Is Your Sales Team Getting the Most out of Your Sales Coaching?


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A col­league of mine from Miller Heiman sur­veyed a num­ber of sales man­agers by ask­ing how much true coach­ing they have done in the last 60 days. The shock­ing truth? Three-quarters of these man­agers admit they only coach spo­rad­i­cally and say that coach­ing time just isn’t a pri­or­ity. Com­pa­nies that rely on sales and cus­tomer ser­vice teams under­stand that improv­ing sales coach­ing skills is an invest­ment worth mak­ing. How­ever, sim­ply hav­ing your man­age­ment team ded­i­cate sales train­ing time and sales coach­ing to your sales team will not be enough if you neglect some key facets of sales coach­ing, which were high­lighted in a Bloomberg Busi­ness­week arti­cle that pro­filed a sales tech­nique called “Hypothesis-Based Coaching.”

When an orga­ni­za­tion invests in sales coach­ing, there still may be missed oppor­tu­ni­ties and gaps in the sales train­ing that could lead to improved con­ver­sion rates, higher rev­enue, and bet­ter sales fore­cast­ing. When exam­in­ing your sales coach­ing pro­gram, there­fore, it’s worth not­ing some key fac­tors, that, if neglected, could be dimin­ish­ing your sales coach­ing return on invest­ment (ROI).

When it comes to sales coach­ing, once size does not fit all. Does your sales coach­ing approach fit with your com­pany cul­ture? Your brand? How about the unique per­son­al­i­ties that are in your orga­ni­za­tion? Sim­ply apply­ing an off-the-shelf, blan­ket approach method­ol­ogy for your sales coach­ing team is not going to max­i­mize the effec­tive­ness of your sales train­ing pro­gram. There­fore, when look­ing at your sales train­ing con­tent, don’t just hand it over to your man­agers and give them the green light; spend time eval­u­at­ing your orga­ni­za­tion and your sales goals. Tai­lor your sales train­ing con­tent effec­tively based on who you are as a com­pany and where you want to go.

Coach­ing your sales team is a bit like fill­ing up your car; it’s an ongo­ing process if you expect to keep dri­ving. Sales team coach­ing val­i­dates an employ­ees’ job per­for­mance, and needs to be con­tin­u­ously done with a bal­ance of prais­ing and cor­rect­ing. Unlike ded­i­cated sales train­ing events and work­shops, sales coach­ing is a con­stant job that requires care­ful atten­tion and a strong rela­tion­ship between the man­ag­ing staff and the employees.

Sales coach­ing is an ongo­ing process, but this doesn’t mean that your man­age­ment should take the lib­erty to use their day-to-day sales train­ing mon­i­tor­ing as an excuse to throw in per­for­mance eval­u­a­tions. There is a time and place for per­for­mance eval­u­a­tions, and these should be struc­tured meet­ings that are meant to pro­vide spe­cific feed­back and guid­ance so that your sales team can hit cer­tain mark­ers and goals to under­stand how they are per­form­ing over­all. In con­trast, daily sales coach­ing is the inter­ac­tion that man­age­ment has with the sales team to advise the team on best prac­tices and offer feedback.

Your sales coach­ing pro­gram needs to be adapted company-wide and have infra­struc­ture behind it to sup­port it – it should not be done in a vac­uum, in other words. Pro­gres­sive orga­ni­za­tions mon­i­tor and mea­sure their coach­ing effec­tive­ness and engage all lev­els of man­age­ment to make sure that coach­ing becomes a part of the cul­ture – not just a trend that rip­ples through.

With the pace of tech­no­log­i­cal change that’s occur­ring, sales train­ing method­olo­gies that worked well in the early 2000s (when your man­agers may have been trained), don’t nec­es­sar­ily apply to today. Sales evolve, just as indus­tries do. Is your com­pany up-to-date on the lat­est trends? Does your sales team truly under­stand your cus­tomer and your customer’s needs? Sales coach­ing needs to be imple­mented with an aware­ness of the full pic­ture – both within your company’s unique cul­ture, and exter­nally, to the indus­tries your team is ser­vic­ing and the types of cus­tomers you are targeting.

Invest­ing in sales coach­ing and work­ing closely with your sales team are great steps, but make sure you plug the holes and fill in those gaps fully by tai­lor­ing your sales coach­ing process so that you get true ROI out of your train­ing investment.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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