Behind every great team, and great individual performer, is a great coach. This is as true for business as it is for sport.
In our experience, within any B2B or professional services organisation there will be about 10% of people who are naturally good at ‘selling’ or building client relationships. They need little coaching, although many still benefit from having a trusted sounding board. But for the other 90%, sales coaching, either on its own, or to support a sales training program, can prove invaluable.
It can have a significant impact on:
- the skills and confidence of the individuals.
- the ROI of any sales training programs you run – follow up coaching can help embed the skills and give the attendees the confidence and ‘push’ to implement what they have learned.
Who benefits most from sales coaching?
In The Dirty Secret of Effective Sales Coaching, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson from the Sales Executive Council reported on research they conducted with thousands of sales representatives who received quality sales coaching. What they discovered is that there is a quantifiable ROI associated with utilising coaches for sales training that can surpass traditional training efforts.
In their research, they reported that:
- there was up-to-19% sustained improvement in the performance of sales representatives who received quality coaching, and that coaching could make the difference between hitting or missing goals.
- the quantifiable benefits of coaching vary wildly. Dixon and Adamson found sales coaching as a training strategy had only marginal impact on top performers (A reps) and lowest-tier performers (D reps). It was only mid-level performers (B reps and C reps) who experienced notable improvement from coaching.
This research closely reflects our own experience that while top performers can have some marginal benefit, low performers will benefit least, and that the highest return on investment for your coaching (and training) efforts is on the mid-level performers – often those team members who are motivated and keen, but simply don’t currently have the tools or confidence to move towards being a top performer.
Our sales coaching services
Our sales coaching services include:
- 1:1 sales coaching – to set personal plans and targets, with a focus on coaching on skills and behaviours, and providing tactical advice and follow up. Ad-hoc phone and email coaching is undertaken between coaching calls/meetings. Can be done over phone, zoom (video) or in-person.
- Group sales coaching – usually undertaken as workshops, or with small groups of 2-3 people. Group coaching is often run as follow up or refresher session to a training program.
- ENGAGE Coach training – When we work with large organisations, our goal is usually to train up internal coaches through our ENGAGE Coach training program, who can be on the ground to support training efforts and drive sales culture change.
Our 1:1 sales coaching process
The coaching process is not just the amount of time that you spend with your coach, but also the work you need to do on your own. Here’s a breakdown.
Our usual 1:1 coaching sessions involve a one hour face-to-face or phone call each month, but this can be adapted based on the needs of the individual or organisation. Typically for a one hour monthly coaching session, the coachee would be required to commit to the following:
- BD& Client Relationship Plan completion: prior to the commencement of the coaching sessions, we will ask you to complete a detailed BD & Client Relationship Plan which outlines your BD goals, challenges and targets, and what you are hoping to achieve from the training.
- Initial meeting: 2 hours. We allow two hours for the first coaching call so that we can run through your BD + Client Relationship plan in detail, and clearly set out our 3/6/12 month goals.
- Monthly calls: 1 hour per month. Each month you will spend one hour with your coach (on the phone, over a Zoom call, or in person) to discuss your progress on your goals, debrief actions undertaken, set new actions, role play meetings, and other tactical learning.
- Following up call actions: 1-4 hours per month. This will vary from month to month, but you should time to follow up the specific actions that you agree with your coach in your monthly meeting. If you don’t, you are not going to maximise the value of your investment.
- Email: 1-2 hours per week.In addition to your regular email, as a result of the coaching process you will find that your BD related email activity increases, either contacting existing clients or reaching out to new ones. Your coach will be available for you to get feedback and editing on your email content for clients.
- Content creation: 4-6 hours per month.One element of BD that you will focus on with your coach is raising your profile in the market through thought leadership activities such as blogs, LinkedIn posts, podcasts, or videos. You will need to allow time to create profile raising content each month.