Marc Beardslee has always been an execution-focused sales leader who strongly believes in the need for continuous horizontal and vertical communication and collaboration to drive revenue growth. While it is important for the sales person to be able to work well with all internal colleagues throughout a sales cycle, timely and relevant coaching during each step of the process is the key to higher win rates.
The best sales coach should be able to guide the salesperson through each step of the sales process, from prospecting and researching to closing and following up. Sales coaching is not about telling, but it is about demonstrating the techniques needed for success in meeting corporate sales expectations.
Mr. Beardslee believes the best way to quickly get new hires on your sales team up and running for successful conversion rates includes giving positive feedback, building on each salesperson’s strengths, and cultivating a sales team that has a culture of continuous improvement and shares ideas and information.
There are many standard conversations a sales coach will have with each sales trainee. Marc Beardslee has witnessed many good sales managers that offer positive feedback when sales are good. But what about when a sales rep seems to be drowning and you, the sales coach, must help them improve their performance?
Instead of a boilerplate conversation that tells the sales rep what to do, consider showing them how to do it – in a positive and affirming manner. Constructive feedback drives actionable results. The key to these conversations is trust. The sales rep needs to know that the manager truly has the rep’s best interest at heart.
A sales manager must invest the time it takes to develop and nurture each sales team member with feedback that creates behavior change and gets results. To provide a sales rep with the right tools for long-term success, instead of telling them what they’re doing wrong, try showing them how to do things differently for greater impact.
Sales coaching within groups can only go so far. A sales manager must also have tailored some coaching sessions that are unique to individual salespersons. This means the coach must be observant enough to quickly identify each salesperson’s strengths and weaknesses. Some sales reps are stronger in the soft skills and can more quickly empathize with a customer’s pain points, while others are stronger in the hard skills and are confident negotiators and closers.
It is up to the manager/coach to help each sales person identify and fill the gaps in their competencies for even better performance. Mr. Beardslee knows that with this information about individual strengths and weaknesses, and knowing what drives each team member, you can motivate each sales person to achieve their personal and corporate goals.
At the very least, train your sales reps to have great listening skills and to place the customer’s needs before their own, because this is the key to improving client relationships and client retention. As a sales manager, look for unique skills in each of your sales representatives, which may include being quick to adapt to changing circumstances, a great negotiator, excellent presentation skills, a premiere sales closer, or a rep that is good at managing time.
In today’s marketing world, story-brand marketing is key to influencing B2C sales. The same can and does hold true for B2B sales. Most customers make buying decisions based more on emotions rather than on the objective information about a product. The use of story-telling helps your clients develop a greater emotional connection to your brand, and therefore leads to greater brand loyalty when making a purchasing decision.
Mr. Beardslee suggests you coach your sales team on how to paint a picture of how your product or service line will help your clients achieve their goals or solve their problems. Success stories from similar clients can be the key to securing the deal.
Often, clients can be convinced to buy when sales reps are engaging and authentic. The goal of story brand sales tactics is to elicit some emotion or relatability from the client while also solving the challenges they themselves face. Story-telling is an excellent way for your sales teams to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Sales and marketing teams are ripe with external and internal competition. But, Mr. Beardslee believes that iron sharpens iron, and he has seen where a team that shares ideas will benefit both corporate and personal sales goals. Good decisions on how to overcome particular objections or close deals with specific client groups often start with shared ideas.
A team that shares ideas will also be better at upselling and cross-selling, which also benefits marketing teams. While your existing clients are able to sustain your present growth, finding and obtaining new clients depends on collaboration and the sharing of ideas and information.
Internal communications between customer service, sales, and marketing are key to the success of any business that depends on satisfying customers or clients. Successful sales coaching is both individualized and group-orientated, so that team members can share what works and what doesn’t.
If your company is not investing in improving the coaching skills of your front line managers and taking the time to coach new sales reps on the best practices, then you may be missing out on the surest way to motivate your sales reps and increase revenue for your business.
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