LevelEleven’s Ultimate Round-Up of Sales Coaching Advice

Effective Sales Coaching

It’s a widespread challenge among managers and team leaders: you need your employees to be as effective as possible. It’s essential that as a manager, you can trust their performance and have confidence in their abilities. When that becomes a problem, oftentimes the result is employee turnover.

But here are some scary statistics for you: it can take up to 8 months for a newly-hired employee to reach full productivity. That lost productivity due to time spent in new-hire training can amount to 2.5% of business revenue.

So how do you avoid this? While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we’re convinced (as are others) that a lot of employee turnover can be mitigated with effective coaching. With proper coaching, you can make onboarding for new reps quick and easy, and ensure you’re getting best practices out to your established team.

As one of the first Sales Performance Management platforms available on Salesforce’s AppExchange, we’ve been doing this for over 9 years. Over this time, we’ve accumulated quite a bit of thought leadership on the subject of sales, including effective sales coaching. Here’s a roundup of our greatest hits when it comes to sales coaching advice.

Note: although we talk about coaching in terms of “sales coaching,” these tips & tricks can be easily adapted to fit any sort of employee coaching – our techniques aren’t exclusive to the sales department. Try employing these suggestions with your HR department, for example, or your call center. In particular, items #1 & #2 and #4 & #5 can be universally applied, no matter the job function. Simply sub-out “sales” with whatever role you want to coach.

Effective sales coaching techniques

1. Tips to Effectively Coach Your Remote Team

This post (unsurprisingly) has been our most popular blog of 2020, with helpful tips on how to coach your team remotely.

In this list of effective sales coaching tips, you’ll find advice about alternative methods of communication, ensuring consistency, setting expectations, and how coaching templates can assist with all of these challenges.

As many find themselves managing their sales teams from home for the first time, they’re turning to articles like this one for advice and tips on coaching a sales team.

2. Coaching Versus Feedback: A Guide For Sales Managers

It’s a common misconception that “coaching” and “feedback” are interchangeable, but a dangerous one. Whereas one is proactive and long term-focused, the other is reactive and more of a temporary adjustment.

While you don’t want to crush confidence by being critical without any recourse, you also have to be sure to correct negative behavior immediately. To ensure peak performance, you’ll need to correct behaviors that prevent your sales reps from reaching their goals, while also developing their skill-sets long-term.

Understanding the difference between coaching and feedback is essential. This guides you through the key disparities to highlight why a balance of both is the way to go.

3. Sales Performance Coaching Methodology

This post will teach you how to establish a sales performance coaching methodology and give tips on what makes a good vs. bad coaching session.

It walks through some examples of suggested activities that will enhance your coaching, such as role-playing and peer coaching sessions. These complementary coaching activities help to solidify new skills and can also encourage collaboration that fosters a supportive environment.

You’ll also find a few helpful tips throughout the post about coaching a sales team, so be on the lookout.

effective sales coaching advice

4. 6 Tips to Make Your Sales One-on-Ones Great

It’s a common misconception that if you’re talking to your salespeople every day, consistent one-on-one meetings aren’t necessary. But you know better. The one-on-one session is a crucial form of coaching.

Read this article for some actionable tips you can use for your next one-on-one. You’ll learn how to ensure you’re properly addressing what’s going well and what areas need help or improvement.

Now, this may have been originally posted 5 years ago, but bear with us – these 6 tips still ring true today. After all, one-on-one coaching sessions are still one of the most effective approaches for coaching sales reps.

5. The Modern Manager’s Guide to a Productive Coaching Session

Another essential read, this article gives you a 5-step guide to increasing the productivity of your coaching sessions.

From setting clear expectations to personalization and encouraging collaboration, we give you a step-by-step guide to sales performance coaching. If you follow this guide, you’ll learn how to build the foundation for productive coaching sessions.

The article also explains the benefits of investing in effective sales coaching technology, such as 28% higher win rates with dynamic coaching programs.

effective sales coaching remote sales coaching

6. Coaching Your Coaches – Setting Your Managers Up For Success

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this important piece: how to coach the coaches.

You’ve seen the difference in coaching and teaching, and you know better than to stick to only feedback instead of coaching. Now it’s time to make sure your boss has set you up for coaching success.

Read this article to find out what are the “best practices” for implementing a successful coaching program, as well as examples of problematic coaching training programs to avoid.

Bonus: LevelEleven Coaching Best Practices eBook

Now that you’ve worked through this list, you know that proper coaching can make or break a sales rep’s success, and you see the important distinction between “coaching” and “feedback.” That’s all well and good, but just because you understand the value of sales coaching doesn’t mean you know how to do it.

In fact, according to a recent study, 93% of managers need training on coaching employees.

Fear not – we wrote the book on coaching best practices (see what we did there?). This may not be a blog post, but we thought it was important to throw in our popular eBook on sales coaching. It’s chock full of tips on effective sales coaching, sales coaching templates, sales coaching questions, and more.

A few final tips:

1. Take a human-centered approach – right now, everyone is struggling a bit. Keep this in mind when you’re discouraged by lower-than-normal KPIs and morale.

2. Remember, the key here is to support your team and increase your visibility into performance, not to micromanage sales reps.

3. Don’t take this list as the be-all, end-all of effective sales coaching. The most crucial thing to remember is to adapt your sales coaching techniques to fit your team – learn what works for you and your sales reps, and work from there.

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