There’s a reason author Timothy Gallwey was able to transition from tennis player to best-selling author and business consultant for global conglomerates like Apple, Coca-Cola and AT&T. Much like in sports, the secret to success in business, leadership and sales lies in effective coaching.
There’s also a reason companies such as IBM invested in Gallwey’s guidance. Again as in sports, the best players don’t always make successful coaches. Just because a company’s leadership might be excellent at sales themselves, that doesn’t mean they know how to instill those abilities in others. Plenty of them need sales coaching training first.
Gallwey’s “Inner Game” methods have helped top-level managers learn how to effectively coach their teams and develop the skills of their salespeople. But his sales coaching strategies aren’t the only methods that increase sales and develop sales talent. There are hundreds of sales coaching models and techniques to meet the needs of various industries and markets, and the best sales coaching tips are customized for the product, company and each individual salesperson.
Less experienced sales coaches might be unsure of how to best structure their sales coaching methods. They might know what they want to instill in their sales teams, but perhaps they don’t know the best way to present the information. Training decks like this presentation template from Beautiful.ai can help coaches understand the best ways to structure their sales coaching strategies by providing a ready-made sales coaching plan template to serve as a guide for designing their own sales coaching presentations.
Regardless of how a coaching method is structured, it’s vital that the coaching occurs on a continuing basis and in conjunction with sales goals and metrics. Coaching should focus on specific objectives, such as qualifying leads, quantifying a customer’s problem, time management, negotiation or closing.
The following three sales coaching methods can help increase sales and develop sales talent:
1. Skills development coaching
The most commonly-used sales coaching structure focuses on developing sales tactics like creating a prospect call list, handling objections, scheduling meetings or executing cold calls. The exact coaching topics can be personalized to each salesperson.
Each month the sales coach and the team member can choose one or two tactics to improve. Not only should they choose the skills, but they should develop a skill development plan including their goals for improving each tactic and the ways their performance will be measured. Then the sales coach and the team member can meet weekly to discuss their progress and ways to further improve their skills.
If scheduling allows, the sales coach can even conduct daily microtraining sessions ranging from 3 to 7 minutes in length. According to Shift Learning, coaching sessions of this length match most people’s working memory capacity and result in 50 percent greater engagement than longer sessions.
2. Data-driven coaching
Big data has cemented its place in the business world, and sales coaching is no exception. Through data-driven coaching, sales managers can use sales activity, sales performance metrics and other business intelligence to coach their teams on how to improve specific performance levels.
What better way to impress lessons upon salespeople than through the use of hard data that illustrates how different sales tips impact real-world results? After all, numbers don’t lie. Understanding data enables sales teams to discover the most efficient sales best practices for maximum results.
Data easily can be illustrated in sales coaching presentations designed using Beautiful.ai’s free PowerPoint-alternative presentation software. The platform features a multitude of infographic-based smart slide templates. Just enter the data and watch as artificial intelligence adjusts infographics like bar graphs, pie charts and scattergraphs accordingly.
3. Sales funnel coaching
As its name implies, the coaching method involves teaching sales teams the different stages of the sales funnel and how to best progress from each step in the pipeline to the next. While specific coaching strategies can be used with different salespeople as needed for each individual, the concepts being trained will be consistent across teams.
Coaching the sales pipeline requires the most rigid structure and advanced preparation, as well as weekly meetings between the sales coach and each team member to discuss how the individual can improve conversions at each phase of the sales funnel.
In fact, research from Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association indicates that when companies dedicate at least three hours each month to managing every representative’s individual sales pipeline, they achieve 11 percent greater revenue growth than those that don’t.