“The only thing constant is change,” Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus famously said.
For B2B sales reps, this universal observation hits close to the office.
Consider a sales rep’s responsibilities. Every time his company or industry evolves, a new product is introduced, or a tweak is made to an existing offering, he needs to adapt swiftly and confidently. Falling behind isn’t just detrimental to a sales person’s quota – it effects the bottom line for your business.
Because change is always imminent for a B2B sales rep – reps must always be at the top of their games. Success isn’t only about training, it’s about mastery. And coaching is the sure-fire way to get there.
This excerpt below from our exclusive eBook, 11 Keys to Effective Sales Coaching, highlights three ways companies can master sales coaching and see better results across the board.
Begin by getting coaching buy-in across your organization
Whether you’re starting a coaching initiative or making modifications to one, you won’t get far without the right people at your company nodding their heads. Especially your executive team.
“If senior leadership doesn’t come to an agreement that things have to change, your whole program is going to be at risk.”
-Michael Crain, CloudCoaching International
Even if you run into roadblocks, it’s possible to get something started. Senior sales leaders can work coaching into sales managers’ regular interactions with reps, but it’s unlikely that something larger will survive.
“An individual can rise to the occasion and do it on their own,” says Michael Crain, vice president of global sales & product design at CloudCoaching International. “But if the culture doesn’t accept it, you are at risk.”
Download the complete 11 Keys to Effective Sales Coaching eBook here.
Know the difference between training and coaching
Don’t assume that a strong training program will naturally lead to stellar coaching – or that a superstar coaching program can replace training. Training and coaching each do something fundamentally different, and each works best when complemented by the other.
Without coaching, you’re just training reps over and over, without giving them a way to elevate certain elements of what they know to a level of mastery.
Think of it this way: a poker champion can teach you the basics of Texas Hold ‘Em, that’s training. But when coaching is applied, you learn the finer points of the game – when to fold, check or raise, or what to look for in opponents – and have a better shot at winning in nearly all situations.
Related Video: Train + Coach = Greater Sales Productivity
Remove distance and time barriers
With very few exceptions, running a sales team means some of your people work remotely. Those that do have a desk at headquarters are often in the field, doing their job.
Scheduling one-on-one coaching sessions across a variety of time zones and locations could quickly become a nightmare for sales managers – not to mention, completely contradict the idea of streamlining a sales manager’s day, so they can devote more time to purposeful coaching.
Source: Global Workplace Analytics
A workable coaching program must include coaching tools that can deliver recorded, on-demand coaching and feedback. This knocks down the natural obstacles of geography and time – and gets your sales team in synch.
For more tips to make your coaching program a success, download the full 11 Keys to Effective Sales Coaching eBook.