The Best Sales Coaching Software Contains This Secret Sauce

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As you evaluate the options available on the market for the best sales coaching software, you’ll find packages that contain amazing features. The marketing material will point to case studies that report on happy clients who have boosted rep performance by an impressive amount. You’ll also learn all about how easy the software is to use. But does it contain this secret sauce?

Sales Coaching Software Contains This Secret Sauce

You’ll surely find a package that seems to meet all your needs. You may even sign a contract and start using the software. But six months later, when you review how the investment is working, you may not be able to measure a decent ROI. What went wrong?

At the start of most new initiatives, everyone seems excited. Sales managers, especially, want to find ways to help their reps improve. Then, the actual work begins. For any new initiative to succeed, you must buy in and not just intellectually. You’ll need to commit time and energy. For most sales managers, time is in short supply. The buy-​in is also about committing to make a change. If you don’t change your work habits and make it a goal to spend a specific amount of time coaching or reviewing your rep’s answers to automated coaching questions, nothing is likely to improve.

As you evaluate potential coaching solutions, consider how much time you are willing to spend with each rep. Some coaching solutions require the manager to do a lot of preparation on a weekly basis. Other solutions require a bit of effort from the rep.

Coaching Software Strengths

The best sales coaching software uses results from assessments to personalize a plan. If one of your reps struggles with a specific skill, psychometric assessments are likely to pick up that detail. When those results merge with AI-​driven bite-​sized microcoaching tips, reps have incentive to pay attention.

We’re all interested in knowing more about ourselves. A good assessment will reinforce some of what we know about ourselves but can also help us open doors that we’ve closed when it comes to professional development. Yes, your reps will likely read their assessment results. But they won’t always know how and when to adjust some of their behavior to improve their sales results.

Microcoaching Software Can Help

Part of a rep’s performance challenges centers on sales skills. When they consistently miss quota, you suspect it may be because they don’t know how to close a deal. The assessments results will make the problem obvious when the rep scores low on that skill.

The good news is that regular email or text messages targeting the sales skill that your rep needs to perfect will serve as an important reminder at the start of the workday. In just a couple of minutes, your reps can read a note or watch a video on different ways to manage the closing process, for example. Then, they can practice the method suggested in the microcoaching session. And you, as the sales manager, can review their approach during your next coaching session.

Soft skills also make a huge difference in whether a rep will reach quota on a regular basis. Soft skills also indicate a rep’s mindset. If your rep tends to be so determined to close deals that they come across as callous and a bit impatient, they may be turning off prospects without realizing this tendency.

Coaching Software Can Lead to Real Change

Microcoaching prompts that regularly remind reps to consider how negative behavior impacts others in general is the first step toward making real change. Managers can ask reps to regularly respond to the quick email and text prompts they receive. In some cases, writing down their thoughts about a troublesome personal tendency is enough to get a rep to modify their behavior. In other cases, managers may need to touch base a few times with their rep to ask about how specifically they’ve adjusted their interaction with a prospect or client. A good sign would be when the rep mentions that they’ve slowed down, allowed the other person to speak, and that they’ve also made an empathetic remark about the prospect’s challenges.

Our research shows that reps want more coaching, and when a manager invests in their professional development, reps are likely to be more loyal. And as far as the secret sauce goes, the best coaching software is the one that you and your reps will use on a regular basis.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.