There’s never been any athlete so good that he or she didn’t need a coach. Even the best players have flaws that need to be identified, skills that need to be honed, strategies that need to be implemented. In much the same way, even the most effective sales teams have room for improvement. One of the ways you can facilitate that improvement is by setting up a formal sales coaching program.
But what should this program entail, exactly? Whether you’re just launching a coaching endeavor or are looking to refine an existing one, I’ve got a few tips I’d love to share.
Tips for a More Effective Sales Coaching Program
- Start with pain points. The natural starting point for your coaching initiative is with those problem areas where your coaches need help; by focusing on those, you’ll have the more room to see serious impact. Use data and metrics to isolate these problem areas.
- Don’t overdo it. Remember that you may have some resistance to coaching, from reps who feel like they’re doing just fine on their own and don’t want any interference. As such, I’d generally suggest beginning with modest goals, and allowing your coaching program to grow organically.
- Include both group and individual coaching. I think one of the hallmarks of an effective coaching program is its diversity. There’s benefit to full-group lessons and workshops, and also more individualized, one-on-one coaching. Strike a good balance between these methods.
- Understand that different reps have different needs. Evaluate your reps to see where each one stands in terms of current skill level; ask them to perform a test pitch for you, or spend some time observing them with customers. Get a sense of how you should tailor your program to address divergent skill levels.
- Be receptive to feedback. Sometimes coaches need some coaching, too! If a rep lets you know that a certain part of your program is or isn’t working, take that seriously, and consider ways you can refine your program as it grows.
- Consider bringing in external speakers. Sometimes, hearing it from an outsider helps your sales lessons stick. And if you want an experienced sales coach to address your team, know that I’m always available!