How to create a sales coaching culture in the organization?

Abhishikha Chatterjee
January 4, 2022
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Last modified on

January 4, 2022
Table of Content:

Almost all our blogs have a constant sales tip for today’s salespeople and their sales managers–encourage and execute sales coaching. The importance and need of coaching sales team are documented and expressed on multiple occasions. 

You might assume that all you have to do is put in your sales coaching program, and the entire organization will participate, and results will start showing. 

Sounds very simple, right? But that’s not the case. 

On interviewing a few sales managers, we hear them spending nights trying to understand-

  • Why does my sales team not make time for coaching?
  • Why does my team make excuses before every session?
  • Why does my sales team never have any feedback for the coaching sessions?
  • Why is the coaching not helping sales performance?

We studied the problem carefully and noticed the core issue– the lack of sales coaching culture.

Most organizations haven’t built a culture for sales coaching, and they are not prepared to start sales coaching because the reps and employees aren’t even sold on the idea that coaching makes a difference in sales performance.

What will you learn today?

  • What are sales coaching culture, and why is sales coaching culture important?
  • What can senior management do to build a sales coaching culture in the organization?
  • What is the key to coaching a successful sales team?

What is sales coaching culture, and why is sales coaching culture important?

A study conducted by CSO Insights found that sales organizations with a coaching culture are 30 percent more likely to win; sadly, only 26 percent of organizations have a formal coaching program, according to The Business Journals

Evidently, coaching is not mandatory but shows exceptional results for those who make a choice. 

So without further ado, let’s start with understanding what’s coaching culture in an organization?

A sales coaching culture is a strategic and administered plan that encourages coaching, promotes its importance, and improves participation. 

The reason companies push for such cultural changes is because employees don’t want to show interest by themselves and need a little nudge time and again. And the importance of coaching is far more critical than employees realize.

Coaching doesn’t show results immediately but presents a compounding impact on sales performance. Without establishing a culture, it’s impossible to receive excitement and enthusiasm from the sales employees. 

In order to start sales coaching, there are a few mandatory steps the senior management must take to build the culture.

What can senior management do to build a sales culture in the organization?

1. Try to sell the problem you are trying to mitigate.

You’ll can testify to what Celine Gray has to say on our Sales Gambit Podcast- 

“ I think with all the sales enablement initiatives, it’s essential to sell the question, what are you trying to fix, improve or mitigate? If you can't answer that question, you won't really see any results or impact from the initiatives."- Celine Gray.

The first step is to sell the idea of why coaching will help and what will sales coaching solve for the sales team

2. Ask for feedback before creating a sales coaching plan

Creating a coaching plan is no biggie. Seasoned sales professionals can easily create a great program. But that’s precisely what we don’t want you to do. 

Just like a democratic country summons its citizens for suggestions and reforms, be a democratic company and ask your sales team what they wish to learn with the sales coaching program. 

Sales teams’ feedback reassures them that they are being heard and understood.

3. Create a thorough plan and share it with the team.

Once you get the sales coaching plan ready, what do you do?

Do you implement it? No, you don’t.

You share the plan with your sales team, get it reviewed, and wait for the feedback.

Once you assess and add the relevant feedbacks, you can go live with the plan.

4. Stress on personalized and individualized coaching

Coaching your team is something that most salespeople expect. But one area that most sales managers overlook is the importance of individual attention.

Your sale plans must stress individual attention and personalized coaching practices. 

Leading companies invest in individualized sessions to ensure personalized coaching and no laxity. In one-on-one coaching, the focus is on improving sales coaching quality, and sellers are more receptive and responsive.

5. Train internal coaches and invite external coaches 

There can be two assuring points about the coach-

  1. Your sales teams should learn that the sales coach is also receiving training from time to time.
  2. The coach is an outsider with experience and knowledge outside the company’s scope. 

Employees wish to get quality, which only comes when the trainer or coach is knowledgeable and well-versed with the latest sales techniques and best practices.

6. Use sales data and insights to understand the importance

Don’t try to fool your employees by giving false promises.

If you want to communicate the importance, don’t say- 

“Organizations with sales enablement achieve very high win rates.”

Instead say-

“Organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for those without.”

Sales insights backed by data will sell faster than sell outcomes without data.

7. Give evidence of success from competitors and peers reference

Who doesn’t like a social proof? 

Who doesn’t like a testimonial and review?

Considering human psychology, sales teams want to see the proof of sales coaching before taking the plunge themselves. 

Try to dig into a few good examples from peers and competitor companies.

8. Gamify sales coaching sessions

If you give plain presentations and documents to read, no one will show interest in sales coaching. Get creative and see how one can gamify the sales process, concepts, and techniques.

You are explaining the same concepts but a bit differently.

9. Stress on the use of Technology

Another psychological game to play is the use of technology. 

Sales teams see technology as an investment and tend to understand the seriousness. Take, for example, Convin’s conversation intelligence, Slack’s collaboration platform, Pipedrive’s CRM tool, etc.

Would you like to learn more about Pipedrive and Convin’s integration benefits?- Read Now!

The more processes are handled on technology, the more automation takes manual work. 

Technology can attract more sales reps and team members towards sales coaching than any other wand.

10. Seek support from the top

Universally accepted- any reform that comes in a country or organization is initiated and pressed by a powerful influencer with authority.

The same is the case with establishing a sales coaching atmosphere.

Unless the top management doesn’t press on sales coaching, employees will treat coaching leniently and look at it as an option. 

What are the key aspects of coaching a successful sales team?

Sales coaching culture doesn’t happen automatically, and a few pre-requisite activities help make coaching successful for the sales team.

  1. Create a sales enablement team
  2. Invest in call recording software
  3. Create a sales playbook
  4. Invest in sales analytics
  5. Start sales training for coaches
  6. Check market trends and updates
  7. Take continuous feedback from the marketing and customer success team.

Sales Tip of the Day:

Remember, you can’t achieve sales coaching culture overnight, and you must keep working towards it with patience and perseverance. A few mistakes now can make a huge difference in future sales performance.

Are you ready to begin a sales coaching culture in your organization?

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