According to research from Vantage Point Performance, effective sales coaching can increase win rates. However, many sales leaders don’t understand what “effective coaching” actually entails.
A report from Aberdeen found that the most effective sales coaching is proactive, consistent and data-driven. But how exactly do you achieve that? LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh recently hosted a webinar titled “Build a High-Impact Sales Coaching Strategy” to address that exact issue.
Click here to access the full recording, or keep reading for our top ten sales coaching highlights from the webinar.
Tips to host more effective sales coaching sessions
- “What makes [top performers] unique is that they have the discipline to do the right activities day-in and day-out that lead to closing more business. But intuitively, not everybody does that. They understand it in concept, but don’t always do the right things day-in and day-out, which is where a great sales manager’s coaching comes in.”
- “The salesperson knows his goal. He wants to hit his number. He is in full alignment with the manager. He wants to sell as much as he possibly can because that’s what makes him successful. That’s what makes him money. It gives him personal self-value and worth. It’s how he provides for his family, build a legacy – whatever way you want to look at it, there’s complete alignment [between rep and manager] in the desire to be successful.”
- “If you’re a personal trainer, you don’t just tell someone to go to the gym and then leave it at that. That’s not coaching. You have to be specific. What specifically do I need to work on? How often do I need to go? How long should I stay? What specific routine should I do? How much cardio versus strength training? You really have to break it down.”
- “There are a lot of different types of coaching. Deal coaching is where managers talk reps through a specific opportunity, asking where it stands, where it came from, who the rep is talking to and what the rep’s account plan is. Whatever your sales methodology is, the coaching happens around that.”
- “Meeting coaching can happen before a meeting. Get the sales rep to stop before a meeting and have them write down their agenda, goal, talking points, questions, etc. This is important for both meetings in person and over the phone.”
- “When a manager joins a rep on a call, it can be very tempting to jump in and take over. Sometimes they might need to, but they can’t always be doing that. Managers should join the meeting, and then afterward ask the rep how they think the meeting went, including what the rep thinks they did well and what the rep would have done differently. Then the manager gives very specific feedback around what happened during the call.”
- “Meeting coaching is providing both pre-meeting planning and post-meeting feedback.”
- “On a regular basis, sales managers should sit down with a rep and talk about holistic performance – separate from deals, separate from pipeline, separate from meeting feedback. You’re talking about the overall performance of that salesperson. And that, to me, is what a formal one-on-one is about. You stop, pause, step back and have a conversation about the individual’s overall performance.”
- “Sales coaching has to be proactive. You can’t wait for the rep to come to you.”
- “Sales coaching needs to incorporate data. Salespeople and sales managers are emotional people. That’s just the way that it works. Gut instinct tends to be relied on, which is great, but there’s got to be a balance of data with those emotions and gut instincts.”
Bonus: “A great frontline sales manager provides positive, hands-on coaching for the sales team with the right balance of subjective feedback and objective data.”
Sales coaching is a critical part of any organization. That’s why we take so much time exploring the topic. Find out what other advice Bob shared by accessing the full recording of the webinar below: