A Plan to Sales Coaching

Veronika Traublinger
December 17, 2021

Learn how to provide your reps with effective coaching to build trustworthy relationships and ensure everyone achieves their goals.

Why 1on1 sales coaching is important

Sales coaching is designed to help every rep hit their quota and ensure the company reaches its revenue and growth goals.

In a 1on1 coaching session, sales managers address concerns, performance, and potential areas of improvement of the rep and provide them with training and mentoring to improve their skills and performance.

The main difference between sales training and coaching is that coaching is an individualized approach with one-on-one meetings at its core. Coaching sessions are adapted to every rep's unique strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

By providing individual coaching, managers can build trustworthy relationships with their reps, ensure everyone gets the coaching they need and guide everyone on their way to quota.

Guidelines for your 1:1 sessions with your reps

Here are some general tips and tricks for your one-on-ones with your team.

1. Coach based on real data.

Activity and performance data is the most essential asset for your coaching sessions. They give you insights on where your reps struggle or need to improve, so you can determine where they need the most help.

So, make sure to use real data to plan your coaching sessions.

2. Pick a specific deal for each coaching session.

A significant benefit of individual coaching sessions compared to sales training is that you can use real deals for your coaching. This is also called deal coaching.

Ideally, you ask your rep at the beginning of every session if they have a specific account they’re cucrently struggling with and would like to get some advice.

Here you find a detailed introduction to deal coaching

3. Celebrate wins (even if they are small).

Sales coaching is not just about pointing out weaknesses. It is also about encouraging and motivating your reps, so they continue to try their best.

So, look at your reps’ activities before your one-on-one and look for new deals or great emails and calls you can commend on.

4. Put your coaching in line with your reps' career goals.

Not every salesperson has the same career goal. Some would like to become a manager, others like to be a frontline seller and continuously improve their skills.

If they see a benefit in your coaching for their long-term goals, they will be much more involved and motivated to implement your advice into their day-to-day work.

Template for your 1on1 sales coaching sessions

A goal without a plan is simply a wish. So, if you wish your team would perform better, it’s time to set a clear plan to help them improve and close more deals.

That’s why we’ve created a free template for your weekly 1on1 coaching sessions. This 5 step agenda will help you uncover deals they currently struggle with and why, skills they need to improve, and their future goals to provide them with the support they need.

Weekly 1on1 Sales Coaching Plan

Download the sales coaching template

How to make your sales coaching scalable

As a sales manager, you have a lot on your plate. You have to coach and guide your team, report to your VP or Head of, set and track KPIs, optimize the sales process, hire new talents…. And the bigger your sales team gets, the harder it becomes to offer effective sales coaching to the whole team. 

That’s why it is important to look for methods to make your sales coaching efforts scalable. Here are three best practices for highly scalable sales coaching:

1. Enable peer-to-peer coaching.

A great way to relieve your schedule is to enable peer-to-peer coaching. This will help your reps learn more from each other.

You could pair junior reps with more experienced sellers in your team, share call recordings, or ask team members that do exceptionally well in one area to share some best practices with the others. 

2. Leverage sales coaching technology.

The sales tech landscape is immense, and in there, you find many tools that can have a positive impact on your coaching methods:

  • You can ask your reps to record their sales meetings so you can review interesting calls whenever it suits your schedule, and you don’t have to block time for call shadowing. 
  • You can use sales enablement and training platforms to provide your reps with small weekly training videos for continuous development, even if you don’t have time for individual coaching sessions.
  • You can implement a real-time coaching tool to provide your reps with little nudges live in their customer interactions and coach them in the moment.

3. Host group coaching sessions.

You can also host group coaching sessions to free up some time in your calendar. 

Has your team recently won or lost a big deal? Use this deal as a case study and discuss with the entire group what went well and what didn’t.

Do you have several reps with the same area of improvement? Tackle this in a group session instead of many one-on-ones.

How to measure the impact of your sales coaching

Coaching is very time consuming, that’s why you should make sure that it has the desired effect.

To track the impact of your coaching, here are some metrics you can use:

Quota attainment

The best way to see if the selling skills of your reps improves is to track the quota attainment.

Do your reps achieve their quota regularly? If not, the quota might even not be realistic or you don’t provide them with the guidance they need.

Ramp-up time

A good training and coaching program will also be reflected in the ramp time of your new reps. If you manage to bring your coaching message across easily, reps can faster adapt it, and will bring value to your company more quickly.

Here are some more tips for improving your onboarding process.

Rep satisfaction

LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report revealed that 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. So, by providing good coaching and skill and career development opportunities, you will see less turnover in your sales organization.

Customer satisfaction

According to a study, in a B2B setting, a salesperson's competence is one of the most critical factors in the prospect’s decision to buy your product or service.

Meaning when your reps are better trained and happier, your customers will be too. You can measure the NPS of your customers to discovery changes in the customer satisfaction.

Conversion rates

Conversion rates are probably the most obvious but also most important KPI to track the success of your coaching efforts. If you provide relevant and targeted coaching to your team, they should be able to fill skill gaps and unblock stalling deals, leading to more sales.