The Easy Peasy Way to Start Sales Coaching

Every year new research shows the impact of individual sales coaching. It seems most sales leaders “get” that we are supposed to coach our reps. Yet, it can be so hard…but does it have to be?

The case for sales coaching is compelling, with the most recent I’ve seen from The Sales Management Association noting:

  • Companies that support coaching development improve sales objectives by as much as 19%.
  • High performing firms who achieved sales objectives in the preceding 12 months provide 15-20% more coaching compared to firms who don’t coach.

Yet, there are always a bunch of reasons why we just can’t “find the time” to coach…

  • I’m already working such long days just keeping my boss happy.
  • I’m a producing manager, and I have accounts and customers vying for my time.
  • My reps are all experienced and know what to do; so they don’t need me coaching and wasting their time.

The excuses we make for ourselves are convenient.  And, if any of these resonate with you, you’re not alone!

Objective Management Group research on the value of coaching and the “state of” effective coaching of sales teams is disheartening.

  • Effective coaching of salespeople has been proven to impact revenue growth by 28%.
  • Sales Leaders are expected to spend 50% of their time coaching their salespeople.
  • Only 15% of all Sales Leaders spend more than 25% of their time coaching.
  • Only 7% of all Sales Leaders are effective in their sales coaching.

Why is this practice–coaching, which is proven to work- not given the necessary time and focus? Is the lack of effectiveness of sales coaches across the globe because of unwillingness or reality?

Could it be because we still don’t value the impact? We’ve never received good coaching ourselves? Never been “taught” how to coach?? Or is it that we just  haven’t made it a priority?

Make it Easy Peasy With These 2 Coaching Hacks

Whatever the reason, we can make the time and quickly start to gain the benefits of coaching our reps with the following coaching hacks:

Hack #1

Adopt the mindset to make EVERY interaction a coaching opportunity. Yup, every interaction is an opportunity to build your reps…if you focus on the rep and their goals, dreams, skills, questions, and desires/motivators.

Our interactions are many, and the need to have different types of conversations is important.

There are many types of coaching conversations (discussed in the MSDynamics webinar here) we may have depending on the reps’ experience level, performance, confidence, and challenges.

  • Accounts
  • Goals
  • Development
  • Problem solving
  • Correction
  • Motivation
  • Sounding Board

Each of these topics lends itself to coaching the person to take action, commit, stretch, and grow!

Hack #2

Ask questions instead of giving the answer or edict. When you ask for the rep to tell you how they think they should “handle” something, ask for their opinion on an activity, or what their goals are, you develop their problem solving skills, increase their confidence, build trust, and equip them to do more without you.

And a Bonus Hack

TREAT your interactions with your reps the same as you do with your prospects and customers/clients. Prepare for your conversations; focus on what they want to accomplish and how you can support them achieving those objectives; pay attention to them as a person; help them get what is important to them; remove obstacles; and make the time for them whether they think they need it or not.

I want you to think about these 3 coaching hacks. They don’t require a lot of money, tools, or training. You can control whether you do them…or not.

Let’s face it, the research supports coaching, and top performers across all disciplines tap into the power of coaching (athletes, musicians, executives). If you don’t make the time for one-on-one coaching a priority, you will spend that time anyway…but instead of developing top performers, you’ll spend your time troubleshooting, reacting to emergencies, hiring new reps, and chasing your sales goals month after month after month.

4 Success Drivers You Need to Know...and Grow

TRAINING REPLAY

How do you strengthen this "Will" among your sales associates? How does the lack of drive impact your daily life? I discussed this and so much more on a recent virtual training event you can access below. It's valuable information for any business leader who needs to maximize performance of their people to grow their company.

Click here to access the replay.