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The Sales Performance Coaching That Actually Works
Monday, November 14, 2022

The Sales Performance Coaching That Actually Works

Nazar Begen

Director of Growth, Wonderway
The Sales Performance Coaching That Actually Works

Sales performance coaching can be a controversial topic among sales leaders. Some consider it doesn't work, while others need help getting their coaching programs off the ground. 

One thing is for sure: to be successful, you must develop a strategy that works well with your sales team and your organization. It will help your sales reps reach their full potential.

In this guide, you'll discover helpful tips for creating an effective sales performance coaching program to drive results. 

Whether you’re new to sales performance coaching or looking to refresh your approach, these strategies will increase the effectiveness of your program while minimizing time spent on administration.

Following our best practices will allow you to uncover potential red flags sooner and avoid repeatedly making the same sales mistakes.

Read on and learn:

  • What sales performance coaching is and why it's crucial for sales managers.
  • The objectives, benefits, and challenges of sales coaching.
  • 14 tips to enhance your sales performance coaching.

We will also show you how Wonderway, our sales performance platform, helps you deliver personalized training and enables your sales team to boost win rates, productivity, and efficiency. To see how it works, book a demo today.

Let's start by defining sales performance coaching.

What is sales performance coaching?

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Sales performance coaching involves assisting sales reps in improving their skills and knowledge to hit their targets and succeed.

It can take many forms, including one-on-one meetings between coach and salesperson, group sessions led by a sales coach, or a combination of both.

Effective sales coaching helps to

  1. Improve individual sales rep performance
  2. Identify areas where sales reps can improve
  3. Guide and motivate reps with constructive feedback
  4. Set specific and measurable goals for sales teams
  5. Close more deals

In addition to assisting with performance, sales coaching helps salespeople better understand how their actions affect company results.

Sales reps aren't the only ones that benefit from coaching. Like for employees, sales coaching is crucial for sales managers and overall sales management.

Why is sales performance coaching essential for sales managers?

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In today’s buyer-driven market, sales managers are vital in leading the sales department. They are responsible for setting and monitoring performance targets, handling day-to-day operations, and coaching employees.

Sales performance coaching is essential for sales managers because it helps to

  • Build a strong team with high-performing salespeople
  • Create a positive culture in the company and a modern sales environment
  • Hit revenue goals

More importantly, it allows sales leaders to clarify what success looks like, push the right people in the right direction, and give clarity on the outcomes they want to see in their team.

Sales coaching is also an excellent way for managers to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.

What are the objectives of sales coaching?

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To ensure your sales coaching programs are engaging and built for success, you need to define the goals you want to achieve. These can be as specific as you'd like them to be. 

These are the three main objectives of sales coaching

  1. Improving sales reps' skills: through sales coaching activities, you can help sales reps develop communication, presentation, and negotiation skills.
  2. Identifying strengths and weaknesses: sales team members can become better self-reflective and take action to improve performance once they know what areas need development.
  3. Generating more revenue: the ultimate goal of sales coaching is to increase business revenue. Sales coaches are skilled at helping salespeople to maximize their performance and close more deals.

Measuring sales coaching results is one of your program's most essential parts. How can you keep track of these numbers? Is there a way to know accurately if your coaching efforts are paying off?

Read on to learn how to measure the impact sales coaching has on your sales results.

How to measure the effects of sales coaching?

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You can measure the results of sales coaching using sales performance metrics such as

  • The number of new leads
  • The average revenue per customer
  • New vs. existing customers' percentage revenue
  • The number of new opportunities
  • Lead-to-opportunity conversion rate
  • Customer lifetime value
  • The number of completed quotes or demos
  • The number of closed deals
  • Quote-to-close ratio
  • Sales quota attainment
  • Sales activity completion rates
  • Average contract value
  • Total revenue
  • Win rate
  • Year-over-year growth

Why are sales performance metrics significant?

As the name suggests, sales performance metrics measure your sales team's performance. You can use them to compare sales performance across different periods, geographic areas, product lines, and other factors.

Comparing results in different periods lets you understand whether your sales coaching techniques are adequate for your team. If the numbers look better on the period when sales reps received coaching sessions, your methods are working well for your employees.

The above metrics can give valuable insights into your team's overall performance and productivity. What about efficiency? To measure your team's efficiency, you must use the sales efficiency formula to calculate sales efficiency metrics.

What are the benefits of sales performance coaching for sales teams?

