Think about the sales management tools in your toolbox. How do they contribute to running a successful sales team? Like other sales teams, you probably have a trusty customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage contacts, a call recording software to measure talk ratio, or an intelligence platform to measure the performance of sales reps. All good stuff!
Although these sales management tools provide many benefits, they don’t mean anything if you don’t have a strong team. And what does it take to build a strong team? Coaching. That’s why coaching is the best sales management tool in your toolbox. It’s an ongoing practice that allows reps and managers to hone their practices, excel in their roles, and contribute to the company’s success.
With so much data at our fingertips, the best and easiest way to guide your coaching practice is by utilizing data to see where dips in performance might lead to problems. From there, you know exactly where to direct your coaching efforts.
Ready to learn how to put a coaching strategy into place? In this blog post, you will learn how to systematize the coaching process.
What Is Coaching?
According to a sales enablement study from CSO Insights, sales coaching has the greatest impact on win rates and quota achievement. And the more formal the sales coaching strategy, the better the impact on performance.
So what is coaching? It might seem like an obvious question, but many sales managers think coaching is exactly what it’s not:
- Coaching isn’t focusing on short-sighted opportunities or pipeline management.
- Coaching isn’t figuring out how to close a deal, or worse, closing deals for reps.
Deals come and go, but developing a rep has lasting effects.
Coaching is getting to the root cause of an issue and collaborating with the rep to find the solution. Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you are in a 1:1 meeting with a rep, and you notice that the rep has been light on meetings over the last few weeks. Do you:
- Tell the rep to increase activity, or
- Ask the rep what might be contributing to the dip in meetings?
If you went with the first option, that’s no good. It’s a vague “solution” and will leave the rep unsure about next steps.
If you went with the second option, bingo! By looking at the rep’s performance metric data, you can see exactly where there are dips in performance that directly impact their number of meetings. Plus, you involve the rep in the process, allowing them to participate in their development.
Systematize the Coaching Process
Toolboxes are organized, so your coaching process needs to be as well. By systematizing your coaching process, you will know the what, the when, and the how.
What: Setting the Right Metrics
Getting to that granular activity level isn’t possible if you aren’t observing the performance through metrics on a sales management platform.
Systematizing the process looks like collecting data on the right metrics, setting goals around those metrics, and monitoring performance to catch dips in performance:
- Without data, you are left saying “Oh, I didn’t see that” when something is off in a rep’s performance.
- With data, you can see a dip in performance as it’s happening and catch it before issues arise.
In other words, you can detect the issue, diagnose the root cause, and communicate the action items for resolution.
When: Calendar Is Destiny
According to an article from Entrepreneur, “highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live by that calendar.” The same goes for sales. If you don’t dedicate time for 1:1 meetings, they won’t happen, and performance will stay the same.
These 1:1 meetings should not be deal reviews. Instead, they should be metrics and coaching progress reviews. In every 1:1, the focus must be on the dashboard displaying data visuals. In other words, data needs to be the foundation of every discussion so that you back up the detected issue and resolution with facts, not hunches.
How: A Meeting Template Leads the Way
You can systematize your coaching sessions by utilizing a meeting template that is categorized into three parts:
- The agenda item, including a follow-up from the previous week’s meeting or a pipeline review.
- Questions to be answered to guide the conversation.
- Supporting data, so that the rep and manager are on the same page and claims are backed up by proof.
From here, you can set measurable action items to revisit in the next meeting. Essentially, you are creating a coaching loop of past, present, and future behaviors that need to meet a threshold.
Build Up Your Toolbox with Performance Tracking Sales Management Tools
Coaching isn’t possible without a systematized approach. Using a sales management platform like Atrium, you can track sales metrics and obtain cold, hard data that develops your coaching approach.
Interested in leveling up your coaching? We have an awesome masterclass on sales coaching. Watch it here.