Imagine your entire sales team performing 20% better than they do now.
That’s what you can achieve with the right kind of sales coaching program.
A high-impact sales coaching program enables sales reps to meet prospects early in the buyer’s journey. A successful sales organization uses effective sales coaching to increase sales performance.
What is Sales Coaching?
Sales coaching is the process of helping an entire sales team focus on their performance improvement goals to achieve more sales.
Sales include whatever a business uses to get a buyer to purchase a product or service.
As a whole, sales have come out of the Dark Ages. As technology becomes increasingly advanced, businesses collect and process more and more data, and bringing revenue in continues to get more and more efficient.
Sales coaching helps your sales teams keep up with those changes. An effective sales coaching program can drive the success of your entire company.
Modern Sales Strategies Are Evolving
Our digital world has changed everything about sales in recent years. Before the internet, salespeople met their prospects in the real world. Today, it’s more likely that your prospect will find you.
That doesn’t mean you can create an internet presence and then sit back and watch the sales roll in. Sales are becoming even more competitive as the buyer’s journey continues to evolve.
Sales Success Means Getting Ahead of The Buyer’s Journey
Sales is still an active process, and sales representatives do a lot of footwork with prospective buyers.
That part hasn’t changed.
What has changed is where they meet the buyer on their journey. An effective sales rep will meet a buyer before the buyer has even decided to make a purchase.
It’s too late if you wait to meet your buyers in the decision stage. Another salesperson will already be there by then.
The Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey has three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.
People don’t just suddenly decide to make a purchase. Sometimes, they don’t even know they have a problem that your product or service will solve.
- The Awareness Stage is the stage where a buyer realizes they have a problem,
- The Consideration Stage is the stage where a buyer sees their problem clearly and looks for a solution, and
- The Decision Stage is where buyers look for the right solution to their problem.
The Buyer’s Journey Drives Purchases
Your business needs to be involved in every step of the buyer’s journey. Knowing where a prospect is in the buyer’s journey allows you to take the right actions to convert leads into sales.
Businesses are taking an innovative approach by using data-driven technologies. They make contact with buyers early in the buyer’s journey. They find ways to keep communicating with them, but they focus more of their efforts on buyers closer to the bottom of the purchasing funnel.
Sales teams must focus on all stages of the buyer’s journey and have the right message for each step. Leads come from the awareness and consideration stages, but sales come from the decision stage.
Knowing how to define each stage of the buyer’s journey and how to approach buyers in those stages is critical. Sales coaching can help with this.
Warm Calling Replaces Cold Calling
Cold calling is a thing of the past. These days, most connections have been made on the internet before a follow-up phone call happens.
Email marketing campaigns are more targeted and focused, too. Successful salespeople know who their buyers are and what part of the buyer’s journey they are in before they ever make contact with them.
Sales Coaching Techniques For The Buyer’s Journey
Timing is everything when you are making sales in today’s digital frontier. When your sales team gets the coaching they need, they can work together to learn the buyer’s journey for the items your company sells.
Training programs can teach your sales team about the stages of the buyer’s journey. Sales coaching will help them institute effective sales techniques.
How Businesses Stay Competitive With Sales Coaching
Buyers are making purchases all the time.
To be successful, a company needs an effective strategy to get the buyer’s attention. That’s not enough, though.
A company has to be able to convince a buyer to purchase from them. Without an effective sales strategy, a company will fail.
An effective go-to-market strategy is critical, but the sales strategies are only as good as the sales teams and managers who lead them.
An effective sales training program has to be a part of your company’s overarching plan, but it can’t end there. On top of sales training, you need to implement an effective sales coaching program.
What is the Difference Between Sales Training and Sales Coaching?
On the surface, “sales training” and “sales coaching” might seem the same, but they aren’t.
They are similar, but there are some differences. Coaching is an extra layer of training. It involves a longer-term approach.
When you train sales representatives on how to make sales, you leave out a fundamental feature. A sales coach’s ongoing support for sales representatives will help them achieve their goals.
Building Dynamic Sales Teams with Your Sales Managers
What do all sports teams have? That’s right! They all have coaches.
Coaches encourage, persuade, inspire, and instruct their team members. Sales coaches can do this, too.
A sales manager is likely to be the best sales coach for your sales department. Your sales team can benefit from already knowing and respecting their manager.
How to Know if Your Sales Manager Will Make an Effective Sales Coach
Managers have a lot of responsibilities. There are a lot of highly effective managers who are great at taking care of their departments. But not all of them are cut out to be effective coaches.
Successful sales coaching requires the right personality and a willingness to spend time on coaching sessions. Effective sales coaches should be patient and have excellent follow-through.
The Benefits of Sales Coaching
Sales reps that receive regular sales coaching from their sales managers bring in more revenue.
But that’s not all. The benefits of sales coaching techniques include closing bigger deals, increased productivity, bringing in new clients, and greater team satisfaction.
People love to be part of a winning team. When your sales team is excelling because of its coaching program, it’s the same as any sports team. They are happier.
Who is a Sales Coach?
Sales coaches are usually sales managers.
