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CHAPTER 1:
THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SALES COACHING

Sales coaching is one of the most important and highest payoff activities that your sales managers can do, especially if they know when and how to coach effectively. There have been a number of studies that quantify the positive impact of sales coaching. Sales coaching improves win rates on forecasted deals, productivity impact of sales training and retention of sales staff, regardless of whether they are high, average or low performers. 

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According to research by CSO Insights, companies with a formal coaching process report 18% higher win rates than those with discretionary or informal coaching processes.

 

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According to research reported by the Corporate Executive Board, coaching is key to maximizing the value of sales training efforts. Sales people who received regular coaching from sales managers achieved a productivity impact four times greater than sales people who

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went through a coaching course with no follow-up. Sales coaching has also significantly improved staff retention and application of new sales training concepts. Without reinforcement the average sales rep who takes a course will lose 87% of what they learned within a month.

 

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Another study by the Corporate Executive Board showed that sales people who receive highly effective coaching from their sales managers were far more likely to stay with their company. 

 

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This likelihood was consistent across all levels of rep performance, from low to average to high. This is extremely important because replacing an average sales person can cost between two and three times their base salary. The cost of replacing a high performing sales person can also be between eight and ten times their base salary. For these reasons alone an investment in developing a sales coaching process and coaching skills pays for itself many times over. 

 

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Despite the importance of coaching, few sales mangers provide sufficient coaching to their sales people. In fact, the average sales manager spends less than one hour per week on specific opportunity coaching and coaching to help sales people develop skills and knowledge.

 

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Research shows that managers who give their team more than three hours of coaching per month exceed their goals by 7%. Coaching less than three hours per month leads to considerably weaker performance.

 

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The business case for coaching is overwhelming. In the following pages we’ll provide guidance to help you develop a sales coaching strategy and mindset for your company, some resources and introductions to specialist firms that can help you transform your managers into better coaches. 

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You have written an excellent piece. I do not say that lightly

VP of SALES, $3 Billion Revenue Co.

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