Like many sales professionals, you’ve likely received onboarding training at your organization, but you don’t always receive a whole lot of regular one-on-one sales coaching to help you maximize your potential as a sales professional. According to CSO Insights, more than 70% of companies have an informal or no coaching process. Even though, you are still expected to achieve a certain volume of sales.
Whether you are achieving your current sales goals and want to reach the next level in your career by becoming a sales leader or you are not quite seeing the results you’re looking for in your performance, volume or something else, you are on the right track in deciding to ask your manager for sales coaching. Sales coaching is a highly effective way of improving your performance, sales volume and development as a sales professional.
Investing in Sales Coaching Pays Off
Research by the Sales Executive Council shows that no other productivity investment comes close to coaching in improving sales reps’ performance. According to the Corporate Executive Board, a leading research and advisory services company, effective sales coaching can potentially increase top-line revenue by up to 20%
Clearly, sales coaching is a great investment of yours and your manager’s time, but everyone’s busy – including your sales manager. You may be unsure if your manager even has time in their week for regular sales coaching with you. In fact, the number one obstacle to sales coaching is that sales managers are too busy (Sales Management Association). To make it easier on you and your sales manager, it’s a good idea to get prepared. Here are a few tips to get ready to ask your manager for sales coaching.
Prepare to Ask Your Manager for Sales Coaching
1. Get an idea of what your career goals are.
Great sales coaching helps you define your goals and strategies, helping you achieve your true potential as a sales rep, as well as maximizing your sales. Your career goals should be at the center of your focus during the sales coaching you receive, so it’s a great idea to get in the right mindset now. Focus on your values and purpose being the backbone of your goals to be sure and set great goals.
2. Figure out your sales coaching goals, specifically.
Time is of the essence in all business environments, so it’s good to know what your end goal is for receiving coaching on your sales skills. Are you wanting to get to the next level in sales volume? Are you wanting to create new habits? Also, have a timeline in mind of how long you think you need sales coaching for. Make sure it’s long enough to implement permanent habits but not too long that it’s wasting your and your manager’s time.
3. Review your habits as a sales rep.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Great sales coaching will help you create new habits and replace old ones. This can be done through one-on-one training with your sales manager by shadowing meetings. Another great idea is doing a personal SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) Analysis for an even more comprehensive review.
4. Find out when you are available for a weekly sales coaching meeting.
Be prepared to give your sales manager the dates and times in which you are available when you ask your manager for sales coaching. Meeting regularly with him or her will help you in developing consistent habits, implement new strategies, and also help you become accountable for meeting your set goals.
5. Invite your manager to your next sales meeting.
It will be beneficial, without a doubt, to have your manager to start your sales coaching at your next prospective client meeting. When your manager is able to see you in action, it is then that the most work can be done. Many times sales reps aren’t able to have an objective person to help them see areas of improvement, which is why sales coaching is so beneficial. You will want to have your manager on your meetings regularly.
6. Find a time to communicate to your manager that you’re interested in doing one-on-one sales coaching with them. If your manager is busy, you may email them, or even better, find a time that you can talk with them in person. Schedule a meeting to ensure that you don’t interrupt their schedule. Be prepared to be flexible if your manager is very busy.
Meet with Your Manager About Sales Coaching
In your meeting, communicate with him or her what your goals are for coaching, as well as your openness to receiving feedback on your performance. Discuss bringing them along during your sales meetings, suggest a weekly coaching session, and discuss any ideas that you have to get the most out of sales coaching based on your preparation. Your sales manager will be appreciative that you put so much thought into it beforehand, in order to help them help you.
Sales Coaching and You
Remember to go into sales coaching with an open mind to be able to receive objective feedback with a focus on reaching your short-term and long-term goals in your organization and career. Your ability to be coachable will directly affect your success in sales coaching.
Sales coaching can sometimes be challenging. Make sure your manager is being an effective sales coach by whether or not they are motivating you, holding you accountable, and engaging you in coaching sessions. Your manager should also be getting to know you as a sales professional by asking a lot of questions not just telling you what’s right and wrong. Letting you take the lead helps you develop strategies that work for you. What’s right for her or him may not be what’s right for you, since there are a wide range of styles and strategies among sales professionals.
In many cases, you may need to develop a plan beyond sales coaching for extra development and training. Your sales manager may also provide extra documents for studying, as well as homework, guides, and reading materials. Whether the training lasts one month, one year or longer, it is important to realize that reaching the next level in your development is not always a quick road. Enjoy the journey and take in all the advice, training and knowledge you can. Focus on your training being effective and valuable, leading to personal development and reaching your maximum potential in your career for the long-term.