We’ll cover five tips for better sales coaching, tips that will boost your performance at your most important job to an all new level.
As a sales manager, sales coaching is perhaps your single most important duty. Research on the subject has shown that those managers who get bogged down playing secretary to their teams, who spend little or no time on sales coaching, have far worse outcomes than those who focus heavily in the area. So what makes for good sales coaching? You don’t necessarily have to be a genius sales person yourself to guide your team members to better results. In this article, we’ll cover five tips for better sales coaching, tips that will boost your performance at your most important job to an all new level.
Good sales coaching is wholly dependent on having good data at hand. A mix of soft and hard data points works better than one or the other alone. If you don’t track data in some way, you won’t know what areas to focus your sales coaching efforts on. Figure out what areas are important in your industry and figure out a tracking solution that works for you. The market is spoiled for options in tracking numbers.
If you don’t understand your sales team as a whole and as individuals, you’ll never be able to offer optimal sales coaching. That means keeping up with those metrics you’ve started tracking. It also means understanding soft points–how your team members interact, what motivates different team members, where the group’s strengths and weaknesses lay, where individuals’ strengths and weaknesses lay. It’s a lot of information to track, but if you don’t put in the effort to learn these things your sales coaching won’t be as effective as it could be.
Few things will improve the performance of your sales team the way one-on-one sales coaching sessions will. Sales being a rather personal art, individuals rarely have identical approaches to the same process, rarely develop identical problems, and thus rarely benefit from identical coaching. If you understand your team members on a personal level, tailored sales coaching should come naturally. Developing strengths and eliminating weaknesses will be far more effective thus. It’s also worth noting the value of one-on-one coaching in building trust, establishing your authority, and maintaining team morale. One-on-one coaching means you value your sales team members. Valued team members will perform better. It’s win/win.
Sales coaching is more than teaching your team to sell and criticizing failures. It’s equally important that you acknowledge points of success, to both reinforce the positive behavior and maintain team morale. Few things can harm a team more than a manager who never acknowledges or rewards the successes of the team, focusing only on the failures or new lessons. Recognition matters to your team–even if you forget about it, your team won’t.
You can’t teach what you don’t know. Sales changed constantly, so sales managers should always have an eye out for new approaches, new tools, and new markets. You don’t need to master any of these things, but you need to learn about them and share the important details with your sales team. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself unable to offer worthwhile sales coaching, and your team will fall behind competition utilizing the latest tactics.
All of these things together will greatly improve the quality of sales coaching you can offer to your team. Remember, your goal is to polish each member of the team to do their best–sometimes which means improving strengths, sometimes reducing weaknesses, other times just fomenting better teamwork. Know your team, know how sales in your industry is evolving, and you’ll be well on your way to a superior team.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.