Sales Coaching - Thinking about starting afresh in the new year

The start of another year provides an ideal opportunity to ignite renewed commitment to improving sales habits.

How do you do this? By exploring the contrast between sales behaviours that contributed to sales success to those that didn’t.  Think about this as part of "end of year" review sessions - and this is quite a year to review! - by considering what worked well & what didn’t go as well - for the company as a whole, and teams within it.

You may find it helpful to provide some structure for your conversations.  For example, you may explore effectiveness of sales activities along dimensions such as:

  • Discovery questions – discuss the questions your salespeople ask to determine their prospects’ needs
  • Listening to prospects’ needs – discover what your team members do to demonstrate they are listening to prospects
  • Value proposition – listen to what your team members say about "reasons to buy" from your company 
  • Client success stories – find out what true client stories each team member uses to address their prospects’ concerns
  • Information sharing – explore the information your team shares with prospects in response to their needs
  • Asking for the sale – listen to how your teams manage buying signals & conversations 
  • Response to price objections – find out what your team members say once they discover prospects have an objection
  • Prospecting strategies – discover the strategies your salespeople employ to attract more new business

Team strengths

As you listen to each of your team members, you’ll discover strengths & opportunities for improvement, perhaps in one area, perhaps across many.  If you discover a team member who is outstanding at one or more of the above, make space for that individual to work with their peers.  For those members who need to improve, have them understand where & why and tie them in with your high performers. By asking everyone to look at their actions with fresh eyes, you can set in motion "coaching thinking" to develop more effective habits and set them up for greater success in the New Year.

This post was based on material from a previous article and book from Peri Shawn, the award-winning author of Sell More with Sales Coaching (Wiley Publishing).

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