Rethink Sales Coaching — How to Evaluate and Improve your Sales team

‘Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, increased constantly — or it vanishes’ — Peter F Drucker

Great Sales leaders know how to inspire, reward and motivate Salespeople. Yet, very few have the time in their daily schedules to evaluate and coach their teams to perform differently.

I’m highlighting some points below on how to get the best from your Salespeople and how it relates to sport performance thinking; where tactics to win are done in a structured, methodical way to be executed best in a flexible and fluid manner — when it’s game-time. Sports coaches evaluate their players continuously, creating exercises and drills to help players execute as 2nd nature and perform best under pressure.

Here ‘s a scenario to consider —

Lets say you are a Customer Analytics company that sells to the Enterprise and need your A,B & C players all pulling their weight and exceed their targets . You think they have at least the potential of becoming Sales superstars — people who are revered by their peers and regarded as indispensable by the company — but have taken over a team that is not performing up to standards.

They have met with a number of clients, lead generation isn’t a problem and processes are in place… yet they aren’t delivering the results you were expecting for or in comparison with previous years.

What has changed?

Are they still matching up to the competition?

Is there a younger generation that is fitter, more emotionally in tune with the customer needs and understand the new landscape?

What checklist do you have in front of each Sales team member which outlines their current strengths and weaknesses?

Are they adapting towards a style of play to where the game is moving towards or re they still using strategies and techniques that were relevant five years ago?

What are the assessments to determine if they are match-fit...not only for match-day 1, but for rest of the upcoming season ie. do they have the right tools, motivations, incentives etc?

Which areas from the previous season needs attention and/or didn’t deliver the results you were hoping for?

Using sport analogies, it becomes clear that in business we expect different results — but not in sport. Rarely do we focus our attention on preparation details and take stock of the team before they step onto the field, but only rely on post-match feedback …’ the Demo went they great ! they are super keen’ / or’ they wanted to move ahead, but just need to review and chat to the team.’

What does that mean to a Sales Manager and do they really know what’s actually happening…Performance-wise with their team?

Are they are delivering the right message, intuitively change tact after hearing customer objections versus just continuing their features-first Sales bulletin — which is more product training, than value adding through a structured, well crafted consultative process…?!

If you are a CEO of a company and your Sales isn’t hitting the mark and you’re having a Sales meeting with the VP of Sales,, how often do they bring up the fact that the Sales Execution is the reason for the lack of Sales?

Do they actually think the needle can be moved if there were better questioning, better value propositioning, better follow-ups, better delivery of messages, better closing?

Back to basics

Discussing ‘strategy to be executed’ useless when a team wants to play a ‘passing game’ without having the actual technique’s or skill-level to do so. Maybe your players aren’t the right type of players or maybe they are just not ready…yet…

When a tennis coach sees that a student tennis player is struggling to win a match because their opponent targets his/hers back hand — that is a weakness. Don’t they purposefully then practise drills to improve their backhand?!

Understanding Customers Buyers Journey’s or psychology behind Sales — are also elements not often understood, or focussed on at all in Sales as in Sport.

This need be assessed, reiterated and worked through the on-boarding process. How does your Sales Execution Strategy fit into the Customer’ Journey and how does your Sales Strategy align with your Corporate & Marketing Strategy. Does your Sales team understand that and give you feedback on it?

It might be worth the time spending time with HR to evaluate your current Sales talent pool, and how they match up to the company’s expectations and how hiring new Sales talent need to be evaluated.

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What we do well is join Sales teams to analyse their Sales understanding — figuring out if their communication is clear and if their Sales process is aligned; to efficiently and effectively deliver results.

We then help companies identify areas for improvement. Very often Salespeople are so focussed in Sales demo’s they are oblivious to their actions and more importantly the customer’s reaction, body language, tone of voice and also what is NOT explicitly said.

We teach Sales people new methodologies and techniques, and help companies’ transition from an old school way of doing things, to where Sales is headed.

Maybe you need a fresh pair of eyes to understand the current state of play?

Send me an email and lets chat.