Sales coaching is the art of helping salespeople overcome challenges and reach their goals. The best sales coaches know that every sales rep is unique, with their own challenges and strengths.
Knowing how to coach not only helps you be a better leader overall but can also help develop your team’s communication and negotiation skills, which will ultimately allow them to close more deals.
If you’re looking for tips for coaching, we’ve got you covered. Here are 11 best practices you can apply:
1. Create a Sales Coaching Strategy
A sales coaching strategy is a great way to ensure you’re maximizing the benefit of your coaching. When working on your strategy, ask yourself: “What do my team members want? What are their goals?”
Once you know what your team needs, create a plan to help them fulfill those needs. This can include weekly check-in calls or direct support with all of your reps. You could also have them take part in monthly sales training courses. Think about what works best for your team and make it happen.
2. Take A Unique Approach to Each Rep
Each rep has their own strengths and weaknesses. They also have different motivators. It’s up to you to understand that and figure out how best to coach your reps effectively.
- Understand their motivations: Do they want more money? More recognition? A higher ranking in the company? What’s motivating them?
- Understand their strengths: What makes them successful? Are they good at networking? Are they great at persuading people? Do they have an innate understanding of technology or another field?
- Understand their weaknesses: If any weaknesses are holding them back from advancing further in the organization, figure out how to help them overcome those challenges and get them closer to where they want to be.
3. Set Up a Regular Coaching Timetable
To make sure your reps feel supported and that you’re meeting their needs, set up a regular coaching schedule.
Meet with your reps frequently so they know when they can expect training or coaching from you. They’ll appreciate the consistency and will be more likely to take advantage of what they learn from you during these meetings.
4. Ask Open Questions
Asking your sales reps open-ended questions is a great way to get to know them and their work. It also helps you understand how they think, which can be useful in coaching them through any problems that may arise.
For example, if one of your sales reps has been having trouble with their prospect, ask them what the prospect has said or done and how they responded. Don’t just ask Yes/No questions.
5. Listen Actively
As a sales coach, you’ll listen to your reps a lot. But listening means more than just hearing the words. It means paying attention to what the words actually mean and how they’re being said. You’ll need to pick up on details like tone of voice, body language, and even facial expressions—and then use that information to guide your reps on how to respond to customers.
6. Give Honest Yet Constructive Feedback
When you’re coaching your sales team, feedback should be honest, constructive, and respectful. You don’t want to make them feel like they’re not good enough, but you also want to tell them what they can do better.
- Keep it about their performance, not about them as a person.
- Offer suggestions for improvement, not just criticism.
- Focus on the actionable item at hand rather than anything else in your company or their personal lives (unless those factors impact their performance).
7. Allow Reps to Set Their Own Goals
One of the biggest problems with goal-setting is that sales leaders often set goals for their reps without giving them much input on what those goals should be. This can lead to frustration and disappointment when the rep doesn’t meet those expectations.
By allowing your reps to set their own goals, you’ll let them take ownership of their success or failure. They’ll feel more motivated because they’re working towards something they want rather than just following a pre-determined path.
8. Recognize Reps’ Success
Recognizing sales reps’ achievements is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy, productive workplace.
In fact, a number of studies have shown that when companies recognize their employees’ achievements, they have higher retention rates, lower turnover rates, and increased productivity.
But praising sales reps’ achievements doesn’t need to be complicated or costly. It can simply be written on a Post-it note and even verbally recognize their efforts during a team meeting.
9. Track Reps’ Performance
Make sure you have a solid understanding of your reps’ current tactics. Are they using the right tools? Are they following up on the right leads? Do they know what’s working and what isn’t?
Once you’ve got that figured out, start tracking their progress. You’ll want to look at quantitative data, such as sales numbers and volume, and qualitative data, like customer feedback or surveys.
This will help you understand what they’re doing well, what they could be doing better, and how much progress they make each month.
10. Offer Opportunities for Growth
To keep your sales team engaged, you should offer them opportunities for development and growth. Help them build their career at your company by allowing them to take on new tasks or roles. This will not only help them feel valued and more invested in your company but also help you retain your best talent.
11. Use Sales Coaching Software
Sales coaching software like Revenue Grid is a tool that allows you to provide feedback and support to your sales team in real time. It’s a way for you to stay on top of their progress and keep them accountable. The best part is that it’s easy to integrate into your current tech stack and use!
Revenue Grid also offers more advanced features, such as interactive, contextual Revenue Signals and Team Performance Analysis, which can make your sales coaching even more effective and scalable.