR did well, and what the SDR could’ve done differently.


It could result in better feedback.

With live coaching, managers are forced to write down feedback in real-time, which could result in furiously scribbled notes that lose their meaning. Recorded calls allow managers to re-listen to important parts of the conversation as necessary and take their time evaluating what needs to be improved.


When is live coach calling better?

There are a few situations in which live coaching would probably be more effective for your team. For example:


For scheduled calls.

If your SDR has a scheduled call, such as a follow-up conversation with a prospective customer, live call coaching might come in handy because their manager can help them answer trickier questions that don’t usually come up during an initial call — or even jump in the call as necessary.


If your SDR needs a lot of work.

Live coaching may be a better option if your SDR is new to the job or requires more coaching than usual, as it allows managers to give feedback right after the call — when it’s fresh in everyone’s minds. Plus, it’ll allow the SDR to implement the feedback right away, instead of having to wait until their manager has had time to listen to their calls.

Posted in
Taft Love

Taft Love

Taft Love is an experienced sales development and sales operations professional who has worked with dozens of startups in and around San Francisco in recent years. He now leads teams of SDRs and Sales Operations analysts for SmartRecruiters in San Francisco.

Subscribe to New Posts

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Learn how to build aWorld-Class SDR Program

Have specific questions? Need some professional guidance?