Sales Coaching First: Insights for Long-Term Business Outcomes
Getting the healthy dose of inspiration from innovations and capabilities of CRM platforms, more and more companies consider sales coaching a relevant practice after CRM data migration, as well as a practice to support successful behaviours their sales reps and achieve set goals faster.
The objective to deliver more qualified service and boost the revenue rates goes right after the high-stakes battle to attract and retain skilled sales reps. In that line, the coaching becomes not only a way to upgrade the performance, but also a recognition of employees’ potential. So, along with combining on-the-job instructions, your staff expects the direct yet supportive feedback - neither teaching nor lecturing.
To prove the efficiency of sales coaching, the following suggestions are based on the Complimentary Research: Best Practices in Sales Coaching Across the Workforce by Richardson sales training company.
Ingredients of Sales Coaching
The interactive process includes leadership alignment, communication plans, and metrics (those that require improvement and the ones that will be measured during the sales personnel training). Nevertheless, sales coaching program should be implemented and this side may unveil some weak points in your company culture.
Before adoption of any sales coaching, start with defining answers to such questions:
Who will be a coach for your sales team?
What skills or behaviours will they coach or encourage?
What is the procedure of the sales program implementation?
Where are you going to direct company efforts and resources?
Aspects of Successful Sales Program
In case you are questioning the whole idea of sales coaching, the above-mentioned survey showed that 154 companies of 266 run this program on a permanent basis. Plus, the structure of effective initiatives proves to be a formal or semi-formal in 53% of sales programs.
Continue this theme, the coach is an inevitable element, as well as his/her behaviours and areas that are going to be covered (i.e. goal setting, product knowledge, positive enforcement, or understanding of the industry trends). In addition, the technologies and delivery tools play an equally important role.
One more of the best practices is to challenge your team with the training for managers, urgency of the program, and reinforcing to apply newly-acquired skills into everyday practice. Making a great use of survey results, there appears a number of tips to proceed with sales coaching and depriving efforts of going in vain.
#1 Frequent Programs Deliver More Successful Effects
If you fail to practice your art, it will soon disappear. Something similar may happen with your sales team. That’s why the implementation of sales programs into the company culture practices by many organizations. The main point here is to turn the occasional activities in the scheduled meetings, training to support of sales personnel and unveil their potential.
#2 Run Sales Coaching in Formal Structure
Roughly speaking, the formal structure is the scheduled time, defined areas of focus, and sales-specific approaches from the coach. This type of program doesn’t require the leadership buy-in as long as it’s planned event with the defined aim and theme that support business progress and upgrade.
#3 Selecting a Sales Coach: External Professional vs Internal High Performer
Aiming to ensure the high quality of sales program, company face the challenge of choosing a coach:
hire an external expert,
make a sales leader a coach or
a high-performing rep will handle this task.
Some industries require a coach from the company that is fully aware of the product/ service, while others need some fresh ideas from a new person. In case, you need to find the sales coach the designation of this task is also the important part of the initiative implementation.
#4 Check out Qualifications and Skills of Coach
The critical objective of sales coaching is to direct reps behaviour and show them how to use their skills, thus it is far from teaching the basics. Make sure you haven’t overlooked the qualification of the coach and this professional is well-acknowledged with the product, sales processes, and their connections to the major KPIs and revenue rates.
#5 Fuel Engagement with Gamification of Sales Coaching
With the introduction of game elements into sales program, you will motive reps to cope with coaching challenges along with their engagement increase. Moreover, the gamification facilitates the monitoring of the cohesion of the behaviours and skills coached via the fair competition.
#6 Apply Various Ways and Means to Sales Program
To deal with strategic challenges, your coaching initiative should be included into organizational culture, have a clear end-state and short-term milestones, and get the adequate budget from the leadership or stakeholders.
Another vital touch is the planning and coach performance. The professional who will lead those sessions should be well-trained and familiar with the tasks, have advanced communicational skills and motivate sales personnel to engage. Moreover, the sales coach is supposed to provide general and local support, as well as offer information in various forms (webinars, simulations, video learning, etc.)
#7 Suit Program to All Employees Despite the Age or Experience
The sales personnel consists of various generations, and this fact is obvious. Once millennials are more tech-savvy, but they may lack experience. While generation X prevails in the actual sales experience. The point is to develop your sales coaching in a way that will help both representatives and bridge the gaps they face during their day-to-day performance.
Each of these best practices in sales coaching can be added into your business strategy to fuel the efficiency of processes with CRM. Along with advancing your team, you will bring together new discipline and data management structure. With effective sales coaching, the behaviours and tactics will drive the ultimate results.