How to Ignite Performance with Sales Coaching

A business woman is advising two team members on their written report

Solution selling training for managers works. Most companies enjoy an almost 30% boost in top-line sales performance with good sales managers…and this is independent of the solution selling skills of their sales team members.

Who wouldn’t want to be on the plus side of those numbers? And then, when sales coaching was added to the solution selling mix, there was an even greater improvement in sales performance. In fact, based upon over 800 solution selling training measurement projects, we know that effective sales coaching makes a 4-to-1 difference in sales performance.

It would seem a no-brainer that if you want to improve sales performance, you need good sales managers (those who actually know how to manage people) who are good sales performance coaches. So where are these good sales managers and why aren’t they coaching the heck out of their sales team?

The first problem is that many sales managers have had no solution selling training or sales management training. They earned their stripes for excelling at sales as individual performers. They never understood or learned what it takes to excel through the performance of the team they lead.

The next problem is that sales managers resist sales coaching for several reasons: they don’t have the time, the skills or the motivation. But sales performance coaching is such a critical part of their role that we need to help them see why these barriers should be laid to waste.

  • No time for sales coaching?
    When sales managers think of sales coaching as a one-on-one meeting that could be an hour or more once a week in an all too busy day, they could be right. But they need to, instead, consider sales coaching just a little at a time, on the spot, as they observe a teachable moment. Experts say that a 3-minute sales coaching conversation before or after a sales call will have a far greater impact on improving skills than a formal 1-hour conversation well after the fact.
  • Lack of solution selling or sales coaching skills?
    Learn the basics of effective solution selling and sales coaching…how to observe behavior, how to give feedback, and how to encourage and sustain improved sales activities and customer relations. Once you establish a simple and straightforward template for a coaching conversation, sales coaching will become part of your M.O. because it works in improving the overall solution selling skill level and business results of your team.
  • Little incentive?
    Yes, sales coaching is an investment in your time and it may not show immediate results. But shouldn’t you be looking at the longer term value? Once you accept that effective sales coaching makes a huge difference in your team results, perhaps you’ll begin to see yourself as a coach. Coaching isn’t simply added to your responsibilities as a sales manager, it IS your responsibility as a sales manager. Need motivation? Just re-read the first paragraph of this article.

Want to up your sales coaching game to improve the solution selling skills of your sales team? Read about the Biggest Sales Coaching Mistakes to Avoid.

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