Sales leaders face a common challenge: you need your employees to be at the top of their game. A lot of the time, precious resources are wasted on infective coaching strategies and it turns into a game of throwing stuff to a wall and hoping something sticks.
Leaders generally understand the importance of sales coaching, but there is a disconnect that occurs when it comes to zeroing in on an impactful strategy.
If you’re one of the countless organizations hoping to boost your reps’ sales numbers, you need to ask yourself: what does an effective sales coaching strategy look like?
The Recipe for a Good Sales Coach
Before we dive into sales coaching best practices, we must begin with the basics. What does it mean to be a good sales coach? In order to understand how to be the best coach you can be, let’s start by learning what a bad sales coach looks like.
A bad sales coach:
- Doesn’t personalize solutions or techniques
- Punishes reps for underperforming
- Doesn’t reward or acknowledge success
- Asks only yes or no questions
- Waits for failure before providing opportunities to learn and grow
So what about a good sales coach?
A good sales coach:
- Always starts by listening
- Acknowledges strengths before discussing weaknesses
- Utilizes open questions
- Develops tailored strategies for improvement
- Catches issues before they affect goals
In short, a good sales coach must be empathetic. They must take a human-centric approach and define specific strategies to overcome weaknesses.
Now that you’ve learned the difference between good and bad sales coaches, you are ready to begin exploring sales coaching best practices.
Sales Coaching Best Practices
Coaching a sales team, whether it’s happening in a group setting or individual sessions, might seem like a daunting skill to master. In reality, there are a few best practices you can start with to position yourself for success.
Identify the Right Technique
As a leader, you understand that a successful salesperson wears many hats and that the world of sales itself leans on a large array of techniques and styles. Because of this, it’s only fair to assume that there are an assortment of coaching methods to mold a successful salesperson.
It all boils down to specific team needs. We’ve highlighted two major kinds of coaching:
Tactical Coaching: in-depth suggestions about specific situations that come up in real time (like advice on a current deal or prospecting conversation)
Skill Coaching: zeroing in on individual skillsets (such as cold calling, discovery question strategies, objection handling etc.)
How do you know the right technique to choose? Well, it depends on a few things. But a good place to start is by looking at the data.
Leverage Data Whenever Possible
Sales reps often obsess over their numbers, which means they’re either dreading or chomping at the bit to go over them during a coaching session. Good sales managers don’t show up empty handed.
Take a look at your data. Locate the problem areas in the rep’s pipeline. Those problem areas are what you need to address during coaching conversations.
We know, looking at the data is a tall order when you’re dealing with multiple reps. How are you supposed to come up with reports and analyze the data in such a way that uncovers trends and tells you, clearly, what needs to happen for improvement?
The answer is simple: adopt a sales performance management solution with a focus on coaching.
Invest in Technology
A proper sales coaching strategy can seem like a big undertaking, but you’re not in this alone. There are tools to help direct you down the path of effective coaching and overall performance management, like LevelEleven.
Using LevelEleven, leaders are empowered to have better coaching conversations with ease. All of your Coaching Notes, along with activity screenshots, are saved in one place. This full-service approach to coaching allows managers the opportunity to review all past conversations and performance in order to better understand trends, strengths, and weaknesses.
Not only does LevelEleven provide the important quantitative data, but it also takes it one step further by empowering sales leaders with qualitative knowledge. Using Conversion Insights, you can quickly visualize goals and understand what behaviors and activities need to improve in order to achieve them from a “what-if” perspective.
In addition to the power of Conversion Insights, LevelEleven offers a brand new way of setting goals. With Goal Engine, sales leaders can leverage automated analysis to be told what goals are realistic using historic data.
Combine the various performance management solutions inside of LevelEleven to supercharge your coaching strategy and mentoring sessions.
Investing in the right technology is imperative for effective sales coaching. Strategies stick when they are simple to execute and automate wherever possible. A sales performance management tool with robust coaching options, like LevelEleven, is the answer.
Contact our experts to learn more about taking your coaching strategy to the next level.