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5 Sales Coaching Stats That Are Hard to Ignore

Aug 24th, 2017


Sales reps can’t be expected to retain all the information that was thrown at them in their first few weeks on the job. This is where sales coaching can be a game changer for your organization. Sales coaching reinforces what reps learn during sales onboarding and as they continue on through sales training – which is why coaching is seen by most organizations as the most important part of a sales manager’s job.

Here are 5 sales coaching statistics to keep in mind as you hone your sales coaching strategy.

(CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Study)

Effective sales teams employ a healthy mix of both informal and formal coaching, depending on the screen.

Formal sales coaching is perfect for onboarding, training, product launches, a new sales methodology, or sales rep certification. This type of coaching provides foundational knowledge for sales reps and ensures they are well-versed in any major changes in your organization.

Informal sales coaching is useful for one-on-one coaching, buyer meeting preparation, as well as capturing and sharing peer learning and best practices. This type of coaching helps build on sales reps’ foundational skill set and addresses any immediate needs.

(Zenger Folkman)

According to CSO Insights, sales managers have the toughest job in sales. But the truth is, not all sales managers were cut out for the job – many were promoted into the role because they were a successful sales rep.

It’s important to recognize that in order to succeed, sales managers need coaching too. In fact, sales manager enablement is just as important as sales rep enablement. Sales managers need to develop new skills that they didn’t need as a salesperson.

Develop a formalized sales coaching program for your sales managers to hone leadership skills and prevent sales rep turnover.

(CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Study)

Dynamic coaching programs incorporate technology to increase sales productivity. Video coaching technology allows sales managers to issue challenges to their team, where they ask reps to record video responses to questions or situations. Reps can send in their responses and managers or peers can provide feedback.

For example, a sales manager can issue a video challenge for reps to give their best elevator pitch on a new feature. The video responses will either give the sales manager the confidence that reps are sales-ready, or highlight areas where she needs to coach reps.  

(CSO Insights Sales Manager Enablement Report)

This statistic is concerning because, according to CSO Insights, skills and behaviors are the most important areas of sales coaching in times of sales transformation.

Most would agree that less than 30 minutes per week is not enough time for sales managers to ensure that their reps are sales-ready. Then why aren’t sales managers spending more time on coaching? According to Forrester’s Mary Shea, the reason is because sales organizations are either “not enabling their managers to do so, their managers don’t have time, or they don’t know how to do it.”

Sales coaching is like exercise – you must make time to do it or else it will never get done! Thankfully, today’s coaching technology helps sales managers quickly identify reps’ strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to get more coaching done in less time.

(Sales Management Association)

An effective sales coaching program will have a significant impact on revenue growth because if reps are prepared for each and every buyer interaction there will be less room for error, helping them close more deals.

But if your sales rep is not ready to demonstrate your company’s value proposition against the competition or effectively handle objections, they may lose out on critical deals due to situations that sales coaching could have prevented.

Looking to boost your sales coaching strategy with technology? In this exclusive eBook, Playbook: Choosing the Right Sales Coaching Solution, learn details on the right features to look for.