Effective coaching of salespeople has the benefit of helping them reach their maximum productivity, enjoying their career more, improving retention, and giving you the satisfaction that you are mentoring others to greatness.
Consider these steps to gain greater impact from your coaching efforts.
Step 1. Understand the definition of “Coaching”.
Coaching is not a pep talk at the weekly sales meeting. The feelings of motivation that you generate with pep talks last as long as it takes salespeople to walk from the conference room to their desk. As soon as the job gets challenging the motivated feeling they got from the pep talk dissipates.
Coaching is leading and mentoring others to reach goals that are personal to them. When you coach salespeople to get what THEY want, you in turn get what you want, which is maximum productivity from each salesperson.
Step 2. Get to know your sales team members on an individual level.
Schedule uninterrupted time with each sales team member and get to know them by asking questions. Let them talk for an hour without you saying anything about yourself. They will leave this meeting feeling that you really care about them. They will respect and trust you more and feel that you really care about their success.
Use the questionnaire at this link to help guide the discussion: https://salesmanage.com/sms-steves-coaching-interview-questionnaire-for-coaching-team-members-2/
Step 3. Understand each team member at a deep emotional, psychological, and genetic level, so that they are receptive to your coaching.
Complete the CTS Sales Profile assessment on yourself and on each person whom you are coaching.
Use the Behavioral Style Report to learn which personality style you are and the style of each person whom you are coaching. Find this assessment at CTSsalesprofile.com. We may have special pricing for certain organizations. Email me at the email address at the end of this blog for more information.
Steven Covey, in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “Seek to understand, then to be understood.”
Our default mode of coaching people is to read our own biography into the lives of others. We coach, teach, mentor, even train our children the way we would want to be trained. If your personality is exactly like the personality of the person whom you are coaching, your style of coaching might work. However, if your personality styles are different, they will struggle to trust your motivations and be less receptive to your coaching.
Never, never use the phrase, “When I was selling, this is what worked for me.” When we hear this phrase, we all have negative flashbacks from hearing this from our parents.
When you know the personality style of your salespeople, you have detailed information regarding their strength/challenges, and you have spent time getting to know them personally, you can adapt your coaching style to their personality style. Once you adapt your mentoring and coaching style to the other person’s preferences, this causes them to trust you and be receptive to your coaching. They believe you really care about them. Your willingness to adapt to their style also speeds up the process of modifying any behaviors that may need to be changed.
Use the CTS Sales Profile’s 11 page “Sales Coaching Report” for each team member. This is the encyclopedia on the “Strengths” and “Challenges” for this individual team member along with “Customized Coaching Recommendations”.
If you administer this tool to each team member, included in the investment for the tool, we provide on-the-phone review of each sales team member from one of our recruiting and coaching experts.
Another great resource for coaching salespeople is the book Selling Beyond Survival and the companion workbook by Lance Cooper. This resource can be found at Amazon.com.
Step 4. Help them set a personal income goal and develop the metrics to hit this goal.
First, calculate how much money they will make if they hit the sales target you want them to hit. Then, ask them how much money they want to make. If they say an income number at or above your target, you can now coach them on their personal income goal, not your sales goal for them.
If they give you a number below your target, clarify the question by asking them for their “dream” goal, not their “just get by” goal. How much do they want to make to have disposable income, get out of debt, and save for retirement.
After this personal income goal is set, calculate the amount of sales needed and the number of daily/weekly sales presentations they will need at a desirable closing ratio in order to reach their monthly income goal.
Record these metrics on a sales board. There are many electronic versions available where the team member can record their activity, and the board can be displayed during the sales meeting. It is critical that both the goal for each metric and the completed metric be displayed inside the tool. Many tools do not offer this option of entering goals for metrics. They only measure sales results against the metrics. This lack of functionality makes it difficult to diagnose why the sales team member is not hitting their sales target.
I have a personal favorite – FRONTRUNNER. From my research, this tool provides the greatest flexibility and customization of all of the tools I have researched. You can access this tool at https://imafrontrunner.com or call them at (859) 518-8814. If you enter “Coupon Code” CTS at purchase, you will receive your first month for free. Full disclosure – I do not receive any compensation from this referral. I simply like the product and it’s functionality.
Now you can coach them to reach their personal monthly income goal using the daily metrics that will produce “their” goal.
Step 5. Hold weekly/monthly accountability meetings with your team.
This is a meeting exclusively focused on SALES. Do not discuss any topic related to operations or any subject that is not sales focused.
Start the meeting by asking for “celebrations”. For five minutes, anyone can share a celebration related to anything personal or business. This gets the meeting off on a positive note.
Display the sales board with the metrics created above for each sales team member. Then ask each team member to review their metrics starting with the lowest producer. Each person will simply read their numbers in each category. i.g. “My goal for weekly quotes is 40. My actual result was 41. I’m very proud of hitting this goal. My weekly goal for number of applications written is 12. My result was 10. I am confident that since I hit my quote goal this week that my application target will catch up next week…. etc.”
Each team member will report on their results as described above. After each report, ask the team member these questions, “What was your greatest challenge this week? What was your greatest accomplishment? What will you focus on next week?”.
Ask the next team member with the next-to-lowest production to report next. Continue this process until all team members have reported.
Remember these rules. The format of this sales meeting is one where each team member does all the talking. You are the moderator. You simply ask the team member to report and comment on their numbers, ask them the three questions, and help keep their report into a reasonable time frame of 5-6 minutes. It is critical that you do not comment on their production during this meeting. Schedule private individual coaching sessions with each team member to discuss strengths and challenges.
The power of the format of this meeting is self-celebration and self-incrimination. The metrics and the results speak for themselves. When a sales team member realizes that they must be publicly accountable to the team for their results, they become more aware of how they manage their sales time and become more focused on the metrics.
Team members who want to improve simply do not want to be the first to report and remain at the bottom of the sales board.
The additional benefit of the format of this sales meeting is that you are simply the moderator. You are no longer in the position of bearing the responsibility of motivating each team member. You are teaching them to motivate themselves.
End the meeting with a 5-8 minute video from a motivational speaker. You will never run out of motivational videos on YouTube.
Step 6. Provide product and sales training on a regular basis.
Begin with word tracks for what to say from the time a prospect says hello throughout the sales process until the prospect buys. Having consistent sales language that everyone follows and has role-played ensures that all sales team members are competent in turning prospects into customers at a satisfactory closing ratio.
In the absence of great word tracks, sales are lost by sales team members who make-it-up-as-they-go-along. Sales is the oldest occupation in our history. The science and psychology of selling has been mastered and put into thousands of training programs. Require that every team member master the art of needs-based selling.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to reach out to me with questions and comments. If you want more information regarding the resources to deploy the above strategies, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go make it a great day.