Maven Sales Group Blog

Sales Coaching: What We Learned In 2019

1/9/20 11:58 AM / by Shannon and David Fletcher

coaching_puzzleDid you make 2019 the year that you coached up or coached out? Perhaps 2019 was the year that your CEO realized he or she wasn't a sales manager? No matter what strategies you implemented, or lessons you learned, we want to help you make the most out of sales coaching in 2020, which is why we want to end this year with a recap of all that we learned.

Lesson #1: The Primary Goal of Sales Coaching Focuses on Individual Self Improvement

Sales coaching is based on listening to the specific needs of every single sales team member. It is also based on the direct feedback of your sales managers. The latter insights will help sales coaches determine the best approach to helping each team member improve areas of weakness as they fine-tune their skills. The goal is to help each sales team member become the best sales representatives that they can be. In short, sales coaching focuses on personal best achievements. 

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Lesson #2: Sales Coaching Can Help Your Average Performers Join the Ranks of the Top Achievers

Sales coaching is often the most effective for your average performers. These "middle rung" performers typically have certain established skills that help them achieve margin success. Improving these skills can help your average performers join the ranks of the top achievers. In fact, with the right sales coach, your middle rung performers can receive the personalized attention and advice that they need to achieve heightened levels of success. Remember, the goal of sales coaching is to help every person achieve new personal best records, which means that the sky will soon become the limit. 

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Lesson #3: Some Sales Reps Are Worth Coaching, Others Aren't

The hard truth is that some sales representatives will respond well to coaching, while others will flounder. The following three signs are common indicators that a sales representative wants to improve his or her performance (with the help of a sales coach). 

  1. The sales rep asks for help. -- An unprompted initiative for personal improvement should be rewarded. If your sales rep is showing an interest in improving, then you can reward this desire for enhanced results by hiring a sales coach. 
  2. The sales rep has fluctuating numbers. -- Unlike sales training, which focuses on teaching new skills, sales coaching supports existing skills. Fluctuating numbers are a common sign that weak skills need to be improved so that consistent successes are achieved. 
  3. There is a high employee turnover rate within your sales team. -- Did you know that a sales coach can identify why you have a high turnover rate within your sales team? Additionally, a coach can give your sale reps the support and insights that they need to be more successful. 

Forcing a square peg into a round hole is never the best idea. Unfortunately, sometimes a sales rep is the square peg trying to make do with a round hole position. In other words, the following three tips will help you to identify when it is time to coach a sales rep out. 

  1. Every excuse in the book is used to justify poor performance. -- If your employees want to improve then they will recognize that they haven't been reaching their numbers, they will ask for help to improve, and they will show a willingness to implement lessons learned, so that they can achieve heightened levels of success. If your employees don't want to improve, then they will give every excuse in the book. Unfortunately, accountability is a must if sales coaching is going to work. Sales reps that don't hold themselves accountable will simply let the coach's lessons go in one ear and out the other. 
  2. The sales rep lacks motivation. -- Successful sales representatives are motivated to sell. Reps who lack motivation are arguably in the wrong position and might need to be coached out, or invited to apply for a role that is a better fit. 
  3. Contests or other monetary incentives are the only way to get the sales rep to do his or her job. -- Incentives and contents should inspire your sales reps to go the extra mile. However, if incentives are the only way to get your sales rep to do the bare minimum, then he or she should probably be coached out. The latter mentality is indicative of someone who doesn't want to improve skills, but would rather "coast," which is not an effective sales mentality. 

Lesson #4: Creating a Good Sales Coaching Environment is Made Easier with These 3 Questions

Effective sales coaching is about listening and asking the right types of questions. In 2019, we explored a few of the questions that should be asked if you want to implement a positive and effective sales coaching environment. At the most basic level you will need to ask the following three questions: 

  • What skills does each individual sales rep need to be improved? -- Remember, sales coaching is about improving individual results so that the entire team can benefit. 
  • What are identifiable areas of strength and / or weakness? -- Remember, sales coaching is about enhancing strengths and improving weaknesses. The duality of the latter approach creates the support that your sales reps need to implement lessons learned. 
  • Are there specific problems lead to lower performance levels? -- Remember, sales coaching might look at individual performance, but an effective sales coaching environment will inevitably improve the entire team's performance. 

Help Your Sales Representatives Feel More Confident In 2020

Are you ready to take the personalized approach to sales coaching that will make your sales representatives feel more confident in 2020? Whether you are searching for small victories, or looking to make large improvements in 2020, the Maven Sales Group is here to help. We look forward to offering the confidence-building and supportive environment that your sales team needs to improve their skills, increase sales, and inevitably achieve heightened levels of success. Contact us today to request a free sales assessment

Topics: sales coaching, sales training

Shannon and David Fletcher

Written by Shannon and David Fletcher

David and Shannon Fletcher are the owners of Maven Sales Group and are Sales and Marketing Integration specialists with a passion for the Inbound philosophy and helping companies better manage their sales process from beginning to constantly satisfied clients.

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