Part 2 of our dual episode of “True Confessions of a Sales Leader” continues with a discussion with Dr. Richard “Dick” Ruff and John Hoskins, respected experts in sales coaching, founders of The Level Five Selling Coaching System, and authors of the book, Level Five Selling: The Anatomy of a Quality Sales Call Revealed (click here for a complimentary copy).
In the first episode, Scott Olsen, founder of the Olsen Group and Gary Brashear, managing partner of the Olsen Group, joined them to discuss why sales coaching is so important to an organization, especially in these times. If you don’t think your sales organization or team needs a coaching program, listen to part 1.
After you’ve listened to part 1, then come back as we share insights and some real-world tactics on how you can get started on a coaching plan immediately.
Here are four key takeaways from this podcast episode:
Start at the top
Want to launch a coaching program? Most companies like yours probably have some previous history of coaching. Maybe it was intermittent or only done by a few people instead of a systematic way throughout the whole organization. So, how do you successfully get started or get re-started?
Start with your top management and top sales management. You’ll need an institutional commitment from them to establish a sales culture. Then, set the direction and focus for a coaching program before executing.
Conduct a quarterly business review by having your frontline leaders report on what they worked on and who they worked with. Review that plan and ask how the sales leader executed that plan. Prepare for some pushback, too. Pulling a sales member off of the time they’re spending making sales to coach them? Tough sell. However, it might also let you discover what the sales team is actually working on. Tasks that aren’t revenue-driving can be assigned to a non-sales member.
Use the right tools
Hire a coaching planner to help you get a good view of what the managers are focusing on and dealing with. Consider workshops that will help get everyone on the same page by using common language, a common framework, and the definition of what quality looks like. Employ—especially in these times—a virtual coaching platform. This technology, for instance, can provide videos with exercises that let the sales team “respond” on how they’re applying and responding to their current accounts. Then, the sales leader can view that and provide feedback.
When do you know you’re finished with coaching?
You never are. Coaching isn’t an extended exercise, it continuously needs to be done. Sales team members need to learn new skills, especially in our current environment. Those skills are constantly changing so coaching doesn’t have a beginning and an end. That said, don’t over-invest in people that aren’t performing. If you do, you have to cut your losses early. Don’t let your ego hold on to someone you think you’ll turn around. Other team members will suffer and might not get the level of coaching they need.
Scott Olsen and Gary Brashear shares highlights from each podcast episode designed to help sales leaders like you and your sales teams develop the skills, systems and culture that leads to sustained and significant results.