Successful Sales Coaching: The 5 Keys to Victory
Don’t despair if things are going wrong in your sales room. Your team might be having trouble with leads that aren’t qualified. Are your sales goals often getting missed? Are your reps racking up one lost opportunity right after another? No matter the problems you’re experiencing, there’s a big solution. It’s called sales coaching. Many business studies have concluded that coaching leads to reps becoming more effective. Next thing you know, sales numbers are up across the board with plenty go extra revenue to take home. Some studies have even shown that coaching can boost ROI by 7 times. But not all coaching is equal. Companies must be selective with which type of coaching they off their reps. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that results are going to improve.
-say they don’t have enough time to serve as a sales coach
-have little to no knowledge about how to be a coach
-lack the resources and tools that will make the coaching process effective
-don’t know how to conduct helpful coaching conversations
You’ve got too much at stake to risk having these factors apply to your company. Follow the five keys to victory below. These will ensure that you become the best sales coach that you can be.
The 5 Keys to Being a First-Rate Sales Coach
1) Define goals and strategies.
A great sales coach goes out of his or her way to define what needs to happen. This applies to both the short-term and long-term. Goals will give reps a sense of purpose. That purpose is the catalyst that boosts focus and engagement. Selling success is impossible without having the right strategies to use. A coach should be able to teach reps new strategies that will cut down on wasted time. A coach should also teach reps new strategies that they have never used before. This is why it’s imperative that a sales coach must have tons of knowledge and experience.
Sales coaches should have the ability to understand the seller’s level of motivation. If motivation is lacking, the coach should come up with a goal-oriented action plan. If that plan cannot motivate the rep, then that rep shouldn’t be working in sales.
A main responsibility of a sales coach is helping reps develop the best habits possible. Reps can’t reach their goals without possessing fundamental habits. These habits need to get used and practiced on a consistent basis. Habits will make reps have the capacity to breeze through assigned action plans. Some sales coaches get discouraged. Why? They claim that changing the habits of reps requires way too much effort. Try not to view it from this perspective. True, changing someone’s basic habits is no easy task. But it can get done as long as you work with the salesperson on a consistent basis. The more that their behavior gets evaluated, the more likely it is that the behavior can get adjusted.
It’s recommenced that sales coaches create an action plan. The plan should describe actions and goals that will lead reps to get more sales. For example, don’t only specify what the rep should be doing. You should also specific what he or she shouldn’t be doing. This will lead to reps using their time in an effective manner so great results occur.
3) Offer advice to the reps.
One of the key responsibilities of a sales coach is to offer guidance. This doesn’t mean always telling the reps what to do. It means asking them questions so that they can determine answers on their own. Otherwise, salespeople will become lazy. This makes them depend on the coach to solve all their problems. This is the last thing a sales manager needs occurring in the sales room. Reps have to stay self-motivated to keep sales numbers where they need to be. But there are times when you do need to offer specific statements of advice. In fact, this is often necessary.
Conveying advice in the correct manner can be difficult. How you go about this depends on the rep’s level of knowledge and skillset. Sometimes it’s best to be directive. This involves saying, “You need to do X.” Other times, it’s better to be facilitative. This is where you say, “Let’s work on these steps together.” Here’s the general rule of thumb. Be more directive to reps that aren’t experienced. Facilitated approaches are more effective with reps who are competent and knowledgable.
4) Develop your salespeople over time.
Development begins with assessment. A sales coach must asses the strengths and weaknesses of every rep. This is for more than understanding each person’s potential. It’s to realize what knowledge and skills need to get worked on fast. A good coach doesn’t hide his or her assent from the reps. The coach meets one-on-one with each rep to go over what has gotten assessed. This provides salespeople with a quick understanding of what they need to focus on. Otherwise, the likelihood of reps reaching their full potential is almost impossible. This is where a coach can suggest extra training. If a coach feels that training isn’t a solution, a custom-development plan usually is.
Always keep in mind that reps are not going to change over night. Coaching in any form of life takes time. For example, when does an NBA coach win a championship? After the team has experienced dozens upon dozens of games and practices. The same concept applies to being a sales coach. A coach has to stay committed for the long haul.
5) Motivate your salespeople.
It’s not enough to teach reps new strategies and techniques. A coach must also motivate his or her team to succeed. But don’t view motivation as a group process. A coach makes the effort to understand the motivating factors of each individual rep. Next, the coach takes action to stimulate the reps based on what motivates each one.
Many sales coaches make one huge mistake. They think that compensation or a quota is enough to motivate reps. They often are not. It’s human nature to get motivated by many different things. Money is only one of them. A sales coach cannot be lazy or assume all the reps stay motivated by the same things. Everyone is different. It’s as simple as that. That’s why effort must happen to get to know the reps on an individual basis. Motivation from a coach will keep each rep performing at their best. The salespeople will feel energized and committed to succeeding.
Bonus: More Sales Coaching Tips
-Use tons of data.
A coach can’t be in different places at the same time. This limits how effective observing reps is. That’s why technological tools, such as CRM, are a sales coach’s best friend. The coach should check out as much data as possible to infer what needs to improve. Thanks to technological advancements, every action a rep takes gets tracked. This means it’s never been easier for a coach to grasp what’s occurring in his or her sales room. For example, you’ll be able to know who isn’t making enough calls.
-Review plenty of call recordings.
This is one of the best resources for a sales coach. You can do all the teaching and instructing you want. But at the end of the day, the reps need to be masters when it comes to talking to prospects. Recordings will allow you to see if the reps are applying what you’ve taught them. Always review plenty of calls before each coaching session. Make notes while you listen to the calls. Write down what you like and dislike.
-Consider bringing in a third-party sales coach.
Sometimes even the best ales coaches in them world need outside help. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a coach or consultant that can step in and offer his or her opinions. Not only will the coach help your reps, the coach will also help you. You’ll become a better coach by learning from a third-party instructor.
-Don’t talk too much.
Some coaches make the mistake of talking too much. Coaching a rep is like a sales call. Should a rep keep talking at the prospect for twenty minutes straight? Of course not. The same applies with coaching. Coaching is a collaborative effort between a rep and an instructor. In fact, a coach should try to listen more than he or she speaks. This is the best way to determine what problems the rep is experiencing. Also, the coach will be able to figure out the underlying motivating factors of the rep. Remember, don’t lead with commands. Lead with questions. This will make reps feel more involved in the process. As a result, moral will get boosted.
Do you want to get the most out of your salespeople? If so, follow the advice of this article. They key is to be consistent as a coach. You can’t expect changes to take place over night. If you stay patient and active, it’s very likely you’ll see drastic improvements in your sales room. For more sales advice, be sure to browse BillionsInTheBank.com.