The Professional Sales Coach - An overview
These days, companies both large and small are in high competition with one another. What differentiates them is the ability to both generate new sales and service their existing customer base. However, as competition increases, sales teams are struggling with many of the basics, such as lost leads, missed opportunities, little motivation and missed sales goals. For these reasons, many companies are now hiring a sales coach to keep them competitive.
Sales coaches are becoming more popular as corporate leaders and business owners are discovering the many benefits of hiring one. The sales process is a difficult problem for these corporate leaders and business owners as they are not sales coaches or sales trainers. They lack access to sales coaching tools/resources and don't know how to coach, nor have the time to do so. They specialize in their area of expertise, i.e. running a business and do not have these critical coaching or sales training skills.
Now while businesses might acknowledge the need for a sales coach, many still resist hiring a sales coach because they think it’s too expensive. However, the cost of not hiring a sales coach when sales are dropping or stagnant, is guaranteed to cost the company more in the long run. The investment in hiring a Sales Coach pays off many times greater than the cost of hiring the coach.
When a Sales Coach comes into an organization, they will want to start with the company’s mission and vision statements. It is important first to explore these philosophy’s with the department managers and team leaders for alignment. Doing so creates clarity and direction, or possibly the realization they need to be reworded to reflect the values of the company.
Another process often used by the sales coach to help the sales team, is to ask them to imagine the future with his or her goal having already been achieved. What does that feel and look like? How did they get there? What steps did they take? By thinking far into the future and working backward to the present moment, can open new ideas and opportunities, but would be missed. Sometimes it's about changing their perspective slightly that paves the road to freedom and success.
The next step a sales coach will explore, is helping the sales team define their goals and specific strategies required to be successful. The coaches job is to ensure goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. This is the opportunity for the sales coach to ask “Why is this important to you?” AND “Why is that important to you?” This is one of the strategies a sales coach uses to tap into a person or teams higher motivations. Doing so before or together with creating action steps unifies everyone to the same path. When the sales coach helps a client increase their desire, then achieving the goals will be easier, and they will also reflect those core values.
Be clear, motivation plays a vital role for all parties involved, the manager, sales team leader, sales staff, and even the sales coach. It’s crucial for the coach to identify what motivates the organization and use that motivation to its highest potential. When people are highly motivated, they perform better, and high performance produces great results.
At this point, the Sales Coach is ready to discuss a process for long-term success. To start with, the sales coach begins to meet regularly with the managers, team leaders and sales staff to observe their behaviors and keep everyone accountable for their actions. When staff knows they are going to be held accountable, they tend to stick with these new goals and procedures. Also by having the sales coach oversee and offer feedback, it makes it much easier for the staff to make the changes and hold onto the changes. This is all reinforced further during regular meetings where the action plans are reviewed and modified bringing the team closer together.
It is important to understand that sales coaching is slightly different than life coaching because, with the right questioning techniques from the life coach, the client can often find solutions on their own. However, in the sales coaching process, it is often necessary for the sales coach to offer some guidance or advice on how they can improve their sales strategies. Having a combination of the two techniques is a beneficial way of finding solutions together. This is why in the sales coaching niche, the coach must come with some sales experience.
In these days of high competition, a sales coach can no longer be considered an option but a necessity. The value of a Professional sales coach has been proven by the thousands of organizations that are now using sales coaching services. Sales is a specialized field and sometimes, even more critical than the manufacturing and development side of companies. Let’s face it; you can produce the greatest product or service in the world, but if you don’t have a solid way to sell them, the organization will not thrive.