Leading a sales team is a lot like coaching a sports team. Take a talented group of individuals, hone their skills, and lead them to a winning season or quarter. They both require discipline, commitment, and goal setting.
For sales, coaching is often the difference between meeting a goal and missing one. Don’t believe it? According to Salesforce, there’s a 17% performance difference in sales teams who used coaching than teams that didn’t have coaching.
So how can we become all-star coaches? Let’s turn to some of the greatest coaches in sporting history and apply their advice to the sales environment.
“They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them… you show them the reasons.” – Vince Lombardi
In sales and marketing, we often use the phrase “What’s in it for me?” when speaking to prospects. This means speaking to the benefits and not the features of a product or service and telling prospects what they really want to know.
And the same approach can be applied to coaching your sales team. Your sales reps not only want to learn how to do it, but why they are doing it. Think of the office as your classroom. Every time you get on a call, your reps are watching and learning. Teach them the philosophies and ensure they have the tactics to back them up.
“Success is won by those who believe in winning and then prepare for that moment.” – Herb Brooks
A road trip without a map is often a recipe for failure. Just like you wouldn’t leave home without plugging your new destination into the GPS, you shouldn’t have a coaching session without a game plan.
Excellent coaches measure specific skills, activities, and results. Mapping out a training plan helps sales reps envision how they are going to grow and gets them excited to get on the phone. Working on sales skills and pre-call plans instills confidence. Role playing increases self-assuredness. In short, developing a framework up front end–and staying true to it with regular touchpoints–is critical to developing the skills, discipline and focus your reps will need to meet their objectives.
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” — John Wooden
Sales is in constant flux. When a prospect walks away, there can be a tendency to cringe and panic. But change can be a valuable learning lesson when coaching your team.
Teach your reps not to cringe but to adapt. Reaction to any change should lead to a personal assessment. Make sure they ask themselves if their skills, systems, and preparation are giving themselves the results they want. Getting too comfortable in a routine is dangerous in any profession.
“Time is a nonrenewable resource. If you waste it, you never get it back, so it’s essential to pick your battles wisely.” ― Urban Meyer
Time management can be the differentiating factor between good sales reps and great sales reps. Although much of this comes from experience in the field, guide your reps to make the most effective use of their time.
Ensure they are disciplined in prioritization. Pursuing “big fish” accounts seems lucrative, but they must be attainable. Set your reps up for success by teaching them to prioritize their target accounts.
“It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.” – Pat Summitt
Q: What should you do after you’ve hit your goal? A: Keep working.
As a sales coach, it’s up to you to motivate your team to keep their foot on the gas. By using data to monitor activity, you can set new goals and establish new variables of success. Whether a rep is riding an all-time high or just meeting their quota, use data to show how their work brings continuous value.
Need expert help?
Want to know more about the game of sales coaching, the field of leads, the rink of prospecting, or the gridiron of problem solving? Contact NuGrowth today at 800-966-3051 and see how we can help you.
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The NuGrowth Sales Coaching Team. Our team of sales coaches leverage their sales expertise to set inside sales executives up for success. By providing guidance and tactical direction, our coaches help sales executives hone their skills, deliver results and ultimately, achieve goals.