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Sales performance coaching is an excellent way for companies to ensure their sales teams perform at peak levels. There are many benefits of sales performance coaching

  1. It improves productivity: more than ever, salespeople are expected to produce a high volume of leads and close as many sales as possible. Salespeople must manage their time and resources effectively to meet these goals. Good coaching has a positive effect on sales productivity.
  2. It builds trust and confidence: sales performance coaching helps sales reps gain confidence and generate better results. In doing so, they'll have a greater chance of reaching company goals and earning more money.
  3. It creates growth opportunities: one of the best ways to motivate reps to achieve team objectives is to offer them professional development opportunities. With sales coaching, representatives have the chance to learn and grow in their roles.

However, when starting with sales performance coaching, you might encounter obstacles on your path to success. Let's discuss the most common ones.

What are some challenges of sales performance coaching?

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Unfortunately, sales coaching can be challenging. There are specific issues most sales managers should be aware of, such as

  • Lack of motivation: salespeople may be skeptical of coaching. They may worry that it will make them look like they are not doing their job well or could lead to a loss of confidence.
  • Lack of time: a sales leader who manages a team of 10+ people needs more time to schedule individual coaching sessions and weekly one-on-ones with reps. Time constraints are one of the biggest challenges for large sales teams.
  • Lack of data-driven decisions: most sales coaches rely on intuition. This practice leads to inaccurate results and indecision. Data-driven decisions are important because they allow for improvements over time.

To lead your team to success, you need proper skills and expertise. What are the most common characteristics of effective sales coaches? Let's discuss the most crucial ones.

What makes a good sales performance coach?

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A good sales performance coach must have outstanding sales performance management abilities.

It is someone who

  1. Understands the importance of coaching
  2. Gives the right amount of support and encouragement to sales reps
  3. Empathizes with the challenges that salespeople face
  4. Offers practical advice on improving presentation, negotiation, and closing skills
  5. Provides a long-term view of sales reps' careers and helps them set realistic goals

To become a good coach, you should be able to teach reps some of the best sales qualities every salesperson needs, such as proactivity and problem-solving skills.

What are the skills that sales performance coaching develops?

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These are the three primary skills successful sales coaching develops.

  • Effective prospecting: it includes identifying and attracting new customers by looking for people who might be interested in your product or service. When reps learn to become more effective in prospecting, they become better at selling and promoting your company.
  • Relationship building: reps can use this skill to build stronger customer bonds. By practicing emotional intelligence and empathy, they can increase the likelihood of closing a sale.
  • Persuasive communication: it's an approach to selling based on the premise that it's possible to change how people think and act by building rapport and trust. People buy from someone they like and respect. If reps can connect with their prospects, they can win their trust, making them more likely to buy the service they offer.

To ensure your entire sales team is on the same page, consider creating a compelling sales onboarding plan for new hires and less experienced sales reps. Underperformers and newbies may become top performers with the right sales coaching plan!

What are the techniques used in sales performance coaching?

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The three primary sales coaching techniques used in sales coaching include the following

  • Observation involves watching a person’s behavior to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Feedback involves giving accurate, constructive feedback that helps sales reps improve their skills. One-on-one meetings allow you to have individual coaching conversations with a sales rep and clarify queries in depth.
  • Action planning involves setting specific goals for improvement and taking steps to achieve them.

Are you looking for tips and sales training ideas to improve your coaching sessions? Read on to discover 15 good practices you should start implementing in your training.

14 tips for conducting a sales performance coaching that provides results

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These are the 15 top sales coaching tips to deliver an outstanding sales training experience to your sales team.

1. Define the sales coaching process and objectives

It's essential to define the goal of your sales coaching program and the results you expect to achieve. It's also crucial to determine the number of sessions, the frequency of those sessions, and how you plan to evaluate your impact.

2. Assess the current performance of your sales team

It’s vital to assess your sales team's performance to make improvements and keep your key sales personnel up to speed with the latest marketing trends. You can evaluate key metrics such as revenue growth, closing rates, average order size, and product mix.

3. Understand your sales reps' unique learning styles

Everyone learns in different ways. While some people are naturally more creative or have a knack for absorbing large amounts of information, others learn by repetition or action. Knowing your sales reps' preferred learning styles is essential to tailor training and support accordingly.

4. Develop a sales coaching plan based on the assessment

Although you can create a sales coaching plan from scratch, it's most effective when developed on the assessment results.

You need to tailor the sales coaching plan to each individual based on their needs, personality, skill gaps, and goals. You should also review the plan regularly to ensure it delivers the desired results.

5. Set clear expectations before each coaching session

Before each sales coaching session, set expectations and build a clear framework for the session.

Agree with your sales rep on the session's outcomes, who will make those goals happen, and how much time your representatives need to reach those goals. By setting realistic expectations, the salesperson and coach will be more likely to commit fully to the process.

6. Train your sales team to fill their skill gaps

It takes a sales team to sell and a skilled sales team to close deals. Therefore, you must train sales reps to fill their skill gaps.

