The battle cry for Sales Coaching has never been greater. Learning and development professionals and senior sales leaders continue to identify Sales Coaching as a top priority for their frontline sales managers. Yet, the frontline managers often avoid coaching for a number of reasons:
The evidence for the benefits of coaching is compelling. Not only can it help develop your reps and improve selling skills, but high performing sales teams tend to have managers who spend more time coaching, as evidenced by the 2017 Sales Management Research Report. It’s a bit like flossing or going to the gym—we all know we should do it, but for various reasons, it doesn’t happen as often as we might like. So why is that?
In our 2017 Sales Management Research Report, 5 Hallmarks of a High-Impact Sales Organization, we found that sales managers at high-performing organizations spent significantly more time coaching their teams than average and lower performing teams.
Sales coaching is one of the most important activities a manager can do to improve the performance of their sales team, as evidenced by the 2017 Sales Management Research Report. Yet managers often confuse sales coaching with just having one-on-one meetings and telling their reps how to improve. At the heart of good sales coaching is a mindset that encourages the rep to take responsibility for their development and engage in a collaborative, positive process of improvement. This involves key sales coaching activities that are different than other things you may be doing to direct, manage or motivate your team.
I was sitting down with our Chief Customer Officer, Ray Makela, and we were discussing deal coaching. I reminded him of his blog post on 5 Deal Coaching Questions for Sales Managers to Ask and he made a very interesting point about a sixth question he now wants to add to this list; What's the decision making process?
Research shows that sales coaching is a critical skill you need to master as a sales manager. When you do a great job coaching, your reps make quota more consistently; they learn how to solve their problems; and rep turnover rates go down as your sales people achieve greater success and see that you are committed to their development. So, how much time should you spend coaching your team each week?