Sales coaching can drastically increase the effectiveness and performance of any organization by individually equipping and empowering reps to own their success. We know how to implement sales coaching strategies within our organizations, but what does it actually do for reps on a personal level?
Sales coaching uses data, analytics, and even call recordings to identify how performance can be improved. When you implement the right tools, you’ll know how many calls your reps need to make to drive meetings, opportunities, and revenue. Then, once the optimal strategies are identified, you can see which reps are exceeding or falling behind target numbers and how to set them back on course to ensure success.
When you combine quantitative and qualitative assessments from data analysis along with individual coaching, you gain a clearer picture of your reps’ strengths and weaknesses. Based on your conclusions, you can then adopt a training program that addresses your team’s specific needs. Proper training should only address one or two issues at a time, such as how to set more meetings, or how to follow up. Since learners forget up to 50 percent of what they are taught in 24 hours, reps need time to fully absorb, comprehend, and utilize the content.
Regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings are a cornerstone of successful sales coaching. Once armed with data, you can give each rep actionable insights into their sales processes. Individual meetings serve as consultations and are a time for you and your rep to have a two-way discussion about ongoing deals and potential roadblocks. It also gives you insight into the qualitative side of the equation, where you can coach reps to make adjustments to their sales pitch during the prospect’s discovery process.
Phil Jackson, arguably the greatest NBA coach of all time, encouraged collaboration rather than competition amongst his team. He maintained that a great leader wasn’t always the one that scored the most points, but rather the one that elevated their teammates’ performance. The same can be applied to a sales team. Strategies like team incentives encourage high performing reps to help less successful ones improve.
A successful sales coach gives reps direct insight into how their personal objectives contribute to the company as a whole. In fact, the data collected allows sales managers to see how the actions made by sales reps directly impact the company’s bottom line. By tracing this path, sales managers can build a plan to have reps drive the factors that lead to the achievement of company objectives. Employee engagement is also increased because reps can see directly how the actions they take contribute to the betterment of the organization.
Just like how an NFL coach makes adjustments to the team’s strategy in the midst of a game, a sales coach needs to support their reps as they make their way through the sales process. Ongoing support turns every deal into a learning opportunity. By actively working through deals with your reps, you help them to overcome blockers, handle objections, and understand subjects like integrations, technology, security, or feature gaps.
When reps are coached through active deals, it increases the potential of winning the account, as you can address issues before they lead to a loss. Additionally, it creates an experiential learning process that empowers reps to win more customers on their own.
While learning from mistakes is definitely important, sales coaches must reinforce the positive. Especially in sales, much can be learned from the wins. It’s important to examine why a customer made the purchase, what features made a difference, what type of conversations were had, and even what competitors you were up against.
Reinforcing the wins also has a notable effect on employee satisfaction, and causes reps to feel more engaged and motivated.