The Key to Consistent Coaching (Part 3 of 3: Creating the Habit)
We’re in the third and final week of our series about consistent coaching. In week one, we discussed why coaching consistently is important and last week we dug into the research to identify the top business benefits of sales coaching.
We’ve been able to confirm the importance of consistent sales coaching and that coaching on an ongoing basis definitely has its rewards. Despite the evidence, 77% of firms don’t believe they are providing enough coaching to their salespeople. And in today’s virtual selling environment 93% of sales reps are experiencing challenges that negatively impact their selling, with 58% of these reps needing dedicated coaching to merely function.
Coaching may be beneficial, but now it’s become necessary for reps to get through the day! The research revealed that keeping a consistent coaching culture is challenging for some virtual selling organizations, with only 42% of businesses holding their sales managers accountable for the quality of their coaching.
So, if you’re finding it difficult to routinely coach your sales reps, you’re not alone. We know that you’re juggling as much as you can. You may be wondering how you’re supposed to squeeze more coaching into your already packed schedule - but, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to help you include more coaching into your daily, weekly, and monthly routine.
Supplement 1-to-1s with bite-sized sessions
Including brief daily or routine check-ins takes the pressure off during weekly or biweekly coaching sessions with each team member. It enables reps to get feedback, guidance, and reinforcement relating to skills, knowledge, challenges, or current deals. These short interactions build up rep confidence and help them establish positive behaviors. Plus, if they know they’ll be speaking with you, they’ll be prepared, so it’s time spent productively.
Remember that one size does not fit all. Each of your team members has different backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge. This means coaching must be tailored to suit each individual. Start by assessing each rep to determine what they already know and where they need to improve. Then you can focus on reinforcing their strengths and build them up where needed, improving their confidence and proficiency.
Don’t forget to ask your reps to share call snippets with you that they identify as needing improvement. Have them share it with you ahead of time so you can listen to it and discuss how they can do better next time.
It’s essential to listen in on customer calls. Although listening in on live calls may be ideal, there are only so many hours in the day. But the next best thing to attending calls in progress is to listen to your reps’ call recordings. Both options allow you to provide feedback throughout the call or after the call. You can pinpoint moments where they need to improve their discovery questions or responses to customer questions (and you can also catch them doing great things and praise them!)
Share best practices
Each team member has specific strengths and weaknesses, so identify the best call snippets and share them during onboarding or as best practices examples. Build a library of these moments for your team to access on-demand as well so they can refine their techniques as needed on their own.
Include peer-to-peer coaching
Encourage team members to coach each other by pairing them up, perhaps a more experienced rep with a newer rep, or randomly interacting with one another. They can listen in on each other’s calls or to snippets of calls where a rep is struggling. Then they can share feedback with each other and exchange solutions to challenges! Taking the pressure off of management while they focus on building teamwork and a coaching culture.
Many of today’s sales technologies leverage AI to generate valuable insights. These make it easier to identify coaching moments and areas requiring improvement. Perhaps that’s why 39% of sales reps reported that their managers use sales technology to coach them effectively and efficiently on daily virtual selling processes. Taking advantage of these analytics is time-saving and accelerates rep improvement by focusing your coaching efforts properly.
Since most sales teams have routine meetings, why not designate a segment of this gathering to do some group coaching. There are lots of ways to approach this. You can spend time listening to call snippets and encourage the team to discuss either what the rep did correctly or what could be done to improve the call. Everyone will benefit from such an exercise.
With reps navigating the challenges of a new sales landscape, consistent sales coaching is more essential than ever before. Try these methods to increase your coaching time so you can reap the rewards and hit your targets more easily.
Looking for an easier way to increase your coaching time and develop the coaching habit? Book a demo with a member of our team to see how Jiminny can help you do all this for your business and more.