1. Communicating clearly to your salespeople the specific behaviors and activities that you both want and need for sales success is essential for sales coaching. Here’s a quick exercise to test common understanding. Send out an email to your sales team and ask, “In regards to the first meeting with a new prospect, what specific behaviors do we need to perform, and in what sequence?” How many different answers will you get back from your sales team? If you don’t have a systematic sales process implemented in your company, a process everybody understands, you cannot coach effectively.
2. Be a proactive sales coach. Don’t wait to get blind-sided by salesperson who badly misses forecasts. Instead, get involved earlier in the sales opportunity by asking your salespeople specific qualifying questions, like: “Where is this customer in their buying process?” And “What clues have you noticed, or what has the customer said to you, which led you to this conclusion?”
3. Provoke thought. I believe that a sales team’s sales effectiveness is largely impacted by the questions salespeople ask themselves before each sales call. Salespeople, especially those with considerable sales experience, are notorious for switching on their “auto-pilot.” They often go through the motions without thinking much about what they are doing. You need to help salespeople switch-off their auto-pilot.
4. Set clear goals. What are your two most important priorities over the next six months? What are the actions you will need to take to get there? Having a clear picture in your mind about what is truly important is essential. Your goals act like a magnet, drawing you toward the most effective use of your time, and away from the reactive, fire-drill mentality that is so much a part of many sales organizations.
Make this the best year ever, for you and your sales team!
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