Sales coaching is continuous, one-to-one training provided to sales representatives aimed at improving their sales performance. Sales leaders share a sales coaching program with salespeople to help them improve their strategies and increase sales. They listen to sales reps to uncover and solve the issues they face every day when communicating with customers.
In this article, we’ll unveil the importance of sales coaching and the way it works. We’ll also review sales coaching techniques and some effective tips.
Why is sales coaching important?
Unlike salespeople’s onboarding, sales coaching is a continuous process sales teams need. With its help, sales representatives can receive new knowledge and improve their skills. During this time, coaches listen to their students to identify the main problems rather than talk all the time. It makes sales coaching different from onboarding.
By communicating with salespeople face-to-face, sales experts can identify the problems of each sales rep and help them solve trouble areas to ensure successful deals. Inconsistent messaging, underqualified agents, the wrong tone of voice, and ineffective approaches can become obstacles to preventing the sales team from reaching a company’s revenue goals. Sales coaching allows businesses to raise these issues and find solutions.
After effectively interacting with an experienced mentor, sales representatives find out their problems, eliminate them, and improve their sales performance. As a result, three parties reap the benefits of this process. They are sales managers, sales reps, and customers. Salespeople manage to increase their competencies and identify the gaps during their communication with buyers. They can plunge into self-discovery and self-improvement and eventually increase sales. Sales managers can see better performance of teams and reach the target. Consumers get proper communication with sales representatives, receive better engagement, and obtain all the necessary information.
Now that you know the importance of sales coaching, it’s time to proceed to the next section. We’ll review the main duties of sales coaches who provide proper training.
What does a sales coach do?
Sales coaches differ a lot from people who onboard new sales representatives and tell them what to do. This training is specialized, meaning each coach approaches each sales rep individually. However, sales leaders don’t say what to do and don’t give accurate instructions on how to handle calls or communicate with clients because every customer is unique and needs a tailored approach. Mentors provide salespeople with some specific piece of advice that can help solve a specific problem or reach a certain goal.
To understand how to help increase sales, sales coaches try to figure out the motivators, strengths, and weaknesses of every sales rep. It enables them to find a personalized approach and improve sales performance.
Let’s unveil some of the responsibilities of sales coaches that empower salespeople to gain better performance and reach their sales targets. Sales mentors manage the following tasks:
- share insider tips and practices related to sales;
- conduct sales training;
- review a specific sales rep’s call to figure out what was fine and bad;
- show some helpful tools and selling techniques;
- discuss problematic areas which require special attention;
- rehearse a call with a potential client and analyze it;
- analyze conversations with prospects and customers through emails and messengers;
- identify strengths and weaknesses during communication with clients and provide advice for improvement.
Sales coaches don’t provide sales reps with accurate instructions but set specific goals. They work with sales representatives to develop a plan to attain these targets.
Now that you know the main duties of sales mentors, it’s time to explore the best sales coaching techniques. After reviewing the next section, you’ll be able to identify the most suitable approaches to achieve sales goals for your company.
4 Sales Coaching Techniques
Although sales coaches should be ready to comply with a specific business culture, there are still several versatile techniques that any company can use. Let’s review them individually so that you can take advantage of these approaches.
- Trying various coaching styles. Since sales have many approaches to success and styles to apply, sales coaching has them too. To determine the right style, you should figure out the needs of your team first. You can test several to finally find the right one for your salespeople. For instance, if your sales team needs detailed suggestions about specific sales situations with prospects or customers, consider implementing tactical coaching. It will help you unveil all the details regarding a certain issue with customers. Strategic coaching enables sales reps to obtain a general picture of the situation and its solution. When a sales representative needs to analyze and improve specific sales skills, it’s advisable to implement specific skill coaching.
