Coaching Your Sales Team: Get the Team up to Speed

BY C. Lee Smith
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As the COVID-​19 crisis continues to negatively impact business operations globally, your sales team may be losing motivation. You may need sales team coaching ideas to get your sale team up to speed. Start coaching your sales team by setting a few key objectives. You also need to engage with your team in the right way. And take the time to understand the difference between sales training and sales coaching. Here are a few suggestions.

Coaching Your Sales Team Versus Training

I like to remind sales managers that training is a one-​to-​many activity. When onboarding new reps, most sales managers send them for group training to learn how the organization sells. In training, reps learn about the features in the organization’s solution versus what the competitors offer.

Coaching your sales team takes place in one-​on-​one sessions. To be most effective, your sales coaching solution must be customized. You won’t see a huge improvement in your rep’s performance if you coach them on skills they’ve already mastered. But if you work with a rep who’s struggling to secure that first meeting with a prospect, for example, coaching can help them come up to speed quickly.

Building Trust

In his post on salesforce​.com, Steven Rosen correctly emphasizes the importance of trust in the relationship between sales manager and sales reps. The coaching role is “all about being non-​judgmental and allowing the individual to be open in the discussion of behaviors and/​or performance challenges,” notes Rosen. If you’re a new sales manager, you may be struggling to learn the best way to build trust.

If you and your reps have both taken a sales skills assessment, look at the results on communication style. Some reps will find you more credible if you have personal stories of success to share when it comes to a specific aspect of the sales process. Other reps may take you at your word. Take the time to understand how your rep responds to various communication styles and adjust your approach accordingly.

Other ideas for coaching your sales team to get them up to speed is to study the behavioral differences between you and your rep in the work environment. A good sales skills assessment will provide you with this information. If you discover that one of your reps prefers a steady pace in the work environment and when dealing with others, modify your approach. Many sales managers may have a tendency to rush through tasks, including coaching. It won’t help your rep if you offer only superficial comments about the problem they’re struggling with. As the manager and the coach, you must slow down and review the material you want to discuss step by step.

Setting Objectives

The sales coaching process works best when you set concrete objectives that your reps can achieve. Depending on how many reps you’re managing, this process could quickly overwhelm you. After all, you have more than just coaching on your list of responsibilities.

The right sales coaching solution can help you manage this process. When you use an automated solution, you can easily make assignments based on where you and your rep agree to focus. And you can track progress by reviewing your rep’s short written responses to the assignments.

Sales Team Coaching Ideas to Get Your Sales Team Up to Speed

If you’ve recently identified key B2B high priority accounts, you’ll want to get your sales team up to speed on how to lead key contacts down the sales funnel. Start the process by asking your rep to think about and answer key questions you assign in the sales coaching solution. For example, you may ask them to research the account and answer a question such as, “What problem can we help them solve?” In your next coaching session, you’ll review their response and ask them another set of questions designed to help them discover key information about the buyer’s budget and their level of motivation to solve their problem.