If you are running a business in the UK that works on complex sales, and if you are looking to improve the outcomes of your team, you have come to the right place. At The Sales Coach Network, we are passionate about and dedicated to the process of upping your results, consistently and sustainably.
As a business owner in the UK, you might be thinking about investing in sales coaching. But what is it, exactly? And why should you take the first step now?
Let’s revisit exactly what sales coaching is. It is the process of improving the performance of a salesperson through continuous one-to-one feedback. It takes a holistic approach rather than simply being a numbers game, and it is designed to increase the bottom line of a business.
Salespeople are the face of the business in many industries, as they deal directly with the customer. In many cases, the financial wellbeing of an organisation rests on their shoulders.
Demand for sales coaching has never been greater. Sales leaders identify it as a top priority for their frontline sales managers. Yet frontline managers often avoid coaching, because they either don’t feel they have the time, don’t know how to coach, are unsure of what skills to coach or don’t follow a consistent coaching process.
One common experience that people have with coaching or feedback is when they're not doing well. As a result, most people shy away from feedback. They tend to associate it with correction for poor performance or doing something wrong. However, coaching shouldn't be reserved for correction. Done well, coaching can be an opportunity to build trust as well as skills in your team members.
Sales coaching isn't just about generating results. Yielding good results from a sales organisation requires playing a long game, not just focusing on a single metric in a single quarter. Good coaching will continue to deliver better outcomes, if nurtured.
Sales teams who don't feel supported are unproductive. Quotas can be motivating, but reducing a person’s workload to a quota sets them up to feel like they're constantly failing.
There are other ways and means to achieve strong results. Managers recognise that a ‘whole person approach’ to training can create a sense of belonging and develop the confidence and skillset a salesperson requires to sustain success over time.
The skillset required is a combination of people skills, sales experience and product knowledge. Salespeople must display high emotional intelligence and resilience. They need to listen for their customer’s needs, and sometimes need to manage their own emotions to get the job done.
If you as a sales leader get this right, you’ll empower your sales team.
The advantages of sales coaching are broad and numerous. Here’s why starting is a great idea:
1. Increased productivity and efficiency
Sales coaching helps your team to understand and use the tools at their disposal. It teaches them how to make the best use of sales enablement resources. These tools help to organise and create content specially developed to support the sales team, boosting efficiency.
2. Improved communication and collaboration
Coaching can prepare sales reps to collaborate with other departments, such as R&D, marketing and customer success teams to improve the overall customer experience. While we tend to focus on the benefits coaching provides to the salespeople, it also has a profound impact on managers. Managers who become great coaches take pride in the accomplishments of their team and use this as a building block to become better sales leaders. This enables managers to focus on how they can lead their teams to greater success.
3. Creates leverage for greater customer satisfaction
If sales managers focus on telling their direct reports what to do, they will put themselves in a situation where their sales reps look to their manager for answers. Over time, this makes the sales manager a problem solver rather than an enabler. In contrast, coaching (not ‘telling’) teaches sales professionals to solve their own problems by increasing their selling skills and knowledge. Over time, this results in a highly empowered team and can create exponential leverage, leading to win-win outcomes for both the team and customer.
4. Improved sales performance
Sales coaching allows teams to practise new behaviours and improve their skillsets. It helps reinforce a culture of learning and improvement. Coaching isn’t just effective for the individual – it can help pinpoint growth opportunities for the entire sales organisation.
Great coaching can also improve your customer service which can satisfy your clients and raise awareness about your business through word-of-mouth.
5. Enhanced team morale and motivation
Think of the sales coach as a beacon of morale for your salespeople. Great sales coaching won’t just improve individual performance but it can also instil a sense of comradery, unity and teamwork within your network of sales representatives. Coaching provides sales representatives with guidelines that could potentially help them to be better at their jobs, which in turn improves satisfaction.
6. Increased sales skills and knowledge
Sales coaching provides extensive feedback. Sales managers and coaches can help navigate through current concerns and sales conversations. This helps to cement knowledge and incentivises teams with the promise of favourable results. Unlike sales training that focuses on the general development needs of the sales team, sales coaching is highly personalised and targets specific selling skills (skills coaching) for each member of the sales team. Managers can work with each member of their team on a focused plan to improve specific skills.
7. More consistent sales results
Ultimately, every organisation hopes that its sales leaders will be as effective as they possibly can be. Good coaching takes a thoughtful approach to understand why the results may not be where they should be, and implements a holistic strategy to change the underlying dynamics and mindsets that get in the way of achievement. Another key benefit of sales coaching is that it can be used to improve win rates by focusing on specific opportunities in the sales pipeline (opportunity coaching).
8. Improved decision-making
Group sales training programs and onboarding processes for sales team members teach skills in a group setting at the onset of a new job. One-on-one sales coaching allows salespeople to receive feedback continually and offers customised training to sharpen up their decision making.
9. Greater business growth and success
Improvements in the skills of your sales force will without a doubt bring in more revenue for your business. Everyone on your sales team should be firing on all cylinders. A proper training and coaching regime will keep everyone sharp and on their toes, directly impacting sales and revenue.
10. Reduced costs and improved return on investment
Sales coaching can help your team close deals more often or even reel in bigger opportunities. Your sales force becomes proficient at closing deals when sales reps hone their skills and gain the confidence to tackle more responsibilities. Equally, coaching can help turn things around when a company is an enduring adversity and uncertainty.
To sum up: the benefits of sales coaching include an increase in your organisation’s overall business performance, improved product quality, an uptick in the morale of your sales representatives, a strengthened employee resolve and commitment to the company, all while developing solid leaders by instilling confidence, and improving the capacity of your team to adapt to setbacks.
Everyone in your organisation benefits from coaching — not just the individuals who are currently struggling.
Finding the right sales coach for your business may be a hard task for you, but it is worth the effort. A good sales coach can make a big difference in your business. Contact The Sales Coach Network today to begin your coaching journey.
How do you find the right coach? You’re looking for someone with extensive selling experience and someone who will provide personal development, accountability, access resources and someone who is a good listener.