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Sales Coaching Template
Why is coaching critical in sales? For one, sales coaching strengthens the organization and makes for satisfied employees. It also improves teamwork and communication as well as promoting creative solutions. But what is sales coaching exactly? Sales coaching is a series of one-on-one meetings with each salesperson to focus on goal-setting, skill development, and enhance independent problem-solving. When a sales department is running smoothly, salespeople have the confidence and tools to find the answers to prospects’ questions if they don’t already know.
One of the most important things a sales manager can do for team members is to offer sales coaching. The benefits of sales coaching are endless, from improving productivity to boosting revenue and transforming salespeople into customer service superstars. Why is sales coaching important? Think of it as an opportunity to build the company brand while motivating salespeople to excel.
Always start with an icebreaker to get some insight as to how the team member feels about their progress. Review their performance based on specifics such as the numbers of calls made, emails sent, or deals closed. Discuss areas for improvement. Listen to questions and provide actionable answers. Get the employee’s input on what would help them grow. And create a list of goals to accomplish for the next meeting.
A list of sales training topics might include telephone sales techniques, sales leadership training, implementing a formal sales process, and advanced customer service. Likewise, sales coaching topics such as improving active listening skills, time management, and handling objections will improve productivity as well as increasing team members’ confidence.
One-on-one meetings can be time-consuming; however, using a sales coaching template will cut out wasted time. Armed with a list of sales training topics and sales coaching topics, a sales manager will be ready to hit all the critical points as well as listen to feedback from the team member. Not only that, a sales coaching template makes the one-on-one predictable and builds trust in the process.
Coaching Plan Template
There are various methodologies in creating a sales coaching plan template. Microsoft Word has a few choices for a basic layout 1 2 1 meeting template in Word. A sales manager may use a basic coaching and mentoring plan template to get started. They can customize it to reflect the company’s goals, and tweak the template for individual team members.
Alternatively, there’s an option to use a free coaching plan template such as this one from Sample Templates. The sales manager can use it as a sales one-on-one template. This template is a good choice because it contains suggestions as well as a layout for the sales manager coaching guide.
The sample, coaching plan template, uses sales training topics from 2019 that are still relevant today and will be for years to come. It’s a free coaching plan template download that begins with addressing benchmarks— an essential piece in a sales coaching template.
Setting a benchmark begins with determining where a team member is regarding their sales quotas and making a plan to reach the next level. It also is an opportunity for the sales manager to discuss any challenges the salesperson struggles with, check trends, and talk about what is currently in their sales pipeline.
To sum it up, a coaching template will start with an icebreaker and talk about benchmarks. Next, the coach and the team member will discuss challenges and create a plan. The salesperson must agree with the new plan, so ask them how they plan to hold themselves accountable. Also, remember that this is a one-on-one coaching session that should nurture the team member and inspire them to meet their goals.
Acting as a sales coach, the sales manager can use a simple coaching plan template to ensure the one-on-one meeting is successful.
One on One Template Coaching
In this section, the sales manager will get an overview of how to use one on ones to provide coaching that helps team members improve their productivity and build their confidence.
Think about a few key questions to ask. Pointed one on one meeting questions are vital to preparing a plan that will motivate the salesperson toward their goals. Not only that, but a sales manager may want to suggest the salesperson put together a list of one on one meeting questions to ask the manager. The sales manager wants to open up a dialogue so they can get to the bottom of what motivates their employee, as well as determine what training would be most beneficial.
These open-ended questions help move the discussion along and require critical thinking skills essential to a successful salesperson. First, look at the last week’s performance and start with a question to determine if the team member is paying attention to their goals. How did you feel about last week’s goal? Did you hit it? If so, what do you think worked? If not, where do you think you need to improve?
Also, ask about specific activities: phone calls, how many emails they sent out, cold calls, warm calls, and followups, proposals, and face to face meetings. The followup questions reflect what happened during their sales activities. Get the details. What did they talk about with prospects? How long were the calls? How many calls? What were the results?
A one-on-one meeting template document should include these questions. From the first one on one meeting with an employee, the sales manager can update the one on one coaching plan template to track that team member’s progress. Not only that, they can use the one on one meetings in conjunction with their direct reports management system to determine how the company’s sales team is progressing, overall, and where there is room for improvement.
Sales Coaching Best Practices
Adopting a coaching model mindset requires implementing some best practices. Consistency is likely the most important part of the process. Without consistency, a sales department can’t build trust in their employees or their customers. Sales coaching models may implement a process that follows a four-level model for success:
- Hiring team members with an aptitude for sales
- Look at the current motivation level and determine how to motivate the team
- Define the current skill set and identify areas of improvement
- Ensure that a team member’s role is clearly defined
A strong sales coaching philosophy is one that motivates, challenges, and gives team members the tools they need for success. Developing a sales coaching methodology requires consistency (an agenda), predictability (a meeting template), a willingness to move up to the next level continually, and collaboration.
The sales coaching methodology that includes collaboration motivates salespeople to take the initiative in their personal development and think about new strategies for success. Some managers implement role-playing to get a feel for the way a salesperson thinks, as well.
Regardless, sales coaching is a commitment. Provide the team with the information they need to be successful. Ask them about their goals—maybe they want to earn more commissions, perhaps they want a promotion and are looking for ways to accomplish that goal. As a sales coach, the team members should feel comfortable talking about the needs and aspirations with their manager.
Sales Coaching Software
Managers and their salespeople can use sales coaching software to analyze trends and collaborate on sales calls, as well as emails. This collaboration is critical to refine sales techniques. Having sales coaching tools helps the manager to establish best practices. Not only that, but the best sales coaching software will also improve the closing rate. Not to mention that sales coaching tools help with ongoing training, conversation intelligence, and obtaining live feedback. Saved sales calls are there to refer to, and help identify successes as well as areas of improvement. The best sales coaching software will provide real-time assistance in making the sale, as well.
The sales coaching tools included in most sales coaching software is excellent for sales training as well as onboarding. A sales manager can integrate outbound call tracking software and streamline cold dialing with lead followup calls. This software offers capture, analysis, and feedback tools related to sales calls that will also provide information for feedback during the one on ones. Additionally, sales coaching software dissects customer interactions and delivers insights that empower sales teams with data.
Individual Sales Coaching
The thing is, many sales managers don’t do well as a coach because they aren’t sure how to manage without asserting their authority. If they want to improve their outcomes, a salesperson may decide to take the initiative to get sales coaching outside of their job. Finding a personal sales coach isn’t difficult—the main thing to remember is that they should be someone the salesperson feels comfortable with and can build a rapport.
As someone seeking a sales coach outside of work, they may search for a coach that is a good listener and can advise without judgment. A professional sales coach will help create an action plan that works. They’ll also provide proven sales strategies and perform detailed studies to help the salesperson make the most of their opportunities. Another consideration is the possibility that a leader in sales would be good at professional sales coaching. Or, a sales manager may want to improve their style. Either way, if a salesperson wants to find a sales and marketing coach, or if they’re going to become a personal sales coach, an excellent place to start is by reading up on industry standards at Harvard Business Review—HBR sales coaching—provides advice on how to find a sales coach, and what to look for in that mentor.