Sales managers have a lot of responsibilities, and coaching their team is just one of their jobs. But when a sales manager becomes a highly effective coach, they can increase the sales performance of everyone on their team.
In the long run, investing in sales coaching will make your team more productive and run more smoothly. That will save you time in other areas.
Sales Coaches Are People Who Care
Like any good coach, a sales coach needs to care about the players on their team.
Coaches who care help sales reps maintain accountability. Having one on one meetings is an excellent way to support salespeople. Taking the time to have coaching conversations is another way to show support.
Sales Coaches Are Teachers
Effective sales coaching means providing a regular, consistent training program.
Because the sales field is constantly changing, it’s essential to keep training sales reps about new developments.
Sales Coaches Set Goals For Their Team’s Performance
Evidence continues to show that people meet expectations set by their leaders. When you have a great sales coach that sets high-performance goals for their team and then helps them achieve them, their team will meet them.
Without goals, people flounder. They do not achieve great things without goals.
Sales Coaches Hold Team Meetings
Just like it’s essential to get your team together for practice, sales managers should get their teams together for sales meetings.
Teams that meet to discuss priorities, keep track of the sales pipelines, and monitor new sales channels are more effective.
Sales Coaches Focus on The Team, Not Individuals
According to the Harvard Business Review, middle performers benefit the most from sales coaching on a typical team.
Studies show that teams’ top and bottom performers don’t benefit much from sales coaching techniques. Low performers don’t get better, and top performers don’t show improvements.
Unfortunately, most managers focus their energy on the top and the bottom. Sales managers should focus on the entire team’s performance to see significant results.
What Kind of Sales Coaching Lessons Should You Use?
Sales performance will only improve if you have an effective sales coaching strategy.
You must take a modern approach if you want a sales training program that will turn your sales teams into highly productive machines that exceed your company’s revenue goals.
Your sales coaching plan should include techniques that meet these new challenges but use traditional sales skills.
Ideally, your sales training program should consist of everything a new sales rep needs to know for the entire sales process.
Modern Sales Coaching Techniques
Modern sales techniques have replaced old ones because the customers’ buying behaviors are vastly different than they used to be.
With the changes that the internet has brought, combined with the capabilities of artificial intelligence and data mining, there are uncharted frontiers in sales.
When you factor in the new social media apps that are popping up every few years, you can see that a modern approach to sales is required.
New Challenges and Opportunities
New frontiers bring new challenges. Your sales leadership needs to be ready to meet these challenges.
In digital marketing, sales and marketing professionals watch new trends come and go within months. The fast-paced changes are exciting, but they make it a little hard to keep up.
New technological advances make sales manager training an integral part of your sales team’s success.
Sales Team Strategies
Sales professionals who are coached as a team and work together as a team are more likely to strategize effectively in a group.
Good sales coaching will allow sales teams to work together in groups to create new strategies and tools to take those strategies into the workplace.
Sales calls are still at the top of the list of what it takes to make a sale.
Sales coaching helps the sales rep learn how to make sales calls in an age when most people text or email. Phone calls aren’t a primary method of communication like they used to be.
While sales calls are still a significant source of sales for many companies, how they happen is different. Sales coaching trains sales reps on the best methods for making sales calls in a modern sales environment.
Cold calls are a thing of the past, but the results are much better when a salesperson can reach out to a potential client they’ve already made contact with on social media.
Learn How to Create New Pipelines
The only way to get new business is to create new leads. Creating new leads happens when you are actively searching for them.
Or, as the case may be, they are searching for you.
One of the ways to generate new sales pipelines is by using blogs and letting your customers find you when they are in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.
High-impact sales coaching programs will teach sales leaders the skills to train their reps on how to constantly create new pipelines.
The Right Sales Coaching Process Makes it All Come Together
When your sales coaching culture works how it’s supposed to, all these pieces come together to create a new sales vision for your organization.
A cohesive sales process will create a ripple effect on the rest of your company. Before you know it, leaders from every department will want to train and innovate like the sales team.
Professional Development Opportunities Make the Best Sales Reps
Professional development opportunities and sales coaching can bring out an employee’s natural sales talents. Many managers know that employees appreciate training.
In a recent Gallup poll, 58% of people said they want to be able to do the work that they are good at doing. The ability to do what they do best is more likely when a coaching plan is in place.
Combine Sales Coaching With Sales Enablement
Providing a sales organization with all the tools, data, and information they need is a process called sales enablement.
Sales enablement requires training and coaching to be implemented. Many managers have been focusing on giving their sales representatives more tools without teaching them how to use them, and that’s just not an effective strategy.
When sales management integrates sales enablement tools and processes with sales coaching activities, sales reps have better tools to focus on the buyer’s journey and experience.
The Best Sales Coaches Are Consistent
A regular coaching session for your team will increase your team’s sales performance. Sales managers need to make sales coaching a priority.
Effective sales coaches take time to coach reps and have weekly one-on-ones with them. They focus on their entire team instead of their core performers and biggest troublemakers.
Sales coaching doesn’t happen overnight and without effort.
Sales coaching has to be scheduled, but it’s worth it in the long run. Coaching motivates reps and creates buy-in. Before you know it, most of your team will be hitting quotas every week.