Sales coaching is essential for every sales organization that wants to be successful. After all, your reps won’t have a chance to improve and grow unless you offer them effective sales coaching on an ongoing basis.
But implementing your own successful sales coaching program can seem a bit overwhelming. With these five key elements of building a successful sales coaching program, you can develop your own sales coaching process that truly delivers results for your business.
Why Is Sales Coaching Essential?
Sales coaching is vital to building a high-performing sales team. Some sales leaders and managers believe that selling is an innate talent that can’t be taught, but that’s just not correct. Sales involves many trainable skills like any other profession.
Training your sales reps improves their performance because they have the tools they need to succeed. Sales training also helps team members perform more consistently because everyone will learn how to do things the same way to get the best results. And, of course, sales processes and best practices change over time, so sales coaching helps reps adapt quickly.
Sales coaching is hands-down one of the best ways to improve sales and build your business – as long as you know how to build a strong sales coaching program.
The 5 Elements of Sales Coaching for Success
Sales coaching programs can start out effectively as well as simply with these five key elements.
1. Assess the Areas that Need Improvement
A good sales coaching program begins by assessing where the areas for improvement are on your sales team. You can’t effectively coach unless you know where the biggest needs for your sales professionals lie. You can start assessing needs by looking at your pipeline and overall sales cycle – where do deals most often fall through or get hung up? Many opportunities flounder because of poor discovery questions or poor qualification. Looking closely at these steps can uncover where your sales reps might be struggling.
Once you’ve identified one or more areas where sales performance is lacking, you can create an action plan for your sales coaching that will improve those pain points.
2. Start Small and Warm Up
Jumping right into a big, complicated, expensive sales training program is a common mistake – sales managers see a problem and want to fix it immediately. But this can create resistance in your sales reps because you’re suddenly asking them to change how they do their jobs in a significant way.
Instead, start small and work on gaining momentum. You can do some introductory activities like acting out a simple role-play scenario with an imaginary prospect and give them feedback on their messaging and delivery. You could also review a single sales call from the past week and discuss what went well and what went wrong together.
Getting your sales reps used to simple sales coaching techniques can ensure your training program doesn’t meet with too much resistance before you’ve really had a chance to get started.
3. Create Multiple Coaching Scenarios
There’s no one way to approach sales coaching that will help every rep on your team equally. Instead, try creating multiple approaches to sales training and including a variety of scenarios for coaching. For example, you can coach new sales reps on the basics, like delivering a great elevator pitch and other company messaging. And for your more experienced reps, you can work on creating better cross-selling opportunities.
An effective coach works to deliver coaching targeted to all different skill sets and levels of experience so that every rep on your team benefits from your coaching, from top performers to the newest sales reps.
4. Bring the Team Together
Coaching conversations often happen one on one in weekly check-ins, and that is helpful for offering many types of feedback. But not all sales coaching needs to happen that way. In fact, it can be beneficial to do some coaching activities as a team so reps can learn from each other as well as their managers.
You can share responses – both good and not-so-good – from individual coaching activities and have your reps offer each other peer feedback. Weaker reps will learn a lot from hearing from more successful reps, and even experienced reps can learn some new tips and pointers from their peers. You can also review sales techniques and tools together as a team to get a variety of input on what’s working well and what needs to be adjusted.
Plus, offering coaching opportunities as a team means managers aren’t the only ones on the hook to provide constructive criticism. And working together to deliver honest feedback and find new solutions can build stronger bonds between your reps, especially if some or all of them are working remotely.
5. Find the Right Help
Developing an effective sales coaching program on your own can be challenging, especially if you’re new to coaching yourself. But you don’t need to go it alone – there are plenty of resources you can use to help. You can work with internal partners like other sales leaders and managers in your organization to see what they’re doing and how it’s working.
And you can also get great coaching from an external sales coaching partner who will help you develop the most effective coaching program for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about our sales coaching program at 360 Consulting and how we can help your team grow and improve their performance, don’t wait to get in touch!
360 Consulting Can Help with Successful Sales Coaching
We know that every sales team has different challenges and unique needs – you’re not looking for a cookie-cutter solution. At 360 Consulting, we work with companies from small to mid-size enterprises and in all industries. Our decades of experience and deep knowledge of selling as both an art and a science help our clients drive more successful sales rep performance for the long term.
If you’re ready to meet and exceed your sales goals as soon as possible, it might be time to call in the experts instead of trying to do it yourself. Schedule your free consultation to find out how we help sales teams like yours break sales records.