Most business leaders in the sales landscape know how important effective sales coaching can be at improving team performance. However, when you’re investing in coaching and training strategies for your staff, you may be overlooking some of your most important assets.
It’s easy to assume that your low and mid-level performers are the ones that need the most guidance, but the benefits of sales coaching can extend to your most effective team members too. Just like anyone else, top performers and sales leaders still need guidance to ensure they remain engaged, efficient, and productive in their roles.
Here’s how you can ensure your top performers continue to operate at their best.
Sales coaching is just one of the many ways companies can invest in the success of their sales team. It’s an educational process, designed to upskill and reskill the professionals in your sales team. According to one report, 96% of respondents believe coaching has positively impacted the performance of their sales teams.
Sales coaching is a little different to other employee development strategies like sales training or mentorship. Sales training for high performing teams often involves teaching universal sales strategies to multiple sales reps at the same time. Sales coaching adopts a slightly more personalized approach.
A sales coach looks at an existing rep’s sales strategy, establishes an action plan for success, and uses specific KPIs and metrics to help team members reach their goals. It’s similar in some ways to sales mentorship, however mentorship tends to happen on a one-to-one basis, while a good coaching strategy can involve teaching multiple professionals at once.
There are multiple ways to approach sales coaching. Most companies use sales data to drive their coaching decisions. Gathering information from sales software and CRM tools can provide a team coach with insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each professional.
However the actual coaching process can differ for each team member. Some coaches use “strategic coaching”, focusing on specific topics like selling to a specific customer. Others embrace tactical coaching to help professionals build relationships or qualify deals.
There are even coaching methods which focus on specific skills, like communication, rapport-building abilities, and remote or social selling.
When coaching your high-performing employers, the focus should be on preserving their current performance, and equipping them with the tools they need to continue reaching their goals.
Here are a few sales coaching best practices to follow:
It’s often easy to neglect high-performing employees in the sales landscape. Many coaches focusing on sales enablement and skill development are concentrating on improving performance. However, it’s important to ensure each member of your team can continue to thrive too.
Here are some sales coaching tips to help you make the most of your high-value employees:
Sales itself is packed with different techniques, styles, and methodologies, so sales coaching shouldn’t be any different. Experimenting with the strategies your sales managers and leaders use to coach other employees will help you to define which techniques have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Explore different styles of tactical, strategic, and specific skill coaching. Consider switching between one-on-one and group-based collaborative sessions. You could even incorporate different ideas into your coaching process, such as role-playing simulations and gamification.
You can trust your high performers to drive revenue growth and profit for your business, so it’s worth trusting them to take ownership over their coaching experience too. Rather than just telling your team members how each coaching session is going to work, ask for their input.
Encourage your sales leaders to create personal action plans, based on their specific personal and professional goals. Share the values of your business with your reps, and ask them where they think their strengths and weaknesses lie. This will lead a higher level of engagement.
Feedback is essential to an effective sales coaching process. Providing advice on how your employees can overcome their failures, and increase their successes helps them to consistently move in the right direction. Recognizing and rewarding your employees’ achievements, also means they’re more likely to feel engaged and satisfied in their role.
Remember though, in coaching, feedback goes both ways. It’s also worth listening to any insights your employees have to share about how you can improve the coaching experience. Ask them which coaching strategies are benefiting them most, and where they feel they need more support.
Many salespeople have been struggling with mental health issues in recent years, particularly since the pandemic. If your high-performing reps are feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work, it might be worth finding ways to help them handle these issues with your coaching sessions.
Sales coaching doesn’t just have to mean providing reps with insights into how to use certain sales techniques and methodologies. It can also involve providing them with the tips and strategies they need to improve their resilience, endurance, and mental grit.
Overwhelming your employees with too many goals at once can make it harder for them to achieve their targets. For sales coaching to be truly effective, it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. Set specific goals you want to achieve with each team member, concentrating on measures that will help to improve your bottom line.
For instance, you might start with teaching team members new skills to use in sales calls, before moving on to leadership and rapport building techniques. Throughout the coaching process, check in with your employees regularly and review their progress.
Sales coaching isn’t just something business leaders should offer to low and mid-level performers. Every member of your team can benefit from access to the right guidance. This is particularly true in an environment where market demographics, societal changes, and economic fluctuations are constantly influencing the sales landscape.
Learning how to coach high performing employees ensures you can continue to increase your revenue and profitability. Plus, it can help to reduce employee churn, increase company performance, and enhance sales rep morale.
Learn more about coaching your teams, training your employees, and empowering them to achieve their revenue goals, with the latest whitepaper from Hypcccycl.