I suppose there is a need to clarify what I mean by coaching. When we engage in a coaching relationship with another person we are committed to improving that person’s performance. Coaching can be used in any business discipline including sales.
The most common used method to improve sales is to provide some form of sales training. Sales training is done online or in workshops with either a single sales team or a group comprising persons from different organisations and industries. Sales training may be effective if it is implemented within a scaffold of useful ‘on the job‘ tools, follow up, and refresher learning opportunities. My experience shows that in most cases sales training is an event with limited ongoing impact on performance. Sales coaching is much different.
Effective sales coaching is one on one. The sales coach engages with the coachee in a focused process to improve performance. There are many tools available to delivery effective coaching. In sales coaching it is essential that the coach ‘shadows’ the coachee on the job. Just as a sports coach analyses technique so the sales coach analyses technique and behaviours as well as providing the tools and guidance to create change.
Other tools are available and an effective coach will use at least a few if not all of these.
- Shadowing (as mentioned above).
- 360 feedback tools.
- Self- assessment tools.
- Interviews with clients.
- Personality and psychometric assessments.
- Role play and situation rehearsal.
- Visualisation exercises
- Independent and guided external learning (including online learning).
If you are a business owner or manager you may choose to opt for an external coach. there are reasons to use an external coach, among these are:
- You need to remain focused on your objectives in the business.
- You may not feel confident engaging in one on one coaching with your sales people.
- You may not have the skills or experience to execute an effective coaching program.
- A skilled external coach is going to be objective and may act as a great relationship builder in the business.
What results can you expect from effective sales coaching? There are many outcomes and some are readily apparent and others are more hidden but still impact positively on your business. You will notice that effective coaching scores fast wins in the engagement and the benefit steadily increase. At some point a tipping point is reached and the coachee’s performance will accelerate dramatically.
An effective professional coach will measure your return on investment. Based on my experience these are a few of the benefits that will be achieved in a sales coaching engagement.
- Higher levels of motivation and energy.
- Clear alignment with company strategy.
- Identified measurable goals and objectives.
- Stronger sales pipeline.
- Reduced sales cycle timeframes.
- Greater innovation and continuous improvement.
- Greater trust established between sales person and management.
There are plenty more benefits that can be achieved using coaching to improve the sales performance in your business. If you are interested in learning more or scheduling a free one- hour coaching session for yourself or one of your sales team members, please give me a call or send an email using the form on our website.