Building a strong and effective sales team requires more than hitting targets in today's fast-paced business environment. Creating a coaching culture in your sales team leads to:
Reduced staff turnover.
Increased sales and revenue.
In this blog post, we'll share practical tips to build a coaching culture in your sales team, from leading by example and making coaching a habit to hiring for coachability.
Whether you're a sales manager looking to improve your team's performance or an individual salesperson looking to improve your skills, the strategies we'll discuss can help you achieve your goals and reach new levels of success.
Leading by example
According to a study by Keenan Sales Coaching:
Reps who receive coaching are 33% more likely to hit quota
Quality coaching can increase revenue by an average of 7%
These statistics demonstrate the significant impact coaching can have on your team's success. But how do you go about building a coaching culture that your team will embrace?
It starts with creating an environment where everyone sees its value and is willing to participate in coaching. This involves a shift in mindset that recognises coaching as a critical component of ongoing learning and development rather than a remedial action taken only when performance issues exist.
To create this culture, you must lead by example. As the sales manager, you must be willing to be coached and to coach others in a transparent and supportive way. When you set the tone and demonstrate the value of coaching, you encourage your team to participate and learn from each other.
Make coaching a habit
One key to building a coaching culture is to make coaching a habit. This means setting aside time each week for coaching sessions and making them a standard part of your team's routine. Integrating coaching into your team's workflow creates a sense of accountability and emphasises the importance of ongoing learning and development. This, in turn, leads to a significant increase in productivity and revenue, so your team finally hits its targets.
As the sales manager, you have a unique opportunity to show your team how coaching can be a positive and constructive experience that leads to performance improvements.
One way to do this is to bring a recording of a recent sales or customer-facing call to your team meeting that didn't go as well as you would have liked. Tell your team that you would like to open it up for discussion and coaching. Let your team dissect the call and provide constructive feedback. This may initially feel uncomfortable, but it can be a valuable learning experience for everyone involved.
When you show that you’re willing to be coached and accept constructive feedback, you set the tone for your team to do the same. Encourage open and honest communication. Make it clear that everyone is there to learn and grow, not to be judged or criticised.
As your team becomes more comfortable with coaching, gradually expand the scope to include other team members. Encourage them to bring their calls or challenges to the team meeting for discussion and feedback. Over time, this can create a culture of continuous learning and improvement that benefits everyone on the team.
Remember to choose team members who are passionate about development and open to feedback when asking them to bring their calls to the meeting. By selecting individuals who are already invested in their own growth, you increase the likelihood of a positive and productive coaching session that benefits the entire team.
Regular coaching schedule
To make coaching a standard part of your team's routine, create a regular schedule that everyone can follow.
Set aside weekly time for coaching sessions focusing on specific goals and objectives. To ensure you use this time to its full potential, create a weekly coaching schedule that aligns with your team's workflow. For example, in your Monday team meeting, start by talking to your reps about their goals, aspirations, and objectives for the week. Next, discuss potential blockers that stand in the way of achieving these objectives, and ask the rest of the team for advice on how to overcome them.
Opening up the discussion to the entire team encourages collaboration and problem-solving that can lead to new insights and strategies. It helps create a sense of ownership and accountability among team members, as everyone works together to achieve shared goals.
At the end of the week, get together with your team again to review the blockers you identified earlier. Discuss whether they were successfully overcome or whether they remain a problem. You could even roleplay the situation with other team members to bring it to life and explore new solutions.
By making coaching a regular part of your team's working week, you create a culture of continuous learning and improvement that can significantly impact your team's success. This helps improve individual performance and fosters a sense of collaboration and support among team members, leading to a happier and more productive workplace.
Hiring for coachability
Hiring the right people is vital when building and sustaining a coaching culture. Candidates who are coachable and open to feedback are more likely to thrive in a culture that prioritises continuous learning and improvement.
However, evaluating a candidate's coachability during the hiring process can be difficult. While candidates may say they're coachable, it's important to drill down and ask specific questions to assess their willingness to learn and grow.
One question you could ask is, "What do you do in your personal time to develop yourself?" This can help you understand how committed the candidate is to self-improvement and whether they actively seek out new learning opportunities.
Another question you could ask is, "What would you do in your first month on the job if I was on holiday and not around to show you what to do?" The correct answer to this question is to watch the top performers on the team, study their conversations and learn their language. Again, this demonstrates a willingness to learn from others and a proactive approach to self-improvement.
Consider asking the candidate to roleplay a cold call during the interview. This can help you to evaluate their ability to think on their feet and their openness to coaching and feedback. Coaching them on the spot gives you valuable insight into their coachability and potential to thrive in a coaching culture.
Overall, hiring for coachability is crucial to building and sustaining a coaching culture. By asking the right questions and evaluating candidates based on their openness to learning and growth, you help ensure that your team is filled with individuals committed to continuous improvement and success.
Ready to get started?
Building a coaching culture within your sales team requires a long-term investment in your team's development, but the results are well worth the effort.
By leading from the front, making coaching a habit, and hiring for coachability, you can create an environment that encourages continuous learning and improvement. This leads to better individual performance and fosters a sense of collaboration and support among team members, resulting in a happier and more productive workplace.
Whether you're a sales manager looking to improve your team's performance or an individual salesperson looking to improve your skills, the strategies we've explored in this blog post can help you achieve your goals and reach new levels of success.
With the right mindset, approach, and commitment, you can build a coaching culture that transforms your sales team and helps you consistently hit your targets.
Subscribe To Our Blog
January Scholarship Successful Applicants
There are fat stacks in the middle packs - Coaching your middle performers