The biggest, most obvious change witnessed through sales coaching is increased revenue thanks to more and larger deals being closed.
But how that change happens through coaching is interesting. And it is not only from individual sales representatives becoming more capable at selling. While that is the main thing, there are a few unexpected benefits that happen when you employ an external sales coach.
Get your formal sales process driven in
The difference between having a formal process and winging it is night and day. There are so many statistics to back this up that there is no longer any excuse to fail to delineate to your salespeople what they are expected to do with each lead as it hits predetermined points in the funnel.
A survey cited in the Harvard Business Review shows that companies with very effective pipeline management experienced a 28 percent higher revenue growth when compared with companies with poor practices. The survey also showed that at least three hours per month should be spent on moving sales reps’ pipelines forward to the next step in the process, and this is where a sales coach can really make the difference through holding reps accountable.
If your sales managers are having trouble getting buy-in of your formal processes or even just your CRM system (as nearly 75% of sales firms have poor CRM adoption), an external coach can help.
Boost your bread and butter
You might think that sales coaching gets the best return from the top performers, and that this upper echelon is where you should focus your efforts. Or perhaps you figure that the bottom performers are the ones who would be best served by coaching, as at least they would sell something instead of wandering around the office looking busy.
In reality, statistics show that the biggest gains in productivity from sales coaching come from your bread-and-butter salespeople, the middle 60%. When this majority is coached, they show an average of 19% improvement. Imagine what would happen to your bottom line if you “wake the sleeping giant” and the majority of your sales force experienced this kind of improvement!
Weed out the trouble makers
Occasionally, a sales team will have a rep or two that, while apparently productive, is rather toxic to the rest of the team through their negativity. They might bring in decent numbers, but often at the expense of other salespeople’s deals and sanity, and their sales managers’ time. The percentage of this personality type in any group is never very high, perhaps one out of five in the extreme, but they cause enough fuss and strife (usually hidden from view of their superiors) that even one or two on staff can make the environment completely hostile.
Hiring an external coach will provide a fresh set of eyeballs which observe what staff actually do from an unbiased point of view, and can make recommendations as to reducing the influence of the difficult ones on the rest of the group. You will be surprised how much relief and revitalized production will occur when a transfer or offload of a “troublemaker” happens.
So there you have it. Good coaching not only improves the individual sales rep, but strengthens the entire team in unexpected ways.
For more information on coaching, please contact us.