Your Team Needs a Coach, Not a Couch!

According to a sales enablement study, nearly half of sales managers today (nearly half!) spend less than 30 minutes per week coaching their sales reps on their skills and behaviors. That begs the question: what are they doing then? Very likely they’re concerning themselves with their own sales, pouring over reports, dealing with customers, meeting with their own managers, etc…However, why aren’t they coaching their team when statistics clearly demonstrate that companies that provide optimum coaching realize 17% revenue growth? Moreover, nearly 70% of sales reps have one foot out the door of their company because of poor management. Is your company addressing this problem?

The Cost of Sales Turnover

One in 10 sales companies today has a sales rep turnover rate that’s more than 55%. According to DePaul University, the average cost to replace a sales rep is more than $97,000. That figure takes into consideration the cost of recruiting, training, and lost sales opportunities. When sales professionals repeatedly report that poor management is a major factor compelling them to leave a company, it seems obvious that any company hoping to retain their sales talent (and save on the costs to replace them) and increase sales figures would put two and two together and invest in training their managers to be better managers. 

The Sales Manager as Coach

When companies invest in training programs for their sales reps, they can expect a pleasant 23% increase in productivity. However, when they invest in coaching and training programs, that percentage leaps to 88% increased productivity, according to the Centre for Management and Organizational Effectiveness. Of course, coaching managers don’t grow on trees. They, too, require training in order to become effective coaches–and they need a mandate telling them to make coaching a top priority and not something that can be crammed into 15 minutes here and there. 

What Are Sales Managers Prioritizing?

In the current climate, it’s a mad scramble to attract and hang onto talent. Employees are resigning in record numbers. In order to avoid the staggering costs associated with a reduced workforce and employee replacement, company leadership teams are brainstorming all different ways to retain their reps. They’re bumping salaries. They’re offering more flexibility and recognizing employee achievements. And, according to Forbes, they’ve been consumed, at least until recently, with “having the ‘coolest’ office–free snacks and lunch, on-site gyms, pool tables and walking tracks” and maybe even a cozy couch to relax on.

While company gyms and trendy office spaces were recruitment selling points, that’s no longer the case as evidenced by the great resignation that’s affecting the post-pandemic workplace. Employees want flexibility, and they want more training, coaching, and mentoring from management so they can advance their careers and achieve their selling goals. 

What companies actually need to do is to evaluate their resources and begin to steer them into developing a robust sales coaching program that isn’t haphazard or half-hearted. Training managers to coach sales reps for more than three hours per month can lead to a boost in each rep’s close rate to the tune of 70%. Coaching works. Before your employees go couch surfing, assess how implementing a formal coaching strategy can boost your business’s bottom line.

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