Sales coaching is instrumental in helping your organization reach revenue goals–yet few companies are using this tool to its full potential.
Ongoing coaching can help your sales team reach and exceed quota. Keep reading to learn how along with practical tips to improve your sales coaching process.
How sales coaching helps boost revenue
It’s no secret that coaching your sales team leads to better win rates. According to a recent research report, leaders at high-performing organizations spend 25% more of their time on sales coaching compared to average and low-performing organizations.
The reason why sales coaching is so effective is that it focuses on long-term behavior change. In a sales coaching session, the coach works one-on-one with each rep to assess their performance and build an improvement plan. By improving each individual’s skills, the entire sales team benefits.
Another way sales coaching boosts revenue is by ensuring that reps retain the knowledge they learn in training. 84% of that knowledge will be lost without reinforcement within 90 days. Regular coaching will ensure your training costs don’t go to waste.
For more on how sales coaching and training work together, check out this blog post.
Sales coaching tips
Start with a framework
Following a sales coaching model will help you make the most of each session and ensure you don’t forget any steps in the process. You can also share your coaching model with your sales team to help them prepare for each session.
Listen more than you talk
When a rep comes to you with a problem, instead of rushing to offer advice, let each of them work out their own solution. Ask questions that encourage them to dig deeper and get to the root of the issue.
Tailor your approach
Every member of your sales team has a different learning and selling style. Your job as a sales coach isn’t to force them to conform to your way of doing things but to help them reach their full potential. Your sales coaching should reflect this.
Get buy-in from your sales team
Instead of assuming you know best, start each sales coaching session by asking what the rep would like to work on. Work together to set an agenda for the coaching session, decide what key topics you’ll discuss, then repeat the plan back to them to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Although your reps should have a hand in setting the coaching agenda, you still need to show up to each session prepared with the necessary information. Collect data on your sales team’s performance, take notes during sales coaching sessions, and review them before your next meeting so you know what to follow up on.
The skillset of a great sales coach
Sales coaches need to be empathetic, encouraging, and have strong leadership skills. Listening and communication skills are also important.
Although coaches often begin their careers as sales reps, not all great salespeople make great coaches. Coaches need to have a greater understanding of the sales development industry and process as a whole, as well as how to keep their team motivated.
Key metrics to assess
After you begin to implement formal sales coaching, you should notice a change in your sales team almost right away.
The most significant change will be your team’s behavior. You may notice increased motivation, satisfaction, and productivity as you work with each rep to strengthen their skills and shore up their weaknesses. But how does that translate to more revenue?
Below is a list of core metrics you can use to measure the success of your sales coaching:
- Deal profit
- Deal size
- Quota attainment
- Quota exceeded
- Frequency of upsells and cross-sells
- Client retention rate
- Number of sales calls
- Number of leads contacted
- Overall sales team revenue generated
You’ll want to track these metrics for both the sales team as a whole and individual reps. For individuals, consider choosing one or two metrics to work on as a measure of their success.
If a rep wants to work on upselling, for example, then you should pay close attention to their average deal size and the number of successful upsells they complete.
Once you start seeing an improvement in these metrics, record any changes that were made and which strategies were successful. The goal is not just one month of higher revenue but a repeatable, predictable increase each month.
Should you outsource your sales coaching?
Many organizations default to using their sales managers as coaches, but unfortunately, most managers don’t have enough time to dedicate to formal coaching. Their time is taken up by sales hiring, training, and setting new goals for the team.
The result is that almost half of sales managers spend less than 30 minutes per week coaching their reps.
Sales coaching and management are really two separate roles with different skill sets and responsibilities. Hiring a sales coach will allow your manager to focus on their role without the added burden of coaching.
Outsource your sales coaching for maximum efficiency
An external sales coach can offer a fresh perspective on your sales development process. Professional sales coaches have the benefit of experience, having seen the inside of dozens or even hundreds of different businesses. It’s their job to stay up to date on best practices, and they may be able to offer your sales team advice that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.
If you’re interested in learning more about outsourced sales coaching, get in touch with us here. We’ll provide your team with the tactical coaching they need to achieve quota month after month.