The 5 Deadly Sins of Sales Coaching

Far too many companies end up tripping over themselves because of poor process. Sales Readiness Group reports that companies providing dynamic and continuous feedback to their sales team saw an average of 71.8% of reps meeting sales quotas, while companies with no standard process only saw 59.9% of quotas being met.

That’s a 11+% global lift in sales for those companies who properly coach up reps. In an effort to get your team going, we’ve listed the 5 biggest sales coaching sins to avoid. Your bottom line will thank us.

5 Deadly Sins of Sales Coaching
Image Source: Sales Readiness Group

What Are the Worst Sales Coaching Sins?

1. Latency

The time between your reps action and your coaching is the single most influential aspect.

Excuses like “I’ll wait until their 1:1” won’t have the same impact as sales coaching that happens immediately after the action. Have you ever heard of a coach heading to the locker room to recap a game a week after it ended? No. Sports teams discuss every single game immediately after it happens because if too much time passes, coaching loses it’s effectiveness.

Sales coaching shouldn’t be any different. Create the channels to talk directly after coachable moments, whether they are positive or negative. The experience will be fresher, and the impact will be deeper.

2. Sugar Coating

You know what annoys your reps? The crap-sandwich. Here is some good stuff, here is some bad stuff… but wait here is some more good stuff. You are a manager of a team responsible for the future growth of your business. Treat them like an adult and give them some honest feedback. You are not creating Sesame Street; not every conversation needs to rainbows and butterflies. They’ll respect your honesty.

You don’t have to scream and yell, but you do need to be honest in a productive way. If you’re concerned about coming off too negative in your sales coaching moment, try asking probing questions to see if your sales reps can uncover their mistakes on their own. Most people know when they’ve screwed up and want the feedback to get better.

Making this small adjustment to your sales coaching approach will help your reps take a more insightful approach to their craft and personal development. Not to mention, they might actually start enjoying your conversations together.

3. Ambiguity

Setting clear expectations with your reps from the start is crucial when the topic of discussion is performance. Just like you wouldn’t send your kid into their first basketball game without explaining any of the rules, you can’t send your reps into their role without knowing what’s expected of them.

As their sales leader you need to be clear about what’s acceptable and what’s not. Performance standards should be transparent, and aware. Most importantly your reps should know how they’ll be measured, and what happens when they over and under perform.

Stop sending your reps into battle blind and expecting top notch results.

4. Infrequency

Another way to quickly derail your sales coaching efforts is to take the one and done approach. Do you think Michael Jordan had one coaching session as a kid and then became the best of all time? Successful coaching takes continuous effort, reinforcement, and practice.

EcSell Institute reported that 70% of sales coaches aren’t hitting the needed frequency to effectively help their teams sell more, even ones who had received formalized training.

Habits are hard to form, and can be even harder to break. Even if you had what felt like was a meaningful coaching moment with your reps, you may find them right back at their old ways. Quitting a bad habit and adopting a new style takes a lot of practice, and you need to be the force that makes it happen.

The more often you can fit in meaningful coaching moments, the better chance you have at seeing actual results.

5. Avoiding Tech

Stop making coaching 10 times harder on yourself by avoiding innovative tools that make it simple. It’s never been easier to implement sales coaching initiatives, and it’s time to get on the technology bandwagon.

Your sales coaching efforts can skyrocket in terms of success when you leverage online sales training software tools. Technology companies like LearnCore, are constantly releasing new tools that will make it easier for you to reach your goals, and your reps will love too.

Go digital for faster results, better retention, and a happier team.

Have other deadly sales coaching sins you see happen way too often? We’d love to hear about them.



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