Sales coaching generally takes two different forms: strategic and tactical.
Tactical sales coaching is very focused on the nitty-gritty nuances of sales skills – prospecting, product knowledge, objection handling, time management and closing are all examples of specific sales skills that reps need honing from time to time. That’s where the sales manager comes in, schedules a sales coaching session to focus on one of the aforementioned specific skills, and then using the rep’s individual sales metrics, works to improve that skill. In short, tactical sales coaching focuses on the “how” of sales – how are we going to help you be more effective on calls, be more efficient in building pipeline and ultimately to close more sales?
So then, what is strategic sales coaching?
Big Picture Perspectives
If tactical sales coaching focuses on the “how,” then strategic sales coaching is more about the “what” – what are the company’s goals? What are the sales team’s goals? What are your personal goals as a sales rep?
The best way to consider strategic sales coaching is through the lens of the big picture overview or perspective. The demands of the big picture goals – “what” the team strives to achieve – ultimately defines the tactical sales skills, or the “how.”
For example, let’s look at the pipeline review session. If the Sales VP or sales manager, after some careful analysis, has determined that the team is better off focusing on a specific type of opportunity, that new sales strategy should be communicated and coached here. Perhaps the data reveals that opportunities of a certain profile – with consistent characteristics in industry or size – represents a better product-market fit. The sales manager then has to coach his or her team of reps to sharpen their focus on these types of opportunities, how to source them, how to find them, how to close them. There is now a significant shift in the overall selling strategy, and reps must be coached on this new strategy.
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