What is Sales
most businesses' (large and small) first exposure to
'bottom-line' coaching (other than executive coaching for senior
management), is the introduction of sales coaching.
Performance sales coaching is relatively easy to introduce,
control and monitor, and generates immediate measurable results
Coaching in sales is working on an individual basis
to make step-by-step, measurable improvements to performance and
motivation. Coaching can reach the parts other training
methods can't. In sales coaching the
coach can also share the sales manager's burden, freeing his
time to achieve company targets and objectives. Meanwhile, the
coach works with the sales team to unlock their potential, provide
support and guidance to resolve issues and facilitate inter-team
Sales is a high skill, high demand job. Being
on top in sales means having success in a balanced life without
stress. Sales Skills coaching provides focused sales strategies
for you and your team. It can also reveal if low sales are the
result of current sales strategies and company goals that are
inconsistent with one another, or if you require sales
effective sales strategy comes not just from sales activities,
but also from
how you approach
clients. If you
want to sell consistently and increase your revenues, you may
have to refine the way you engage clients throughout the entire
sales process. That's where Sales Coaching also comes in.
To achieve success, a sales person needs: - Advanced
Selling Skills and Inner
Resources. Knowing how to sell is not enough.
Success comes from within. The salesperson needs to: build the
internal resources to succeed; eliminate the roadblocks to
success; eliminate procrastination, fear, guilt, stress and
replace them with confidence and resourcefulness.
combined with Coaching can provide ways to enhance performance
and maintain a balanced life.
True success always includes matters of the heart
and matters of the spirit. Customized coaching power sessions as
you need them, either over the phone or face to face can enhance
success in all parts of life. They are short, highly focused
sessions ranging from fifteen minutes to one hour. Whether
the problem is building a strategy or building the inner
resources to be more effective, these sessions can make changes
Coaching sessions should be custom designed to fit your
organization -- high end sales or the basics, be it:
development to build personal resources or to eliminate
goal-setting or balanced life
Professional sales is a high performance job.
You have to be in top form to win. These group sessions get you
there and help keep you there ie: at least ten - half day or
one day workshops over twelve months allowing the
participants to practice what they have learnt in the training
and personal coaching sessions.
Some results with Sales Skills
Coaching can include:
- Clarify sales objectives
into manageable, realistic goals.
- Refine existing strategies
and/or create new strategies.
- Develop new sales skills.
- Discuss specific challenges
for individuals or an entire sales team.
- Eliminate unrealistic
barriers that may be preventing you from success.
- Prioritize activities into
- Remove the roadblocks to success
- Clarify goals that are achievable
- Build the confidence to win
- Eliminate procrastination
- Practice advanced selling techniques that
improve your productivity
- Learn advanced rapport building secrets
- Learn the power of language
The 3 Steps
to establishing a
successful Sales Coaching Program:
First, the organization should examine the personnel available
to complete the coaching project. Coaching is much more than a
series of learning sessions and requires a specific skills set
as well as an experienced, credentialed team. Some of the
"people" questions your organization should ask are:
- Does your staff have the required technical and coaching
project management knowledge/skills and time to complete
- Do you have a committed, trained and well-briefed development
team with defined roles?
- Do you have full support from all corporate
Successful coaching development requires a proven, efficient
process for "resourcing" the appropriate practices
and protocols. This process must include time for analysis,
design, user testing, review, and revision. Without carefully
designing a process that includes these and other necessary
steps, you significantly decrease your chances of coaching
success. Some of the "process" questions your
organization should ask are:
- Do you have a realistic project schedule?
- Do you have a detailed project blueprint?
- Do you have a clear list of project requirements?
- Do you have a proven, written training development
process for the key players?
Finally, do you have all the technical parts and pieces to
make your coaching effort actually work? Successful coaching
requires a complex mix of proven validated assessment
instruments, coaching tools and techniques, and support
back-up. Without these, the best-designed coaching program can
become dead on arrival. Some of the "parts"
questions that your organization should ask are:
- Do you have the coaching technical infrastructure
and behavioral change tools to meet your coaching requirements?
- Do your end users/coaches have access to the necessary
technical information and hardware?
- Does your coaching program manager and team have the
necessary coaching project management and measurement tools?
- Is 'technical coaching support' available to the program
manager and coaches?
- How to be a successful Sales Coach:
1. Put yourself in the position of each
individual team member. Be prepared to see and understand the
world from their
2. Listen actively. Understand what is 'true for them',
what motivates and interests them, what bores or demotivates
3. Be prepared to make changes to your own style and
approach as a result of what you learn.
4. Remember these three words: - respect, empathy
and objectivity. Bring these to your coaching sessions - every
5. Book diary time and a special meeting room for each
coaching session. Ensure there are no interruptions.
6. Let the coachee do 80% of the talking, prompted
by your carefully considered questions
7. Use open questions to understand, probe, challenge
and develop ideas. Use closed questions to pin down agreement
8. Identify specific areas for change and agree how the
salesperson will modify their behavior.
9. Create a clear and
definitive development plan to build on strengths and address
10. Establish agreed upon metrics to measure the 3 P's:
personal, professional and performance growth.
Case Studies in SALES
Study 1: MidWest Finance
The Senior Managers of the MidWest Finance
for the sales and marketing teams within the organisation were
assisted in designing a coaching programme which would enable
them: to adopt a 'Transformational Leadership' approach; be
more 'Emotionally Literate' to the consequences of their leadership
style; improve their cross functional effectiveness -as a team and
individually; to develop an awareness of their team members’
behavioural style and strengths, and address areas which may be
causing them to under-perform.
programme employed team and one-to-one coaching
sessions. Prior to the workshops, the participants underwent
individual assessment and took part in a 360 Degree Appraisal. This
data help define the structure of the programme and
provided benchmark information which was used to guage the
results of the overall programme as well as individual changes
in performance and behaviour.
