TIPS TO GET MORE SALES COACHING DONE
- Salespeople learn from observing other salespeople being coached
- Dissect recorded customer or prospect discovery or proposal meetings
Sales leader coaching, when done well, is an activity proven to accelerate individual and team sales performance.
Before the pandemic, many sales leaders reserved a portion of salesperson coaching time for 1:1 in-person interactions. It turns out that many sales leaders haven’t met with their sales teams in person for 18 months or longer, and for many sales leaders, coaching has taken a backseat to other priorities.
Earlier this year, I authored a post titled Tools & Best Practices For Sales Coaching In Virtual Selling Environments to assist sales leaders in leveraging virtual selling tools for coaching.
This past year I’ve worked with sales leaders to incorporate sales coaching in virtual team environments, but one of the persistent challenges is finding time to coach. So, we developed two best practices that enable sales leaders to coach more salespeople that deliver improved coaching outcomes.
Here are two best practices that sales leaders and their teams both find to be high-value & high-impact:
1. Salespeople learn from observing other salespeople being coached.
If you’ve conducted role-play sessions during workshops, you’ve seen observers get more out of the interaction than the salespeople in the role play. It may seem counterintuitive, but individuals in role plays are in effect “performing and jousting” to “show others how it’s done.” Observers see what is happening in real-time without the pressure of the interaction, so they absorb the learnings more effectively.
Coaching sales team members virtually in front of their peers provides observers an experience similar to role-plays. Coaching on Pipeline and Opportunity reviews or Account and Territory planning are examples that work well for group coaching,
2. Dissect recorded customer or prospect discovery or proposal meetings.
Customers and prospects are comfortable having sessions recorded, except when sensitive topics are on the agenda. Sales leaders should require salespeople to record a sample of their calls for follow-up coaching. This best practice is also a group activity that the sales leader can involve her team to help assess the approach and impact of the meeting.
I don’t recommend having the team listen through an entire meeting. Instead, the sales leader should identify highlights of several sessions, in advance, from her best salespeople to those new on the team. Perhaps examples of an introduction, objection handling, discovery questions, or engaging the audience with a compelling value proposition. The sales leader can involve her team by asking them to take notes they then share during the dissection exercise.
Sales leaders will likely struggle to allocate the coaching time they’d like, and their sales teams need.
The best practices above allow a sales leader to coach more salespeople more often and more effectively. By involving multiple salespeople in the coaching process, sales team engagement increases, and coaching outcomes improve significantly. However, sales leaders will need to allocate a bit of planning time to maximize the impact of the group coaching sessions.
If you’d like to discuss applying the sales leader coaching best practices above, click here to schedule a time for us to talk.