Sales teams have never tackled a more competitive and fast-paced environment. They need all the help they can get to move the performance needle, and sales coaching is your best bet. 67% of companies that invested in formal sales coaching over three years saw high revenue growth and higher quota attainment. Companies experienced a 25% to 40% increase in sales activity, leads generated, average deal size, and close ratio with sales coaching.
It’s clear: Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise, investing in sales coaching will help your sales team and your business grow.
However, most conversations on sales coaching take a narrow approach. An effective sales coaching program touches every aspect of a sales rep’s life – from prospecting to closing and everything in between.
To do this, it helps to look at sales coaching tools to cover these four functions:
- Tracking past and current performance
- Onboarding and training
- Creating and mapping existing processes or sales workflows
- Recording and analyzing customer conversations
Let’s look at these categories and the most popular tools in them, in detail.
Category 1: Tracking Past and Current Sales Performance (CRM software)
Anyone in sales knows how essential CRM software is – it unites prospect and customer data and anchors them for visibility into customer interactions. What we often fail to see is how important it is for sales coaching.
You need a CRM to gather sales data around past performance, and to track progress post-coaching. Through its sales-related features – such as lead management, opportunity management, pipeline management, or sales analytics – a CRM provides multiple opportunities and touchpoints for sales coaching.
Let’s take a look at three of the most popular CRMs in the market: Salesforce, HubSpot, and Pipedrive
Salesforce is one of the first names to come to mind when you think of the word CRM. Its cloud-based approach helps companies manage the entire breadth of their customer interactions – across calls, emails, and social media – and is used by sales, marketing, and service teams in enterprises.
Salesforce CRM pricing:
Salesforce offers the below pricing models for annual billing.
- Essentials: $25/user/month (Includes account, and contact, lead, opportunity management)
- Professional: $75/user/month (All the features of the Essential plan plus pipeline and forecast management, quote creation/tracking)
- Enterprise: $150/user/month (Includes features in the lower-tier plans, plus additional team collaboration, advanced reporting, opportunity scoring, and unlimited roles and permissions)
It also offers an unlimited plan at $300/user/month for more advanced features like lead scoring, forecasting, pipeline inspection, etc.
Salesforce CRM target audience: Enterprises with mature sales teams
Unarguably the most sophisticated and feature-rich CRM, Salesforce comes with a long learning curve, making it most suitable for enterprise companies and mature sales teams.
Another popular player in the market, especially among mid-market companies is Hubspot with its HubSpot CRM. Although it doesn’t have Salesforce’s extensive feature set, it is more user-friendly and its freemium pricing model makes it a great entry-level tool for small companies.
HubSpot CRM for Sales helps teams track sales in real time with detailed reports on sales activity, productivity, individual performance, etc., that can help you track team performance and spot growth opportunities.
HubSpot CRM pricing: HubSpot offers a free plan for basic CRM needs.
Paid plans (annual billing) include
- Professional: $450/month for 5 users (+Onboarding fee of $750)
- Enterprise: $1200/month for 10 users (+Onboarding fee of $3000)
HubSpot CRM target audience: Mid-market companies and small businesses
HubSpot’s CRM is a great option for small businesses that don’t want or can’t afford an enterprise-grade CRM solution.
Compared to Salesforce and HubSpot, Pipedrive is a more sales-focused CRM that is designed to help sales teams manage pipelines and track deals. It is designed for smaller teams and early-stage organizations that need an easy-to-use tool to set up and scale their sales practices.
With over 350+ integrations and excellent ratings across multiple platforms, Pipedrive is a popular option within the small business and startup segment.
- Essential: $9.9/user/month (Lead, deal, calendar, pipeline management)
- Advanced: $19.9/user/month (Additional email sync, templates, and automation features)
- Professional: $39.9/user/month (Additional forecasting, projections, custom reporting features)
- Enterprise: $59.9/user/month (Focus on customizability, implementation support, no usage limits)
Pipedrive target audience: Sales teams in small organizations and startups
For an early-stage or small organization looking for an easy-to-use and economical CRM with basic features for sales coaching, Pipedrive is a great choice.
Category 2: Onboarding, Sales Training, and Product Training (Sales Readiness)
This category of tools helps new sales hires develop a better understanding of the product, domain, and the organization’s existing sales processes. They are designed to expedite the journey from recruitment to selling – while ramping up sales reps on the product, the domain, and the market– and assessing their base knowledge and readiness.
As you can imagine, key functionalities you need include the ability to create courses, customize learning paths, track progress, and measure the effectiveness of training.
Popular tools in this category include Salesforce Enablement, Mindtickle, and Trivie whose offerings cover the spectrum from enterprise through mid-market to SMBs.
Post its 2021 acquisition of onboarding and training tool LevelJump, Salesforce also offers Salesforce Enablement that links tailored programs to CRM milestones, metrics, and business outcomes.
Its features include enablement analytics, best practice templates, in-app coaching, guidance, and walkthroughs.
Pricing: Salesforce Enablement is priced at $ 100/user/month billed annually
Target audience: Sales teams in enterprises
Mindtickle is another popular sales coaching in the sales readiness and enablement category. It lets you define your ideal sales rep profile and create programs to train reps, reinforce knowledge, and analyze how this translates in their sales meetings. This can help you scale individualized enablement programs while mapping skill development to key business outcomes.
Its sales content management feature ensures that the right content is surfaced at the right time, and ensures a central and searchable location for all content assets. This includes ensuring access to marketing content and situation-specific training and content. Mindtickle makes it easy to coach sales reps on using enablement and marketing assets out in the field.
