6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Sales Coaching Platform

BY Kathy Crosett
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Your salespeople finished your sales training course several months ago. If you’re not seeing great results from your sales training platform, you may need to invest in a sales coaching platform. Sales training is a worthwhile investment for your salespeople, but they need more. Without personalized sales coaching, they won’t develop the skills they need.

As C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of SalesFuel, points out, “In sales training, material is delivered in a one-​to-​many setting. In a sales coaching setting, managers work one-​on-​one with their salespeople.” Through a sales coaching platform, you can drill down into the skills work that each of your reps need. If you’re looking to enhance the impact of the sales training platform you’ve invested in, you need purchase access to a sales coaching platform that offers the best features.

Are Recommendations Linked to Sales Assessment Results?

Once your salespeople complete your training program, they are ready to move on to personalized sales coaching. But you won’t know exactly which skills need work unless you’ve asked your salespeople to take sales hiring assessments. The results of these assessments reveal that one individual may excel at discovery while another person may be particularly strong at closing. Assessment results should also show you how an individual prefers to work. For example, one salesperson may be detail-​oriented while another may be highly creative. These data points will inform the strategy you use in coaching.

Does the Platform Contain Communication Coaching Tips?

A great sales coaching program allows managers to easily access key features about a salesperson’s behavioral and motivational tendencies. These details may not have been so important for your sales training platform, but when it comes to coaching, you must be able to personalize how you’ll communicate with each salesperson. When platforms reveal communication tips based on the results of comprehensive sales skills assessments, both managers and salespeople will get more out of their one-​on-​one coaching sessions. 

During a one-​to-​on coaching session, you’ll need to ask good questions to help your salesperson. But are you asking questions in the way that works best for that individual? A good coaching platform will guide the style of questions you pose and suggest ways for you to behave during their answers. Great communication may not come naturally to all managers, but tips from a coaching platform can be the perfect reminder for you to adjust your style and give your salesperson exactly what they need to reach the next level.

Does the Sales Coaching Platform Deliver A Great User Experience?

A sales coaching platform is only as good as its ease of use. If it takes too long for your salespeople to find what they’re looking for, they’ll give up. After all, time spent on administrative tasks takes them away from the job of selling. Make sure the coaching material is as targeted and as easy to access as your training material.

In addition, the platform should store helpful information about each salesperson. When the manager accesses the sales coaching platform, they should be able to quickly review personal and assessment result details about their salesperson. And, solid reporting functionality that summarizes team member status, especially with respect to completing assignments, is a must.

Are Users Easily Able to Make and Track Assignments?

During their training courses, your salespeople may have learned about a key sales skill: discovery. Salespeople may face a variety of challenges when they try to improve their discovery skills. A great sales coaching platform should allow managers to make quick assignments based on the specific challenges their sales rep is having with discovery. While you can make assignments during your one-​on-​one meeting with reps, you should also be able to reinforce your discussions with an email follow-​up. In that email, you may refer back to the core principles your salespeople learned in sales training. Then, you’ll want to review your specific coaching guidance and perhaps give an assignment such as watching a video or reading an article.

Managers should be able to store notes about their one-​on-​one coaching sessions. With this kind of tool, you can track the progress your salespeople are making.

Does the Platform Maintain a Regular Cadence?

Managers and salespeople may approach the idea of sales coaching with the best intentions. This will be especially true if they agree to start coaching soon after all of the training material has been used. The truth is that it’s easy to let the pressures of meeting sales quotas interfere with the commitment to engage in sales coaching. Managers may have too many meetings to attend. And salespeople may believe that their time spent in coaching is keeping them from doing their real job, which is selling. 

A good sales coaching system can save everyone time by programmatically delivering weekly coaching questions that are designed to help the salespeople improve on their weakest skills. These questions only take a few minutes to answer. And the salesperson’s answers to these questions give the manager good discussion points for their weekly coaching session. Managers can then suggest that the rep review training material again on that specific topic in order to strengthen their skills.

Does the Platform Offer Account-​Based Coaching?

In B‑to‑B selling situations, salespeople often need more support on specific accounts. B‑to‑B sales can involve dealing with more people at the prospect’s site and may extend for a period of six months or longer. In these conditions, account-​based coaching is a must. Managers should be able to use an automated tool to track answers to questions about the B‑to‑B account. These questions address discovery, competitive intelligence and steps the rep should take lead the account through the sales funnel.

And, after the salesperson successfully closes the B‑to‑B account, managers should use platform-​generated questions to reinforce what was learned. As a result of your organization’s investment in your sales training platform and your sales coaching platform, you can help your rep put the knowledge and skills to good use.

To ensure that your sales operations succeeds, review sales coaching platforms carefully. Look for features that will save your sales managers time while optimizing the outcomes of this important investment.

SalesFuel specializes in helping you deliver critical sales insights that translate to tangible revenue. Talk to us for data-​driven, consultative, and adaptive sales, management, and marketing strategies.