Sales coaching has been proven by a variety of studies to be extremely beneficial to businesses' sales team. In fact, research from the Sales Executive Council found companies that spend 15 percent more time and money on sales coaching and training tend to outperform their competitors. Additionally, sales coaching was noted as the top investment businesses can make to improve the productivity of their agents and representatives.
That being said, there are a number of considerations that businesses need to take into account as they plan and invest money into their sales coaching efforts. Sales coaching is not as simple as having a manager talk to representatives and agents or hiring a third-party consultant to work with salespeople. There is a number of factors that businesses need to get right to ensure successful training programs.
Take, for example, the importance of relevancy. Whether sales managers or external consultants are delivering coaching, businesses must ensure that programs are relevant and tailored toward their sales teams and current company goals. The insight salespeople take away from these training initiatives relies heavily on programs' relevancy and how easily they can deploy this knowledge.
"I have been taught to sell insurance, software and trucking equipment," wrote Suzanne Franks in a Business 2 Community blog. "I have never been in any of these industries.When we learn new skills in a 'foreign,' not relevant environment we have to work much harder to understand the skill, no less begin to practice it."
"It's like taking a college history course in Spanish when you only studied Spanish One in high school," she adds. "To leave the translation burden to the sales professional is not fair, productive or efficient."
Successful sales coaching is about providing insight and skills in a way that makes sense to agents and reps. By tailoring programs specifically for their workforces, businesses can make sure they are pushing their salespeople to improve in a way that aligns with corporate objectives and goals. After all, the point of coaching is not just to provide personal development to agents – they need to be able to use this knowledge to provide a return on investment to the company as well.