We’re excited to welcome back to “True Confessions of a Sales Leader,” Dr. Richard Ruff and John Hoskins, respected experts in sales coaching, founders of The Level Five Selling Coaching System, and authors of a new book, “Level Five Sales Leader: Field-Tested Strategies to Close the Quota Gap! (The Level Five Selling Trilogy”).
Richard and John join Gary Brashear, managing partner of The Olsen Group, and myself to discuss not only their new book but just how sales coaching is an art, and how critical it is for successful sales leaders to be great sales coaches.
Here are four key highlights from the podcast episode.
1. Find time for coaching
According to their new book, if you have 50% of your salespeople hitting their sales targets, you can increase that by 30% with regular effective sales coaching. So, what’s the issue? Time. Many sales leaders struggle to carve out the time to coach. Yes, coaching takes a lot of time, energy, and patience. Senior sales leaders need to work with frontline sales teams to determine what factors are interfering with them to find the time to coach.
2. Keep coaching simple and immediate—for now
Picture this: a sales manager goes on a sales call with a rep and offers many levels of feedback like “you need to develop a trust premise,” or “you didn’t ask any questions,” or “your closing was too soft.” It’s good feedback but if you’re that rep that’s an overwhelming amount of feedback in one sitting. Focus on one behavior at a time, prioritize, and agree on what you’re going to work on. Keep it simple.
Here's a 56-second snippet on Dr. Richard Ruff's approach to keeping sales coaching simple.
3. Ride-alongs are still effective
Ride-alongs have always helped improve how sales leaders can coach. And for the time being, “ZOOM-alongs” are taking their place and can actually be a better vehicle to coach. Sales leaders can be available at a moment’s notice and can jump on a sales call the same day and provide immediate feedback.
4. Learn from past mistakes
When launching a sales initiative, ask your company or organization about how previous initiatives failed or stalled. Have that conversation up front so you can understand some of the barriers you might encounter as you implement your own initiative, then develop a plan to battle those barriers.
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.