When your sales training efforts aren’t going tremendously well, it can be a bit like banging your head off a brick wall. Whereas it can be easy to measure how effective other aspects of your business are performing, it can be hard to truly tell if you are providing effective sales coaching. So how can you know if your training efforts are actually working?
Well, the top sales coaches will tell you that it’s down to having a strategy and plan in place before any sort of coaching program or intervention is attempted. There are a number of key reasons behind this. For example, not all sales coaching is for the same purpose. While there is a need to coach sales teams that aren’t performing well, coaching may also be for the purposes of helping provide on otherwise good sales team with the confidence to, say, up-sell more effectively. Having an idea over what coaching should achieve will help to define the success or failure of coaching programs or intervention. After all, how can you measure the effectiveness of coaching if you don’t really know what you want from that coaching? Once the goals have been clarified, it’s time to design the program. Coaching is a multi-faceted form of development; it is not homogeneous. There are multiple ways to approach coaching. A good coach will have different tools in their veritable belt. What might work for one sales team or situation may not work for another sales team or situation.
After the goals have been specified and an approach has been identified, it’s time for your top sales coach to execute the program. This is the crucial stage. A successful sales coach will work alongside your sales team to develop behaviours and habits that are productive towards achieving the pre-defined goals. This is where the quality of your coach will really shine through. It’s not unheard of for businesses to cut corners and get their own successful sales managers or team members to provide the coaching. However, a successful performer does not always make for a successful coach. Effective sales coaching comes from experienced salespeople and sales managers with years of experience in different sales environments. These are people who have tasted success and failure; people who will not just take an unhelpful ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to problems. The ‘secret’ to great coaching is, quite simply, hiring a great coach. This is someone who can listen and put themselves in the shoes of individual team members. This empathetic and respectful approach sees the most successful of coaches work with individuals, as opposed to making individuals ‘fit’ a mould that they will never fit. Coaching is never a free pass to harshly lecture another human being; but at the same time, the overall goal of any good coaching is measurable development.
It’s why many businesses turn to a sales coach who is outside the company’s infrastructure. Sometimes fresh pairs of eyes are needed to objectively assess the true needs and motivations of a sales team. This is someone who will be able to assess, without bias, the success of your current training programs, before providing their own coaching solutions. So if you want effective sales coaching, stop banging your head off the wall and call in a specialist today.