The dare devil ride of the 'sales rollercoaster' can turn into an exhilarating experience with the right sales coach. Coaching in sales is all about creating a safe and dynamic environment to motivate your team to perform at their best.
Great coaches look ahead, create opportunities and develop their people.
A survey conducted by Training Industry Inc. of 330 learning professionals showed that two-thirds of companies with a formal sales coaching program experienced high revenue growth.
This study defined high-revenue growth companies as those where revenue was either "at an all-time high" or "better" than the past year.
Just like a sports coach, a sales coach is focused on an individual's development. They must be "consciously competent," with the experience and ability to sell successfully themselves, and also consciously understand how to build that same skill set in other salespeople.
For your business to operate at its best, every sales-related role should be supported with coaching – this extends to customer service, external/field salespeople, business development personnel, and internal/digital sales.
As a Sales Coach and Practitioner, my initial steps to diagnosing sales needs for an individual or an entire team are critical.
Assess - What are the current sales processes? Is the process meeting expectations? What is the salesperson's role in the process? Can you identify their strengths and weaknesses? What skills, tools or opportunities do they need for improvement?
Feedback - Valuable feedback is vital for any coaching relationship. Provide clear, actionable feedback and measure performance. Setting sales competencies or tasks for an individual or an entire team can ignite dormant skills or refocus thought processes.
Trust - Trust is an integral element to coaching. There must be a consensual buy in from the person being coached in order for them to discover, learn and adapt their behaviours.
Sales coaching is now recognised as one of the most important and essential tools for successful leaders and businesses. It is imperative that any sales coach you engage, is an experienced salesperson themselves and competent to teach and drive a dynamic sales team.
Top 5 Outcomes to expect from Sales Coaching
Skill Level Enhancement
74% of the survey respondents saw individual productivity gains for their salespeople. By coaching individuals on sales techniques, processes and efficiencies you can fine tune their skills and provide tools to adapt to different sales situations. Optimising their strengths and improving their weaknesses enables a business to maximise the results that each individual contributor is providing to their company's bottom line.
In addition to productivity on the individual level, 69% of respondents saw organisational performance gains. This is because there is a cause-and-effect relationship between developing your people and your corporate results. Increased productivity for individual salespeople creates the foundation for an amazing sales team. When individuals perform at an optimal level, the results are felt at an organisational level.
Skill Level Enhancement
69% of respondents also saw enhanced individual skills in their salespeople. Some of these skills included listening and communication skills, product and service knowledge, presentation skills, sales process, and engaging prospects. Sales skills at a behavioural level are becoming essential as corporations transition from traditional transactional selling to relationship selling.
By implementing structured coaching practices, 66% of companies surveyed saw increased employee engagement. Coaching encourages personal and professional development and takes time and commitment. When a business recognises the needs of its employees and invests in their development and growth, it not only sends a positive message but encourages the confidence and success of its employees.
65% of responding organisations saw improved retention rates for their salespeople. When a company focuses on developing its people and improving their skill sets, they tend to stay with that company longer.
This, in turn, fuels revenue growth because when a salesperson is in a territory longer, they develop better relationships with clients and are more effective team members.
More and more organisations are recognising the key role coaching plays in individual, team, and organisational effectiveness.
Nowhere does coaching play a bigger role than in sales. But it's critical to know how to do it right.
Research shows there is a cause-and-effect relationship between developing sales teams and achieving revenue goals. A winning sales team uses a consistent sales methodology and implements sales coaching as an essential part of a sales training program. This ensures the entire customer-facing team will reach their next level of performance and excellence.