From a scale of 1 to 5, how confident are you that your sales team has the training it needs to succeed?
If you can’t comfortably give everyone on your sales force a solid five out of five, it’s time to review what they need to reach targets.
Too often, companies invest time and money developing the initial skills necessary for new hires to hit the ground running, but neglect to invest in ongoing training due to the cost, the time requirements, or poor past results. This approach, although common, can have a negative impact on job performance.
The best sales leaders know that even well-performing salespeople need regular training and feedback to become better, and that doesn’t involve only training workshops. Instead, they use a modern methodology which helps transform competent salespeople into selling superstars: Coaching.
Bring Out the Best in Your Team Through Sales Coaching
Do you want to get the best from your sales force? Try adding these coaching strategies to your management style.
Know your role as a coach
You don’t want your boss to tell you how to do your job, why do you think your team does? It is time for you to stop assuming your employees appreciate you telling them what to do. A better approach to dictating their behavior is to suggest different ways they can perform their jobs more productively to accomplish their sales goals.
Forget about using a one-size-fits-all training mentality — it doesn’t work. The heart of sales coaching is helping a staff member find ways to use his or her abilities to the fullest. Your goal is to assist each member of your team to create and define goals; provide guidance on how to reach these personalized goals; and finally offer support and motivation when the person falls short of these goals.
Help your staff members create their own solution
Instead of confronting an underperforming sales professional and offering advice how to improve, let him discover the answers himself. Using this approach encourages the seller to strive harder to make the necessary changes everyone wants. An excellent way to initiate self-correcting is by linking his current behaviors with the lackluster results.
Try sitting down with the salesperson privately and play therapist. Ask probing questions such as:
- Are you happy with what you achieved?
- Which of your actions do you think helped to determine the outcome?
- How can you modify your actions to create more positive results?
- How will you feel when you reach your goal?
Use the staff member’s answers to formulate a plan he can use to improve.
Concentrate on the beginning of the sales cycle
While most sales managers focus on finding ways to close deals, a smarter play is helping sellers improve their early cycle sales actions. The truth is once a sale reaches the later stages, it’s already out of your hands for the most part. When you help your salespeople develop effective early cycle sales actions, you give them more opportunity to influence the outcome of the deal.
These are just a few sales coaching strategies that I hope you will start implementing as we strive to create an autonomous and high-performing sales team.