You’ve closed out another successful year and your team hit their numbers, or maybe your year didn’t end up as well as you had hoped. Either way, last year is history. Now that the year-end push is over, it’s time to focus on getting your team off to a great start. Here’s 5 sales coaching tips for a successful first quarter and a strong performance throughout the New Year:
Start coaching – According to CSO Insights, on average, 57.1% of salespeople make quota and the overall revenue plan attainment is 82.7%. They also found that a dynamic coaching process improves win rates by 28% and quota attainment by 10%. So, if you haven’t already started coaching your team, now is a great time to begin! With a clean slate and a new set of goals, make your plans and get started. This will increase the success of your team this quarter and this year! Go here if you need help getting started.
Clean up the pipeline – It’s easy for reps to want to stuff their pipeline, but if it’s full of unqualified leads, or potential deals unlikely to close, it’s best to clear it of dead wood. You only want your strongest prospects in the pipeline so your reps stay focused on the deals that are most likely to result in a win. Work through this qualification process with your team and with individual reps so they can maintain it moving forward. According to Vantage Point Performance, “Teams with smaller pipelines of active opportunities made 20% more prospecting calls, conducted 25% more meetings with prospects, and closed 50% more deals than their peers (measured by dollar amount). By eliminating the junk from their pipelines and using their time more wisely, these teams demonstrated that bigger is not always better.” This will not only improve your win/loss ratio, it will improve your coaching sessions as well. Instead of wasting valuable time discussing weak prospects you’ll be focused on the strongest prospects and advancing them through to close.
Go back to basics – Refresh your team on sales basics during group and individual coaching sessions. This will remind them of how things should be done, while helping you identify where the team, and each rep, requires improvement. Practice through role playing and sharing of excellent examples of call recordings. There are a number of ways to follow through and evaluate progress. You can track analytics, review call recordings, use call barging, or do calls in tandem with team members. Ultimately, revisiting the basics will keep your reps sharp and prevent them from getting lazy.
Review last year’s performance – Review key sales metrics from last year for your team as well as for individual contributors. You’ll want to replay call recordings for each of your reps as well. After you’ve done this, discuss your observations, about the team, with the group and about individuals with each of them. This will allow you to gain additional insights concerning areas requiring, and not requiring, additional improvement. It will also help identify less productive behaviors that need to be eliminated this year.
Sales strategy – Most reps require ongoing sales strategy coaching. Help your reps navigate the sales process by keeping deals moving when they get stuck and teaching reps how to advance them to successful closes. Continually reinforce your established sales process and provide them with a current sales playbook. These things in addition to consistent coaching sessions, will improve their confidence and knowledge, relating to sales strategies, while increasing their overall success.
When you implement these 5 coaching tips, at the beginning of the year, your team will get off to a strong start. They’ll reach their goals more easily and continually improve throughout the year.