The sales team is the most crucial workforce of a business, which connects your business with your customers and establishes your purpose of doing business overall. A skilled sales team makes sure that your business keeps making money through all the ups and downs that may occur.
But as you may already know, there is no “I” in a team. A sales team consists of several sales reps who work together and individually to bring more deals to the table. And for successful sales, every sales rep must be on the same level of skills and expertise. Your sales reports will never look good if you have a few great reps and a few not-so-great reps. You need to have everybody on the same page so that every deal the reps make is a golden deal.
But the sales reps don’t just naturally develop their sales skill to the same level. Some can be more experienced than others, while some can be more intelligent than others, and that’s what happens naturally. Now to get all your reps to the same level, especially the fresh ones, you need to have some sort of individual practice, other than just the usual onboarding program. And that’s the core purpose of sales coaching.
What Are the Basic Principles of Sales Coaching?
In various fields, the words coaching, and training are often used interchangeably. However, in the world of sales, coaching and training are two very different subjects. Sales training is usually a collective training program that focuses on training all the individuals together. Coaching is also commonly mistaken with the term sales onboarding- the program for integrating the fresh recruits with the company and its culture.
Whereas in reality, coaching is a more individually-focused mentorship program guided and controlled by a sales coach- a sales manager who has completed sales coaching training programs. Sales coaching focuses on bringing all the reps to the same level of skills required, by focusing on each rep individual and providing them with learning and improving methods.
Here are some of the basic principles of coaching:
1) Coaching Has To Be Individualized
Coaching cannot be a collective activity because the challenges each of the reps face are not the same. Depending on the individual characteristics, every rep must have a different problem that has to be addressed. So, the coach has to individually communicate with the reps to understand their problems and offer strategic solutions to help them.
2) Behavior Matter More Than Technicalities
In coaching, the behavior of reps has more role to play than the technicalities. The reasons why some sales reps underperform are often more behavioral than technical. Everyone receives the same training, but the abilities like grasping power, decision-making, problem-solving, and proactivity affect reps’ performances differently. So coaching mainly focuses on communication where the rep talks and the coach listens to identify the unfavorable behavioral traits affecting the performance. The solutions offered to the reps are also behavior-oriented, inducing the required attitude in their mindset.
3) Coaching Is A Continuous Process
Where training and onboarding are one-time introductory programs providing the reps with new information. Coaching is an ongoing process not just limited to the fresh recruits. Even experienced and highly skilled sales reps may need coaching to get ahead of their obstacles at work. New problems may arise whenever the sales strategies are changed, and therefore, the coach must always be available and prepared for the reps.
These are the 3 most basic principles on which an ideal coaching program must establish itself. Maintaining these working principles, and through a strategic yet flexible approach, coaching focuses on a set of objectives that are in favor of the company’s motives.
The Core Objectives of A Sales Coaching Program Are:
1) Confidence and Attitude Improvement
Sales reps need to communicate with the potential buyers and gain their trust to close a deal successfully. Therefore, attitude and confidence are greatly important. However, every rep is not on the same level when it comes to these character traits. Some may be highly confident while others may feel stressed when they face the prospects. So the coach has to communicate and counsel every sales rep individually. helping them to overcome their internal fears and gain confidence.
2) Induce Competitiveness and Development
Even the most talented sales reps can get rusty over time doing the same thing again and again. An ideal coaching program’s major objective is to keep the sales performing well in a competitive ever-progressing attitude. The coach or the sales manager can use various methods to provide benchmarks, expectations, and practices so that reps can aim at something and keep progressing constantly.
3) Improve Efficiency and Productivity
An ideal coaching system must focus on the improvement of productivity and efficiency of the sales reps. The sales reps must be introduced to various practices, technologies, and learning material, enabling them to close bigger deals at a faster rate of time.
4) Improve Stats
An effective coaching program is always stats-based and aiming to improve the annual sales revenue. Based on the past stats the coaching program is designed to achieve certain developments that will lead to better reports in the coming year. The reps are then assessed to identify the behaviors that are not in sync with the company’s aims. These behaviors are then corrected by coaching to improve the performance, stats, and revenue overall.
Coaching also focuses on inspiring self-motivation in the sales reps to generate a self-improving atmosphere in the sales department. Various practices such as helping colleagues, interacting with top performers, and self-troubleshooting, help the sales reps self-motivate, find and solve their problems themselves up to some extent.
And That’s How It Is
The process of sales coaching starts from sales coaching training programs, follows a path of some effective basic principles, and ends with the achievement of the core objectives.
And that’s how the cookie crumbles.
And thus, coaching can be considered an extremely vital part of a business that boosts employee productivity and improves the overall revenue build-up as well.