Coaching is crucial in order to get the most out of a sales team. I would argue that it’s the most important aspect of a sales manager’s job. However, sales is a demanding profession, managers are often stretched thin and can struggle to deliver effective sales coaching.
5 common sales challenges video can overcome (and how you can solve them)
“There’s not enough time in the day”
Sales managers often have to look after their own clients as well as their team. This puts great strain on the amount of time available for coaching and more often than not, the urgent takes priority over the important.
An organisation cannot be more effective than the people within it, so ensuring each team member receives regular coaching is imperative in developing and maintaining a strong sales force.
Ask your sales team to record their calls and meetings. You can then provide feedback and coaching at a time that works for you (on whole meetings or just short clips).
Get your team coaching each other using video. This will help you get around the training bottleneck that comes with a top down approach to sales coaching. Play on the competitive nature of sales people, encourage them to share examples of best practice.
“I can’t be everywhere all of the time”
The issue of not having enough time is further exacerbated when teams are spread out geographically or the manager is responsible for a field sales function.
Drive-alongs and shadowing have been a mainstay of field sales training and onboarding for years, but this method of training costs time, money and is hard to scale without draining further resources.
As with the above, asking your field sales guys to video record their client meetings and digitally share them with you means you can stay in the office and coach them remotely, rather than spend hours on the motorway.
“I’m not a natural coach”
Sales professionals can often be promoted to managers due to their sales proficiencies, rather than their ability to coach and mentor. This means they can lack the skills to effectively train others.
Unfortunately, a formal training approach to upskilling in coaching practices will more often than not prove ineffective. Like your team, you need to learn experientially too. Video provides an objective medium that both parties can learn from, providing opportunities for you to reflect during and after coaching takes place.
“Our training is generic and my people are disengaged”
To be effective, sales coaching needs to be contextualised and directly applied to sales techniques.
Rather than focusing on the end point of the sales quota or simply instructing staff, coaching should focus on the ‘how to’ of selling. Sales coaching techniques need to be adapted to each individual so that employees can learn how to sell instead of being told how to.
Video enables this more than any other approach as the emphasis is on real-life practice; behaviours that can be seen and heard by both coach and coachee. Examples of best practice can be shared with the rest of the team and specific examples for improvement can be easily identified and agreed upon for coaching and development.
“My new starters take too long to get up to speed”
All managers wish they could accelerate onboarding so that they and their senior team members can “get on with their jobs”.
The challenge is that people learn differently and at different speeds. Shadowing a top performer can be particularly damaging if the new starter has a completely different selling style. They will likely find it difficult to understand and implement the approach they are trying to learn, and may even feel that their own style is not suitable to the job role.
- Create video and call libraries of best of practice. This will allow your new starters to access sales examples from multiple team members and accelerate their onboarding.
- Record role-plays and practice presentations. This can also really speed up the learning process, as your starters can see and hear themselves in action, contextualising the feedback they are receiving or reflecting on their own performance.
Do you relate to these issues? Want to know more?