Businesses always want to be moving forward, striving to achieve bigger, better and grander things at faster rates. This is perhaps most evident in sales departments, where agents are measured based on their ability to continually hit ever-increasing goals.

In that regard, the ability to exceed the status quo and reach past that mark is crucial in a successful sales department. So how can sales managers encourage that behavior? One possible solution is sales coaching. By giving agents the insights and skills needed to achieve higher and higher goals, businesses will be able to deliver consistent levels of growth.

"When sales organizations are operating effectively, managers drive strategic selling behaviors via coaching on activities, skills and behaviors," CallidusCloud noted in a white paper. "Sales coaching is not a project, but a process, built on an analysis of attributes that lead to high performance."

Data from the Sales Executive Council lends further credence to this theory, finding companies that spend 15 percent more time on sales coaching outperform their contemporaries. Sales coaching is perhaps one of the best investments businesses can make, as evidenced by the sheer return on investment it can provide.

When it comes to effective sales coaching practices, the successful integration of data and information is perhaps the most important in maximizing results. By understanding the data produced by a sales department, managers can determine which areas need to be addressed. However, recording and accessing data can become more complex than necessary, especially considering how many businesses use antiquated software solutions such as spreadsheets. This can affect how managers utilize data to aid their sales coaching initiatives.

"It is frequently too difficult to synthesize this information into a coherent set of metrics that are clear, concise and actionable," CallidusCloud adds. "Sales leaders are often left grasping for information that would facilitate effective coaching. In addition, different managers across the organization end up using different metrics to determine levels of performance. The end result is inconsistent or non-existent coaching."

Having accurate sales performance management (SPM) and incentive compensation management (ICM) solutions in place can help consolidate data in one location, making training operations that much easier.