Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Six Tips for Better Sales Coaching

August 06, 2015
By Mae Kowalke - Telemarketing Software Contributor

A good sales team is more important than ever now that the Internet and globalization have effectively reduced many of the significant differences between products and services. Having a good product is no longer enough, which is where having a top-flight sales team comes in.

Building a knowledgeable, effective sales team is not so easy, however. But one tried and true method for improving sales team excellence is through coaching.

With that in mind, here are six ways that your sales team can improve its coaching efforts.

Make time for coaching. The most common reason that sales coaching fails is because it doesn’t actually happen; far too often the coaching process gets put off for “more important” tasks. This is short-sighted, however, so the first way to improve sales coaching is to set regular times for coaching and stick to this schedule.

Develop a shared goal. Coaching works much better when it is a collaborative process and not just the “expert” salesman dumping knowledge onto the less experienced sales staff member. This definitely is the case for objectives; make sure that both parties work together to determine the focus of the coaching so the right priorities are set.

Pick the best opportunities. Not everyone can be coached; there are not the resources for that in most cases. Your sales coaching program will go much better if you figure out who needs coaching the most and then allocate time to just those people. Focus is important.

Define expectations. It is important that both parties are clear on the responsibilities during the coaching program, and what those being taught need to prepare prior to the coaching session. Likewise, coaches should come in with a clear understanding of their role and what they should expect of those they are training.

Choose safe opportunities. Not all sales opportunities make good teaching moments, so be judicious about which opportunities to coach and which to avoid during a coaching session. Further, on some calls it makes sense for the sales coach to help the agent make the sale, and with other opportunities it is better to just have the coach listen in and provide feedback after the fact.

Give immediate feedback. Like most training, immediate feedback during the coaching process will have much more effectiveness than delayed feedback. Make sure coaches provide direction during the point of contact and not later on after the agent has moved on to other opportunities and no longer remembers the situation clearly. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson