Sales managers must juggle many responsibilities, but out of all of them, coaching makes the greatest impact on an organization’s bottom line. After all, managers are responsible for the development, inspiration, and growth of their sales teams. None of this is easily accomplished without proper training.
Sadly, 18.6 percent of sales organizations provide no training for their sales managers and 37.2 percent of companies spend less than $500 each year doing so. This means the responsibility of coaching is left to those who may not actually possess the skills required to improve sales performance.
As the marketplace shifts and buyer behaviors change, sales management’s lack of coaching abilities becomes more and more of a problem. This can become even more significant when top sales reps are promoted into management positions. Although they know how to sell, they don’t necessarily know how to coach.
It’s no secret that many SDR’s are inexperienced. Although there are some professional SDR’s (that do incredibly well), over 80% of them have less than 2 years of experience and their average tenure at companies is 1.5 years. Also, sales development roles are one of the fastest growing positions.
This translates into an increased need for excellent coaching skills to consistently train and ramp these reps to full productivity.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more reasons why sales coach training is so important.
Poorly developed sales managers create an increase in sales rep turnover. According to research by the Sales Management Association, the number one reason reps leave a sales job voluntarily is inadequate professional development, including coaching and training. This turnover of sales talent costs your organization in reduced revenue and increased onboarding expenses while you find a new rep and ramp them to full productivity.
The average sales organization wins 51.8 percent of its forecasted deals. The companies that make little to no investment in their sales managers’ development falls far below the average. Those that invest less than $1,500 per manager had a win rate of 46.5 percent. Furthermore, those that invested between $1,501 and $5,000 per manager increased their win rates by up to 9 percent. We can conclude that proper investments in sales managers will improve results and increase sales performance.
According to CSO Insights, a formal coaching approach is where the coaching process is implemented, sales managers are trained and coaching is required.
Only formal and dynamic coaching approaches achieve above average improvements. With a formal approach, the win rate improves by as much as 13.5% above the average and the impact on quota attainment is similar.
These types of coaching include training for sales managers to help drive results.
Sales managers who have never had any coaching training and development often focus on the wrong things by measuring lagging indicators such as revenue, win rates, and average deal sizes.
The problem with this is that these results cannot be managed directly by sales managers and are only measurable after the fact. Instead, sales managers should measure, influence, and manage leading indicators that can be measured along the customer’s journey.
These include conversion rates, stage by stage, in terms of value, volume and velocity. Sharpening this focus to manage the right sales activities and coaching the related behaviors is as important as developing specific coaching capabilities.
Coaching is about skill development, performance improvement, and behavior adjustment. Upper sales leadership should also go through this training, which enables them to coach the sales coaches in their organization.
Other approaches include peer to peer coaching and mentoring by more experienced sales managers. Sales management team meetings are another option, where the focus is on discussing coaching challenges and sharing best practices.
Coaching is an essential skill that often must be learned from scratch which makes a formal training program critical for any competitive sales organization. It’s time for companies to start training and coaching their sales coaches so they may reap the benefits.