The necessity of coaching is not a new idea. When 66% of salespeople cannot articulate their solution's value proposition, or 75% of sales training is forgotten in six days, it becomes pretty clear why.
Yet coaching is often sporadically implemented because it is difficult to scale. Sales managers often assist with deal closing, which is not the same as coaching.
Sporadic coaching means sales training doesn't stick- remember that 75% of information is forgotten after six days if there is no attempt to retain it. Six days.
Since sporadic coaching doesn't really help anyone, it can facilitate an anti-coaching mindset: "We tried coaching a couple times, nobody remembered anything and it was a waste of time."
The above situation does not do coaching justice. Coaching is more than arbitrary training, it is structured, specific, and progressive. It focuses on building up one skill at a time over successive sessions. Coaching only when convenient accomplishes none of this.
When coaching is really implemented, magic happens. Sales reps who undergo structured, specific, and progressive coaching have a 25% higher win rate and 65% greater pipeline growth compared to their uncoached peers.
The implementation of structure and progress requires more than a top-down mandate. It requires a reevaluation of the sales organization's day-to-day way of life. We already know how to coach, and there are tons of resources for budding sales managers looking to upgrade their coaching know-how. Implementing coaching is another story.
We don't just need coaching- we need coaching cultures.
Building a Culture of Coaching
Building a coaching culture is tough: if it wasn't, everyone would do it. And it is not a process that can be achieved all at once; there are three phases to its successful deployment:
1. Develop Coaching Plans
To begin building a coaching culture, you first need coaching plans. This means identifing skill gaps, individualizing coaching plans for each team member, and obtaining time commitments from your coaches.
2. Implement Skill Mastery
Once the framework for skill improvement is in place, it's time to facilitate those skills' growth. This means a regular routine of skill checks and feedback: a structured, regular process.
3. Reinforce a Culture of Coaching
This means making coaching a part of everything you do. Turn each setback into a learning experience. When things go well, examine what worked. Recruit people with a passion for coaching, articulate results, and recognize those who take their performance to the next level.