3 Reasons Why Sales Coaching Should Be Your Top Priority

Brian Trautschold

As a new hire, structured training and onboarding programs are expected. Today, it is rare to see a company that doesn’t have a strict training program in place from the moment a new hire walks through the door. Hiring and onboarding are an expensive undertaking, so companies are incentivized to train new sales reps quickly and ramp faster.

But, many organizations tend to rely on these programs and miss the golden opportunity to continue upskilling sales reps throughout their time at the company. According to a study conducted by cognitive scientist Art Kohn, humans forget approximately 50% of new information they encounter within an hour and an average of 70% within a day. In a week, that average increases to 90 percent. Especially in sales where company messaging and selling points may be evolving rapidly, without consistent training and reinforcement, sales training can be difficult for a rep to apply. 

That’s where sales coaching comes in. Sales coaching is defined as a process designed so every rep is supported and equipped to effectively reach their personal and team quota and goals. Let’s take it a step further to learn more about the importance of sales coaching and why it should be a sales leader’s top priority. 

Provide Managers Better Visibility

For managers, the ultimate goal for sales coaching is to create an environment where their sales team feels more motivated to learn, grow, and take on greater responsibility. The role of a sales manager is a difficult one and takes a unique type of person. Sales managers need to be firm and hold their team accountable, but on the other hand, they need to be able to motivate and encourage their sales reps. 

A big part of any successful sales organization is manager visibility. With a sales coaching platform, leaders can evaluate and address how each rep on their team is doing. It is used to reinforce positive behavior and correct negative behaviors for an ultimate outcome of improved performance, higher revenue and more engaged sales reps.

Each sales rep is different –– with different strengths, weaknesses, and motivations — which means an umbrella approach to coaching simply won’t cut it. A sales coaching platform can provide sales leaders with the custom insights they need to motivate their team and improve each rep’s performance. This type of platform can show how a rep is lining up with their quota, how they are performing in relation to others on the team, and more. With this information, sales managers can create structured and effective coaching based on areas where the rep can improve and measure their performance over time. 

Improve Employee Retention

Turnover is notoriously high in sales roles. In fact, in the United States, the average salesperson turnover rate is 34% –– one of the highest turnover rates for any industry. While there are various factors that play into that high turnover rate, one of the main causes is the lack of effective coaching. 

In the hiring world today, most new job seekers entering the workforce are looking for organizations that are going to invest in their training. Especially for entry-level sales reps getting their start in the industry, manager feedback and coaching on what they are doing right and what they can adjust is a critical component to keeping reps engaged and excited about their work. 

With sales coaching, sales reps receive one-on-one time with their managers where they can ask questions, discuss their current performance, and determine personal goals. Through weekly 1:1s, sales reps can receive feedback immediately from their sales leaders and know exactly where they stand against their other team members. 

Close More Deals

Coaching is also one of the most valuable factors in an effective sales team producing results. In fact, industry research shows that, over the past five years, sales coaching has the greatest impact on win rates and quota attachment. 

However, no two deals are alike. Through coaching, sales managers and leaders can help reps from attracting leads at the top of the funnel to closing deals at the bottom of the funnel. For example, sales coaching can help reps assess the quality of their leads. While sales reps may be generating a good quantity of leads, can they determine whether the leads are high quality and relevant? Additionally, are they asking the right questions to build revenue-turning relationships with potential customers?

Sales reps need to be knowledgeable about the product and services they are selling, but they also need to be knowledgeable about the most effective ways to close sales. By identifying their sales reps’ strengths and weaknesses through one-to-one meetings, managers can see where their reps are succeeding in the sales process and where they may need more help. This allows them to help to simultaneously improve their sales culture while closing more deals.  
A culture of coaching won’t happen overnight or over a series of training programs. Coaching requires a focused effort on personalizing talent development and establishing reachable and sustainable goals. By implementing sales coaching, it can help provide managers with better insights into how each rep is doing, improve employee retention rates, and help reps close more deals. 

Brian Trautschold is the co-founder and COO at Ambition, a sales performance management platform built for data-driven and millennial-fueled sales organizations.

Sales & Marketing Management is the leading authority for executives in the sales and marketing field.

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