What is sales coaching?
Instead of someone hastily pacing up and down the sidelines with a clip board yelling out commands, coaching in sales is done by guiding the team through the details of sales plays. It’s not unlike coaching a sport; the coach needs to analyze their team, develop plans for bettering the team, and help the individual players reach their goals. They need the team to practice and perform at their best potential in order to make big wins happen. Sales coaching consists of the training, development, and improvement of salespeople so that they can be successful in achieving the organization’s goals.
Why do you coach in sales?
Successful Sales and Enablement leaders know that sales plays are the key to the success of a modern sales team. Sales plays are actions that salespeople carry out in order to achieve success and align with the companies growth strategies. Just like in sports, a great play can only be effective if your team understands it, has practiced it, and knows how to execute it when the time comes. You think that Tom Brady ever runs a play for the first time in the fourth quarter of a tight game? Of course not, he has reviewed and practiced it countless times and knows exactly how to pull it off when its needed most. This is the approach that a sales team needs to take in order to have successful meetings and conversations.
Building, launching, and reinforcing prioritized sales plays will take your growth strategy from idea to action and enforce a standard for the team. As reps prepare to lead sales conversations on their own, practicing sales plays and receiving manager feedback is critical to shaping the team. A text-heavy document won’t bring the sales play to life, but recording your sales leaders introducing the play and issuing a challenge to the sales organization to copy it can be much more impactful. Using video to include example role-play videos in the play itself to show reps what good looks like is prime sales coaching. Pair this with leaderboards to track progress and spur some healthy competition.
How do you coach salespeople?
Coaching can look different for the team as a whole, for the individual, and for the manager. The sales manager’s role is to give the sales team motivation and guidance through playbooks, test their mastery, help them make improvements, promote friendly competition, and use consistent touch-points. Video is a key component in helping to bring each sales play to life and ensure consistency through out the team. Recording sales leaders introducing the play and issuing the challenge to the sales organization can make the practice more meaningful. In fact, including example role-play videos in the play itself to show reps what good looks like is crucial.
Given its importance, many teams opt to use software to organize and implement their coaching throughout the sales organization. We’ve introduced vPlaybook’s Coaching Console to make sales coaching easier and more sales-friendly. Our Coaching Console consists of Challenges, Leaderboards, Feedback messaging, and Featured Content along with Team Assessments for the managers.
- Build video-based Challenges
Drive usage and knowledge of sales content with video, audio, and other tasks via dynamic challenges that managers can build from a template or customize themselves. Have weekly challenges? No worries, you can also stack challenges by determining active date ranges for each. Have a group of struggling reps? You can also assign challenges to specific users or your whole team. Once a challenge is active, you can track everyone’s progress, give scores, and more.
- Spark friendly competition with the Challenge Leaderboard
Give reps a way to measure themselves amongst their peers and prompt collaboration with a leaderboard for each challenge. Not only does this help a manager track their top performers but it can boost reps’ natural competitiveness, thus getting them to complete their challenges with good effort.
- Fast communication with Challenge Feedback
Give and receive clear goals on how to grow and improve by opening message threads between reps and managers. When a rep completes a task that the manager scores, the manager can give them direct feedback on that task. Was it good? What would you do differently? Is there a resource they might need? All of these inconspicuous questions can be addressed in one place. Reps and managers can even record videos in the message thread with ease.
- Knowledge share with Featured Content
Gather insight from the top performers on a team and promote their responses to activities within featured content for other reps to learn from. This is a simple way to boost knowledge sharing, make messaging more consistent, and have peers collaborate with each other.
- Create effective coaching plans through Team Assessments
Managers can log time-in-place assessments of their reps to determine the best coaching plan for each team and individual. These assessments can be downloaded to track progress over time. As per everything vPlaybook, they can be customized as well.