The term “sales coaching” has been thrown around a lot over the last couple of years with fluffy descriptions, opinionated articles, unclear explanations of what it entails and very little discussion of the ROI potential.
We’re here to clear things up. Let’s break down why sales coaching matters, how it looks and what you can do to implement a sales coaching process within your organization.
3 crucial concepts for sales leaders to understand about sales coaching
Why sales coaching matters
Without sales managers, would salespeople still sell?
Of course they would! The point is to consider how much more they could sell if there was a manager in place to teach and reinforce skills with sales coaching.
A sales manager’s role is to enable the highest level of performance from his or her team. Managers are — by nature of their job — coaches. Managers who proactively coach reps close the gap between what is and what could be. Without them, performance is capped.
Let’s say your top 20 percent of sales leaders achieved, on average, 110 percent of their goal. Their counterparts, on the other hand, were only achieving 91 percent of their goal. Research tells us that high-performing managers spend more time on sales coaching activities. So, create a consistent coaching schedule for sales leaders, and you could see the other 80 percent of your sales leaders overachieve on their goals.
How sales coaching looks
A sales leader’s ability to become a high-performing coach depends on the willingness to dedicate the time and effort to coach. The word “manager” suggests that managers should command their teams to sell more. But revenue is unmanageable, so the path to more sales must come through sales coaching.
But what does a coaching manager look like?
It looks likes any mentor, teacher or trainer you’ve had in the past. Coaches work with individuals on their team to improve specific sales skills and techniques.
Coaching styles can be personalized based on your type of team or sales process. Not every sales rep learns the same way, which means that coaching strategies are often catered to meet an individual’s specific needs. This takes extra effort, but modern sales coaches understand that it is a privilege to coach, lead and mentor their teams.
What you can do to implement sales coaching today
Invest in your sales leaders. Billions of dollars are poured into sales rep effectiveness, though the amount spent on sales manager effectiveness is insignificant in comparison.
Sales organizations have a knowledge gap, and it is incumbent upon sales executives to bridge that gap by implementing and reinforcing a sales coaching initiative.
Understanding the impact sales coaching is important, but actually implementing a sales coaching process is where you’ll see tangible results. Putting it off for another time — or dismissing it as fluff all together — will only hinder your organization’s ability to grow sales, improve productivity and retain talent year after year.
The hype surrounding sales coaching is not going away. It’s here to stay.
Learn more about proven activities and behaviors that to correlate to sales in this complimentary eBook.