How to Use Your Sales Coaching Tools to Improve Culture

BY Tim Londergan
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With attention drawn to the Summer Olympics, I’ve noticed something that has never struck me before: the special relationship between the athlete and the coach. Of course, the bond is more obvious during events where the coach is close by, or when the camera pans and catches their body language or facial expressions. I try to imagine the behind-​the-​scenes connections and the foundation that generated this attachment. What can we learn from this association and how can we bring it into our own company culture? What sales coaching tools would provide that Olympic-​grade competitive edge?

Top performing sales coaching tools

Tools are only effective if we put them to proper use. My father often said that the best shovel in the shed is only good if you put your foot on it and push. The same goes for sales coaching tools. They must be applied in the right environment. And, according to the Hudson Institute of Coaching, we must apply them frequently. The right environment translates to a coaching culture that supports all employees in learning new skills to become greater assets to the company. The frequency relates to the use of sales coaching tools as a high priority. Many sales organizations talk a good game of training and coaching. But how many truly commit to that Olympic-​grade relationship-​building culture necessary to win in today’s business setting?

The commitment to a coachable culture

The Hudson Institute believes “coaching improves performance, increases retention, creates higher levels of engagement and provides tools and proven processes for developing leaders both in the moment and in the longer-​term coaching engagement.” An organization with a coachable culture will attract and keep top performers. They will promote from within and perpetuate leadership development to sustain their ranks. Proper use of sales coaching tools become baked-​in to the corporate character.

Effective coaching programs

Writing for salesandmarketing​.com, Paul Nolan explains how to create a coachable culture. He cites The State of Sales Coaching Study developed by ringDNA. The article exposes how we use and misuse sales coaching tools as we attempt to create a coachable culture. Not surprisingly, the most effective programs dedicate the most time to weekly individual coaching sessions per rep. Also noted is that nearly half of the companies rely on sales managers to take on the role of coach. Under the category of “dream-​on” is the fact that effective programs have dedicated coaches who manage a greater coaching curriculum throughout the enterprise. On the upside, this signals greater institutional buy-​in to the program and frees up sales managers to juggle priorities beyond coaching responsibilities. 

Add AI to your sales coaching tools

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an effective and time-​saving addition to your sales coaching toolbox. Data-​driven solutions are today’s best options for your busy workplace. Sales Microcoaching will continue the momentum established in your one-​on-​ones. AI components can decrease the number of managers needed for coaching. These fully automated programs can lift contributions by salespeople at any level. For whatever reason, more companies are contracting for consistent, steadfast coaching. Would it make sense for your sales organization?

Put sales coaching tools to work

Whether your company has called all sales reps back to the office or you manage a team of remote sellers, don't overlook the need to scale your coaching efforts to build revenue and maintain your customer base. The State of Sales Coaching Study shows that regularly scheduled, frequent coaching sessions lead to better communication, more effective problem solving and greater rep satisfaction. For example, concentrating on discovery questions will prove to be superior to discussions on handling common sales objections. A data-​driven coaching program can save time and provide that Olympic-​grade advantage. Put sales coaching tools to work and experience firsthand the overall improvement in your company culture.

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash