46% of Sales Organizations Rate Coaching as Effective

BY C. Lee Smith
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If you want to improve your sales team's performance, you’ll have to address the need for coaching, especially virtual sales coaching. Only 46% of sales organizations rate coaching as effective. This detail suggests a reset may be necessary to define the most important elements of coaching and to convince sales professionals that coaching makes a difference. The events of 2020 underscored the importance of optimizing for virtual operations. As we emerge from the pandemic-​related restrictions, sales organizations will need to rely on virtual sales coaching to get the most out of their team members.

The Impact of Coaching on the Bottom Line

The topic of sales coaching always generates plenty of discussion in organizations. In the Sales Management Association's Sales Coaching Practices survey, 72% of sales managers agreed that coaching is important. Before you decide to invest time, energy and money into sales coaching, you should be asking how much it matters. Sales Management Association analysts report that, "Organizations effective at coaching the topics of salesperson performance, motivation improvement, and skill development have positively correlated performance advantages of 12%, 9%, and 6%, respectively, over other firms."

An in-​depth look at this research shows that when managers spend 9+ hours a week coaching, their teams achieve their objective at a 7.2% higher rate. And those who only devote 2.5 hours or less to the effort fall 5.4% below standard achievement.

It’s easy to understand why some managers only have 2.5 hours to devote to coaching their reps. Sales managers are busy people. In fact, about 44% of these folks only dedicate between one and four hours a week to coaching.

Defining Sales Coaching

If sales coaching delivers such a boost to the bottom line, why do more than half of sales organizations believe the effort is ineffective? One challenge is defining what sales coaching involves. At 63% of participating firms in the Sales Management Association survey, managers decided how and what to coach. Many managers get bogged down in helping reps improve their knowledge of products or services (58%) which isn’t necessarily a good use of coaching time. Traditional training can cover that topic. About 62% of managers always help their reps strategize about how to approach a specific customer or opportunity. This kind of coaching is a great example of how to improve a rep's performance. Across the board, there is a need to standardize some parts of sales coaching.

Automated and Virtual Sales Coaching Using a Sales Coaching System

Many sales managers may find the coaching need to be an overwhelming demand on their time. An automated and virtual sales coaching platform will ease the burden. Using a sales coaching system like SalesFuel CoachFeed, reps receive a weekly feed designed specifically to develop their skills. The personalization part of the sales coaching system is based on the sales skills assessment each rep takes before embarking on their sales coaching journey. Reps can also improve their performance by using the account-​based coaching feed. And their motivation will improve with the regular sales mindset feed delivered by CoachFeed.

Nobody wants a repeat of last year. Among all of the negative outcomes, the typical sales organization missed objectives by 49%. Prior to the pandemic, that number averaged about 13%, according to the Performance Measurement Trends webinar conducted by the Sales Management Association. Organizations that pivoted quickly focused on key accounts by ramping up customer service and emphasizing engagement. Field sales reps felt the pressure on improve activity levels, learning and revenue. For many reps, it was also a new and isolated world. They learned to work from a remote location and to master technology as the leading way to stay in touch with accounts and prospects.

We know reps will leave an organization if they don’t get enough coaching and training. Reps aren’t necessarily demanding that you spend hours in one-​on-​one sessions helping them develop their skills. Like everyone else, they want to use their time efficiently. SalesFuel CoachFeed will deliver the personalized coaching they need and allow you to save time while improving outcomes.