10 Reasons You Need Sales Coaching

By
 |
March 6, 2023

If you had to find one reason to invest in sales coaching, it’s simple – a direct impact on revenues and growth. Research has shown that sales coaching can result in a 25% to 40% increase in sales activity, leads generated, average deal size, and close ratio. 

If you need more to go on, here are 10 reasons why you need sales coaching.

Top 10 reasons you need sales coaching

1. To capture insights on sales rep and customer behavior

Research by HBR found that 63% of salespeople demonstrate behaviors that actually negatively impact their performance. 

In today’s fast-growing companies, multiple sales reps lead multiple conversations with multiple customers. Keeping track of their behaviors and performance becomes especially important. 

Sales coaching gives you a structured framework to ensure that you identify and track these behavioral insights periodically.

Even better, it can help you capture and consolidate learnings from across conversations and customers so you have a better picture of your team’s performance as well as customers’ behavior and engagement.

Simply put, if you want a simple way to learn from – and about – the behavior of your sales reps and your customers, sales coaching is the place to start.

2. To implement consultative selling

Consultative selling or needs-based selling is an approach where reps act more like advisers  – instead of pushing a product. As per a Harvard study, it’s one of the 

most consistently effective sales approaches. A consultative approach – that’s focused on the needs and pain points of customers – is based on learnings and experiences with other customers as well as a deep understanding of customer issues. 

Every sales rep can’t gain this breadth of exposure or depth of understanding quickly, and on their own.  

Sales coaching can help you gather and share learnings from multiple conversations, and customers to help your sales reps leverage collective learnings for effective consultative selling in individual sales conversations.

3. To adopt the Voice Of the Customer (VOC) in every sales conversation

In addition to the capacity to advise customers and consult with them, imagine the potential of having sales reps speak a language that customers themselves speak.

VOC is an emerging area of focus in sales for its ability to drive engaging and effective customer conversations. Sales coaching gives you a structured way to capture as well as share the voice of the customer with all your sales reps. 

Sales coaching tools that use conversation intelligence tools make this much easier. You can use them to capture the voice of the customer from across multiple conversations and ensure that it finds its way to individual sales conversations.

4. To manage fast-growing sales teams with few managers 

All too often, management in sales becomes directive – focused on targets and quotas.  Sales coaching helps managers gain insights into their role – beyond just setting targets. This helps in three ways:

  • It gives managers a well-structured framework to help direct reports improve in the short and long term. 
  • It takes the onus off just managers and helps make sales reps take more ownership of their growth. 
  • It helps managers add behavioral or skill-based elements to goal-setting, bringing a more holistic approach to team management. 

This also offers another benefit – it helps managers capture insights and learnings from across different sales conversations so they receive timely inputs to iterate on the sales strategy.

5. To support sales reps through long sales cycles

Sales is hard, frustrating, and often, a test of patience. Given how long typical B2B sales cycles are (75% of B2B companies take at least 4 months on average to win a new customer), sustaining motivation is not easy.

Sales coaching acts as a periodic forcing function that ensures that sales reps get the attention, guidance, and support they need to stay the course, stay focused, and move forward. Deal coaching or opportunity coaching, a type of sales coaching, is critical in making this happen.

6. To solidify sales practices and build a knowledge foundation 

Sales coaching isn’t just about helping individual sales reps, it’s an excellent way to improve the sales function as well.

Sales coaching can help uncover best practices and sales behaviors that are working on the ground, and use them to build a prescriptive approach for the sales team.  This means that it can help you build playbooks, templates, and talk tracks for each aspect of the sales journey.

These best practices give growing sales teams something to anchor themselves on – ensuring a repeatable and consistent sales motion.

7. To improve the effectiveness of sales training

Gartner’s research finds that 87% of B2B sales reps forget what they learn in training within a month. 

Ongoing education in the form of sales coaching can help boost retention and ensure that the information and skills received from sales training end up being incorporated into day-to-day sales practices and customer conversations.

Additionally, a formalized coaching approach that leverages technology such as conversation intelligence tools can help make the onboarding of new reps smoother and easier.

8. To improve employee satisfaction and retention

According to a global study of over 4,000 employees, 74% of employees report they are more effective at their job when they feel heard.

Sales coaching shows sales reps that you care about their growth, and are invested in it, making them feel heard, and more importantly, valued. 

In addition, it helps managers understand employees’ needs, goals,  and motivators at the right time – so they can help them on an ongoing basis.

Conventional sales training models focus only on improving productivity. With sales coaching, however, you show employees that you want them to grow with the business – making them more likely to stay for the long haul.

9. To improve customer experience and brand perception

When you think about long B2B sales cycles, sales teams have a huge role to play in the customer experience. Customers' experience with your sales reps – far before they use your product – shapes their perception of you as a company.

Today’s customers don’t wait till they use a product to talk about their experience. A sub-optimal experience during the sales journey opens up your company to the risk of reputational damage while a good one takes you closer to converting a prospect into a brand advocate. 

Sales coaching helps you keep a handle on how your sales reps and sales conversations nurture and improve your relationships with customers.

10. To implement a ‘Show, don’t tell’ approach to selling

‘Show, don’t tell’, a writing technique, is a great addition to a sales team’s growth strategy. We’ve spoken earlier about how traditional selling approaches focus too much on telling sales reps what to do, and where they need to go. 

But this often misses the context that sales teams need to apply this learning. 

Ongoing sales coaching helps sales reps and sales managers identify the context in which they can implement new or improved behaviors and skills. For example, sales coaching that leverages technology can provide sales reps with data about their behavior in sales conversations. This means that they know how they’re performing –  with the data and context needed to back it up.

How a sales coaching tool can help ‘show’ what sales reps need to focus on

 

Over to you

Looking for a way to make sales coaching work for you? 

Here are a few resources you might find helpful.

A Sales Coaching guide for growing businesses
What is the key to coaching a successful sales team?
7 reasons to use Sales Coaching Software

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