10 things every new sales manager should know about sales coaching [research]

When we promote top-performing sales reps to the manager level, we expect them to excel at sales coaching. That’s why we gave them the job, right?

sales coaching for new sales managersBut that’s not always the case. Research shows sales managers only spend about 30 percent of their time on managing people. Even modern, data-driven organizations aren’t sure how to use their metrics for better sales coaching project management online.

That’s why the Aberdeen Group put together a report on applying the science of data to the art of sales coaching. Read the full report here.

We don’t want to give too much away, but here are some powerful highlights on sales coaching from the report:

10 insights for modern sales coaching from Aberdeen

1. Many sales leaders still coach around old-school frameworks of emotion and gut instinct.  

“While the typical manager certainly has the best interests of their direct reports in mind, they are no less immune from subjectivity when pressured to deliver the team-wide sales number, nor to rely excessively on aging concepts of ‘When I carried the bag, we did it this way.’ ”

2. Sales coaching is different from weekly one-on-ones or pipeline reviews.

“… Coaching [is] defined as those scenarios involving an actual prospect or customer opportunity, in which an individual rep works with a more experienced colleague to move that deal along more effectively.”

3. Sales coaching must be proactive and consistent.

“Aberdeen’s Sales Effectiveness research has consistently demonstrated, since 2009, that sales training is more effective when treated less like an occasional event and more as a lifestyle: ever-present and continuously improving.”

4. Top-performing companies coach frequently.

“Best-in-Class companies are 75 percent more likely than all others (56 percent vs. 32 percent) to provide updated sales training on at least a monthly basis.”

5. Data trumps emotion in powerful sales coaching.

“We’ve determined that using more data and less emotion in the coaching process provides more opportunities for sales excellence.”

6. Even consulting services brought in for sales training aren’t able to create buy-in and reinforcement.

“In the 20th century, outside companies were typically brought in to teach a proprietary sales methodology, which unfortunately, was too often captured in a ‘tribal knowledge’ repository for future sellers, nor followed up with effective reinforcement methodologies by internal managers.”

7. You must evaluate the sales coaching, along with the seller’s performance.

“While we have established that a seller’s batting average improves when coaching and supported by analytical data, no one wins every deal. Therefore, the coaching itself should be evaluated for its overall efficacy through objective post-results autopsies.”

8. Sales leaders should provide company best practices to enable seller success.

“Should individual sellers have to figure out for themselves what kind of messaging, marketing assets or sales cadence is likely to win? Not if they and their managers have access to communal wisdom — and the data — regarding what kind of content is mostly likely to work for their current deal, matched in the CRM to the most appropriate cycle stages, and efficiently captured and deployed through sales playbooks.”

9. Sales leaders who provide reps with technology that guides their activities create better coaching opportunities.

“Companies with better knowledge management capabilities in hand, supported by technology platforms that collect and distribute both materials and tactics, are more likely to put not only better coaching opportunities in front of their reps, but also more impactful crowd-sourced learnings from sales peer groups.”

10. Effective sales performance management incorporates technology and sales coaching.   

“When [sales leaders] combine these technology-oriented advantages with capitalizing on real-time coaching around specific sales deals, they introduce the perfect blend of man and machine to tackle today’s challenging, hyper-competitive B2B sales market.”

Get more data, graphics and other information in the full report. You can access it for free here by creating an Aberdeen account.

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