What you should know about sales coaching
What is Sales Coaching?
Sales coaching for small businesses trying to grow is an extremely hot topic today. One of the reasons is Sales coaching for small businesses is so hot is it’s one of the most effective ways to improve sales performance. Like anything sales coaching for small businesses is about the person being coached. Google sales coaching for small businesses and you will find thousands of articles and blogs to help understand sales coaching as a sales performance tool. In this post, I will shed some light on not only what sales coaching is, but also how to coach if you’re a sales manager.
An Accidental Sales Coach
When I started doing sales training to groups in 1995, there was no such thing as a “Coach”. We provided training. I started to realize that if I could work one on one with sales reps, I seemed to be able to get better results in my sales training programs.
Not only did my clients get better at selling, but I was getting a ton of referrals which is the holy grail of training business. I went all in.
The Role of a Coach
Why is sales coaching one of the most effective things a business owner can invest in? Sales coaching is effective because it’s sole focus is performance improvement. learn n more here
What goes into sales performance? It starts with the sales call itself. You want to make sure there is a selling system. Coaches can provide valuable feedback on where the salesperson is getting off track. This way the salesperson doesn’t keep repeating the same costly sales mistakes.
An External Sales Coach vs. Internal Sales Coach
Sales coaches like myself can be brought in from the outside and provide many insights that wouldn’t normally be available from the inside. Coaches who specialize spend more time honing their craft because that is all they do.
Internal coaches are usually a sales manager or a business owner that also sells. They can be particularly good at coaching but usually have time constraints due to all the different roles and demands on their time. If you’re a small business owner or a sales manager, I’m sure you know what I mean.
The role of a sales coach is to help improve sales results. This is done by helping the salesperson get more at-bats and helping them win more of the deals they pursue. Let’s take a closer look at the tools of a sales coach.
Tools for Coaching Salespeople
- Motivation – In everything we do with salespeople, we look for ways to motivate them. Selling is hard work. There are many disappointments. Keeping salespeople motivated is about helping them focus on the results and the goals they’ve set for themselves. Also, the recognition they will receive for achieving a particular milestone. Most likely you want to use both. Very rarely in a coaching role will we use negative motivation. Fear of loss is rarely used unless you know for sure this is personally motivating for the sales rep. This strategy generally backfires. Learn how assessments can improve performance. https://carlswayworks.com/hiring-and-assessments/
- Setting performance expectations– As a manager, you have more control over this than an outside sales coach. What I do is set expectations with the person being coached and get an agreement that this is what they want and I ask for an agreement that this is what I will be holding your feet to the fire with.
- Tracking and metrics – Tracking and metrics are important for obvious reasons. But more importantly, this should serve as a visual reminder of where a person stands against a goal or outcome. The old management adage of “What we track and measure we improve” certainly is true in this case.
- Asking more questions– Coaching is all about the questions you ask. Skilled coaches lead a person to discover vs. telling. A good coach facilitates learning and making better choices of how a salesperson spends their time, not by directing but leading with a question.
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