How to Create a Coaching Culture
Coaching has its rewards, including a greater ROI from sales training, 27.9% improvement in quota attainment, improved rep retention rates, and increased revenue. Despite all this, 77% of companies don’t think they’re providing enough coaching to their salespeople. With only 42% of businesses holding their sales managers accountable for the quality of their coaching, it just isn’t happening on a regular basis. It’s not surprising since managers are already stretched too thin with all the reporting planning, meetings, and customer intervention activities. Then you’re supposed to find time to coach your sales team effectively too!
But with the sales landscape changing so rapidly at this point, coaching is essential to keep your reps sharp and current. Creating a coaching culture will help take the pressure off by making sales coaching an integral part of your day-to-day routine.
What is a coaching culture?
Creating a coaching culture means establishing a formal program, measuring results, and consistently coaching every day for continuous performance improvement. When you create this type of culture, coaching no longer rests completely on the sales manager’s shoulders. Instead, it becomes an organisation-wide initiative where everyone works together to make coaching an automatic habit. Then coaching isn’t just another thing to squeeze into your schedule. It becomes a natural element of your day-to-day routine. Plus, this isn’t the usual top-down initiative; it’s multi-directional, incorporating both peer coaching and self-coaching.
Sounds great! But how do you get started?
Creating a coaching culture
Your organisation is unique, and so is the coaching culture you create. As you might guess, there are many elements involved in this endeavor. So take it step by step, then make adjustments to refine your culture as your company grows and changes. This is not a one-and-done process. It’s evolutionary.
Set a goal
As it is with many initiatives, you start by deciding what you want to accomplish. So set a goal that depicts what will happen when your coaching culture is a success. These may be revenue growth goals, an increased number of meetings scheduled or subscriptions sold, or a greater number of reps hitting quota consistently.
If you’re going to successfully measure the success or failure of your coaching programme, you’ll need to select KPIs to monitor. This will make it crystal clear how well your coaching culture is coming together.
Choose coaching forms
When you think of coaching, a manager working with an individual rep to develop a specific skill comes to mind. But there are so many other forms of coaching you can include in your program as you develop your coaching culture. These include self-coaching, mentoring, peer-to-peer coaching, live coaching and coaching based on video and/or audio recordings of sales rep calls.
Get everyone onboard
For a coaching culture to develop and thrive, it’s essential that everyone at all levels in your organisation are on board. Otherwise, you risk reduced or limited participation that would stop your programme in its tracks. So take the time to win them over. Sharing with them “what’s in it for me” can make all the difference and give them an incentive to support the coaching initiative.
To guarantee success, it’s important to provide training. This helps your organisation maximise benefits from a coaching culture. Training for management might be focused on what types of questions to ask reps during their coaching sessions and how to prioritise what to coach for each individual team member. Training for reps might revolve around how to self-coach and how to provide meaningful, actionable feedback to other reps so they always get the most from each session (and each other).
When we’re referring to resources in a coaching culture, we’re talking about best practice examples and shared knowledge or experiences. Creating a call library is one way to gather and share this information with those who need it the most. You can also have reps share their experiences with the team by listing which team members have experience with specific industries or markets for example.
Let reps take the lead
Instead of traditional coaching sessions, it’s best if reps can take the lead in their coaching sessions. It enables them to identify call snippets to submit for review or proactively request a specific topic to be discussed in advance of their session. Plus, reps should get in the habit of preparing questions or identifying challenges to discuss during their coaching sessions. Encourage them to take more control of their coaching and request specific assistance to keep them focused on continuous improvement.
Keep feedback simple
Remember to focus on one specific skill or area when providing feedback. Prioritise it based on what the individual rep is working on improving at the time. Providing too much feedback on too many topics may overwhelm your rep and dilute the impact of your feedback. This is one of those cases where less is more: it’s honing in on key areas of improvement that will support growth more effectively.
Make it fun and competitive
Coaching doesn’t need to feel like work. In fact, you can make it fun and enjoyable by using gamification techniques! This makes it more fun and encourages more active participation. You can run competitions around all sorts of coaching activities, such as most peer-to-peer coaching sessions during a set period of time or first to submit a call snippet for feedback. Then follow through with recognition for participation or give small rewards like company swag or gift cards for favourite coffee shops.
Gauge success and progress with your predetermined KPIs to see how each individual is doing. Use them to measure the overall success of your coaching culture too. Remember that you should be striving for consistent coaching activity - this is typically the first goal. Then you should start to see continuously improved performance after that.
After measuring for a while, trends in the numbers will start to develop. Use the insights you gain from these measurements to help you finetune your efforts and accelerate improvement.
A coaching culture takes effort to create, but the rewards of developing it far outweigh the effort. Work through all the steps, track your progress, and make adjustments as necessary.
Looking for a platform to facilitate the implementation of these steps to creating a coaching culture? Book a demo with a member of our team to see how Jiminny can help you do all this for your business and more.