- Letting sales reps contribute to the process. Since salespeople work independently based on their strategies, it’s sometimes difficult to change their opinion about the process and modify it. It can be complicated for them to accept standing instructions. That’s why there’s no need to be pushy or over-instructive. Better let your salespeople analyze their performance rather than tell them how to act and what to do. People are critical regarding their work, so give them space for suggestions and insights. They will figure out the solution to their problems with your little assistance and helpful advice.
- Choosing average salespeople. Sales coaching enables the improvement of performance not only of one individual but the entire sales department. Each team has salespeople with different levels of performance. Some of them we call top performers, and some of them are low performers. When picking up salespeople for sales coaching, choose wisely. Since top and low performers can’t bring your company a significant difference in sales and revenue, selecting sales reps in the middle is better. This is because top performers already bring the highest profits, and low performers still need to improve many aspects of their work to achieve better results (it can take a lot of time). Average salespeople always have some space for improvement and a desire to perform better than others. These reps can bring you a real impact and help you reach your company sales targets within a shorter period.
- Paying attention to sales data. If you decide to implement coaching, ensure to use all available data, tools, and approaches to make a difference. Consider using sales data sales managers can provide. This way, you’ll be able to identify the problem and figure out how to solve it. For example, if a salesperson has many prospects but only a few deals, you need to address this problem. However, take everything step-by-step by splitting up the sales funnel based on the problem area.
Now that you know the most effective techniques, it’s time to jump into great tips that will allow you to make the best of sales coaching and turn your average salespeople into top performers.
6 Effective Sales Coaching Tips
In this section, we’ll share 6 sales coaching tips for you to consider. They will help find out how to encourage salespeople and improve their sales strategy.
- Unveil salespeople’s motivators. If you strive to develop a personalized approach for every individual and reach specific goals, you need to identify their drivers first. Besides making money goals, sales reps have some other targets for sure. You need to figure them out. This step is essential for choosing the right coaching style and ways to engage these individuals. Consider asking your salespeople about their vision for the future of their personal and professional lives. As a result, you’ll be able to identify what motivates them.
- Implement contests and incentives. When implementing sales coaching, you can encourage salespeople with various incentives that help them achieve their targets. However, rewarding the first sales rep who makes a deal isn’t effective. Your bonus should focus on the action.
- Provide a personal bonus. To improve the performance of specific salespeople, consider rewarding them. Tie your bonuses to specific goals. Choose your rewards wisely based on the available list of salespeople’s motivators. It will help you drastically change the performance of your sales team and help them attain their goals.
- Let your top performers help. Top performers with vast experience and a history of successful deals can be examples during your sales coaching. Consider asking your best sales representatives to conduct a master class on how to interest prospects, lead them successfully down the sales funnel, and close deals. Best sales representatives can make some calls or demonstrate the recording of their successful calls. Afterward, all participants can discuss the call, its pros and cons, and make improvement suggestions.
- Role-play some of the difficult scenarios. Sales agents need to be good communicators and psychologists to find the right tone of voice, the direction of the conversation, customer needs, and so on. You should be confident about your speech when dealing with rejections. It requires a lot of work and stability. To make everything perfect, your sales representatives need to practice their conversations and work with possible rejections. When coaching, make sure to exercise uncomfortable scenarios and hard conversations. Provide salespeople with some most common objections to work on. Listen to their responses to find out whether they are ready for real calls. As a result, they won’t feel awkward when hearing objections during the actual calls.
- Ensure positive feedback as encouragement. When you criticize the work of your sales team, make sure to support your statements with some positive feedback. With its help, you’ll be able to point out areas of improvement and acknowledge the work of your sales representatives. Negative feedback often discourages salespeople from working and striving for better results. So, appreciating their work is essential. It also helps sales reps find out what they do right and where they still need to improve.
Congrats, now you know what sales coaching is and why it’s essential to implement. Hope that our best techniques and tips will come in handy when you decide to conduct training for your sales reps.
- This article defines the term.
- In this article, you’ll find the benefits and duties of a sales coach.
Last Updated: 29.06.2023