Being an effective Sales Coach is a differentiator when it comes to the results of sales teams and the results of individual sales professionals.
The quality of a Sales Coach has a direct impact on sales performance whilst also positively impacting attrition rates when it comes to your star performers.
We know the challenge we are faced with.
- Salespeople average only 3 years of peak performance in a role.
- The average tenure of a B2B sales professional is at an alarming 16.8 months.
- Only 5% of B2B sales professionals stay with a company for more that 5 years.
- On average, teams that report receiving more than 3 hours of coaching per month exceed their goals by 7%.
What is being done to mitigate the impact of the challenge?
The activities performed by a Sales Coach are not always supported by a company manual, a set of documented processes or the luxury to observe a role model.
Many organisations do not invest in the skill of sales coaching instead seeing the role of sales coach ensuring the result will be hit, whilst also acting as the conduit between the leadership and the front line.
I find it shortsighted when senior leaders do not recognise the skills of sales coaching and the impact of getting this aspect of a sustainable sales culture set up correctly.
I’m seeing this misalignment growing and recognising this I wanted to offer some of my experience gained over the last three decades as a Sales Coach.
The three different approaches of Sales Coaching that I use:
Dedicated infield Sales Coaching session:
- These are not joint customer visits. These are dedicated Sales Coaching sessions.
- Personal development goals are agreed based on a previous observation(s) or agreed competence gap(s).
- The sales call has been selected in order that the Sales Coach can observe these specific development goals.
- The Sales Coach will not play an active part in the sales call and will observe the sales professional.
- A feedback session is held after the sales call to reflect on progress and any future development opportunities.
- Structured Sales Meetings create clarity win performance and development goals.
Sales Coaching in structured Sales Meetings:
- These are diarised Sales Meetings, they are weekly and are in place to support the sales effort.
- Sales opportunities are identified and prioritised to improve success rates. Considering likelihood & confidence to close the deal.
- Blockers or resource(s) required to move the opportunity forward are identified and a time bound action plan is agreed.
- Recognition opportunities are actively sought and performance concerns addressed.
- These meeting provide a safe place for performance to be discussed and build trust between Sales Coach and Sales Professional.
Adhoc Sales Coaching creating motivation & intimacy:
- Reach out to a sales professional offering specific coaching support if you know the call that are making will be a challenging one.
- Check in with a sales professional at the end of the day after they were making a challenging sales call.
- Ask if they had the opportunity to work on the development goal and ask what they did differently this time around.
- Share materials that will assist the development goals of your sales professionals: articles, blogs, data etc.
- Provide the space for your Sales Professionals to make safe mistakes.
Knowing when and where to flex any of these three approaches will improve the impact you have as a sales coach.
Consciously deploy them where and when appropriate and see the relationship you have with your sales team deepen and the sales results improve.