Sales leaders broadly acknowledge that coaching is the best tactic for driving sales effectiveness, and that training on its own won’t always do the trick. So then why are so many sales managers putting coaching on the backburner? 77% blame their lack of coaching on time constraints.
But sales managers don’t have to be the only coaches. By incorporating peer-to-peer coaching into your organization’s strategy, the difference in the performance of your sales team will be night and day.
Related reading: Why Sales Managers Must Coach – And Why Many Aren’t
Here are four reasons why your sales organizations needs peer-to-peer coaching.
#1. Reps Can (and Should) Learn from Other Reps
In fact, some reps prefer to learn from their peers. The Association for Talent Development found that 91% of reps say that learning from peers is helping them succeed. This is great news for sales managers because it takes the pressure off of them to be the only source of coaching and constructive feedback.
After all, salespeople are hearing similar questions, comments and objections all day. It only makes sense for them to share their experiences and help their colleagues become more successful. Since peer-to-peer collaboration is already happening to some degree organically, it should be an integral part of your sales coaching program.
#2. It Shows Your ‘B’ Players How to Perform Like ‘A’ Players
Every sales team has their star players that consistently crush quota, as well as those that are always striving (or struggling) to be better. But you can’t simply expect the selling tactics and knowledge of your ‘A’ players to be transferred to the rest of your team by osmosis.
A sales coaching solution that supports peer-to-peer coaching will allow your ‘B’ players to see how top performers would respond to various scenarios in the field. For example, let’s say you are a software provider and a common objection your sales team encounters is that your price is higher than one of your competitor’s. Your ‘A’ players may have a proven, effective response to this objection that less experienced reps may not be using and can learn from.
Sales enablement solutions provide a venue for salespeople to share best practices, advice and tips, helping teammates hone their skills and achieve sales mastery. But remember: ‘A’ players need coaching too, particularly when your organization introduces new products and features, enters a new market, starts selling to a new persona, is part of a merger or acquisition, and so on.
The best sales reps maintain a high level of performance because they never stop learning. Give your reps an opportunity to hone their skills, provide constructive feedback and achieve sales mastery.
#3. It Encourages Friendly Competition
Salespeople are competitive in nature. Embrace that trait and encourage friendly competition between your reps by issuing challenges, scoring each other’s performance, and displaying their rankings on a leaderboard. Sales coaching technology provides a great way to support these activities.
For example, let’s say you’ve recently acquired another company or product. One rep may issue a video challenge to see how other reps would respond to inquiries regarding why you acquired that company or what kind of a competitive edge it gives you over other competitors in your space. Not only will the reps with the best answers be recognized, but reps that didn’t score as high will have a chance to review the top peer responses and be ready to encounter a similar question in the field.
Making a game out of it will motivate your reps to either step it up or keep it up, and help each other learn along the way.
#4. It Saves Time for Sales Managers
Most B2B sales organizations list sales coaching as their number one priority, yet only 15% of sales leaders say they have the right amount of coaching at their organization. Why does this happen? As mentioned previously, the answer is often simple—time.
Sales leaders have enough on their plate as it is. Between managing and training an entire team of sales reps, creating and executing strategic sales plans, and driving revenue for the whole company, you could say they have their plates full. And then some.
Peer-to-peer collaboration not only leaves room on the plate for sales managers, but allows them to go the extra mile for dessert. By allowing sales reps to coach each other, managers free up time to do things they normally might not have time for, like helping a rep seal that deal that they are oh so close to closing.
This doesn’t mean that sales managers should stop coaching altogether, but it does give reps the opportunity to initiate coaching challenges and important conversations with their manager’s oversight.
Want to learn more? Check out how Brainshark helps sales managers and peers coach reps to mastery.