What is Sales Coaching?
Sales coaching relies on the ability of a sales leader to motivate, train and support his/her team throughout the sales process by giving them the tools & insight necessary for them to solve their own selling problems.
There are two main areas in sales coaching:
This type of coaching focuses on how a sales rep approaches an account in order to acquire new business or up-sell into existing accounts.
It requires a very strategic approach and involves a high level of expertise to help the sales professionals work through things like account penetration, inability to access decision makers or competitive issues.
In order to offer helpful support in this area, it is important for the sales leader to actively be part of the situation, whether this is by joining prospect calls or through regular review meetings with the rep, to better understand the specific challenges.
Skills coaching, on the other hand, looks into the selling skills and knowledge of the sales rep. Again, this practice requires the sales coach to take time to observe first-hand how the rep deals with prospects.
An easy way to analyse a rep’s skillset and product knowledge is to join a sales call, so you can provide constructive and actionable feedback the rep can use in the near future.
Give them a week to practice run and then jump on a sales call again to assess whether or not your feedback has been taken onboard.
If necessary, offer further training around weak areas, shadow days with top performing sellers or video tutorials to further their learning.
For sales coaching to be truly effective, it must be timely, relevant, targeted, consistent and based on real data. One-off sessions have little impact on the performance of a sales rep as approximately 50% of training is forgotten within five weeks.
What are the Benefits of Sales Coaching?
A sales manager with great coaching skills will not only see improved sales performance, but will have better sales rep engagement, reduced turnover and improved job satisfaction.
Fewer initiatives have higher ROI. Research undertaken by the Sales Executive Council shows that no other productivity investment comes close to coaching in improving reps’ performance and revenue attainment.
Furthermore, investment in sales coaching can also:
– Harvests more top performers
Midrange sellers can become stellar performers when supported and encouraged by a motivational and informative coach that provides them with the training, technology and input necessary to grow their selling skillset.
– Builds culture of transparency
Effective coaching is a two-way discussion that places the sales rep (and his/her success) at the centre of the conversation. When these channels of conversation are open, there’s a bigger sense of collaboration and accountability amongst team members.
– Attracts and retains top talent
A sales rep that is supported by high-quality coaching becomes more profitable and successful. A higher department-wide winning rate helps to alleviate the burden on top performers and encourages middle ground sales reps to aim ever higher.
A STUDY FROM THE SALES MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION FOUND THAT COMPANIES THAT SPENT MORE THAN HALF OF THEIR OVERALL TRAINING BUDGET ON MANAGERS RATHER THAN SALESPEOPLE WERE 15% MORE LIKELY TO HIT THEIR REVENUE GOALS.