It includes anything from being aware of different sales channels to knowing which products are most likely to sell. A lack of experience can lead to mistakes, so it’s crucial to prepare your team for whatever comes their way. 

7. Help your sales team identify any obstacles in their way

Before making your sales team more successful, you need to understand where they are struggling. If a salesperson has trouble closing deals, ask them about their challenges. That way, you can tailor your training and support accordingly.

8. Provide regular feedback

Provide positive and constructive feedback to help your salespeople build confidence and motivation.

As with any coaching, it's important to give honest advice while ensuring you are not too critical. Avoid making condescending comments. Instead, try to provide specific examples and suggestions for improvement.

9. Monitor and adjust the sales coaching plan as needed

Sales coaching involves two key activities: monitoring and adjusting.

Monitoring is the ongoing process of observing and assessing performance. Adjusting involves changing how you approach your sales training program as your results change.

10. Evaluate the results of the sales coaching process

After completing the sales coaching process, it’s time to evaluate the results.

You should look at key statistics like the number of sales you made over a period or how many new customers you got. Are there any areas that need improvement? If so, how can you address them?

Make sure to evaluate your progress regularly and adjust your sales strategy accordingly.

11. Adjust the sales coaching plan based on the evaluation

You must adjust your sales coaching plan if your team isn't hitting targets or if reps aren't receiving training consistently. Base your decisions on the evaluation results and change the program structure, delivery, and personalized coaching sessions to improve your results.

12. Continue to monitor the results

Sales performance metrics are important indicators of your team's productivity and efficiency. By monitoring these metrics, you can ensure that your team stays on track and achieves its goals. You can make necessary changes to improve the coaching process and increase success.

13. Celebrate progress along the way

Sales coaching aims to create a long-term change in the salesperson’s behavior. Celebrating every step of progress and success along the way is essential. Remember that even small steps forward can lead to big rewards down the road!

14. Use a sales performance platform to automate the process

Use sales performance management software like Wonderway to train reps and improve win rates and efficiency.

Do you want to know how it works? Keep reading and learn how Wonderway can boost your sales team performance.

How to use Wonderway to improve your team’s performance

Wonderway is a sales training platform that focuses on business revenue.

With Wonderway, you can monitor all your performance metrics and determine how effective your team is at selling. It allows you to boost your sales per rep revenue and win rate.

Our platform offers three services proven to boost your sales metrics

You can book a demo today to get all information you need on Wonderway. Let’s discuss these three elements in more detail.

1. Sales onboarding

Wonderway sales onboarding

Create a sales onboarding program for new employees.

You can use our content and training templates, produced by industry professionals, to import and enhance your existing onboarding program or build a new one from scratch. You can automate training sessions, make them more engaging, and measure improvement in ramp time.

Boring and monotonous training is a thing of the past!

2. Sales upskilling

Wonderway sales upskilling

Wonderway helps you improve your team's sales abilities through upskilling.

Using sophisticated analytics, Wonderway can identify skills gaps in your employees and suggest instructions to increase their performance.

You will be able to recognize the highest and lowest performers in your team and how they affect your ROI. Use the instruction from the world's greatest sales training content and get results in just one week.

3. Sales certifications

Wonderway sales certifications

Employees can become digitally certified and gain sales skills by participating in certification programs.

With Wonderway sales certifications, your team can benefit from the following

  • Practicing critical sales skills
  • Participating in the training set to update them on internal processes or product changes
  • Getting awards through quantitative or qualitative assessments

Our certifications ensure your sales team is aligned with your goals!

Sales performance coaching: The bottom line

As a sales leader, starting your sales performance coaching journey with a well-defined plan that includes the steps you will take to drive results is essential. A sales coaching plan gives you a roadmap and helps ensure you take the right actions to improve sales performance.

Your sales coaching should include identifying areas for improvement, setting goals, and developing action plans. It is also vital to track progress and revise your plan as needed.

Sales performance coaching can be complex, but it doesn't have to be. In this article, we've provided you with the best sales performance coaching tips to create a process that actually works. Following these tips can help your sales team reach its full potential.

Wonderway is a sales coaching platform that helps you understand your sales reps' performance. It integrates with your CRM, sales calls, emails, and other systems to give you a complete picture of your agents' actions. Wonderway makes it easy to see where your reps need improvement and provides actionable insights to guide your decisions.

If you're a sales manager looking for a way to give feedback on specific sales activities and run structured one-on-one meetings, Wonderway is the perfect solution. 

With Wonderway, you can quickly develop your sales team and improve its performance. Book a demo today to see how Wonderway can help you take your business to the next level.

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