Sales coaching can leave an indelible impact on an employee, organization, or culture. And organizations looking to create high performing sales teams are, year over year, turning to sales coaching to create a competitive advantage.
In fact, 67% of companies who’ve had a formal sales coaching program in place for three years or more experienced high revenue growth.
Typically, the sales manager fulfills the role of sales coach – shouldering the responsibility of leading a sometimes disparate group of individuals to achieve a common goal. While the duties appear to be straightforward, in reality, many sales managers are navigating spiderwebs filled with trials, errors, assumptions and frustrations as they attempt to coach their team.
The need to always pivot and contort often leaves underdeveloped sales managers feeling overwhelmed by organizational demands– with the cost of misguided sales coaching impacting the sales representative, manager, customer, and organization’s culture. Trying to develop a coaching culture with these types of constraints just isn’t sustainable.
Sales coaching is a people-centric discipline, and Machine Learning is the key to data-driven connectivity.
In this new decade, high-performing sales teams are ditching traditional pitch focused presentations for more personalized, client-centric relationship building– and at the core of these courtships, lies data. Machine learning can be used to pivot sales representatives’ reliance on intuition to insights; subsequently, sales coaching can evolve into a fully quantifiable, replicable process.
Until recently, there has been no practical way to truncate the time-consuming steps necessary to these processes. Now, AI and machine learning are enhancing and streamlining the processes, accelerating deals by as much as 43% and dramatically reducing the 43 hours per month reps spend searching for information, for example. This reduction in time wasted on what, in most cases, amounts to repetitive tedium, enables sales coaches and representatives to focus on the relationship-building strategies necessary to win.
Winning with customers requires clear insights into the behaviors that drive results, versus those which impede progress.
The ultimate goal for any coaching framework is to enable the sales professional to apply his/her abilities, skills, and knowledge in a way that increases the velocity of a sales opportunity. When successful, we create alignment between the customer’s goals and our ability to help them avoid a consequence or solve a problem. However, merely knowing the issue certainly doesn’t solve it.
By implementing a comprehensive platform, organizations can identify performance gaps and use the data to build a compelling strategy for addressing the gaps and align selling behaviors to customer needs. Although this type of data can be an aid in organizational development strategies, the value extends far beyond just the corporate level plan.
Organizations undoubtedly stand to benefit from leveraging machine learning to not only analyze coaching interactions, but also to use those interactions to provide critical insights and selling behaviors to managers and sales representatives alike.
“We’ve developed a platform that enables clients to leverage performance data to build individual learning plans focused on the specific needs of each sales representative and coach. If organizations are going to differentiate themselves from their competitors truly, there is no room for ‘broad-brush’ tactics when it comes to sales coaching.”
-Ed Ross, CEO/Founder @The CORE Results, Inc.
Tranforming organizational mindset.
Pivoting from outdated and time-consuming strategies based on incomplete data sets and intuition will require a commitment to adopt a progressive mind-set by embracing technology. The journey for most organizations begins with first understanding the demands coaching places on your sales manager’s, evaluating how well their structure supports sales manager’s development and then investing in the solutions that leverage machine learning to create an unbiased, data-driven coaching culture.
Tech-driven platforms like CORE committed to making sales coaching second nature to everyday