Companies are leaning more on their sales departments than ever before. As the economy continues to grow, sales teams play a critical role in generating leads and converting them into paying customers. Without an effective sales department converting leads, businesses struggle to generate the finances required to fuel other growth-related activities.

Still, sales remains a tremendously difficult job. With companies planning to expand, quotas are growing on an annual basis, and sales representatives and agents are expected to improve constantly to meet these new demands.

The reality is that a significant number of salespeople still struggle to meet quotas. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Chief Sales Officer (CSO) Insights suggests only 64.1 percent of sales agents made their full 2011 quotas.

Sales is a challenging occupation, so to that end, a number of the people surveyed may not have been suited for such a demanding job. According to the survey, sales departments see a turnover rate of approximately 17.6 percent annually, 9.4 percent of which constitutes involuntary turnover. This means that nearly one-tenth of salespeople are let go, likely because of performance issues.

Still, the fact that more than one-third of salespeople aren't meeting quotas does suggest there is a huge issue with the way these departments are being run. If salespeople aren't meeting quotas, that generally means one of two things: either the company has hired people who aren't fit for the occupation, or it isn't doing a good enough job in training and preparing its sales staff.

Sales coaching is one of the most effective ways to prepare agents and representatives for the job at hand. When companies invest the time to bring their salespeople up to speed through training initiatives, they can ensure their employees have been given all the insight and knowledge needed to accomplish their jobs.

In an era where companies are relying on their sales teams to aid with expansion, sales coaching helps businesses ensure they are stacking their decks in their favor as much as possible. Providing the proper training is pivotal in helping salespeople meet and exceed their annual quotas.