An efficient coaching culture is integral to your business and is achieved when leadership inspires purposeful, profitable professional growth amongst team members. And while the precise way to coaching faster, more strategically executed deal closings will vary from organization to organization– we’ve identified core tenants which translate to any business, in any industry– transforming stagnate funnels into more than 35 million dollars in active ROI for one of our most dedicated clients.
When you cultivate an environment of belonging, reps become more connected and engaged. This is why business coaching is really more about people than business! And as the landscape of the workforce evolves to include a diverse mix of Millennials, Boomers and beyond, managers are tasked now more than ever to navigate and create productivity strategies that work for everyone individually, yet inspire team building energy around results. This is a tall order– and the semi-undefined, inconsistent managerial standards so common to so many organizations, simply don’t translate.
We combine process and methodology to guide managers in becoming effective coaches for the future of business.
Coaching is a journey, rather than a short trip.
Traditional management protocols tend to represent a “do this, get that” proposition. This is the short trip, which creates an environment wherein managers are telling rather than instructing— inadvertently encouraging direct reports to fall into the habit of looking to managers for answers. And when managers are functioning as problem solvers rather than enablers, it’s a poor use of their time– the company’s time– and does little to help reps build their skills and confidence.
Alternatively, coaching guides sales professionals in developing independent problem-solving skills, leveraging their talents, and expanding their knowledge. This is the journey. Over time, an effectively empowered team will close more deals and share the coaching culture with new team members– enabling managers to lend their focus to creating strategic initiatives, rather than turning from problem to problem. We’ve identified and built out a 6 element Process x Methodology centric program, which turns engaged managers into successful coaches!
Inquisitiveness is Key: Maintaining a position of curiosity helps coaches identify and assess rep’s needs.
Organizations are often flooded with methodologies designed to encourage the use of questions to explore needs and develop opportunities. Reality is, most of these questioning models were developed around somebody of research over a decade ago. Let that sink in.
It’s time we move managers beyond asking basic, scripted questions– and get them curious enough to do some diligence! Initial communications need to be backed by research, enabling thought-provoking, customer specific questions. In the absence of these types of questions, reps are inundated with low-value, interrogative questions about sales opportunities. The quality of the answers managers receive is directly proportional to the quality of the questions they have asked, and the same applies to customers.
Designing Strategy: Aligning sales strategies and actions to focus on the customer’s needs – solving problems and avoiding consequences.
What are the criteria that decision makers are using, to make a decision? This is when Inquisition and Identification combine to reveal your strategy! Strategy is often loosely defined or left to the reps’ interpretation as it relates to coaching. This is a mistake. A big mistake. Designing the strategy for coaching and customer engagement must be directly aligned with the decision criteria being used. If the criteria have not been thoroughly defined, this presents an opportunity to boost credibility or cycle back to the inquisitiveness element.
Establish Credibility: Building trust through a series of commitments, actions, and results with the sales team.
Effectively enabling organizations to understand the cost of inaction, and the benefits of taking action is critical to productivity investment. It begins with proving consistent credibility. Whether navigating an existing partnership or nurturing a prospective relationship, your credibility is paramount to all the other five elements of coaching. You cannot afford to sacrifice your credibility due to being unprepared or underdeveloped.
Identify Solutions: Sharing insights, solutions, and best practices to help colleagues avoid business consequences.
Use the responses received as a result of navigating the previous elements to identify what problems can be solved and what professional consequences can be avoided. It’s no secret that adult learners take action for one of two compelling reasons– to solve a problem, or to avoid a consequence. As a coach, our role is to clearly identify, articulate and prepare the sales reps to act on problems and consequences, so that they can confidently, effectively, identify solutions.
Articulate Value: Effectively communicating the benefits of planning, challenging assumptions, and accurately defining relationships.
Our research shows the ability to articulate value or the absence thereof separates average performers from high-performers and defines whether a manager is behaving like a ‘manager’ or a coach. This element goes beyond regurgitating value propositions developed by marketing or ‘data dumping’ to move an opportunity forward. It requires the coach and the rep creating a compelling narrative through storytelling. This process is integral to establishing a solid, sustainable strategy.
Gain Commitment: Summarizing business needs, required actions, and positive outcomes required by customers and reps to achieve the desired outcomes.
High-performing coaches are continuously gaining commitment throughout the entire process. They are consciously and unconsciously considering:
- What is it that you want them to prepare for the next step?
- Do you want them to learn by participating, observing, or reflecting?
- What is a realistic time table to achieve these commitments?
The objective is to compare what you have observed, what commitments were established, and what resources are required to make this coaching strategy a valuable use of everyone’s time. Then, use the deliverables accomplished or remaining to adjust and refine in the next coaching session.
Better Results in Less Time.
The effect of dynamic sales coaching programs is hard to dismiss. In fact, companies who engage thoughtfully structured coaching cultures achieve28%higher win rates and reach 7% greater annual revenue growth. Yet, the implementation of random, informal coaching will lead to wasted time and resources for 75%of organizations. Managers want to enable the professional development of their teams while proving their value to their organizations– and they deserve to be given the resources to properly execute.