Coaching plays a very important role in building a very efficient sales team. It’s also typical scenario in most organizations that competent, highly effective salespeople get promoted into sales managers. However, being a great salesperson doesn’t mean you automatically become a great sales manager as well. That’s the whole reason coaching is imperative, not only for salespeople, but also even for sales managers.
This is another interesting conversation today as Duncan Lennox shares a handful of great insights who to coach, what to coach, and most importantly, how you can effectively coach your sales team.
Duncan Lennox is the CEO and Co-Founder of Qstream, a sales performance platform that combines mobile, software, and science to help organizations measure and manage the skills of their sales force by adapting to the way their customers need to work.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Duncan:
Duncan’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer at a car dealership
How sales managers can be more effective in sales coaching:
- Ability to use data in your coaching
Gather more data about what the sales reps know so you can tailor your coaching conversation and drive more to the specific needs of individual sales rep.
- What data can you use:
- Data around the sales rep’s actual skills and knowledge (from practicing scenarios or a trial environment where they can work with prospects)
- Observe data (sales managers go on sales calls with the rep and capture data on how confident and proficient they are)
- Consolidate data together and out of that deliver insights on who needs the help and where they need the help so sales managers can have directed coaching conversations
Factors that limit companies from having effective coaching sessions:
- Everybody is busy.
- Managers have larger teams.
Average team size is 6 reps per coach but many organizations are larger than that so sales managers have to divide their time among them.
- Pressure to focus on very short term opportunities.
Coaching is often focused on very short term deal opportunities and not going into longer term development of skills that could have a much bigger impact.
How can you make those conversations more efficient and more directed and much more personalized to each rep so people can use their time more efficiently?
- Promoting rock star sales people to become sales managers
Being a sales manager is a totally different job than being a sales rep. While that manager has tremendous experience that they could draw on to help their team, they don’t know a lot about how to coach, who to coach, and where the coaching is needed.
Strategies for sales managers to better improve:
- Coaching the coaches.
Many sales reps are more successful and happier staying as sales reps. But a number of salespeople need to get into the sales manager role. However, companies need to recognize this transition into a new role through coaching them to being better coaches.
- Technological support
Companies should assist sales managers by providing them new tools and technologies that enable them to gather data quickly and easily
Front-end: Combination of mobile enabling, easy access and easy-to-use to capture things quickly and easily
Back-end: Data gathering and crunching and analyzing all the data and numbers to provide real insights
More about Qstream:
Focused on the capabilities of the sales force to help them and managers understand their strengths and weaknesses and get better in their weak areas through:
A 3-minute daily experience: Combining neuroscience, psychology, game mechanics and big data all squeezed into a 3-minute experience
Virtual selling scenarios: Reps choose what to do next and they learn and see their strong and weak points
Game Mechanics: Scoring points and competing with peers to increase engagement and building a consumer experience for the sales rep
Tailored experience: The experience is tailored to each individual rep so time is not wasted on things they already know or have mastered
- Short, enjoyable experience so it’s not taking a lot of your time
- Increased proficiency levels
- Improved average quota performance to 20-30%
Duncan’s Major Takeaway:
Management is all about solving problems that are in the way of the people on your team. Help them remove these blocks through data-driven coaching. Also, scale by leveraging data gathered on the actual capability of the rep. At the end of the day, add value for the rep rather than creating obstacles in their way.
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