If there was ever a time to focus on coaching your reps, it is now. The sales processes of yesterday may now be obsolete. As reps adjust to this evolving sales environment, managers must do the same and explore more dynamic and structured coaching methods.
In our latest webinar, “10X Your Sales Pipeline with Data-Driven Coaching Insights,” sales leaders Todd Abbott and Grace Tyson discussed how to adjust your coaching cadence and build a data-driven coaching culture to combat future uncertainty. Here are some key takeaways from our webinar.
1. Less telling, more listening
Sales managers often fail to balance between pipeline inspection and engagement feedback when coaching reps. Whether it is a pipeline review or a drop-in to a prospect call, the focus is largely on the deals: how to move it forward, who is involved, what is the best next action. Typically missing is a discussion about the reps themselves.
“Reps are not coin machines,” Grace Tyson noted in the webinar. They want to develop their career just like every other function. In fact, 60% of reps will leave an organization if their manager is a poor coach. So rather than focus solely on win rates, help identify their strengths and weaknesses, and work with them to improve upon their skills and performance.
2. Build a data-driven coaching culture
Agility is key to organizational stability — especially right now. This requires a strong emphasis on data. Quality data enables sound, in-the-moment decision-making that leads to incremental changes and continuous improvements.
Leave the yearly training initiatives behind and focus on continuous process improvements instead. Identify best practices and replicate them across your sales team. Establish a coaching culture grounded in data, driven by a collective learning curve and easy to adjust. Your goal is not just to improve on a per-deal basis, but to instill foundational behaviors in reps that lead to long-term success.
3. Make your coaching stick
Once you establish a new coaching routine, you need to enforce (and continually reinforce) it to maintain momentum. Establish a technology strategy to capture sales engagement activities and enable deep sales process analytics. Technologies, such as Guided Selling and Activity Capture, relieve the data entry burden and return time to your team to sell. They also help declutter the funnel review process and focus on improving execution with coaching.
Empathetic listening is more important now than ever to connect and establish relationships with your customers. Center your deal reviews around the voice of the customer and use it to identify coaching opportunities. Align your sales goals with great customer experience and communicate them clearly with your team. Visibility and accountability are instrumental in driving continuous improvement within your sales team.