5 Sales Coaching Strategies for Maximizing Sales Results

This article provides five sales coaching strategies designed to maximize your team’s sales results.  Good, structured sales coaching has been found to increase your team’s win-rate 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.  

Cut poor performers faster

In my online sales management course I ask sales managers, “How many of you have a salesperson on your team who’s performance is just unacceptable and you need to deal with the problem?” Just about everybody raises their hand. Then I ask, “How long have you known about this?” Answers vary from three months to three years.

You cannot tolerate mediocre sales performance! Under-performers need to be either coached up, or coached out within the next 90-days.  

Coach somebody before noon every day

Coaching is a non-urgent priority, the most important thing you can do to improve the results of your sales team. But while sales coaching is extremely important for you to do, many sales managers get sidetracked by unexpected distractions and interruptions that come up every day. And they never seem to find the time for coaching.

Schedule a 30-minute coaching session with at least one salesperson every day, and do the sales coaching before noon. Topics include sales opportunity coaching, goal-setting, new-0hire training, etc.

Re-purpose your company’s sales rep job description as a sales development tool

Most salespeople see their job description only two times during their career with your company: first, the day they are hired and second, the day they are fired. All the time in between their sales job description resides forgotten, somewhere up in your company’s Cloud.

Download your sales job description and ask each salesperson to grade him or herself 1-5 on each item listed. Then, have a quarterly one-on-one and review their self-ratings. Have a conversation that identifies each salesperson’s sales developmental needs.

Take sales coaching to your salespeople, don’t wait for salespeople to ask for coaching

Many sales managers have the mistaken mindset that being always available to answer questions of salespeople is being an effective coach. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The salespeople who are the most “needy” of your time and attention are likely not the salespeople you need to be spending the bulk of your coaching time with. Your best coaching candidates are the salespeople who you consider to be “B” players. They are producing good numbers, and don’t bother you with a lot of questions. But this type of salesperson – one who is moderately successful and coachable – is the salesperson who can improve the most and the fastest with your coaching. So, don’t sit back and wait for them to come you you…..you take your coaching to them.

When discussing a rep’s forecast, ask my favorite “deal-coaching” question

My favorite question to ask a salesperson who is forecasting a deal to close in the near-future is:

“What is your understanding of the customer’s buying criteria?”

If your salesperson cannot answer the question, there are two possible reasons for it:

  1. The customer has not yet identified their buying criteria, in which case the sales opportunity is not qualified and should not be forecasted to close.
  2. The salesperson has not yet asked the customer, “What are your buying criteria?” So, the customer has identified their priorities for a solution but your salesperson doesn’t know what they are.

And it is impossible for a salesperson to propose a great solution if the customer doesn’t yet know their buying criteria: their “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” It is impossible for your salesperson to deliver a great demo if he or she doesn’t understand the customer’s priorities.

For more ideas on how to become a great sales manager download my whitepaper, “6 Strategies for Superior Sales Coaching.” Click here

For information on my new online program for sales managers, “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness,” click here.

Kevin Davis

Kevin F. Davis is the author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness”, which was named the 2018 Axiom Business Book Award Winner, Silver Medal. Kevin is also the author of Slow Down, Sell Faster!”.