Hermann Ebbinghaus’ research shows that learners forget up to 50% of what they are taught in just 24 hours and that ongoing repetition dramatically increases retention. Coaching is a great way to provide your sales team with ongoing repetition in short sessions. Unfortunately a survey by the Sales Management Association revealed that 77% of firms say they don’t provide enough coaching. So how much coaching is enough? According to this report, 3-5 hours per week is ideal. If you have eight reps on your team and aim for 3 hours per week per rep, how do you effectively accomplish this while continuing to do everything else you need to do as a manager? To improve your sales coaching and effectively scale it for consistent results, here’s what you need to do.
Short, frequent coaching sessions will keep your reps productive while learning on the job. These brief sessions allow your reps to pick up, develop, and practice new skills. Repetition, with feedback, reinforces and strengthens the skills that your team members are learning so that they become new, established behaviors.
One size does not fit all
Remember that all of your team members are starting in a different place. Some have more experience plus they all have different backgrounds and knowledge. This means that coaching must be individualized for each team member. Assess each rep at the start to understand what they already know and where they need to improve. Working with each individual to strengthen areas where they are weak, and reinforcing those where they’re already knowledgeable, will help them build confidence and proficiency.
Listening to rep calls live, or via recording playbacks, allows you to provide valuable feedback. When reps are new, you can join calls in progress to help them along, providing necessary support to increase close rates while showing them how it should be done.
You should also provide written or verbal feedback during or after calls are complete. Listening helps you identify what to focus on during future one-on-one coaching sessions too. Replays can be used during these future sessions so reps can hear what they did right and wrong during previous calls.
Teamwork can be leveraged to improve all team members and save valuable management time. New reps can listen (on mute) to live, top rep, calls to hear how they position your product, address competition, and respond to objections. All team members can listen to replays of top rep recordings to improve their call techniques. Reps can listen to each other’s live calls and recordings to provide feedback for improvement too.
Dashboards and analytics are useful to you and your reps. Access to this valuable information helps individual reps remain accountable to themselves and their team members. They are easily able to see where they are accelerating and falling short, so they can make adjustments. These stats allow them to see, at a glance, where they stand in comparison to other reps.
For sales leaders, data allows you to easily know why reps are doing well or struggling. Analytics simplify the coaching process by providing valuable insights, helping you constantly identify new coaching opportunities. This makes it easier for you to guide each rep to reach their full potential more rapidly. Want to learn more about the power of analytics? Check out this guide.
Implement these components to effectively scale your sales coaching across your organization. Your team will produce consistent improvements and coaching will become an effortless component of your day-to-day sales operations.