The best sales managers know that sales coaching is one of their most important job responsibilities. The best sales managers also know that sales coaching is not easy. In fact, there are actually a host of obstacles and blockers that most sales managers face and have to overcome before they can implement a successful sales coaching culture.
Here are the 3 most prominent challenges that sales managers face with sales coaching today.
Problem #1: Sales managers aren’t spending enough time on coaching
We get it – sales management is very much a full-time job. Sales managers are so busy trying to work on hitting the number and building out pipeline that they can’t find time for what they consider periphery activities. Unfortunately, sales coaching tends to fall to the wayside.
Studies have shown that managers should be spending 4-5 hours of coaching each month on individual reps. In reality, most sales managers spend that amount of time each month coaching their entire sales team. And they wonder why their sales coaching isn’t having actual and long-lasting impacts.
Problem #2: Traditional coaching models aren’t sales-specific
Most of the coaching models that businesses use – such as GROW (Goals, Reality, Options, Will) and GAINS (Goal, Assessment, Ideas, Next Steps, Support) – are great. The problem is that they’re not sales-specific models and are primarily designed as point-in-time interventions.
On the other hand, sales coaching works best when it takes place within the context of actual selling activities, rather than having to press pause and take a step back. A sales coaching model should reflect regular, daily occurrences with immediate corrections and real-time impact.
Problem #3: Sales managers aren’t coaching by the numbers
Instead of turning to the data to identify areas of weaknesses among reps, most sales managers rely on their own intuition, experiences or unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence. Without looking at the data or running A/B testing experiments, it is impossible to know if these past experiences or anecdotal observations are even accurate.
Data-driven sales coaching relies on data and numbers to highlight where reps are struggling. Without turning to these sales performance metrics, sales managers really have no clue who needs coaching in which areas, leading to a lot of wasted sessions.
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