(888) 815-0802Sign In
revenue - Home page(888) 815-0802

How To Build A Self-Coaching Culture

5 min readJuly 21, 2021

Most sales leaders find themselves in an endless struggle to find time to coach and manage their teams. As a result, rep performance suffers, leading to stalled deals, missed quota, and slowed growth. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. And it’s not your fault! Every sales leader these days struggles to find the time to coach and manage their teams.

Yet while the issues may vary from company to company — too many reps per coach, too many sales tactics to try and teach, a complicated product to sell — the solution is the same. Too many sales leaders have bought into a top-down approach, where they need to figure out what’s wrong with each rep’s or team’s approach to selling and then teach them how to fix it.

But as we know from research by Gartner, B2B sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within a week of training, and 87% will forget it within a month if it’s not reinforced. Thus the top-down approach creates a Sisyphean task for coaches where they need to fix the same problems over and over again.

But those tactics that coaches are trying to impart (and that reps are promptly forgetting) do actually hold the key to improving win rates and revenue. They simply need to be taught differently.

Create A Culture of Ongoing Sales Improvement

Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.

We’ve all heard that quote before, but it’s repeated because it’s true. If you want a team of reps to learn and improve as much as possible, the answer isn’t to teach them as much as you can.

The answer is to teach them to learn on their own.

English teachers know this when they focus on prioritizing giving kids a love of reading over making sure they read the assigned books. Similarly, coaches and managers should focus on giving reps a love of improving their selling technique.

This has multiple benefits:

  1. Reps will feel more in charge of their careers, and be less likely to leave
  2. By deciding for themselves what they want to improve on, reps will naturally gravitate towards the sales tactics that are personally best suited to them
  3. By feeling responsible for their own learning and improvement, reps are more likely to reinforce lessons for themselves and retain information more easily
  4. Coaches will be alerted to issues that they otherwise may have missed
  5. Coaches and managers will also have more time to look at higher-level patterns, because they’ll spend less time identifying problems and repeating themselves

But how can companies create an environment that encourages this to happen? It isn’t as simple as saying “Ok, go coach yourselves!” now, or plenty of companies would have done it already.

What Reps Need to Succeed

  1. A way to look at their past calls.
    You wouldn’t expect a football player to learn to play without game tape, and similarly, you shouldn’t expect reps to be able to improve without a way to review their calls and video meetings. Reps need a conversation intelligence tool that they can use to view, search, and leave notes on transcriptions, and be able to create libraries of calls where things went well or poorly. If the system is also able to notice and point out call trends on its own and connect calls to business outcomes (if the deal closed, etc.), so much the better.
  2. Real-time assistance during conversations.With the ability to review calls, reps can easily start to pinpoint the specific ways they would like to improve. To support this improvement, we recommend in-the-moment support such as that offered by Moments™, the patented Revenue.io real-time solution that uses AI to give reps customized notifications on calls. Reps can set up notifications for anything they’re focusing on learning, and have them be triggered by keywords or behaviors.For instance, if a rep decides to change the way they’re describing a particular product, Moments™ can provide them with a notecard for the new description for the product each time its name comes up in conversation. Or if they always forget to ask a particular qualifying question, Moments™ can remind them to ask it after a certain amount of time has passed on the call.
  3. One-on-one support.
    While teaching reps to identify and fix areas of weakness in their sales technique may sound like it would eventually eliminate the need for a coach or manager, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve found that in companies with effective coaching programs, reps are likely to receive an hour or more of scheduled coaching every week.This coaching time should be used to discuss problems that reps are having, and suggest ways they could approach the situation differently. Reps use their conversation intelligence tool to flag whole calls or specific moments in recordings for coaching later, and coaches can also review previous lessons and changes with reps, to make sure that they’re leading to better outcomes.
  4. A way to track their progress over time.
    When you’re hiking up a mountain, one of the most satisfying moments is when you can look back down the trail and see how far you’ve come. Both reps and managers need these moments, to validate the hard work they put into improving their sales techniques and see all the progress they’ve made. Analytics and reports showing how reps are doing against their goals over time provide both valuable data about which approaches are working, and validation that they’re going in the right direction.

The Sales Success Flywheel

These three elements enable reps to take advantage of the conversation intelligence cycle, a powerful feedback loop that works by using coaching, after-the-fact, and real-time solutions in tandem to create a flywheel of success.

 

Sales coaches and managers who spend their time cultivating a culture of self-coaching and empowering reps with the conversation intelligence cycle will reap the benefits of happier, more productive reps and higher quota attainment. And for the cherry on top, they’ll even gain a little time back for themselves too.

For more information on how to set up and use the conversation intelligence cycle with your team, check out our eBook The New Conversation Intelligence: What Your Competitors Don’t Want You To Know. In this eBook, we also cover the critical must-have elements of the new Conversation Intelligence Platform and the next steps you have to take to adapt to the new reality.

About the Author

Mara McLeanRevenue.io

Mara is a Senior Brand Copywriter at Revenue.io, the revenue acceleration platform that leverages AI to transform sales teams into high-performing revenue engines. Mara is a passionate and creative storyteller who enjoys bringing a little bit of fun into B2B marketing.