Sales coaching professionals are crucial to developing and enhancing your sales team. But you don’t want to hire the first one you find; you need to do your research first and make sure the coach has the right skills and tools to help your team.
Here are five things to look for when searching for a sales coaching professional.
1. They Have Proven Experience
Well-versed sales coaches have the track records and credentials to back up what they say. You want to hire a coach whose skills and experiences are proven and not a load of quack—former users should attest to the coach’s character and speak highly of his or her professional ability.
The best coaches are ones who actually use the methods they teach to further emphasize that their strategies and tactics are tried and true. Coaches don’t have to be specific to the industries they’ve been hired for, but they should have successful work records. Sales coaching professionals who practice what they preach are the ones to look out for.
2. They See Opportunity in Uncertainty
A sales coaching professional knows sales is a tough job. It’s competitive, there’s a lot of rejection, and it takes a certain personality to face that. Coaches come in with a game face prepared to handle any situation, regardless of the challenges the team faces. An effective sales coaching professional sees crisis as an opportunity and works with the team to solve problems.
Selling isn’t a straight-and-narrow road, and coaches know this. They work with the team to master sales scripts and adapt to any situation, instead of turning around and waiting it out. Coaches ensure a collaborative effort with the sales team to reorganize, reshape, inspire, and motivate. In turn, this strengthens the team.
3. They Start with You
These professionals start with the reps, getting to know them to understand where they’re coming from. Coaching is tailored to each team member’s individual strengths, weaknesses, and growth goals. A sales coaching professional shows a genuine interest in helping reps overcome obstacles.
Active listening is key in building a collaborative relationship. Coaches ask questions, summarize thoughts, and repeat this back so reps know their concerns are being addressed. Sales coaching professionals create a circle of trust, helping promote self-discovery through active listening and probing questions. They’ll push reps outside of their comfort zones to achieve ultimate results.
4. They Understand the Larger Purpose
Coaches are hired to advance the careers of sales reps, improve skills, and instill pride and confidence. Sales reps no doubt benefit from ongoing sales coaching.
However, coaches must also understand the purpose and goals of the company. These professionals help the sales team succeed in order to help the company succeed.
Coaching professionals are there to improve your reps’ current abilities—the nuts and bolts of the practice—but they’re also there to improve the team as a whole, so that everyone can excel. This leads to more sales and a higher ROI. When each member of the team wins, the business wins too.
5. They Present a Holistic Approach
Effective coaching isn’t about the sales coaching professional dumping sales methods on the reps. It’s about adjusting and refining skills and processes to work in the specific environment of the particular sales team.
What works to sell cheese doesn’t work to sell books, and good coaching professionals bring this holistic approach to mold current tactics to new industries. They address the unique strengths and challenges to work in real-time situations, showing sales people how to get to where they need to be to achieve solid results.