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Sales coaching is a critical aspect of sales management in any organization. However, many organizations go about it the wrong way, making all sorts of sales coaching mistakes that prevent coaching sessions from being truly effective and impactful. What can these organizations do to improve their sales coaching efforts?

By coaching with the right sales analytics.

InsightSquared recently launched a new free app on the Salesforce.com AppExchange – in conjunction with Work.com – called “Coaching Analytics by InsightSquared.” This app is designed to help sales managers maximize their coaching effectiveness by narrowing their focus on the most pressing issues.

*Note: The App is only for Work.com users.

What does the app solve for?

1) Prioritization – Sales reps often struggle to prioritize their opportunities and their workloads, with not enough up-to-date visibility into their sales pipelines. Prioritization is hugely important – imagine letting a potentially valuable opportunity slip through the cracks because that opportunity got lost in the morass of a rep’s sales pipeline. Sales managers can’t afford for this to happen and need to help their reps prioritize the right opportunities to work on.

2) Win plans – Once the right priority has been established, sales managers can then work together with reps to hone in on specific opportunities and how they should go about closing them. By looking at the right sales metrics, the right risk factors, the rep’s weaknesses and the unique specifics on the opp, the sales manager can help craft an effective winning plan.

The “Coaching Analytics by InsightSquared” app solves for these two issues by looking at sales metrics in three distinct areas:

What are the rep’s riskiest opportunities?

A rep’s individual opportunities are judged on riskiness based on several risk factors:

  • Close date move – Has the opportunity shifted pushed the close date back multiple times?

  • Above-average value – Is the value of the opportunity significantly higher than your average deal size?

  • Recent engagement – Has the opportunity been engaged with or seen much activity recently?

  • Overall age – How long has this opportunity been in your pipeline? How long has this opportunity been in a certain stage?

By taking into account these aforementioned factors, the sales coaching analytics app identifies how many of a rep’s current opportunities are at risk. With this information, the sales manager can then help the rep prioritize these at-risk opportunities in a last-bid attempt to salvage them before they slip through the cracks and are closed-lost.

Sales Coaching Analytics

Clicking “Post to Coaching Feed” automatically populates these at-risk opportunities and posts these to “Chatter,” allowing the sales manager and the rep to review them later without having to sort through the morass within the pipeline to find them again.

What is the current state of the rep’s sales pipeline?

While the first section of the app focuses on at-risk opportunities in the rep’s sales pipeline, this section provides a broader overview of the entire pipeline. The sales manager can use this to gauge the overall health of the pipeline. Does the rep have enough opportunities to work on to hit his or her quota? Are there opportunities with fast-approaching close dates that, while not necessarily at risk, should be brought to the rep’s attention?

Sales Pipeline

What are the rep’s win rates for closed opportunities?

While the third section of the app answers this questions, what this section is truly useful for is in identifying where the rep’s weaknesses are in the sales process. This weakness is diagnosed by comparing, side-by-side, the rep’s personal sales funnel and win rate compared to the company’s sales funnel and win rate.

Sales Funnel

Look at this example above. Josh was not only winning at about half the rate that the rest of the company is, but is clearly struggling at several key areas of the sales funnel. His win rate during the Present Solution stage is nearly 20 percent lower than the company average. This tells the sales manager that Josh is struggling to deliver his demos effectively and needs more help in that area.

The key here is to identify the one thing that the sales managers can work with the rep on improving. Instead of overwhelming them with huge lists of improvements they expect, they can tactically work on individual points of weaknesses and focus specifically on those before moving onto the next problem.

Coaching can be – and should be – one of the most important and valuable aspects of a sales manager’s job. To truly get the most out of it, sales managers should strive to clarify the focus of their reps, zeroing in on the most important pipeline opportunities, the most valuable priorities, and the most glaring weaknesses. Use the Coaching Analytics by InsightSquared and Work.com app to take your sales coaching to the next level now!

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