How to Create a Sales Coaching Plan for Continuous Learning

Sales coaching is critical to success and development, but HOW you create continual learning is just as important as what you teach.

David

CMO - August 21, 2017

In previous blogs, we looked at a few key steps in the sales coaching process:

The final step in ensuring a good coaching process is to ensure that learning and development never stop. In fact, creating a learning-centered culture may be the best way to attract and retain top talent.

High performers thrive on self development

High performers are driven by a constant thirst for knowledge and self-development. Their goal is to be as efficient as possible at their job and to also have the ability to pass knowledge and skills on to others. **So, if you want to build a high-performing team, you’re going to need to create a **culture of continuous learning.

Just as with sports, arts, or any other discipline, high-performers are the ones who constantly seek growth, development and knowledge. So, if you want to keep your A-players around, you’re going to need to nourish their need for growth.

Sales is a very unique field because although it is essentially the “backbone” of business, few educational institutions actually provide a sales-based education plan. This is primarily due to the fact that the sales profession is so different and so varied even within the same industry or organization that the only real solution to learning is hands-on experience and coaching.

Try to create a structure that allows all levels of experience to teach and learn from each other. Old dogs really can learn new tricks, and they definitely have plenty to pass along to the new talent. Likewise, allowing your youngest members to step up and share knowledge will give them a sense of pride and ownership that will keep them around for years.

Coaching is everyone’s responsibility

It’s not just the sales reps that need continuous sales training and coaching, but the management and executive leadership also. The best way to accomplish effective sales training is by combining real-time sales data with visualization tools, in order to show progress, discuss performance and create customized KPIs for improvement.

Salespeople at all levels should not view coaching as an extra task in addition to their role, but rather as a critical component of their weekly schedule. Coaching sessions should be short and frequent, rather than dreadful long-winded meetings.

By allowing everyone to contribute and by creating an open feedback loop, the coaching sessions become much more about holistic learning than simply about the “check in the box” of sales coaching. Likewise, the ROI will make itself evident as all members become more proficient in their roles, technologies and opportunities, without making things stale.

To start off, try with simple two-minute feedback sessions before and after after a phone call. Talk about what went right, what went wrong and what can be improved. Keep it frequent and simple, allowing room for growth. Then, switch roles and do it again.

Create a coaching toolkit

Of course, in order to make continuous learning simple and effective, it helps to have a sales coaching toolkit to keep you on track. These toolkits will vary within each industry and organization, but will generally include templates, questions, objections/responses, and some way of tracking improvements.

Ideally, tracking sales results in real-time creates the best results because all of the data is in one place, easily understandable and can be reviewed for performance trends over time. In addition, some sales enablement software systems will allow you to celebrate achievements, benchmark progress, unlock rewards, create leaderboards and much more.

Clearly, we’re biased on this, but we think it’s definitely worth checking out SalesScreen to see how sales motivation software can help your team drive incredible results in performance by combining data visualization and performance tracking with gamification.

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