The 6 Types of Coaching Your Team Needs to Succeed
Effective sales coaching helps sales teams improve revenue, develop professionally, and achieve desired outcomes. In fact, coaching is widely regarded as the most impactful thing a sales manager can do to help their reps succeed.
According to Forbes Insights:
- 74% of organisations rate coaching as a manager's top priority.
- More than two-thirds of reps who don't receive coaching crave it.
- Reps who receive coaching are 33% more likely to hit quota.
- Quality coaching increases revenue by an average of 7%.
However, while sales coaching is essential, it can be challenging, especially for sales leaders juggling multiple priorities. Whether you're providing personal coaching to help your reps achieve a better work-life balance or hard skills coaching to reinforce the technical skills they've learned in training, the key is to be supportive, empathetic, and focused on helping your sales reps achieve their goals.
In this article, we’ll explain six types of coaching that will help your reps get where they want to be.
1. Professional Coaching
Professional coaching focuses on an individual's career growth and development. It's a process that helps sales reps identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to achieve their professional goals. The goal of professional coaching is to help individuals perform better in their current position or to prepare them for a new role.
Work with your sales reps to identify areas where they need coaching, such as:
- Sales techniques
- Communication skills
- Time management
You can also help them set career goals and create a plan to achieve them. For example, if one of your reps wants to move from an SDR role to an AE role, you can work with them to identify the skills they need to develop and the steps they must take to get there.
Professional coaching also helps sales reps stay motivated and engaged. Investing in their professional development shows them that you care about their career growth and are willing to support them in achieving their goals.
Identify areas where each sales rep needs coaching, such as sales techniques, communication skills, and time management.
Work with sales reps to set career goals and create a plan to achieve them, such as moving from an SDR role to an AE role.
2. Personal Coaching
Personal coaching is all about improving your personal life and relationships. It's a process that helps individuals identify areas where they want to improve and develop a plan to achieve their personal goals. Personal coaching can be especially beneficial for sales reps struggling to balance work and personal life.
Personal coaching helps sales reps reduce stress, improve their well-being, and improve their work-life balance. When you invest in their personal development in this way, you show them that you care about their overall well-being, which helps boost their motivation and engagement at work.
Identify areas where each sales rep needs personal coaching, such as:
- Time management
- Stress management
- Work-life balance
Work with your sales reps to create a plan to achieve their personal goals, like taking a holiday or spending more time with their family.
3. Goal-Setting Coaching
Goal-setting coaching helps sales reps pinpoint areas where they want to improve and set plans to get there. This type of coaching is beneficial for sales reps who want to achieve specific targets, such as hitting a sales quota or increasing their pipeline.
Help your sales reps set SMART goals:
Work with them to create a plan to achieve those goals. For example, if one of your reps wants to increase their pipeline by 20%, help them identify the actions they need to take to achieve that target, such as reaching out to a specific number of prospects each week.
Goal-setting coaching can help sales reps stay focused and motivated, as they have a clear target to work towards. It can also help them develop the skills and strategies they need to achieve their goals, including time management, prioritisation and relationship-building.
A sales team was struggling to achieve its sales targets despite having a talented group of sales reps. So, the sales manager decided to implement goal-setting coaching to turn results around.
The team identified specific monthly targets, including hitting a certain number of sales and increasing their pipeline by a specific percentage. Working with the team, the manager created a plan to achieve those targets, including identifying new lead sources and improving their closing techniques.
By implementing goal-setting coaching, the sales team was able to stay focused and motivated. What’s more, they exceeded their sales targets for the quarter.
Help sales reps set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
Work with sales reps to create a plan to achieve those goals, such as identifying new lead sources or improving their closing techniques.
4. Soft Skills Coaching
Soft skills coaching is all about developing the non-technical skills that are essential for success in sales, such as:
Soft skills are often overlooked, but they're critical for building strong relationships with prospects and customers.
As a sales manager, you can help your sales reps develop their soft skills by providing regular feedback and coaching. For instance, you can listen to their sales calls and give feedback on their communication skills, such as their tone of voice and ability to listen actively. You could also work with them to develop their leadership skills, like their ability to coach and mentor other team members.
Soft skills coaching helps sales reps become more effective communicators, better leaders, and creative problem-solvers. By investing in their soft skills development, you help them build a solid foundation for success in sales.
A sales rep was struggling to build rapport with prospects during sales calls. So their sales manager decided to implement soft skills coaching to help the rep improve their communication skills.
The sales manager listened to the rep's sales calls and provided feedback on their tone of voice, active listening skills, call opening and ability to build rapport. The sales manager also worked with the rep to develop their communication skills, including providing scripts and role-playing exercises.
By implementing soft skills coaching, the sales rep was able to improve their communication skills and build stronger relationships with prospects, leading to an upturn in sales.
Listen to sales reps' sales calls and provide feedback on their communication skills, such as their tone of voice and their ability to listen actively.
Work with sales reps to develop their leadership skills, such as their ability to coach and mentor other team members.
5. Hard Skills Coaching
Hard skills coaching is about reinforcing the technical skills that sales reps have learned in their training. This type of coaching can be particularly beneficial for new hires or reps struggling to master a specific skill.
Start hard skills coaching by observing your sales reps' performance and providing feedback. For example, if one of your reps is struggling with pain building, listen to their sales calls and give feedback on how they can ask more effective pain-related questions. You could also provide additional training or resources to help them develop their skills.
Hard skills coaching can help sales reps become more confident and effective in their role. By giving them the support and resources they need to succeed, you help them achieve their goals and contribute to the overall success of your sales team.
Observe sales reps' performance and provide feedback on how they can improve their technical skills, such as asking more effective pain-related questions.
Provide additional training or resources to help sales reps develop their skills.
6. Call Recordings Coaching
Call recordings coaching involves bringing actual customer-facing calls to coaching session and discussing what went well and where the coachee could improve. This type of coaching can be particularly useful for reps struggling with specific calls or wanting to improve their performance.
As a sales leader, use call recordings coaching to help your sales reps identify areas where they can improve their performance. You can also use call recordings coaching to give feedback on specific areas of their performance, such as their communication skills or ability to close deals.
Call recordings coaching can help sales reps become more effective communicators, better problem-solvers, and more confident in their abilities. In addition, by providing them with specific feedback and coaching, you help them achieve their goals and become more successful in their role.
Bring actual customer-facing calls to a coaching session and discuss what went well and where the coachee could improve.
Provide specific feedback on areas of the coachee's performance, such as their communication skills or ability to close deals.
Start your coaching journey
Effective sales coaching is essential for sales managers who want to help their reps fulfil their true potential.
Whether you're providing professional coaching, personal coaching, or hard skills coaching, the key is to be supportive, empathetic, and focused on helping your sales reps succeed. To be an effective sales coach, you need to be a good listener, provide specific feedback, and be willing to invest the time and resources needed to help your sales reps succeed.
Coaching can be time-consuming, but it's worth the investment if you want to build a high-performing sales team. By providing your sales reps with the support and resources they need to succeed, you're helping them achieve their goals and contribute to the overall success of your sales team.