You Can’t Be Too Busy for Sales Coaching

February 23, 2016 | Norm Schrager
You Can’t Be Too Busy for Sales Coaching

With sales teams constantly on the road, on the phone, and on the move, what’s the most important action front-line managers can take to help maximize results? Sales coaching.

That’s according to a recent survey of leading sales organizations, who ranked sales coaching #1 among all activities to positively impact effectiveness. Sales coaching keeps sales reps on top of their game: It gets them better prepared, reinforces consistent messaging, and encourages the tactics exhibited by ‘A’ players. 

But research shows that sales coaching is widely overlooked, with 77% of sales managers saying it’s lacking at their organization. Why are sales teams missing the one element that can make the biggest difference? Because sales managers simply have too much on their plate.

“Sales managers have one of the hardest jobs in corporate America today,” says Brainshark’s Mike Kunkle, Senior Director of Sales Enablement. “They often become a dumping ground for tasks – reporting and other ‘CYA’ activities that take up far too much of their valuable time.”

When there’s a foundation of support across the organization, however, coaching can be prioritized – and done right.

Elevating sales coaching at your organization

Start by asking a few questions. What duties are clogging up sales managers’ schedules? Which tasks keep them from helping the team get results? How can the sales manager’s day be streamlined, so they are equipped to coach and inspire fantastic performance?

Here’s a short checklist to see where you can begin making time for a culture of coaching:

  1. Cut down on sales managers’ meetings as much as possible. Review their current list of meetings - chances are some can be either be eliminated or combined.
  2. Select and implement tools that help sales managers do their jobs faster and with fewer distractions. These include sales enablement and sales coaching solutions and applications for faster training.
  3. Integrate coaching into sales managers' responsibilities, and make sure their coaching feedback is visible to directors and other higher-ups.

Sales organizations that implement coaching have more motivated sales reps–and see better results. According to CSO Insights’ 2015 Sales Management Optimization study, 95% of reps who feel their group’s coaching “exceeds expectations” hit their quota.

Making time in anyone’s day isn’t easy. But without sales coaching, your reps are likely to fall behind or, worse, fall out of touch with the organization’s changes and expectations.

Check out the Expert Panel webinar Enabling Better Sales Coaching, available now on demand.

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