Does soaring number of unqualified leads, missed sales targets, and lost opportunities result in sleepless nights? Are you worried about the dipping levels of selling effectiveness? Well, you need to focus on a vital aspect – coaching your salespeople effectively. A study conducted by the International Coach Federation revealed organizations can expect a return of 7 times the initial investment in coaching. Let us now look at 4 proven tips to coach your reps to success.
Tip #1: Focus on sales actions and not sales goals
Many a time, sales coaches get lost in the “maze of numbers”. They often focus on the sales goals, neglecting the fundamental aspect – how the salesperson executes the sale. Scott Edinger, a sales ninja, in his article, How Great Sales Leaders Coach, states it is very important to analyze the actions of sales reps such as their interactions with prospects.He believes a good analysis of salespersons’ actions helps identify their mistakes and correct them, leading to increased selling efficiencies. Edinger points out that if the sales actions are well executed, they would naturally be translated into revenues.
Tip #2: Ask the right questions to identify what is bogging down your people
Most managers believe that sales coaching is all about telling their reps what they need to do. They seldom ask the salespersons about the issues they are facing. This “one-way” approach often fails to yield the desired results, as it provides little understanding of the issues affecting their ability to sell well. So, it is very important that you ask your salespeople the right questions to determine what’s working for them and what’s not and take the right steps to meet the sales objectives. The insightful article, Analytical Sales Coaching: The Missing Management Skill states mangers need to ask their sales reps the following questions:
- How are you performing against your activity goals / the rest of the team?
- How much do you have in your pipeline / what opportunities should you be pursuing?
- Where is the weakness in your sales cycle?
Answers to these questions enable sales managers deliver coaching that addresses the specific problems of the sales reps, thereby improving their efficiencies.
Tip #3: Make the best use of the data in your CRM system
Staying on with the identification of problems faced by your sales staff, you can use your CRM system to get valuable information on their activities. The article How to Coach your Sales Team for Success states data stored in CRM can throw light on four vital aspects:
- Activities in which the sales rep was engaged
- Responses to these activities
- Rate of contact – number of phone calls made or e-mails sent to a lead to qualify it as an opportunity
- Actions taken to move the opportunity to the next stage of the sales funnel
Armed with this information, sales coaches can come up with appropriate strategies to improve the efficiency of their sales reps.
Tip #4: Spend more time on analyzing early stage deals
Most sales coaches are obsessed with deals that are in their final stages. Edinger believes this doesn’t help enhance selling efficiencies. This is because little can be done to influence these deals. Instead, he advises sales coaches to primarily concentrate their energies on helping their people handle prospects in the early stages of the sales funnel. Edinger believes focusing on these “young” deals helps create optimal value in the sales cycle and direct resources toward that value.
Good coaching plays a key role in increasing the efficiency of your sales staff. Sales coaching should be oriented towards sales actions and not sales goals. You need to identify the issues faced by your salespeople by asking the right questions and analyzing CRM data. It is better to focus your energies on helping your reps handle deals in the early stages of the sales funnel. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.