While team-wide training is always essential, the benefits of one-on-one sales coaching cannot be understated. The advantages of one-one coaching are multi-faceted, from boosting win rates to speeding up the ramp time of a new hire to improving your company’s retention rate.
In today’s era, where many salespeople are still struggling to adapt to the challenges of remote work, one-on-one coaching can be especially valuable.
To develop one-on-one coaching sessions that offer as much value as possible to their sales reps, sales managers need to employ a practical methodology and develop an effective playbook to guide their sales meetings.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to develop the best sales coaching template for your team’s needs, as well as a few valuable metrics that you can use to assess the effectiveness of your coaching.
Why One-on-Ones Are More Important Than Ever for Sales Managers
According to HubSpot, “Sales managers invest in sales coaching to maximize sales rep performance and empower reps to positively impact the greater sales organization. The sales coaching process is designed so every rep is supported and equipped to effectively reach their personal quota as well as the team’s quota and goals.”
On a day-to-day basis, sales coaching involves addressing concerns or potential areas of improvement, providing actionable goals, training and mentoring reps to teach them specific skills, and discussing key metrics to gauge a rep’s performance. Over the long term, sales coaching can optimize sales teams’ results and improve their job satisfaction.
Since sales coaching necessitates an individualized approach adapted based on each rep’s unique strengths and weaknesses, one-on-one meetings are a vital part of the sales coaching process. It is primarily this individualized approach that separates sales coaching from formal sales training.
By coaching each rep individually, sales leaders can build more positive relationships and hone in on the specific guidance that each rep needs the most.
Key Areas to Focus On in Sales Coaching One-on-Ones
- Address questions or concerns – This time should be sacred for your reps. A big part of being a great sales coach is creating an environment of open communication. Your reps should feel comfortable bringing up any questions or concerns that they might have. Often, though, bringing these questions or problems out into the open requires a little nudging.
- Review last week‘s performance – Be sure to check in on performance from time to time. These meetings can include reviewing the rep’s performance from the prior week, month or quarter. This review opens up the opportunity to reinforce the things they did right and provide feedback on the areas where there is room for improvement.
- Discuss goals and objectives for the near, and far future – Some salespeople perform better when given clearly defined goals. Take the time to discuss what next week holds in store and provide your reps with benchmarks you would like them to achieve.
- Share important information – “Important information” will differ from company to company and week to week. You may have a specific skill you would like to teach one of your reps in some cases. Other times, you may simply wish to share updates on your products, clients, or sales pipeline.
How to Develop Your Own Sales Coaching Template
Using a carefully constructed template to guide your coaching conversation during one-on-one meetings is one of the best ways to ensure they are as productive as possible.
Effective coaching isn’t always done on the fly. Instead, preparing for each meeting ahead of time tends to be the best approach. Sharing a collaborative agenda or template in advance is a great way to ensure both sides are prepared for the meeting.
While you may need to adjust your sales coaching template over time in addition to modifying it for each rep, a template can at very least serve as an excellent starting point for your meetings.
Here are the steps that sales managers should follow to create an effective coaching template.
Step #1: Define the Goal of the Meeting
According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 71% of senior managers say that their meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
To prevent your meetings from merely being a waste of everyone’s time, you need to define a specific and actionable goal for each meeting. The goal of a one-on-one sales meeting can take many different forms, including addressing an area of concern, teaching a new skill, providing important updates, and beyond. Whatever the case may be, though, the goal you would like to achieve should guide your coaching plan for each meeting.
Step #2: Focus on Key Sales Metrics
Your sales coaching template should highlight key sales metrics that you would like to discuss with your sales reps. Metrics such as quota attainment, win rate, sales expense ratio, and total revenue are useful data points that you can use to gauge a rep’s sales performance. These metrics highlight areas of both strength and weakness, helping you determine the kind of feedback you need to provide to each rep.
Step #3: Be Sure to Review Goals
As we’ve already mentioned, providing your reps with clearly defined goals is one of the best ways to boost their performance. As with many aspects of being a great sales manager, there is an art to goal setting.
With each goal you set, you need to find the balance between goals that are too easy and ultimately unrewarding and goals that are so difficult and impossible to achieve that all they do is frustrate your team. Choosing the right goals to review in your sales meeting will also require you to take the individual you are meeting with into account; goals that are ideally challenging for one rep may be too easy or too difficult for another.
Step #4: Create Action Items and Provide Sales Activities
While goals are specific objectives or benchmarks that you want your reps to meet, action items are tasks you are requiring them to complete. The action plan you provide to your reps could include requesting that they complete a certain number of sales calls, send out a certain number of emails, complete a certain number of product demos, or any other actions that will help them meet the goals that you have set for them.
Sales activities, meanwhile, include all of the actions, practices, and strategies that your reps use to convert prospects into paying customers.
Step #5: Provide and Request Feedback
Encouraging constructive dialogue is an essential component of outstanding sales leadership. Every one-on-one meeting should include a time set aside for feedback both to and from your sales reps. When providing feedback to your sales reps, be sure to highlight the positive and negative alike.
Requesting feedback from your reps and addressing any issues that might be holding them back is equally as important as providing feedback. Effective sales coaching is ultimately a collaborative effort between sales managers and their reps. Ask each rep if there is anything you could do as their manager to help them succeed.
By encouraging open and honest dialogue between you and your reps, you can ensure that you and your sales team alike receive the information you all need to excel.
Creating a template for your one-on-one meetings using the above steps is a great way to begin developing your coaching model.
|At Sales Assembly, we provide sales reps with hands-on guidance and training they need to improve their skills and results dramatically.
Sign up for our sales training and development program to get started.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Coaching Template
A few key areas to examine to measure the results that your coaching template is producing include:
Are your reps meeting the goals you set for them? If not, it could be that you are not setting the right goals, or it could also be that you are not providing them with the instructions and resources they need to meet the goals you’ve set.
If they are meeting their goals, what type of results are they producing in the process?
Are your reps putting into action all of the sales activities that you have provided them? Are these sales activities helping them reach their goals, or is there an obvious need to provide them with better skills and strategies?
New Hire Onboarding Ramp Time
How long is it taking you, on average, to onboard new hires before they reach maximum productivity?
One of the benefits of great sales coaching is its ability to reduce ramp time. If your ramp time is higher than the market average of 3.2 months, though, it may be a sign that your coaching process needs improvement.
Have the metrics you use to gauge your team’s performance improved? Are they closing more deals and generating more revenue?
Helpful Sales Coaching Software Tools
There are many tools on the market today geared toward sales coaching, and many of them can be pretty beneficial. Some of the more valuable sales coaching software tools that we have identified over the years include tools such as:
Additional Helpful Sales Coaching Templates
Here are a few additional coaching templates that are worth exploring:
HubSpot’s Free Sales Training Template
This training template from HubSpot is geared towards the onboarding process for new hires and includes strategy for creating a 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day sales training process.
Sales Coaching Templates from Ambition
Ambition – a company that offers a range of sales training software solutions – has compiled several great coaching templates that are free to download.
Sales Coaching Template from Close.com
Close.com’s free-to-download coaching template includes step-by-step guidance on how to conduct a productive one-on-one meeting with your reps, including how to conduct a pipeline review, how to role-play key sales scenarios, and beyond.
Maximize the Benefits of Sales Coaching With Help From Sales Assembly
At Sales Assembly, we are committed to providing B2B sales managers in all industries with the high-quality sales training and development programs they need to maximize the result of their sales team.
Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our industry-leading sales training, certifications, and professional development programs.