4 Sales Coaching Tips to Make the Most of Your Time
If you are a sales leader or a sales manager, we bet you wish you had more time in the day to speak with potential new clients, help shepherd strategic deals forward, satisfy current clients and help your sales team navigate big contracts and key accounts.
But how have you been really spending your time as a sales manager?
Where Sales Managers Spend their Time
The Sales Management association found that sales managers’ time allocation is inefficient and results in lost growth capacity because too much time (at least 20%) is spent on non-value-added activities and internal functions while not enough time is spent on customer- and market-facing activities.
Sales Time Management
Part of being an effective sales leader and sales manager is being a good time manager. This means spending your time where it will matter the most.
If you agree that your job is primarily to help your team to ever higher levels of performance, why the heck aren’t you putting sales coaching at the top of your activities list?
Does Sales Coaching Matter?
Our sales performance research shows that sales reps who receive consistent and frequent sales coaching outperform their peers 4-to-1 in terms of profitable revenue growth.
Solution based sales training program experts agree…when sales organizations are coached effectively, their teams show better results and their reps are more engaged. It is incumbent, therefore, on sales organizations to find ways to:
- Offload some of the unnecessary reporting and irrelevant meetings required of sales managers so they can recapture precious time, and
- Ensure that sales managers develop the skills to coach effectively
Sales Coaching Tips
Once your sales managers have the time and the know-how to coach their sales team, here are four sales coaching tips that can guide them in the process:
- Be crystal clear on the purpose
Sales coaching is not to punish sales reps but to support their success. It’s all about continuous improvement, targeted skill development and better business results.
- Focus on the individual
Effective sales coaching is very personal. You can’t just address each sales rep the same way. They have different motivators, different strengths, different weaknesses and different communication styles. Tailor your sales coaching to focus on helping each rep learn what they, specifically, need to know to succeed. It will vary from person to person.
- Choose who you coach wisely
Not all your sales reps need or want sales coaching (see whitepaper at the end of this article). There may be little need to coach reps who are already performing at their peak. And there may be some sales reps who have no desire to be coached. For these, you need to be clear on performance expectations. If they don’t produce expected results, they have a choice: either get the sales coaching help in order to improve or move on. This is a question of ROI…return on your investment of time.
- Tackle one sales competency at a time
Figure out what is holding each rep back from greater sales performance and then prioritize the sales skill development so you focus on the most critical barriers to success.
- Monitor and track progress
Work with each sales rep to identify the behaviors and activities that will lead to success. Then measure progress toward the desired outcomes. And be patient…learning new sales skills is a process first of gaining awareness, adjusting behaviors from the old to the new, and lots of practice. Bottom line results will not happen right away.
The Bottom Line
Sales coaching matters. When you can set aside time on a regular basis to observe your sales reps in action, give them constructive feedback on their performance, and raise their sales skills level, you will begin to experience the improved results that good sales coaching promises.
Want more sales coaching tips? Download The Truth about Sales Coaching’s Biggest Mistakes that Only the Best Sales Leaders Know About