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Sales Consulting
March 22, 2022

Self coaching for sales

Dan McDermott
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There's a key characteristic that top performing salespeople share: a constant drive to improve.

Hit quota? Great, how far past it can I go?

Beat a personal record? Great, how do I set another one?

Had a fantastic conversation? Great, how do I have more of these?

This is a great mindset to have, but it needs structure.

Traditional coaches can help provide some of that structure, but in truth - it's not enough.

External feedback only goes so far.

True top performers also need to internalize a learning process based on their actions.

In other words, they need to learn to self-coach.

At Vouris, we encourage self-coaching by teaching a process originally developed to train military fighter pilots, called “OODA” loops. It stands for:


OBSERVE: What just happened?

ORIENT: What does it mean?

DECIDE: What am I going to do next, based on this?

ACT: Do it.


Then, rinse & repeat.

By committing to this type of structure, you’ll turn every action into a learning experience that can improve your performance.

– SDRs/AEs: Every call becomes a chance to improve your communication/sales skills.

– Leaders: Every meeting becomes a chance to improve as a coach/manager.

Sales is a performance skill, like sports/music/comedy/acting/etc.

Every performance skill is also a chance-to-learn skill. Your job is based on how well you perform over thousands of repetitions - for us, those repetitions are conversations.

So, what if you could improve with every conversation?

What if you could get 1% better with every call/demo/etc?

OODA loops are just a way to turn your repeated actions into data-driven, mini improvements - sort of like watching game tape (with structure).

We believe in this concept deeply:

→ Our coaching is based on specific, data-driven decisions.

→ We also created a physical journal based on it (SDR Mastery Journal).

Here's an OODA loop example: I’ve filled this out below with something that happened with one of the SDRs in our community:


​OBSERVE: What just happened?​

My last call started off strong, but there was a clear negative shift when we started talking about migrating from the competitor’s platform to ours.

ORIENT: What does it mean?

The prospect was looking for a clear outline of the migration process. I should have used specific numbers like “it takes less than an hour” instead of big/vague terms like “it’s easy and seamless”.

DECIDE: What am I going to do next, based on this?

I’m going to ask my team to prep a 1-page doc that clearly outlines the process. This will give me a chance to recover the conversation with a follow up email AND have a strong reference asset for future calls.

ACT: Do it.

Next time a prospect asks about migration, I’ll use specific time-based numbers and immediately follow up with the 1-pager.

Try writing out an OODA loop after your next conversation. Make it quick and spend a few minutes on it - no longer.

If you want to go next level, though…you can even use this framework to take notes on your call recordings.

Here’s an example of Kyle listening back to one of his old calls:

Click here to watch


OODA loops are my favorite form of self-coaching because they force you to be specific and take small steps.

They’re also a habit that’ll stick with you forever, whether you’re making calls, running demos, or managing teams - this is a framework you can use to look at your repeated activities objectively and make bite-sized improvements...forever!

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