IT Staffing Sales Effectiveness
Sales best practices for improving sales win rates, shortening the sales cycle and increasing overall quota attainment. Sales strategies to make revenue growth repeatable, and scalable
Studies show that sales coaching, not training or performance management is by far the most powerful tool for improving sales performance. Yet there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of sales managers consistently providing effective coaching. Most sales managers struggle to dedicate enough time to sales coaching while others lack a basic understanding of sales coaching including the seven essential sales coaching skills. However, many sales leaders treat sales coaching as an ad hoc exercise. They either sit in on sales calls and give manager feedback by casually sharing their observations of what they hear when a sales rep make a sales call from their cube. This haphazard approach is done with good intentions and is better than nothing but it’s not as effective as it could and should be. What most sales managers struggle with is understanding how to properly structure their sales coaching.
There are sales managers who coach, mentor and develop their salespeople and there are sales managers who don't. Sales managers who fail to coach are not necessarily bad managers, but they are neglecting an amazing opportunity and the most effective management practice for improving sales performance. In this blog post I’m going to share with you some of the key differences between sales managers who coach and those who neglect sales coaching. I’m also going to share with you three reasons why sales managers should dedicate more time to sales coaching,
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Do you want to lead your sales team and each of your team members to achieve even greater success? As the manager do you want to increase the value of each of your team members? Of course you do! Sales coaching is the proven vehicle to make it happen. In fact, a study conducted by the American Management Association found that firms that provide optimal sales coaching achieve 17% greater annual revenue growth than those that don't. Another study conducted by CSO Insights found that organizations that have a formal coaching program achieve 28% higher win rates. Those are some pretty gaudy numbers, and the numbers don't lie. But you might be wondering, what exactly is sales coaching and what skills make a good sales coach?
Sales coaching is the role sales managers and recruiting managers play in developing their people, improving their performance and achieving sales and recruiting goals. Sales coaching is the key to replicating top performing sales and recruiting behaviors across your organization and increasing overall quota attainment. Sales coaching is best thought of as a behavior, not a task, where the manager is focused on helping team members self-assess, self-diagnose and self-discover ways to improve performance and achieve break-through results. Common objectives of sales coaching are to:
Our lives have become inundated with feedback. Think about all of the apps on your phone that you use to grab a ride, rent a villa, book a hotel room, make dinner reservations. They all give you the option for feedback. It's all about feedback but manager feedback is not sales coaching. In fact, the difference between sales coaching and manager feedback is significant. So what is my issue with feedback?
Many sales organizations have invested more time, money and effort over the past few years training their sales managers to improve their sales coaching skills then they did in the previous twenty-five. This makes perfect sense when you consider a recent report conducted by the Sales Executive Council shows that no other productivity investment comes close to improving sales performance than sales coaching.
Anyone who has been in sales management for any length of time knows that the key to retaining salespeople and transforming average sales performers into top performers is sales coaching. Yet the roadblocks and reasons for sales managers not being able to consistently engage their salespeople in sales coaching is endless. Sales managers are crazy busy running from one meeting to the next trying to help their people close deals, they're reviewing sales activity and performance reports, interviewing candidates, reviewing their P&L, attending rep-rides and sitting in on management meetings and doing a half- dozen other activities simultaneously. As a result, engaging in sales coaching activities feel like extra work. Getting sales managers to take ownership of sales coaching and doing the necessary groundwork required to develop people is difficult. In this blog post I'm going to make the case for hiring a full time sales coach. Facts and Statistics About Sales Coaching According to research from CSO Insights, companies with a dynamic sales coaching program achieve 28% higher sales win rates. That is HUGE! Imagine if your fill ratio when from 25% to 53%. That would make a MAJOR impact on your top line and your growth trajectory. Research from Dr. Jack Zenger and Dr. Joe Folkman show that as much at 60% of sales reps say they're more likely to leave their job if their manager is a poor coach. For sales managers who have a turnover problem, the first step to sales coaching is gaining an understanding of the basic fundamentals of sales coaching. CSO Insights Sales Management Optimization Study showed that companies with a formal coaching process see 91.2% of overall quota attainment. Imagine if 91% of your people were meeting quota! According to the Bridge Group, companies waste on average $10,000-$15,000.00 per year on bad hires yet only spend on average $2,000.00 on professional sales coaching.
A study conducted by CSO Insights found that a group of under performing salespeople had a win rate of 41% of their FORECASTED deals. NOT pipeline, but deals forecasted to close. Indeed, that is under performing and a great example of a sales team not understanding their customers or where their deals stand with those customers. Another sales team, a team that was meeting expectations had a win rate of 57% of FOECASTED deals. Again, these are not just deals in their pipeline but deals the salespeople are forecasting to close. And these folks are "meeting expectations."