July 4, 2022
If money makes the world go-'round, then sales is the helm that’s being pushed and turned to keep the world moving. Sales drive almost every business out there —everyone has a product that they want to get into the hands of their customers, and sales is the way to do that.
Sales coaching is crucial, then, to ensure that your salespeople are getting the job done right. If you don’t have an educated, highly trained, motivated, experienced sales team, then all your efforts are for naught.
In past decades, people used to hear “salesman” and cringe. Now, salespeople are seen as advisors to help consumers improve their lives. This means that a salesperson needs to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. These skills are often strongly developed through real-life experience and in-person training; however, in today’s day and age, it’s also necessary to offer programs for people who want to learn from the comfort of their own homes or computers. In-person learning is best combined with another learning platform that has already given the salesperson the foundational education and skills that they can then develop on the job.
Let’s dive into the foundations of sales coaching, learning how you can use it to your advantage to grow your business and find continued success.
Sales coaching refers to the process of moulding and developing a salesperson through a mentorship-type relationship.Usually, this mentorship is with a peer, colleague, or a manager that used to work in sales themselves.
Truly effective sales coaching helps the sales person look at themselves to recognize areas of strength and places for improvement. A motivated salesperson works for their own benefit, not just for the benefit of the company. They own their actions and are always working to improve their skills.
Sales coaching doesn’t have to be one-on-one, either, although this is often the model. Coaching a sales team can also bring myriad benefits to a company without overworking the experienced team members. This can be done in group workshops with breakout training for individuals when the need presents.
You’ve probably heard the phrase: “ABC—Always Be Closing.” In other areas of sales the other end of the journey is equally important. The opening is often even considered the most important part of a sales transaction. When an opening is handled correctly and efficiently, the rest of the process flows with ease.
Opening a sales call is a specific skill. Specific skills can be taught through effective sales coaching. Sales calls help to improve KPIs, such as the number of monthly meetings and meeting-to-closing ratios. If everything coming after the call is dependent on a strong opening, then this is a place that requires a great deal of training attention.
No one wants a salesperson beating down their door (or phone line). People are inherently primed to say no to sales people unless you can change their thinking that you’re trying to sell them something, instead making them realize that you have something which can solve a problem.
Teach your sales team to be prepared with a variety of responses that can be altered to fit specific needs. If managers, for example, are constantly saying that they don’t have time to talk to you or that they’re too busy to listen to what you have to say, then simply respond with something along the lines of, “I know you’re busy, your day is probably taken up by ‘xyz’. Would it be helpful to have a program that helps you ‘abc’ which could help you lessen the time spent on ‘xyz’?
Managers and company execs aren’t interested in helping you meet your sales quota. They’re interested in running their own business efficiently and profitably. This means that you need to turn the call around so that it focuses on their needs, interests, and problems to solve.
This often takes research. The people you’re selling to have the entire world at their fingertips through the Internet; they can search and discover to their heart’s content. Your job is to show them that what you have saves them time and makes their managerial life much easier.
Your buyers want to save time, lower costs, and improve quality… and they want it done all at once, yesterday. They want to grow their company as fast and big as possible while taking the least amount of risk. They also want to increase profits and use fewer resources to boot. Can you give them any of these things? Hopefully so, otherwise, why are you making the sales call? Open with how your product or service can ease these problems. Don’t waste time dilly-dallying about minor interests and small talk about the weather. No one has time for that nowadays. Get to the point—people appreciate that.
Just as there are countless benefits to coaching a sales team, there are also several benefits to utilizing sales training software to enhance this coaching.
Effective sales training software is made to be easy to use. The creators want it to work for a variety of companies and to feel accessible to employees at many different levels. Online training is meant to be “open box ready” so that you can invest in the program with confidence. Usually, the programs are instantly accessible, too, as soon as they are purchased. You don’t have to wait for something to be delivered in the mail and then take the time to sift through boxes of resources before you can begin training your team.
Without employee buy-in, change and training can be difficult to implement. The more interactive a program is, and the more interesting aspects it has, such as video sales coaching and up-and-moving activities, the more likely it is that people will be attentive and engaged.This engagement solidifies the knowledge and makes it highly likely that you will see a large return on your investment.
Content is key; creating new content helps keep salespeople up with the times, using techniques that are appropriate for the day and age. The beauty of online sales training software is that it can be customized and updated as needs change. A company can create training-specific agendas emphasizing particular points and ensuring that all employees are given the same training and skills across the board.
