When it comes to solving the trickier issues of figuring out what to do to support sales managers and salespeople, innovative companies often turn to qualified sales coaches for help.
Suppose you’re in charge of sales for your organization, and your revenue goals are up 20 percent over last year. You’ve already done everything possible to hire the most experienced and qualified sales team, but:
- Your new hire, who came with experience and good references, is just not giving you the results you expected.
- Your star, on board now for five years, is suddenly feeling burned out and overwhelmed by changes in the company.
Or say you’re brand new to this organization yourself, and you have a lot to learn — like the intricacies of the product or service you’re selling, the profile of the customer you’re trying to reach, and the culture of the company you’ve just entered.
You’re overwhelmed. Your plate is full. Your confidence goes up and down daily, and you just wish you had someone who has “been there and done that” to talk things over with.
The Sales Coaching Solution
Successful sales professionals are extraordinary beings. They have strong egos, great tenacity, and resiliency of the highest order. But they are human too, and on some days negative self-talk can do them in. A sales coach can be the answer.
A highly qualified sales coach has proven experience in sales and sales management and has received specialized training.
Sales coaches are trained to help ordinary salespeople be the best they can be, even on the toughest of days. They offer methods and techniques as varied as the people that they help succeed.
For example, when Richard Miller took on his new role as vice president of sales for a startup technology firm, he entered an environment that was exciting and stimulating, but a bit chaotic too.
Systems were not yet in place, and key management roles were still being filled. In fact, it was hard to get a handle on what exactly was going on. He had a new boss to adjust to, and he couldn’t seem to figure out exactly how well he was doing. Although he knew it would take some time to develop a pipeline and close some sales, his confidence was taking a beating.
To cope, Richard hired a sales coach to partner with him as he figured it all out. The coach offered a new perspective as she listened to what was going on. She helped Richard to separate fact from fear, and provided a sounding board for issues that were coming up each and every day.
A Coach Approach to Selling
An experienced sales coach can help sales personnel become more confident at figuring things out, even when they don’t have all the facts.
Coaches are trained in an evolutionary form of communication. They help their professional sales clients listen really well, tune into what the prospect is saying — and not saying — and confront difficult situations with candor and caring.
In the words of those who have worked with a sales coach, here are a few of the things coaches have to offer:
My coach helped me create a success-based mindset.
I now realize that I can “get in my own way” with my thoughts or my words or my actions.
Sometimes I just need a kick start! My coach gives me that.
On some days, I don’t even want to pick up the phone. My coach helps me create “artificial environments” to support me on those days.
I appreciate the support of someone who understands what I’m up against every day.
I like having someone to talk to about difficult deals.
I am comfortable that my sales coach is outside my company but tuned in to my goals and objectives.
I like having someone who can help me to get more organized.
Take the Sales Quiz
On a scale of 1 to 4, rate the following items to measure your sales needs.
1 = Not important, 2 = Slightly important, 3 = Important, 4 = Very Important
1. Strengthen my own sales skills ____
2. Increase my morale ____
3. Improve my sales process ____
4. Improve my ability to close ____
5. Get better at handling objections ____
6. Find qualified prospects ____
7. Motivate underachieving salespeople ____
8. Upgrade my sales team ____
9. Bring back the fun and passion ____
This gives you a guide to the areas you need to strengthen.
Flo Schell, EdM, is former vice president of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. and founder of Franchise Coaching Systems. She has also written a book, Stop Selling…Start Clicking!, that explains her successful sales process. To learn more about the services offered by Franchise Coaching Systems, visit FloSchell.com.