Sales leaders who adopt and embrace sales coaching can help transform their teams into quota-conquering champions. In fact, according to a recent CSO Insights study, businesses with dynamic sales coaching programs reach 28 percent higher win rates.
If you drill down deeper, the findings reveal that salespeople who receive 30 minutes or less of sales coaching training per week achieve win rates of 43 percent, while those that receive at least two hours of sales coaching per week jump to a 56 percent win rate.
To help you equip your team with the tools for sales success, we’ve put together a compilation of top sales coaching tips, tricks, and best practices.
1. Evaluate your sales team
With performance based compensation being one of the top motivators for salespeople, it is important to make sure that your sales team is knowledgeable and effective enough to meet their targeted quotas. The best way to improve sales coaching is to take the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each of their salespeople and provide tailored coaching to address their individual areas for improvement.
Here are a few questions to consider that will help you get started:
- Do they know who your target customers are and their common pain points?
- How well can they represent your brand in front of customers?
- Do they have a solid understanding of the products and services you offer?
- Do they know what your competitors’ strengths are? Weaknesses?
- Are they keeping up to date with news and information in your industry?
2. Develop a sales coaching framework
In addition to assessing the skill set of your sales teams, it’s important to speak to your sales managers to get an idea of their overall objectives. Doing so gives sales leaders maximum visibility into what sales coaching is taking place at the sales team level, opening the door for new opportunities on how to best adjust and improve sales coaching tactics.
Once you’ve identified the needs of your sales team and your sales managers, it’s time to create a sales coaching framework. Remember — when it comes to sales coaching, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, as every business is different. That’s why sales coaching tips provided to each salesperson must be tailored to ensure optimal results.
A structured framework needs to have enough flexibility to accommodate various managerial styles alongside the specific needs of salespeople. It should integrate all the right processes and tools to help sales managers identify what their salespeople need and how to coach them for maximum impact.
3. Provide constructive criticism
In a word (or in this case, a phrase), sales coaching is all about constructive criticism. Giving constructive feedback to your salespeople is paramount to good sales leadership and critical to your team’s success.
What does constructive criticism look like? A good rule of thumb is to start your feedback with the positive, and then go into specific areas where you’d like to see extra attention.
To help you get the most out of the conversation, follow the SMART feedback model, which ensures your feedback is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
And remember — as a leader, you need to deliver feedback that’s both valuable and actionable. You’re the model here, too, so coach the way you want your entire time to coach and be coached. The way you assess your salespeople’s performances can make the difference between an average team and a high-performing team.
4. Ensure continuous reinforcement
Sales coaching isn’t a one-and-done process. Building a successful coaching program means that you must prioritize continuous reinforcement for the duration of your salespeoples’ careers with your company.
On average, it takes roughly 66 days for a new skill to develop into a habit. That’s why it’s imperative for sales coaches to reinforce key skills consistently at a pace that’s suitable for your sales team’s existing capabilities and knowledge.
And, as we just discussed, providing constructive feedback can also help ensure you’re reinforcing the optimal performance around each skill so you’re coaching for success. The goal is to reinforce the good habits and provide feedback that guides your team away from the bad.
With the sales landscape changing at such an accelerated pace, effective sales coaching requires that you objectively and continuously evaluate strengths and gap areas, provide performance critiques, and concentrate your training efforts where they’re needed most.
5. Implement a sales coaching platform
The modern day salesperson is increasingly on the go and utilizes multiple different softwares and devices for their day to day work. Sales coaching platforms allow you to digitize your sales coaching program and accommodate how your salespeople operate.
With a platform in place, you are able to remotely coach your salespeople from wherever they may be, while simulating an in-person experience. Not having to be in-person allows you to have more frequent coaching sessions, while also reducing travel costs and time spent away from selling.
Perhaps the most valuable feature of coaching platforms is video sales coaching, where sales coaches can have their sellers record themselves practicing their pitch in a variety of assigned sales scenarios. Once the assignment is submitted, coaches can then review the submission within the platform and provide detailed feedback, tips, and overall grades based on various metrics.
The digital aspect of sales coaching tools like coaching platforms allow coaches to better track the progress of their salespeople through the analytics that they provide. The best sales coaching platforms go even further and provide coaches to supplement their sales coaching with modern sales training techniques such as gamification and microlearning.
For sellers, being able to access and complete their sales coaching at their convenience is a huge plus. Furthermore, the digital experience that platforms provide make the entire experience more engaging, efficient, and effective.
Developing an effective sales coaching program can take a lot of time, energy, and patience. However, the most profitable organizations use sales coaching as a foundation for their sales development efforts.
The sales coaching tips covered above can help you improve the sales coaching strategies you already have in place, encourage constant development, motivate your salespeople, and create a collaborative atmosphere that breeds success.
Once you have developed and refined your sales coaching program, a sales coaching platform can be implemented. Although it may seem like a big investment, it can also be critical and worthwhile in furthering developing the skills of your salespeople.
Download Bigtincan’s Ultimate Sales Coaching Guide to learn more.