Mindtickle does not disclose its pricing on its website. However, you can expect to pay $30-50/user/month.
Target audience: Mid-market organizations
Trivie, another sales readiness solution, leverages peer learning, AI-enabled personalized learning, and gamification in its training modules. Companies can use the existing content on a broad range of topics, or import third-party content from their LMS, authoring tools, Google Drive, or via APIs.
It also offers analytics for further insights and progress tracking.
- Team (Up to 100 learners): $499
- Business (101 to 250 learners): $999
- Large company (250-500 learners): $1499
Target audience: Mid-market to large organizations
If you’re a startup or small organization looking for a more basic and economical option, Bridge offers a learning management solution that starts at $4/user/month.
Or, you could look at a combination of tools in the next two categories to develop a sales readiness and onboarding module for your team.
Category 3: Creating Process Flows and Mapping Existing Sales Flows (Process Management)
As your company grows, your sales function needs to be prepared to mature and evolve – without compromising on speed or agility.
The only way to ensure sustainable and scaleable growth is to have tools that can
- Map out existing sales processes and
- Help you create new workflows based on the latest data.
Here are two useful tools that handle this aspect of sales coaching.
Lucidchart: This visual design tool can help your sales team to create, collaborate on, and improve sales processes, workflows, and organizational structures.
- Individual: $7.95/user
- Team: $9/user
Lucidchart has a basic free plan with a limit of three documents and an Enterprise plan with custom pricing.
Target audience: Small and mid-market organizations
MindMeister is is another popular tool that can help sales teams visualize workflows, collaboratively create and manage them, and document them for future team members.
- Personal: $3.49/user
- Pro: $5.49/user
- Business: $5.49/user
Target audience: Small and mid-market organizations
If you’re looking for a simple and free diagramming software, Draw.io is an easy choice.
It is an open-source solution, with limited design options, but it is entirely suitable for small or early-stage sales teams.
Category 4: Recording/Analyzing Calls and Providing Feedback for Customer Conversations (Conversation Intelligence)
For sales coaching, it’s important for managers to deep dive into the actual conversations sales reps are having with customers. Given that they can’t be present for all such conversations, call recording and conversation intelligence tools are a must-have for sales coaching. They capture and analyze real customer conversations happening over multiple platforms and provide sales managers with the data and insights they need to coach their sales reps.
Conversation intelligence tools are specifically designed to capture data on sales reps’ communication, listening, and time management skills. These tools can also enable managers to identify top-performing reps and those that need more support and assistance.
In addition, they can also help with peer coaching in sales by enabling other sales reps to share feedback, best practices, and customer or market insights from individual conversations You can also use most conversation tools to build libraries or repositories of best practices and recordings of top sales rep conversations to help sales reps ramp up and improve quickly.
If you need to capture and analyze insights, a tool like Otter is a great start.
It uses AI to automatically record audio and generate notes and summaries for sales managers to analyze.
- Pro (individuals): $8.33/user
- Business (teams): $20/user
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Target audience: Individuals, small and mid-market businesses
If you’re looking for a tool to record and analyze sales rep conversations, Otter is a good fit. However, it falls short when it comes to sales coaching-focused features (such as the analysis of sales reps’ performance, creating coaching initiatives, and libraries, etc).
Gong is the world’s leading revenue intelligence tool with a heavy focus on capturing performance insights and building data-backed sales coaching initiatives.
It is designed exclusively to help sales teams identify and track winning sales behaviors.
Pricing: Opaque, estimated to be $5000 (base price) + $1600/user/year
Target audience: Revenue teams in enterprises
Its pricing models and features are best fit for enterprise companies.
If you’re an early-stage or small business looking for a Gong alternative for sales coaching, MeetRecord offers conversation intelligence capabilities at affordable pricing and with more flexibility and customization.
MeetRecord is an upcoming call recording and sales coaching software that helps sales teams in small and medium-sized companies improve performance, speed up onboarding, and drive sales coaching initiatives.
Besides recording and analyzing calls, MeetRecord also enables you to identify best practices, create custom playlists for coaching, and create custom scoring templates for sales coaching feedback.
- Starter: $39/user/month
- Growth: $59/user/month
- Scale: Custom pricing
Target audience: Medium to large businesses
Over to you: Picking the Right Sales Coaching Tools
We hope you found this list of sales coaching tools helpful.
Here are our recommendations in each category – for enterprise, mid-market, and small/early-stage businesses.
Tracking past and current performance (CRM capabilities):
- Enterprise: Salesforce
- Mid-market: HubSpot
- SMBs and startups: Pipedrive
Onboarding and training
- Enterprise: Salesforce Enablement
- Mid-market: Mindtickle, Trivie
- SMBs and startups: Trivie, or a combination of other process mapping and call recording tools
Creating and mapping existing processes or sales workflows
- Enterprise: Lucidchart
- Mid-market: Mindmeister
- SMBs and startups: Mindmeister or Draw.io
Recording and analyzing customer conversations
- Enterprise: Gong
- Mid-Market and SMBs: MeetRecord (for call recording and inbuilt sales coaching features), Otter.ai (only for call recording)
As you go on to evaluate which sales tools work best for you, we’ll leave you with three things to keep in mind.
- Ensure that your approach focuses on individual and team performance.
- Consider how well the tools integrate with your existing ecosystem and practices.
- Make sure that you have the flexibility to evaluate, experiment, and adjust as you go along your journey.