In order to coach players effectively and see real improvements over time, you first have to understand their individual strengths and weaknesses. As a sales manager, you aren’t that different from a football or basketball coach. You also have to know your team inside and out in order to help your reps improve their selling abilities and close more deals. But how do you know whether they’re really listening to you and learning new skills, or just coasting along?

As one month ends and a new sales cycle begins, it’s time to look back and evaluate how your sales reps performed last month. Whether your team hit the sales goal or not, you must figure out if the reps are actually heeding your coaching advice. Who has stepped up and improved, and who has fallen behind? Each rep on your team has different abilities, and you have to coach each individual according to his or her monthly performance.

Here are the metrics you should be measuring to learn whether your reps have improved last month, and what skills they need to work on in the coming month. With the right data, you can accurately measure the results of your coaching efforts and create a powerful sales coaching plan to push your team to be the best.

Activity Efficiency

You know your team is working hard to hit aggressive sales goals, but it’s not just about how much effort they put in. You also need to consider how efficiently your employees are working. Are their calls, meetings and demos leading to a high percentage of deals booked, or are they working hard for very little results?

This report shows you exactly how many deals each rep on your team has closed, and how sales activities relate to those deals. For example, Business Development Rep Joseph Teegarden, has scheduled meetings that led to 30 deals – making him the highest performing BDR on your team. However, he also had a very high number of meetings scheduled to no shows. This tells you that there is an opportunity to work with him to improve how he schedules meetings. It may be that he is booking meetings with the wrong prospects, or believes prospects are interested when they are not. This is something you can help coach him to improve, and track the results through the metrics.

Analyze the Sales Funnel

Another way you can reveal the skills reps need to improve is by diving into sales funnel conversion metrics. Look closely at how each rep is able to convert opportunities through the sales funnel, and see if they have improved their rate from September, to October, to November.

This report shows you each rep’s conversion rates through every sales stage, which will help you personalize coaching for every rep. If you’re planning to coach Angelina, for example, you can see that she has the toughest time converting opportunities from the Qualified to Present Solution stage. This means you may need to help her work on how she explains the value proposition for your product, how she finds out a prospect’s business pain, and other top-of-the funnel skills. You know that she is able to close a deal once she gets past that stage, but you will see much better results by offering her coaching on those specific skills.

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Length of Sales Cycle

Another metric to consider is the length of each rep’s sales cycle for won deals. In this case, if you can identify what’s slowing down the deal, you can help your reps speed up their sales cycle, decrease the time prospects spent in specific stages, and seriously increase productivity.

In this report, you can see exactly how much time opportunities spend in each stage, sorted by rep. You have to consider the size of the deals that each rep is working, since bigger deals often take longer to close, (;) however, you can work with your reps to understand where specifically they need to improve. By combining the data from the sales funnel report and this report, you can really pinpoint where each rep needs to improve and create a plan to address it. For example, you can see here that Angelina’s winning opportunities spend the longest amount of time in Qualifying, confirming what the sales funnel told you earlier. You should compare how she works opportunities in this stage to how Joe Smith works them, so you can help her improve performance in this area.

Win Rate

Though all of these other metrics matter, the one you care about the most is each rep’s individual win rate. If you effectively diagnose a rep’s weaknesses and strengths and offer the right coaching, you should see marked improvements in their win rate.

This is a report that will show you the true output of your coaching efforts. You should track this report month to month, and see how each rep’s numbers change. You can see here that Andrea has the highest win rate and has the most closed deals, so you know she’s doing something right. In contrast, Joe Smith is going after the most opportunities, but is losing a really high percentage. This tells you that you need to keep working hard with Joe to improve his skills, and maybe you should allow Andrea to chase more leads and take a few away from Joe. You know you can never stop coaching your team, but this report will help you allocate your efforts to those that need it the most.

Sales managers are always trying to find the right balance of coaching for their team, guiding each rep’s individual growth according to their sales strengths and weaknesses. By tracking activity efficiency, funnel conversion rates, win rates and more, you’ll be able to create a powerful coaching plan for each of your reps that will help them become better at their jobs.

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