A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”– John Wooden
Almost all of us have interacted with a coach at some point in our lives in one way or the other. Also, we remember them irrespective of whether they were good or bad. The same applies to sales teams across industries. They remember their coaches/mentors with the best sales coaching techniques who changed their professional lives.
However, most of the B2B sales managers feel that they don’t have the time to coach every single SDR in their team. This situation is sad considering how important is to train both new and experienced SDRs equally. Let’s understand why should you invest time and energy in coaching.
What is sales coaching and why is it important?
According to The International Coach Federation, sales coaching is: “An interactive process to help individuals and organizations develop more rapidly and produce more satisfying results; improving others’ ability to set goals, take action, make better decisions and make full use of their natural strengths.”
According to a Salesforce State of Sales report, 69% of sales professionals agree their job is harder now. So you see, how crucial your job as a sales coach is for the sales reps.
Sales coaching focuses on multiple sales reps. It takes a tailored approach to identify the SDRs’ strengths and weaknesses and train them accordingly.
Key traits of a good sales coaching technique
- Active listening: Active listening involves giving the SDRs your full attention and responding to them in a way that shows you understand their perspective. This can help build rapport and trust and make the reps feel valued.
- Open-ended questioning: Always ask questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. They encourage the reps to think deeply about their responses and provide more detailed information. This can help you understand their perspective and identify areas for improvement.
- Constructive Feedback: Providing constructive feedback is an essential coaching technique. It involves providing specific, actionable feedback that helps the SDRs understand what they are doing well and what they need to improve.
- Empowering teams: Great sales coaches enable SDRs to identify trouble spots before the mistakes reflect in their quota attainment.
- Strategizing: A great sales coach starts with a keen ear. S/he identifies areas where work has to be done and then develops targeted methods for addressing weak points. A sales coach is an advisor, not a supervisor.
Top 15 Effective Sales Coaching Techniques & Tips You should know
Start by knowing your responsibilities
Before being a sales manager, you were a top sales rep, right? However, your present role doesn’t guarantee a successful career if you fail in strategic initiatives.
You’re valued as a leader and a coach. You’ll be the one to help your SDRs achieve a 73% quota attainment. Hence, understand what’s required of you and deliver upon them.
Build healthy relationships
A manager who invests time and effort into developing personal relationships with their team members will build trust and encourage open communication. This can help the SDRs feel more comfortable asking for help or feedback when needed. with your sales team members to gain their trust and respect.
Plan and set clear goals
It’s crucial to ensure that your sales team is working towards the same objectives. Work with your SDRs to develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that align with the team’s overall objectives.
Extra read: 10 Outbound Sales Best Practices to Boost Your ROI
Provide regular (but actionable) feedback
Help your sales team members identify areas for improvement and develop their skills. Providing not only regular but actionable feedback is key. Feedback should be specific, actionable, and delivered in a constructive manner. It should focus on the SDRs’ strengths and weaknesses and offer clear suggestions for improvement.
Use Sales Data and track your team’s performance
There are some coaches who don’t use data. Don’t be one among them! Use data and analytics to track your team’s performance. It’s because-
- It’s time-saving
- Numbers don’t lie
- Helps in identifying areas where your reps may need additional support or training.
- Gives insights into reps’ deals.
Suggested Read: Mastering Outbound Sales KPIs: Your Key to Success [3 free templates inside]
Foster a culture of continuous learning and development
This could help SDRs improve their skills and stay engaged. Sales managers can encourage learning by providing training and development opportunities, offering mentorship, and celebrating successes. It’s always good to encourage your team members to take ownership of their professional growth.
Tailor your coaching approach
Personalizing coaching to the individual needs and learning styles of your sales team members. Managers should take into account the unique strengths and weaknesses of each team member when providing coaching and feedback.
Try varying approaches like-
- Tactical coaching- A strategy that is tried and tested where you
- Strategic coaching- Focus on what’s happening and prepare strategies to improve.
- Personal coaching- Make your reps to
Using role-playing exercises and other simulation techniques can help your SDRs practice and refine their sales skills. This could be one of the best sales coaching techniques that you can use. Managers can provide constructive feedback on their performance and help them improve their skills.
Provide your team members with opportunities
Encourage your team to shadow more experienced salespeople or attend industry events and conferences to learn from other experts in the field. Providing opportunities for SDRs to take on new challenges can help them grow professionally.
Sales managers can offer stretch assignments or opportunities to work on cross-functional projects to help their team members develop new skills and gain experience.
Encourage your team members to ask questions and seek clarification when they need it, and be available to provide support and guidance as needed.
Asking questions can help sales managers understand their SDRs’ perspectives and identify areas where coaching and support are needed. By asking open-ended questions, managers can encourage SDRs to think critically about their performance and identify areas for improvement.
and recognize achievements, both individual and team-based, to boost morale and motivation. Celebrating successes is important for maintaining morale and keeping SDRs motivated. Sales managers should recognize and reward team members who meet or exceed their goals and encourage a culture of positive reinforcement.
Be consistent in your coaching approach
Provide ongoing support and feedback to your team members. Consistency in the coaching approach helps build trust and respect. By having a consistent approach to coaching, SDRs can understand what is expected of them and what they need to do to improve.
Develop strong communication
Developing strong communication and interpersonal skills is essential to build rapport and trust with prospects and clients. Sales managers should be clear and concise in their communication, actively listen to their SDRs, and be open to feedback.
Your sales team is now in charge of following the strategy as they created the activities and established the targets. You will need to support their self-discipline and uphold their responsibilities because they can falter along the way.
You could inquire about their preferred method of accountability or how they plan to hold themselves accountable. Tell them you are confident they will succeed if they follow the strategy.
Monitor and adjust your coaching approach
Continually monitor and adjust your coaching approach as needed, based on feedback from your team members and changes in the market or industry. This requires being open to feedback and paying attention to the individual strengths and weaknesses of each SDR. This ensures that you’re providing the most effective guidance and support possible.
Invest in your own professional development as a coach
Attend training and development programs and seek out mentorship and coaching from other experienced sales coaches. This may also involve reading books and articles on sales coaching best practices.
By continually honing your coaching skills and staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices, you can ensure that you are providing the most effective guidance and support to your SDRs. This ultimately benefits both them and the overall success of your sales team.
Final thoughts on effective sales coaching techniques
Every sales rep is unique, hence the challenges are also unique. As a coach, it’s important for you to understand your team and guide them accordingly.
As a sales manager, it’s crucial to master the top techniques for coaching, such as active listening, role-playing, shadowing, and providing constructive feedback.
By incorporating these techniques and continuously investing in your own professional development, you can become an effective sales coach and guide your team to achieve their full potential.