We all want to increase sales performance. And 16 experts have identified one of the keys for getting there: sales coaching.
But what does effective sales coaching really entail?
We know that sales leaders need to have regular one-on-one sessions with their reps and that coaching should be metrics-driven.
To take it a step further, we pulled together some of the best pieces of sales coaching advice from top influencers. Here’s what they said.
Sales Coaching Lessons from the Experts:
1. “We need to allow ourselves to take that time to understand people…we’re not managing a group – we’re managing humans.” – Trish Bertuzzi, President & Chief Strategist of The Bridge Group [Source]
2. “Coachability is the most significant influencer of my hiring decision. As I think back to most of the rock stars we hired, their coachability was the personality trait that really stood out in their interviews. Evaluating this characteristic consumed the majority of my interview.” – Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot [Source]
3. “When a manager has the ‘sell the sale, make the close’ attitude, it is endemic of a much larger problem and it’s not with the salesperson, it’s with the manager. The role of management is to be engaged earlier in the sales development process.” – Mark Hunter, Founder of The Sales Hunter [Source]
4. “One of the things you have to start doing [as a sales coach] is you have to start managing what people are doing with their day.” – Lesley Young, SVP of Commercial Sales & Operations, Box [Source]
5. “So when you think about your role as a sales manager, think about how you can be more like a great personal trainer. A great personal trainer won’t just keep asking you to get on the scale and report how much you weigh. A great personal trainer will help you figure out a plan to achieving your goals.” – Bob Marsh, CEO of LevelEleven [Source]
6. “Coaching has gone to the next level. It’s stopped falling to the bottom of the list. Now there are technologies to bring it up to the top, and as modern sales leaders we need to embrace those technologies.” – Trish Bertuzzi, President & Chief Strategist of The Bridge Group [Source]
7. “Any changes in the process your sales team follows should do this: help your sales reps sell more, faster. Adding sales metrics is healthy and should make sense to the reps that are using and tracking them. If they understand how the metrics help shape their behaviors and activities, they are more likely to embrace them.” – Phil Brabbs, Managing Director of Torrent Consulting [Source]
8. “If we help folks see what they need to do to maximize their commission plan, I know they’re going to meet our larger financial objectives because it’s all tied together.” – Amy Appleyard, VP of Inside Sales at Staples Advantage [Source]
9. “Even your brightest new hire is going to perform better with a firm understanding of their role and responsibilities, your expectations of them, and the criteria on which they’ll be measured.” – Brendan Hartt, Director of Sales Development at LevelEleven [Source]
10. “[A modern sales leader] rallies troops behind the mission and leads by example — not afraid to hop on the phones.” – Steve Richard, Chief Revenue Officer at ExecVision [Source]
11. “A true sales leader does whatever they can to set their reps up for success.” – Ben Sardella, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Datanyze [Source]
12. “[Sales] managers need to teach salespeople how to get themselves out of trouble and stay productive without too much hand-holding. They need to be efficient coaches. They need to diagnose skill deficiencies, devise customer coaching strategies and coach effectively.” – Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot [Source]
13. “Sales managers spend too much time doing nothing other than completing reports. This means their perspective is nothing more than conclusions drawn from reports. The real value of insights is when the sales manager is acting as a sales leader in the field, helping to develop their salespeople and customers. This is the impact the sales leader is paid to have.” – Mark Hunter, Founder of The Sales Hunter [Source]
14. “Sales leadership dysfunction from companies, executives and managers is the main culprit why sales teams underperform.” – Mike Weinberg, Principal of The New Sales Coach [Source]
15. “The most powerful thing that you can work with your sales reps on that affects them more than anything else is to have interactive, one-on-one coaching sessions.” – Lori Richardson, Founder and CEO of Score More Sales [Source]
16. “If your team keeps failing to meet your expectations, have you clearly outlined how you define success? When you don’t communicate what you want, don’t be surprised when you don’t get it.” – Aaron Ross, Author and CRO of Predictable Revenue [Source]
17. “Dig deep and figure out what your top sellers are doing to create their success. When you understand their results producing behavior, you can encourage more of it from your entire team! If certain things are working and proven to be effective, don’t keep it a secret!” – Colleen Francis, Owner at Engage Selling Solutions [Source]
18. “Sales managers unknowingly create ‘play-it-safe’ sales cultures by not addressing the issue of failure. Here’s the real irony. If a salesperson is trying something new, such as opening a new market segment or going after a large opportunity, there is a good chance she doesn’t know everything needed to succeed.” – Colleen Stanley, President and Chief Selling Officer of SalesLeadership [Source]
19. “[Sales leaders should] make a decision to be present when meeting with members of your team. Put away your smart phone, close the door and put your phone on do not disturb. Treat your salesperson like you would treat your most important customer—because he is! Make a decision where you want to be.” – Colleen Stanley, President and Chief Selling Officer of SalesLeadership [Source]20. “The modern sales leader manages with metrics, engages with content and often times even becomes a thought leader in your industry, works alongside the team in the trenches, coaches the team on consistency, and forges a collaborative team that wins together.” – Bob Marsh, CEO of LevelEleven [Source]
Ok, so that last one was more of a holistic view of the modern sales leader, but it outlines how important coaching is as a part of that.
Haven’t had enough yet? We’ve got so much more for you. Grab a copy of this expert-packed eBook with tips for sales performance: