Don’t Just Tell, Show Them: 6 Killer Ways To Coaching A Sales Team Successfully

coaching a sales team

Coaching a sales team is crucial for the success of a business. Otherwise, you will be throwing away more than 70% of prospects. 

You might be thinking, why is coaching a sales team critical? 

As Hoopla has published a report on CSO’s insight that shows companies that deploy a formal coaching process would have an overall quota attainment rate of as high as 91.2%. On the other hand, companies that don’t embrace sales coaching’s importance will have an overall quota attainment rate of approximately 84.7%. 

To coach your sales team or not? That’s the main question here. 

When your sales representatives don’t get proper coaching, they don’t get a chance to polish their skills. Besides, they continue to repeat the same mistakes and don’t improve their pitch or sales method. As a result, the sales performance suffers. 

If you haven’t paid heed to this aspect yet, you are not alone. The TAS Group has reported that around 73% of managers spend only 5% of their time coaching their sales team.  

If you are a manager, you might know that having a conversation with a sales representative who hasn’t achieved the target is never fun. Telling people that they aren’t doing good and motivating them to turn things the other way around can be tough. 

Here is what you need to do to get desired results by coaching a sales team. Note that it’s all about “showing” them how to do, instead of “telling” them how things need to be done. 

  • Think Ahead of Standard Conversation

If you are a sales manager, the scenario might sound familiar. Suppose you have to sit down with a salesperson who is underperforming and start the conversation with, “You aren’t hitting the set goals.” The information doesn’t work as breaking news, and you are most likely to get a response like, “I am trying hard to turn it around.”

That’s the point from where most of the sales managers pivot into inspiring and engaging part of the discussion. They talk about the need to ignite activities, curate more proposals, try to improve the sale, and close more deals. The discussion is usually ended with a  motivational message to boost the sales representative’s confidence while offering help whenever needed. 

This conversation, however, will not prove to be a great solution to the problem. Salespersons can get motivated by the manager’s energy but still don’t know how to walk away with the tools to improve performance. 

  • Coach Individuals

Apart from coaching a sales team as a whole, ingenious managers believe in one-to-one coaching. They understand that there is no one size fits all technique, and the problems that salespersons are facing can vary widely. Thus, you should draw out the unique qualities of each salesperson, coach and nurture them. It is imperative to understand their talent inside out because it will allow you to utilize their strengths to maximize the potential.  

  • Set Sales Reps Free

No one wants to have a robotic sales team that acts and sounds like each other. Each person in the sales team will have his own talents, innate smarts, and abilities. You have to make conscious decisions to uncover the potentials by coaching a sales team to realize the set goals. Just think it this way. The hockey team’s coach doesn’t tell the players verbally how to score. They teach them tactics and strategies. After that, the players are set free to use their capabilities to work around the guidelines to deliver desired and winning results. 

  • Ask Questions And Offer Advice

Do you know how some sales managers reach lofty positions? Because they have worked as an outstanding salesperson to achieve this role. They may not really know how to train the sales team, but they can deliver their knowledge and strategies that worked the best for them. Brilliant managers know how to address different problems that the sales team faces by asking questions that allow them to deal in a specific situation to find their own answers. 

Although direct guidance is needed to take the best results from a given scenario, this should not be the approach all the time. You may limit your salespersons’ unique talent and might not be able to make the most out of their specialized expertise. 

  • Provide Coaching More Often

Coaching should be a part of your to-do list. Provide each salesperson with much-need training while considering their needs. Such type of ongoing support can help you to nip the potential issues in the bud well before they arise or become critical. In this way, your team gets to work in a supportive environment to hone their skills. Don’t think of saving the cost of training and coaching your sales team, as it will be like putting your own business on fire. 

  • Reward Their Achievements

Who doesn’t like a little pat on the back for achieving a milestone? So, you should try to cultivate a culture where everyone can celebrate small wins. Being associated with the sales field can be extremely demotivating and frustrating when sales reps don’t get to hear back from the decision-makers. Thus, rewarding their achievements can boost flagging morale and motive them. 

Look for ways to make the recognitions public so that your salespeople can feel appreciated. Some organizations only reward huge accomplishments, like when the quarterly numbers go up. However, there are other wins to celebrate, like getting a brilliant idea from a team member or when someone brings back a customer who was on the verge of losing. 

Efficient and Clever Tips of Coaching

The sales manager who wants to know about the fundamentals of successful coaching should know that it’s not the what; it’s about how. When you decide to take coaching one step forward, don’t just tell them what they are doing wrong, instead show them how to do it right. Here are some tips to boost the performance of your sales team. 

  1. Opt for giving a little constructive feedback as it can go a long way. Research shows that it is always a good idea to deliver the five pieces of constructive criticism.
  2. Instead of giving general comments, Be specific. Provide enough information about a situation so that they can handle a similar situation in a better way in the future. 
  3. Your comments should clearly state your own observations. You are likely to miss essential details if you weren’t there to witness how someone is doing with the task assigned. 
  4. The coaching following the feedback should provide the sales team a better understanding of the areas they need to work on to harness their talents to achieve set targets. 
  5. Focus on the outcomes rather process. Just because a sales rep is getting from point A to point B doesn’t mean that he/she is doing it wrong. 

Summing Up!

Every business strives to get optimal results from the efforts it put in recruiting and coaching a sales team. However, the best coaches are those who are actively involved in the day-to-day interactions of a team. They observe things closely and take the opportunity to provide constructive feedback. To be an efficient sales manager, you should try to keep an eye on the activities of the sales team when time, pressure, and sales target start to distract them. After that, create a coaching plan to target problematic areas to get the best results.