The days of reviewing a sales rep’s pipeline briefly over lunch and calling it coaching are long gone. Today’s best sales teams have developed methodologies that have transformed coaching and the effect has been seen on the corporate bottom line. In fact, high-performing firms provide 15 to 20% more coaching compared to other firms (Measuring Sales Management’s Coaching Impact, The Sales Management Association), and according to CEB, coaching can improve sales productivity by a whopping 88%. But, those figures are for sales teams that are following best practices. Proper coaching requires cadence and adherence to proven processes in order to be effective.
So—you’ve found the time to coach and you’ve scheduled face-to-face meetings. Now, what do you bring to the table that will capture your team’s attention? What can you show them with that will help them meet quota or beat their previous best or blow away their sales goals? How do you become essential to your reps’ success? When will you get your Gatorade moment? Great coaches turn their teams into raving coaching fans. Here’s how to do it.
When he said “Time is the fire in which we burn,” poet Delmore Schwartz touched upon an undeniable truth. Our projects, careers and lives flash brightly but briefly. Time is our most important resource. It’s also the thing we are worst at managing and is in the least supply.
1. Failure to Meet Quota
According to CSO Insights, only 55% of sales reps met their quotas in 2016*. That’s down from 63% in 2012 and the percentage continues to fall. The harsh reality is that companies continue to increase sales goals but do so without expanded headcount. “Do more with less” is the mantra. In this environment, the sales leader must do more with what he or she has to be successful.
The world of sales coaching is as complex as it is important. There have been many studies and reports in recent years about the efficacy and impact of sales coaching and making sense of it all can be difficult. Questions like “How does sales coaching help me?” “How much time should I spend on it?” and “Who should coach?” can be daunting.
In 1979, a DC-10 Passenger Jet flew from New Zealand to Antarctica on a sightseeing excursion on Air New Zealand flight 901. This 8 hour flight would provide passengers an experience of a lifetime: a chance to see the bottom of the world. 257 passengers and crew members took off at 8:20 that morning for routine 8 hour round-trip sightseeing trip with great anticipation to experience a part of the world very few people had ever seen.
Sales leaders know that in order to have successful teams, they need to coach. But where do you start? And how do you measure success? There are three questions that sales leaders should ask themselves:
I was very fotunate the other day to be interviewed by Meg Walter for the new Silicon Slopes magazine. It gave me the opportunity to share the Xvoyant story and show its value to a broad audience. Sales Coaching is such an important space. I'm happy that I could add some value for their readers and showcase Xvoyant's technology. I've included the full article below, in case you missed it.