Leveraging Sales Coaching to Motivate Your Sales Team
If you’re new to the role of sales manager, you might not realize the power of providing coaching and skill development to your sales team. Many times, if an employee is repeatedly not meeting their quota, it’s tempting to just move on and find a replacement. However, short-term solutions don’t solve long-term problems. After all, one goal of any sales manager is creating a high-performing sales team with low turnover. In this article, we outline six tips to motivate your sales team and increase performance, today and in the future.
Adopt a leadership style that suits your personality. Today, one-size-fits-all management methods no longer apply to increasingly diverse and global workplaces. Sales leaders should consider their management styles and adapt accordingly. Try asking yourself these questions:
- Am I more introverted or extroverted?
- Do I like detailed, methodical people around me, or do I prefer those who are more spontaneous?
Of course, successful sales teams are made up of different personalities. There is no one personality better geared toward sales. However, there’s much to be said for understanding personality types when engaging your sales team. If you are extroverted, spontaneous, and detail-oriented, you may be a natural leader. Salespeople report higher satisfaction when they work for managers with styles like their own. If your dominant traits are introverted and structured, chances are these types of sellers could most benefit from your leadership style.
Understanding each member of your sales team can identify how to motivate them based on their personalities and preferences. In addition to considering what makes different employees tick, managers must keep an eye on how group dynamics affect overall team performance.
It is important for leaders at all levels to recognize what motivates their employees. This comes from exploring needs with them so both parties understand how to coexist. New insights into motivation can reduce friction between team members, create deeper connections, and increase the team’s productivity.
Find Real-Deal Coaching Examples
Managers should train on opportunities that are still open and fresh. If they start closing more deals after training, you are doing something right. But what about all those lost opportunities? Real-deal coaching can achieve the following:
- Train your team to increase conversions and closing rates
- Gauge their skills in interacting and engaging with prospects via phone, email, and video
- Provide practical tips and tricks in real time
- Reinforce your company’s selling process
- Motivate them to close more deals
Consider having sales reps train on previous prospects or open leads that are likely still warm and ready for an opportunity at purchase.
For instance, let’s say a salesperson closes half of their sales during their first call. When training on callbacks, consider focusing on leads from the previous week that resulted in voicemails. Sticking to one type of call will motivate them to refine their approach without the additional pressure of making outbound follow-up calls. Sometimes, sales reps forget they can practice different voicemails geared to the specific call. Improving the call-back rate can have a dramatic impact on sales results each month. Plus, nothing motivates sellers more than call backs from prospects.
Group Coaching Sessions
Schedule group coaching sessions. For example, you can schedule a webinar for new employees about company processes or goals for the upcoming year. Events like this can achieve the following:
- Provide your team an opportunity to interact
- Get your team talking about important issues
- Encourage team member feedback and stories
- Introduce mentors and confidantes
- Instill confidence
We’ve found that employees who regularly collaborate are more likely to learn and retain new skills than those who don’t. You might even set aside time before or after coaching sessions for employees to informally talk. Encouraging this interaction inspires collaboration, loyalty, and efficiency within the department.
Mentoring should be a part of your sales coaching strategy. When managing a sales team, it’s important to create a culture and environment where team members can grow and improve. This is where the real skill of a sales manager comes into play. For mentoring, consider these tips:
- Tailor your mentoring activities to your rep’s personality
- Self-motivators need less day-to-day guidance
- Shy or more reserved reps may respond better to frequent encouragement
- Get beyond the impersonal numbers of assessment
- Focus on goals and behaviors to build confidence
Just as there is no one personality type best suited to sales, there is no all-encompassing mentoring style for your sales team. Effective managers need to gear their mentoring styles and initiatives to suit their team members.
In a recent study, 80 percent of sales reps said they’d be more motivated if they got regular feedback from their managers. Yet, only seven percent of managers provide that much-needed feedback to their team. This can make it hard for reps to stay motivated and committed. Performance suffers in silence. One easy way to combat this is for sales managers to provide regular, actionable feedback. For this, consider these tips:
- Rather than casual suggestions, write out a specific plan for reps to follow
- Make notes of comments and suggestions for assessment
- Instead of just making more calls, address how reps can increase a prospect’s engagement
- Discuss ways to better connect during an initial call, such as incorporating a smile into your voice
Better engagement leads to longer calls and improved discovery. Even more, a little success in these areas can be the most motivating factor for reps to continually grow and develop.
Another way to motivate a sales team is by providing them with sales training. Regardless if you attempt to offer internal sales training through an outside provider like Janek Performance Group, sales training can provide a broad range of benefits, such as:
- It brings uniformity to your sales and work processes
- It helps your sales staff learn and acquire new skills in a consistent, systematic way
- It boosts morale and productivity
- It allows you to course correct systemic problems within your sales organization
Of course, a successful sales career is based on many factors. These include the sales rep’s personality, interest, experience, and expertise. While some of these are innate traits, some are skills and behaviors, and some come from doing the job, effective managers can increase a sales rep’s drive and motivation. We know, it can be easy to get caught up in the complex metrics of performance assessment. However, a manger’s greatest reward can come from how well they reach, coach, and motivate their teams to perform at their highest levels.
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