In today’s hyper-competitive sales market, forward thinking sales professionals are always looking to get an edge on competitors by constantly finding new ways to stay relevant and updated on the latest trends and strategies. A great sales team is the driving force behind a successful and profitable company. An effective sales coach can help the team get there. It’s comprised of a cohesive, tried and true combination of sales leaders and sales reps that are battle-hardened to understand their sales market like the back of their hands.
With that in mind, we all have to start somewhere. How do you fine-tune your sales team? While there are a variety of ways to sharpen your arsenal of skills and strategies, by far the most tried-and-true method is professional sales coaching. You won’t always have perfect sales reps, but effective sales coaching can certainly improve the performance of sales reps and help them be more effective, sell more successfully and with less stress and greater client engagement and satisfaction. If you’re looking to mold a sales dream team, these 5 steps will help guide you on how to effectively coach your sales team.
Step 1: Observe The Team
Conducting reconnaissance in any project or scenario is vital to effective sales coaching. One of the most important steps in the sales coaching process comes from the observations the sales coach makes on the individual who need sales coaching. Gather, analyze, and interpret the performance of the individual and have a discussion on any unique gaps in their sales techniques. Highlight the most important changes the individual can make in order to improve and use the appropriate metrics within the organization.
Step 2: Measure Strengths and Weaknesses
Your sales coach will then observe the operations of your sales team and provide you with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual sales reps performance in relation to the operations of your team. A crucial aspect of the sales coaching process is observing what is working and what isn’t between the team and your market. This step is crucial for your sales coach because it will allow them to develop a customized plan that will improve individual operations which benefits everyone in the organization. Here a few things to keep in mind when making observations:
- Point out what you saw. Try and make objective statements on things you noticed.
- Try to explain your observations as a cause and effect (because you did this, that happened).
Step 3: Develop and Implement The Appropriate Skills
Productive sales coaching requires a vigilant and attentive eye towards a sales rep’s best and worst attributes. Sales coaches should communicate their observations and suggest new tactics to help the sales rep improve. Sales coaches can also try role-playing exercises to help simulate the interaction between buyer and sales rep. After the scenario, sales coaches should observe how well their sales reps reflect on their own weaknesses and if there are any improvements they can make. Observe how the sales rep implements these changes.
Step 4: Observe How Well the Candidate Absorbs and Applies Feedback
After carefully watching the candidate during sales calls or role-playing exercises, sales coaches can provide one area of positive feedback that highlights what the sales representative did well and one area of improvement. Sales coaches should also make note of how responsive sales reps are to their feedback and highlight common mistakes that they are making. Make note of the amount of effort sales reps are making to correct problems and if there any significant improvements.
Step 5: Ongoing Mentoring
Sales coaches should not only help sales representatives succeed within the organization but also support and mentor them with their career goals and objectives. The sales coach can ask a few questions to help facilitate a healthy ongoing relationship with the sales rep and to also get a better idea of their motivations and what they are striving towards. As a sales manager, understand that the success of the individuals in your team is directly connected to how well your organization runs and is well-managed for peak sales performance.
A sale involves a deep understanding of the product and customer, excellent communication and presentation skills, and a positive mental attitude. Developing the right sales skills to take your team to the next level can be honed to perfection with practice and effective sales coaching. Effective sales coaching requires hard work, discipline, and training from the sales coach and the sales representative. Sales coaches should take a close look at each of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses and be on the lookout for specific things to coach. Great talent can be forged with the right amount of focus and the determination to learn.