The main goal of sales coaching is to improve the performance and productivity of your salespeople by teaching them new skills, reframing how they approach sales, and helping them tackle any obstacles holding them back. Building a continuous culture of learning is essential to enjoy all the benefits of sales coaching including increasing win rates, retaining top talent and building a better buyer experience.
Managers, they're often knee-deep in the daily grind—juggling tasks, tackling challenges, and laser-focused on sealing the deal. But here's the thing: being a modern sales manager means more than just ticking off tasks. It's about stepping into the shoes of a coach rather than just being the boss.
As a sales coach, your role centers on instilling a culture of learning within your team. According to a recent study by the Human Capital Institute, 51% of companies with a strong sales coaching culture see increased revenue.
Surprisingly, not all managers are jumping on the coaching bandwagon. Why? Well, it's a mix of the lack of time, uncertainty about what to coach on, and not seeing immediate perks.
So, let's have a chat in this blog post about why sales coaching should be a priority for you and toss around some nifty tips on how to be the best coach for your team.
Why do sales managers not prioritize coaching?
We’re not judging.
There are many reasons why you have not invested more in sales coaching. There is good news! Right now, you’re looking into how you can improve your coaching program and that is the first start to becoming a top sales coach.
Figuring out why many coaches struggle to gain momentum can provide valuable insights to help you stay on track and make progress toward your goal.
Here are the top reasons why sales managers avoid coaching:
They don’t have time.
We often get bogged down with the day to day tasks or the questions and challenges that get thrown our way. It is difficult to set aside time to really focus on sales coaching, even when we know that many of these challenges will improve after implementing an effective coaching program.
Set aside 1-2 hours per day, even 30 minutes if that is all you have, to start. Your future self will thank you.
They are not sure how or where to start.
It’s hard to coach sales if you’re not very confident with how or where to even start. Not all managers are naturally skilled or trained in coaching. They might feel unsure about having coaching conversations, giving constructive feedback, or creating action plans with their team.
Remember, you can reach out to external coaches to help get things going and also help you develop your coaching skills. Lean on mentors and third parties for help.
Dive into educational resources for crafting top training programs. Whether it's podcasts, YouTube videos, or books, keep learning new skills and stay updated on the latest coaching trends.
They don’t see immediate benefits
One issue for sales managers is not seeing results fast enough. The truth is, you’re not going to see a 180° change after doing 1-2 coaching sessions. It takes consistency and persistence.
It's crucial to acknowledge that coaching is an investment that pays off with long-term benefits. Believe me, it will be worth it. You will save time and your team will be better for it.
They are too focused on deal to deal activity
It’s easy to get caught up in the fires that pop up where you forget to take an active role as a sales coach to prevent fires in the future. It can be overwhelming at first.
The day to day may give you a great indication on where to start with coaching sessions. Instead of having one-on-one discussions on how to solve each problem, bring the team together and have a brainstorming session. Write down common questions and problems your team is having. Do you see any patterns? This might be the perfect place to start.
They are not consistent
A lot of sales coaches may have the best intentions and know that coaching is important but just aren’t consistent.
Start backwards. Identify your team's goals and pinpoint areas for improvement. Create a playbook detailing the steps required to achieve these goals and equip your team with the essential skills for success.
Make it a habit to catch up regularly with your team, both in a casual and more structured way. Set some time for one-on-one and group sessions every week with your reps for a deeper dive into personalized coaching. Getting it on the calendar and having a game plan can really make a difference.
The benefits of sales coaching
Changing the mindset from traditional sales manager to sales coach reveals so many benefits to sales organizations. Sales coaching is about guiding, motivating, inspiring, and emphasizing skills and techniques over the metrics. When your team grows, the company and revenue will follow.
The goal of a sales coach should be to not need you. The true benefits of sales coaching emerge when sales reps evolve and take full ownership of their own growth and responsibilities with you as a guide, not an enforcer.
According to Task Drive, only 17% of companies claim to have an effective training program which is so surprising. Yet, the best sales orgs that invest in sales coaching see 353% ROI for the average company.
There are so many benefits to having a consistent culture of learning within your sales organization from ramping new reps, to increasing productivity and closing more deals.
We’ll dive into the top 7 benefits of sales coaching and how you can become the best sales coach for your team.
Increase sales productivity
Sales coaching can be a real motivator for your team. By consistently coaching your reps and fostering a culture of continuous learning, you're not just guiding them – you're sparking motivation.
As a coach, you should encourage them to acquire fresh skills, think outside the box, and try out new strategies or tactics, ensuring their performance keeps rising and far from stagnation.
The best thing you can do for your team is empower them to think for themselves and come up with creative solutions to issues that arise. Instead of immediately talking through a solution, ask them to go deeper, “What do you think the prospect is looking for here?” or “What do you think we can do to solve this?”
The best coaches aren't here to be managers barking orders. They play the role of a wise mentor, offering guidance to truly transform them as salespeople, and eventually coaches themselves.
Remember, the goal here is to eventually not need you.
Retain top performers
Being a sales rep is like being the energizer bunny—you need those high highs and excitement to keep going. For your team to really see continuous success, they've got to feel like they're making waves, you know, actually making a difference. But that feeling can get a bit lost when there's not much room for growth.
Did you know, according to a recent Linkedin survey, 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn? And over 60 percent of salespeople are more likely to leave their job if their manager is a poor coach. (Brainshark)
Get your head out of the micromanaging gutter. Stay far away.
