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How to be an effective coach for sales teams

Six tips on building effective coaching for sales teams

Sales teams are dynamic and ever-changing, so it’s important to keep your sales team—and their training—up to date. Sales training can be an effective way to improve the performance of your sales team, but it’s not enough to just have sales training programs in place—you also have to have effective sales coaches who are committed to making every sales rep on their team succeed, as well as practices and tools that enable them to do so. And many U.S. companies agree, spending more than $70 Billion on training efforts each year for their teams. 

In this guide on how to be an effective sales coach, we’ll cover the top six things you should be doing to be an effective sales coach, so that you can give your sales team the best possible training, and help them excel in their roles to meet your business goals.

1 Build the Coach/Rep Relationship

Just as with any manager-employee relationship, building trust and a positive relationship between sales coach and sales rep is crucial for creating effective sales training. If you want your sales team to become motivated, you need to make sure your team members know that you care about them as people and that you value their development. Set aside time each week to talk with each employee one-on-one, and make sure they are at ease discussing both successes and challenges. This helps build trust, which leads to more productive meetings as well as more open communication between yourself and your team members.

2 Encourage Goal-Setting and Self-Evaluation

Sure, being able to hit goals is absolutely critical for any sales team, but there’s a great strength in having a team that is self-motivated by their own goals and missions. However their goals are set—by you as sales coach or by themselves or another manager—setting realistic goals, measuring progress on a regular basis, and following up on both of these with self-evaluation will help them see a huge difference in the team’s productivity over time. 

Keep in mind, however, that the trick is setting goals that actually move your sales reps forward. While it’s easy to set focuses on dollar amounts or the numbers of contacts made each week, designing goals that help them work on perfecting their pitch, or using tangible strategies to cross-sell products or benefits can be even more beneficial in the long run.

3 Provide Training Methods that Work

Not all training is the same, and if your company is stuck using antiquated methods to get your message into the minds of your sales team, you may be fighting an uphill battle. In fact, an international study completed by the UK-based City & Guilds showed that globally, 59 percent of employees claim their training is “boring.” What’s implied here, is that employee engagement may also be at risk, as companies who provide boring training or learning opportunities may be sacrificing employee interest and motivation, as well.

Instead, sales coaches should be consistently attuned to what methods are gaining popularity and what actually works to transfer information. One such method is through video-based learning and assessment, where platforms like Bongo not only offer a more interactive platform through video, but also can provide automated and AI-based feedback, coaching notes, and more.

4 Encourage Role-Play

While we’re talking about training methods that work, it’s been shown time and time again that role play is a highly effective way to build a sales team’s confidence and accuracy. By encouraging this highly effective form of pitch practice with various scenarios, you can quickly increase your team’s readiness to go and get the sale.

The best part is that these days, coaches and team leaders don’t need to worry about the amount of time spent in role-playing different sales scenarios with each team member—platforms like Bongo can automate and streamline most of the process, using video-based assessment and training to help each member perfect their pitch on their own time.

5 Offer Continual Feedback

The key to getting any sort of training to stick is through feedback—allowing the employee to clearly understand the areas that they need improvement and translate that information into more practice and higher rates of success. Unfortunately, as teams grow, analysis can sometimes fall to the wayside, or worse, be hyper-generalized to the group as a whole.

The key for coaches who want to see feedback turn into progress among their sales reps is to provide personalized critique, especially in the areas that need continued work. Consider a training tool that allows scalability even to larger teams, usually through automation or Artificial Intelligence.

6 Make Continued Learning Easy and Engaging

Rarely is a really good sales team done with all their training after onboarding—there are always new products to learn, new service lines to pitch, and new information to absorb. Even more, statistics show that 84 percent of sales representatives forget their training within three months, so continued training and reinforcement is crucial. When there are new opportunities to update your team’s knowledge base, make sure your training platform is easy to use and engaging in order to keep your revenue generation team captivated and ready to keep learning.

More and more, sales enrichment and training is becoming one of the top focuses of companies across the globe as they try to make waves in an ocean of competition. Understandably, the top sales teams will most likely be the ones to capitalize on those efforts—and the companies that invest in training and knowledge retention of those teams will reap the rewards. Fortunately, Bongo’s video-based assessment and feedback solutions don’t just help you streamline your training program, but can help scale your efforts with a seamless integration between trainer and trainee for just about any learning situation. For a demo of the software’s full range of capabilities, visit go.bongolearn.com/software to schedule a demo.