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4 Tips for Effective Sales Coaching

October 11, 2019

Have you put enough time and effort into your sales training? 

If not, you’re not alone: a recent report claimed that 83% of companies do not have effective sales training in place. However, 86% of millennials claim career training keeps them invested in a company. As millennials make up a bigger and bigger part of the workforce, the implementation of sales coaching is more critical than ever.

Sales coaching tips

Despite efforts to improve onboarding through sales enablement and revamping training programs, sales leaders struggle to promote organization-wide commitment.   

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Here are four tips you can use at your company to refine sales training, improve sales productivity, and boost customer engagement.

1. Make sales training curriculum intentional

A newly-developed, redefined curriculum can energize the entire team and refocus them on the company’s core values and mission. It also motivates sales leadership to align on contributing factors of winning sales deals, such as the talk track, process, and sales methodology, and be intentional in their methods moving forward. Examples of this include:

  • Quick and consistent onboardingImprove the employee onboarding process by providing hungry reps with access to sales playlists. This allows them to take the initiative to review best practices on their own time rather than waiting for ride-along calls, dramatically shortening onboarding.  
  • A lifelong learner attitude—The market is constantly changing from the rise of new competitors or teams reworking products and messages. Embrace these developments by providing ongoing training and opportunities to certify reps. 

If you’re facing frustration from your reps, communicate the purpose of new training methods using a data-supported manner to ensure team buy-in.

2. Prioritize alignment 

Prior to outlining the curriculum, listen to how reps interact with customers. This entails acquiring allies on the sales team and pushing executive adoption, which will allow you to align with your reps when it comes to training and coaching. Take these steps to achieve that alignment: 

  • Listen to a diverse array of calls at various stages within the sales process. Be attentive to cold calls, discovery, demos, proposal calls, late-stage calls, and kickoffs.
  • Collect reps' real stories in order to incorporate case studies into the curriculum.  
  • Understand all the details of the sales process from end to end. Learn effective questions for prospects at all stages, prepare FAQs and objections, and form content for prospects at each stage.

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3. Shake up the style and format 

Sales coaching should not be one dimensional. Take advantage of various learning formats to engage reps in ways that work for them. Frequently used formats include:

  • Classroom style
  • Text or video
  • Playlists
  • Sales call scripts
  • Self or peer assessment of film review
  • Certification on live customer call

The easiest way to construct a lineup of current, dynamic coaching content is to allow reps to submit calls to playlists for your whole team to access.

Top playlists and coaching opportunities include:

  • Openers: The way you open a call sets the tone. Run an internal contest to see who gets the most out of the first three minutes of their sales call.
  • Set the agenda: It’s important that a rep initiates and maintains control of their agenda. Share the best approaches to agenda setting throughout the sales process. 
  • Best of: Feature top sales call highlights. Learning from top sellers minimizes the difficulty of budget qualification.
  • One call close: Provide talk tracks of deals that had quick closes.  
  • Delivering pricing: Listen to top reps explain pricing.
  • Best of buyer intent: Pick up cues on whether a buyer intends to make a purchase or not.
  • Roadmap concerns: Understand how top reps navigate kickoff and implementation objections. 
  • Upselling 101: Live client calls shed light on identifying opportunities to upsell and provide customers with new ideas.
  • Customer storytime: Stories of turning prospects into deal-closing customers motivate reps to apply successful sales methodologies in their own calls. 

4. Set measures of success

Measuring curriculum impact gives valuable insight into whether or not training is working, and if there are trouble spots to improve upon. When measuring curriculum, consider the following: 

  • Frictionless adoption: Pay attention to if reps are finishing all activities on time and if they are facing any obstacles throughout the process.
  • Direct feedback: Listen to customer calls following training to evaluate if reps are applying the right talk tracks and new learnings.
  • Ramp time and results: The most effective method to determine curriculum success is to take note of ramp time and results across different cohorts of reps.

Additional impact measurement bases include: 

Quota attainment
Productivity changes
Reduced deal closing time
Win rates
Boosted average contract value

When sales wins, everyone wins

Success for your sales team means success for your company, but you can’t achieve that success without making an effort to improve your sales coaching and training methods. Implement these four steps when building your sales curriculum to empower your sales reps to reach the top, crush quotas, and develop their potential talent. 

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