This starts with your own rebrand of learning in order to guide. Share the insights and latest trends with your team so they can focus on their performance. Motivate your team, and get them excited about new strategies and tactics that will help them improve their game.
Make them feel valued, and know they matter. You won't need a revolving door of new hires because your awesome team is sticking around, steering clear of all the hiring, onboarding, and training headaches. It's a win-win.
Improve team performance
If only a couple of your reps are performing, that's a sign your coaching needs a change. Generic monthly sales training with broad topics won't cut it. Your reps are a diverse bunch with unique strengths and weaknesses. Effective coaching zeroes in on each person's game.
New reps might work on nailing onboarding, prospecting and call planning, while the seasoned pros could be honing in on value presentation and negotiation. As a team, zero in on ensuring reps grasp company values, catch the excitement of product launches, and dive into brainstorming sessions where everyone can chip in and help each other out.
Managers should team up with each member for a collaborative skill check, ensuring everyone is onboard with the game plan. Have a monthly check in, as skills get polished, the focus shifts to keep the improvement train rolling.
So, when you huddle up with the team—both as a squad and one-on-one. Dive into calls, measure performance through scoring. Are they tripping on the same hurdles? In what situations do they really shine? Guide them to those lightbulb moments, work on their weak spots, and watch the whole team shine in their best sales selves.
Ramp up new reps faster
It’s not so uncommon to take MONTHS to onboard and get a rep up to speed, which is pretty insane. If you do see frequent changes within your sales teams, this can have a significant impact and create different challenges.
No one likes to get put in the game before they’re not ready.
With a new culture of learning going strong, you've now got an arsenal of training and plenty of talks with your reps to get new team members up to speed in no time.
Treat those recordings like a playbook. When a new rep joins, have them soak in the best demo calls, watch team trainings, and dive into product sessions. We've seen reps revved up and demo-ready 3x faster, most of the time ready within their first few weeks.
Always hit quota
When looking at sales orgs where they had over 75% sales reps hitting quota, a big outlier was that they spent significantly more time coaching than the average sales manager. (2023 Sales Benchmark Index)
Dealing with sales quotas can be pretty daunting. Many managers believe that obsessing over the numbers and closely overseeing every deal might help salespeople meet their targets. Sure, it might work temporarily, but trust me, it's not the long-term solution. You’ll just bum out the sales team.
It's not a sustainable approach. You'll notice your team constantly bombarding you with questions, lacking the confidence to handle deals independently. Breaking free from this cycle can be a real challenge.
Switch gears from being the manager to a coach. Give your sales reps the tools to hone their skills and think critically, allowing them to drive deals forward on their own.
Let them find solutions to tricky questions and experiment with new strategies without feeling the need to run to you every time. That's the sweet spot where you end up with your team who not only meets quotas but does it with ease – and hey, your reps will thank you for it.
Increase win rates
I am not saying deal reviews should be off the table, the best sales coaches just go about it differently than your traditional sales manager. When implemented with the right foundation, a coaching approach compared to regular deal reviews provides reps with actions to take on an account and learn how to execute better in the future.
You yourself probably sat through your fair share of deal reviews. More than likely, it probably felt more like an evaluation than a coaching session, where your manager walks through your deals looking for what you may have done wrong. It’s time to break that trend.
Shift the focus from dwelling on your team's mistakes. Instead, bring value to the table by steering the discussion toward advancing opportunities. Involve the entire team in these conversations, encouraging collaboration to brainstorm next steps and generate ideas that bolster the rep's sense of support. Make sure everyone understands the next steps, lay out a well-defined action plan, and ask your team about their confidence level to put it into action.
It’s not surprising here - companies with a solid, dynamic coaching program often average 28% higher win rates than their competition. (Brainshark)
Improve the buyers experience
When your sales reps improve, naturally so will your buyer experience. They will get the necessary information quickly and efficiently with no time wasted.
Your sales team will evolve into experts in deciphering buyer’s needs and how to solve them, versus pushing the sell. Inexperienced reps frequently jump right into selling the product because they may lack the skills and knowledge needed to thoroughly delve into the current problems and desired outcomes of potential buyers.
This ingenuity can be a big turnoff for buyers. And soon enough you find yourself losing winnable deals.
When you genuinely care about solving buyers' problems and dig into effective discovery, it makes your conversations so much better. It's a skill that many salespeople overlook, but it's so crucial in everything from customer service to sealing the deal successfully.
How Avoma can help you become a better sales coach
Managers spend hours listening to calls, providing delayed feedback, and struggling to cover everything. The gap between perception and reality in call reviews is significant because less than 1% of calls are manually reviewed.
A RevVue poll found 75% of sales reps feel leaders don't listen to recorded calls enough. Measuring the effectiveness of coaching is challenging. The AI Coaching Assistant from Avoma addresses these issues, simplifying coaching for sales and customer success teams.
With auto-scoring, managers get 100% coverage and real-time insights, eliminating the need for manual ad hoc reviews. The AI analyzes calls, prioritizes low scores, and provides specific details, enabling targeted coaching.
AI Scorecards ensure objective evaluations, and Performance Dashboards offer leaders a clear view of team and individual performances, allowing tailored coaching initiatives for maximum impact. The Team Performance Dashboard provides visibility into trends, facilitating personalized coaching to drive revenue growth and customer satisfaction.
Let us know how we can help you become the sales coach every team will love.