The programme was conducted over a twelve month period commencing
with an education programme on performance
All results were statisically measured and directly correlated back
to bottom-line performance/productivity gains. The programme met all
set goals and has since been adopted as the core platform
for ongoing management and staff training development.
a continually changing market, regularly evaluating and improving
employee performance and productivity has become more than an
administrative detail - it is now a key business strategy. Today
most businesses (large and small) first exposure to
'bottom-line' coaching (other than executive coaching for senior
management) is the introduction of performance coaching in
their sales departments. Performance sales coaching is relatively
easy to introduce, control and monitor, and generates immediate
new breed of performance coaching development systems promises
to solve many of the problems of training-based review systems and support
best practices that result in greater productivity and employee
satisfaction. These systems lead managers through the performance
review process of measuring key behavioral aspects that
critically impact upon the successful execution of professional
skills. Importantly, it helps them with the most difficult part
of a review - putting their assessments and action plans into a
development vehicle that works. This just-in-time approach via
regular one-to-one or small group coaching/learning is widely
regarded as more effective than traditional occasional
"classroom" training. It ultimately results in greater
productivity because managers become coaches as they work with
employees on developing the skill sets most in need of growing. By
giving managers HR expertise and coaching tools to help
them track and evaluate performance, the coaching-based
performance management system removes many of the barriers that have
traditionally undermined the ongoing development of their people. Coaching
based development programs also enable
organizations to: audit their human capital base; measure
operational performance to provide the platform for ongoing
improvement; and gain an understanding of employee value for ongoing
strategic modeling and planning
a leading player in the motor insurance market, needed to
improve its internal processes, skills and service levels in order
to compete effectively. Premium wanted
results that would be lasting and realized quickly. Working closely
to the brief as co-developed with the in-house project management
team, an external Coaching Group devised an innovative approach that
resulted in the complete redesign of Premium's Customer Strategy.
It introduced a Sales Agent Performance Management Development
schedule. The group's program of consultation with management and
the agents themselves resulted in a system which automatically
produced weekly agent skills reports, and which summarized
individual performance on an agreed set of defined performance
indicators. Team leaders and agents alike could now see on a weekly
basis not only how they performed on key outcome measurements, such
as sales calls handled, schedule adherence, policies sold,
sales conversion rate, cross-selling of other products - but
the Team leaders could now easily identify and monitor the
behavioral strengths and weaknesses of each agent in the execution
of their sales skills and use this as a basis for individual
behavioral coaching. The system also facilitated the introduction of
a fair and motivating performance-based reward system based on
the Weekly Skills Report. The experience so far with the system has
been that: staff morale has improved as agents have more visibility
and control over their performance; sales performance has radically
improved - with
average weekly sales up by 50%.
Pharmaceutical Sales Results
pharmaceutical sales division of one of the world’s largest
healthcare organizations discovered that successful sales strategies
are not simply some magical mix of sales savvy and landing the right
territory. Behavior-based coaching methods provided this
organization with the platform to consistently achieving targeted
The large sales
force of this globally competitive pharmaceutical division faced
multiple business issues, one of which was wide variance in individual
sales representative, director and division management performance. Because
the performance disparity was so great profitable opportunities
were being bypassed because neither management, nor sales
personnel were able to operate to their fullest potentials.
Management wanted to know how to raise poor performance to average,
how to make average performance exceptional, and how to continually
develop and inspire top performers. The goal was how
to create an ongoing cycle of improvement until every
individual reached and sustained optimal performance levels.
Coaching -Solution Implemented
Assessment help pinpoint the behaviors over which reps and managers
had control, and those which actually had a real impact on securing
the sale and extending the sales relationship for each particular
situation. A set of customized sales techniques that
acknowledged such factors were established. Coaches
accompanied sales reps and managers on field trips and
were able to pinpoint best practices and observe customer
environments. Salespeople learned to delineate and then practice
those activities that added greatest value for the customer. At the
same time, sales managers learned the activities that encompassed
necessary coaching, development, and support of critical behaviors.
After using a new set of enhanced personal skills, one sales
representative stated, “I’m working just as hard, but I’m now
focusing on the things that I can influence: the critical actions
that drive results.”
Some Results of the Behavioral-Based
- Following implementation of
behavior-based coaching, this group was voted best sales
division in the organization for the past two years.
- All groups that implemented
behavior-based coaching methods improved. One division went from
being 52nd out of 55 in sales of a key product, to 1st.
- Sales managers evolved from
critics to coaches; and subsequently, culture evolved from that
of subordinating to supportive.
- Sales representatives
identified factors of control via behavior action plans and,
consequently, realized influence over individual accountability.
- Sales representatives built
action plans to sign-up Physician Assistants and Nurse
Practitioners. Their plans included key behaviors, how to track
progress, and the rewards for meeting their goal. The sign-up
rate went from 20% to 80% within one year.
- Strategic selling defined
customer-centric sales techniques and value-added, long-term
- Territorial realities were
managed with customized and thus profitable sales approaches.
-Edited Extracts from Next Generation Pharmaceutical Magazine
For more information on Behavioral Change
coaching and tools see:
of the first ever published case studies (1958) on the effect of coaching
was on individual sales performance enhancement. The case study
involved the coach working with the Sales Training Director and included
the sales staff receiving regular group coaching sessions
focusing on team building. The program objectives of higher sales, greater
team motivation and reduced staff turnover were all met.