Whether lack of training, lack of time or lack or initiative is to blame – coaching in sales organizations remains a top challenge – despite also being a top priority.
Just how important is coaching to sales enablement and readiness? Here are some sales statistics to consider:
That’s likely because coaching has a direct impact on sales goals and quota. But sales managers alone shouldn’t take all the blame for lack of coaching within their sales organizations. Most times, coaching falls to the wayside because managers are left alone to determine how to coach their teams.
Good sales coaching is not necessarily a natural skill. When managers haven’t been properly trained in how to coach, and aren’t being held accountable for doing it – the likelihood of it getting done slips. And for those managing remote employees and channel partners, the likelihood of coaching is even smaller.
It’s hard for anyone to become an expert in a topic after one course – and salespeople are certainly no exception.
Sales training is important, undoubtedly – but it’s reinforcing what’s been learned in a course with real-life role playing, delivering slide presentations, showing a demo, rehearsing sales messaging, and more that can really drive home what was taught in training. Sales coaching provides a foundation for continuous learning and reinforcement, so knowledge is sustained over a longer period of time.
And it pays off.
As an easy comparison, think of training and coaching like driver’s education. Most times, students will start with a class that teaches them how to safely drive, without ever stepping foot in a car. Without those in-the-car moments and reinforcement from the driving instructor, however the training we learned in class will likely go forgotten – or unused.
It’s why we talk about the topic of “reboarding” so often. Industry standards evolve, customer preferences change, new products are introduced and business models restructure.
Related Article: Why Sales Managers Must Coach – And Why Many Aren’t
Continuous learning ensures your reps are touching on the business’s current values. Even your A-player reps can benefit from consistent coaching to ensure they’re hitting on the most up-to-date messages.
Good coaching leads to a happier sales force. Considering that the cost to replace a B2B sales rep averages around $115,000, providing a stable work environment is not something to be taken lightly.
That’s why establishing a strong organizational foundation around coaching is so critical. This can include a common language or approach to how coaching should be done, established coaching expectations and a strategic plan for coaching that isn’t just “in the moment.”
And that’s where the irony sets in: most companies never reap the rewards of effective coaching.
Want to learn more about effective sales coaching? Check out: