Here at Consalia, we have just launched our Coaching for Sales Transformation programme, a 12-month coaching programme designed for sales leaders, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management.
But what is Coaching for Sales Transformation?
If you have found yourself reading this blog, you will have already had a definition in your head of what coaching is. The simple answer is that Coaching for Sales Transformation has many similarities to normal coaching.
Coaching for Sales Transformation starts with the basics of coaching, and doing a really great job of it. For example, take the world of sports. We see many sports coaches in the world, from football coaches to tennis coaches. Elite athletes such as Usain Bolt employ coaching teams to continually analyse and improve his performance.
The type of coaching approach that his team uses is called ‘Deliberate Practice’. It is the art of exploring key ideas such as:
- ‘How can Usain Bolt become a hundredth of a second faster over the 100-metre distance?’
- ‘What does he need to do slightly differently that is going to make that tiny extra gain?’
- ‘Where do those gains come from?’
Deliberate Practice focuses on one or two things that can make a big difference to that individual’s performance. A great coach will focus on these key areas first and ensure that they get this right before moving onto a new area of focus. Inexperienced coaches will try to change many things at the same time. This is simply not world-class coaching in any field.
So why should sales leaders invest in coaching?
Some of us will have encountered coaches in the world of business. In the context of Coaching for Sales Transformation, however, you have to understand how the world of sales works and apply that in a way where you help a sales professional to dramatically improve how they sell.
It is a combination of brilliant coaching and having considered the key insights from sales so that the individual is able to sell more and develop professionally at the same time. We are fortunate enough that the Consalia Sales Business school regularly keeps up to date with the latest research practices from its many Undergraduate and Masters students and can therefore understand this area in a considerable amount of detail and apply cutting edge practices as they emerge.
But why should you consider Coaching for Sales Transformation this year?
Here are the top 3 reasons why the topic of coaching should be at the front of every sales leaders’ mind in 2021:
- Results – In our experience with students from the Sales Business School, we have seen direct quota performance improvement results improve by at least 20%. This has been an outcome that has come as a result of coaching.
- Helping your team to change - research from Gartner has found that employees who report to effective manager coaches are 40% more engaged and display 38% more discretionary effort; this being an employees’ willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. The overhead on a leader or a manager dramatically reduces and therefore you will have more time to do productive things versus persuading your team to make some changes.
- Forecasting accuracy – If you’re looking to improve the accuracy in how you forecast, you may want to look into a coaching programme. Most sales leaders either succeed or get beaten up depending on their accuracy to forecast, and in our experience with students, we have seen improvements no less than 30% in forecasting activities.
The world of sales is a profession that has operated in a particular way for a very long time. Many people who have risen to senior levels in sales have operated under a very much top-down KPI driven, “tell” mentality - and it's worked very successfully. You can't doubt the results that many people achieved.
However, the world has shifted for two dramatic reasons:
- The people coming into the workforce e.g. The Gen-Z’s etc, generally do not like working in this way. This type of approach can often deter them from even wanting to stay at your company if you treat them in this way.
- The environment. The new remote-working environment that we work in now as a result of Covid means that you need to care more for your people as well as achieve results. Otherwise, you could expect the same outcome as the above.
In order to achieve results in a modern culture, you must change how you run sales. You can try to resist it and it will stay stuck for a long time in many companies but to really do a great job of attracting and retaining the high performers, of supporting all the sales team to achieve great productivity, you have got to offer something else – and that is coaching.
From our experience, many sales managers do not know that Coaching for Sales Transformation even exists. One reason could be that they have never seen it in action. They have never seen coaching as we have described it here from their leader and therefore have never used it themselves. They would not know what “good” looks like and as a result, they stick with what they know – the status quo.
Ask yourself: Is the status quo enough for you to adapt to this new world that we’ve shifted in to?
The answer to this question will determine how you approach the rest of the year with your sales team.
If you’d like to learn more about what the Coaching for Sales Transformation programme entails, you can visit the programme page here.
Alternatively, get in touch with us to learn more.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash