Sales Coaching: Driving Improved Results


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In sales, coaching is the key to driving improved results; when you coach it demonstrates your real commitment to achieving the team goals, and Forum’s climate research shows that this is one of the key motivators of improved team performance.

To maximise your coaching impact, you should coach every day, and our experience shows that coaching is particularly effective if delivered before, during and after any learning experience. Most sales managers have coached in the field and know the value of being on hand to support planning, observe performance and give feedback. However, with our help, some of our clients are now extending this good practice to the workshop experience.

The coaching dialogue should be at the heart of the learning experience, and this needs to be owned by the coaches (sales managers). Coaches set the context, check and challenge reality and provide the encouragement and support to help the salesperson move from concepts to business outcomes. They help salespeople identify the ‘low hanging fruit’ and through providing relevant scenarios, stories and examples integrate the concepts, tools, processes, skills and behaviours into their world.

Coaching prior to the workshop

Four to six weeks prior to the learning event they meet and get aligned around the content of the workshop and the expected outcomes and together explore how they can be applied. This builds confidence and provides focus; it also provides the opportunity to select relevant examples and data from their workplace for use in workshop activities. They also explain their role in the workshop as activity coaches.

Coaching during the workshop

The workshop is an often a missed opportunity for coaching; having the coach in the room is key to providing real challenge and support which increases the relevance and rigour of the learning experience. If the salesperson can’t think of a context or scenario then the coaches can provide one, they get involved in activities and provide active feedback, they observe performance and build their coaching agenda. Their presence at the workshop reinforces their role as coach and helps to embed this role with their salespeople.

Coaching after the workshop

This helps to drive results through focusing the application of their learning where it will make most impact on your key metrics. Coaches help salespeople to evaluate the outcomes of applying their learning, exploring the impact on revenue, orders and contracts etc. Coaches link to strengths, development needs and business priorities and provide regular feedback to reinforce progress and address on-going development needs. The most effective sales managers use this phase to have regular coaching conversations and organise coaching calls where they can directly observe skills, process, and behaviours in action.

For the sales manager this means spending more time as a coach, this creates a sharp focus on results throughout the learning experience which pays off through consistently producing salespeople who are motivated to apply their learning and improve their performance. This is what drives improved results long after the workshop experience.

Has your organisation had success with sales coaching? Share in the comments or on social media.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Robertson
Based in the U.K., David Robertson joined Forum in 2000. With more than 25 years' experience in the learning and development and performance environment, he has supports our solutions design team and our customers as both a Designer and an Executive Consultant. David is passionate about working with customers to create effective solutions and systems that drive real business results and help them achieve their strategy.


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