Every person on a team has strengths and experience to share. Sales coaches, managers, and higher-up trainers might have been doing this for years, but the people who are on the ground day-to-day also have specific new skills and experience that are important to team development.
A lot of sales training software caters to new salespeople, but even experienced employees still need to keep their skills fresh. Ownership and openness to growth can make the difference between a stale salesperson and one who continues to achieve solid metrics.
Successful sales is a mixture of the entire team’s knowledge, various processes, and a range of tools to help everyone succeed in myriad situations. Online sales performance coaching helps to streamline all of these resources in one place so that development is efficient and understandable. Gone are the days of flipping through paper training manuals and trying to remember where you saw a particular tip or trick. Streamlining saves time and allows resources to be used more independently.
Consistent metric measurement is crucial to knowing how your team is performing and analyzing where improvements need to be made. You need to know how much profit is coming in, how long it takes for leads to convert into sales, and the rates of return. KPI measurement helps you see where there are training gaps and what skills can be utilized to strengthen the team as a whole.
Just as it’s important that your training evolves for the needs of your team, your training programs should evolve as well. Most online sales coaching programs are adjustable so that you can utilize different aspects as your team grows and changes. You might even put it on hold for a while to add in some new types of training and then come back to it later with a fresh perspective.
You would think that the majority of a salesperson’s time is spent, well, selling. Most managers are frustrated to learn that only about a third of their employees’ time is dedicated to real sales. However, using Artificial intelligence (AI) for effective sales coaching helps free up time for sales calls, building relationships, and closing buys.
AI find patterns in the selling behaviour of top performers and bechmark it across team. You would know what it really lacking in specific sale team member and can help with specific coaching. There are reps which could be great at opening but can't close, few reps could navigate the objections with ease but others might stagger. AI enabled Sales Coaching tool can help you find the best of these and implement it across team.
Sales training software embedded with AI helps makes training accessible from anywhere in the world for any employee’s schedule or needs. Instead of having to structure meetings when everyone can make them and waste time with transitions, everyone can get the same training in a flexible way.
There are plenty of options for sales coaching software on the market. Depending on your needs, one might be better for your team than another. Let’s look at some of the options and how they could help your team develop effective sales performance coaching.
Everyone wants something that they can do flexibly and at their convenience. E-learning software can be scaled to each individual using the program, making it a solid investment for a team of varied experience, no matter the size of the company.
Every business everywhere has always used training programs to develop their employees’ skills. Online development software, though, is traditionally best used for technically advanced roles such as website development or for jobs that need continuing education or certification. These programs usually stem from a foundation of knowledge that is built on in the training.
Not all training software is created equally! There are often industry-specific skills and education that require in-depth training and exercises, for example, in the medical or engineering fields. Sales coaching requires specific skills, as well, so sales coaching software should be tailored to your company.
Many companies only have a few sales people or just one small team. These particular businesses can benefit from the no-cost training sessions that are widely available online.
List as recommended by Pipedrive
Best for: Small businesses looking to build a solid coaching foundation and grow from there
Pricing: Start from $108 per seat per year
Best for: Larger organizations with a concentration on phone or web conference selling
Pricing: $5000 annual base fee and roughly $1200 per seat per year
Best for: Larger organizations wanting an emphasis on conversation intelligence
Pricing: $1400+ per seat per year (there is a minimum license requirement too)
There are so many options out there when searching for appropriate, applicable sales coaching software. You have video sales coaching options, online training, combinations of manuals and interactive programs, etc. Many businesses need only a platform through which they can add and incorporate their company-specific training programs or courses.
It can also feel like a new skill set to manage the training program, organize data, and encourage people to be open to change.When you put off a positive attitude and show acceptance and confidence in the program, it makes it more likely that your team will do the same.
Don’t get overwhelmed! Read summaries and reviews, ask for advice from other colleagues that have successfully implemented programs with their teams, and search for the training highlights to find ones that target the needs of your team.
Sales coaching is crucial to a successful sales business. Using sales performance software and choosing an appropriate program catered to your needs ensures that your business will continue to grow and thrive amidst changing times and developing buyer needs.
Take the time to research programs and choose one that you feel is a solid investment, as well as one in which you will be able to show one-hundred percent buy-in so that your team comes onboard with positivity and openness to growth.
Manager-led sales coaching
Pipeline and deal management
Voice of customer & market intelligence
Sales process improvement
Rep self-coaching & peer learning
Onboarding new hires faster