Read this article to discover 5 sales coaching strategies for maximizing 2020 sales. Good, structured sales coaching has been found to increase win-rates by as much as 30%. High-quality sales coaching helps your salespeople better understand each sales opportunity, identify gaps in their thinking or approach, and develop more skillful plans of action.
Here are 5 sales coaching strategies that are especially meaningful and relevant to sales managers in Q4.
Immediately double the number of one-on-one coaching appointments you have in your calendar.
The simple sales coaching tip of making commitments to do more coaching will make you unavailable for getting dragged into the meetings that don’t impact your team’s performance. Especially at year-end, you need to keep yourself laser-focused on only those tasks which drive revenue.
Here’s the simplest sales coaching technique there is.
If you were the salesperson selling to the customer what questions would you ask? Whatever those questions are, you need to ask those same questions of your salespeople.
Selling and coaching have a lot in common. Selling can be defined as helping customers to see problems they didn’t know they had, opportunities for improvement about which they were previously unaware, and solutions that they could have not created on their own. This also describes what a great sales coach should be doing with his or her team.
Great sales managers spend more time with salespeople asking thought-provoking questions.
Is your sales rep ready to deliver that big presentation?
Salespeople, under pressure to close Q4 deals, often push prospects to a demo. This “push for a demo” mindset leads to delivering demos too soon, before enough questions have been asked of the prospect to understand exactly what ought to be presented.
To quickly determine if your sales rep is properly prepared for an important sales presentation, ask your rep the following questions:
- What is your understanding of the customer’s buying criteria?
- Which of these buying criteria represent a competitive edge for us? Which of these buying criteria represent a competitive disadvantage for us?
- What are the three reasons why this customer should buy from us? Here, you want to listen carefully to the salesperson’s response. You want to hear a response that makes a clear connection between your company’s unique strengths and this customer’s needs.
Dis-qualify some deals in your pipeline
While it may seem nonsensical, one of the best ways to increase your team’s win-rate is to disqualify some opportunities. This enables salespeople to focus more attention on the best opportunities. In Q4, focus matters.
Ask each salesperson to create a 2nd sales forecast for Q4, one that removes any sales opportunities where the customer has not moved forward in a tangible way in the past X number of days/weeks. Also ask, “Which prospects have postponed their next step and why?”
Stop being every salesperson’s problem-solver
You know what happens when you check your email first thing in the morning. There’s some hair-on-fire issue waiting in your inbox that demands your immediate attention. But nine times out of ten, it’s a distraction that is important to somebody else but not to you. And once you head off down that road, another distraction pops up that prevents you from getting back to your priorities. And before you know it, it’s 6 PM. The day is gone, and you didn’t do anything that improved your sales team.
Recently a sales manager told me that he needs to stop being reactive to what he referred to as, “911 calls” from his reps. He went on to say, “it’s important that I remind salespeople of our various support channels, and to delegate accordingly.” He told me that when a salesperson brings him a problem in the future, he plans to ask the rep, “What can you do to resolve this?”
Make different choices about how you apply yourself as a sales manager
Every day between now and the end of the year, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to do going to have a meaningful impact on helping my team win more deals?”
My rule of thumb is to coach somebody before noon every day. Schedule more sales coaching in your calendar now, and your team will close more deals before year-end!
For more and different ideas on how to become a great sales manager and sales coach download my whitepaper, “6 Strategies for Superior Sales Coaching.”