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February 15, 2019

3 Keys to Coaching the Coach

Research shows that boosting the effectiveness of your front line sales managers’ coaching is the single biggest driver of higher win rates, yet over a third of managers we recently surveyed felt they don’t do enough of it. Even worse, a third of managers and reps also disagreed about whether the coaching is even of high enough quality to improve sales results.

If you’re interested in coaching, check out this video by Mary Charles, Allego’s Sales Enablement Director. A sales enablement veteran, Mary spent decades directing strategic enablement at companies like Salesforce, IBM, and Unica. Check out this video to learn three ways sales training and enablement leaders can help managers drive better performance from their reps.


Video Transcript:

Hi. I’m Mary Charles, the Director of Sales Enablement at Allego. We all know that good coaching is a key part to sales success. So why do managers not prioritize it, and what can sales enablement do to help? We can do a great deal for sales by helping in three key areas: time, building coaching framework, and measurement. The first one is time. We did a recent study and we found that sales managers told us the number one reason that they don’t do more coaching is a lack of time. So my advice is, align with your sales leader and identify how much time do you want the management team spending on formal coaching. Then, have them block that time in their calendars. Make it a part of your sales cadence, a required part of the manager’s role.

Once they have that time blocked, then what do they do with it? Here’s where sales enablement can really help. You want to be able to give them some guidance, right? So first is to figure out what the skill gaps are, and focus on a few key areas. Then, share that with sales management and give them criteria. You could do that in a scorecard, even. Have them use that criteria to evaluate how the sales rep is doing in that skill. For example, if it’s presentation skills you’re working on, you want to be able to provide them guidance on using a scorecard to identify is it the tone the person’s using? Are they using filler words? How’s their body language? How’s their jargon? By putting that framework in place it makes it so much easier for the sales manager to get started.

And then for the reps you want to have an example of what does good look like so that they know what’s expected of them and share that same evaluation criteria. It really works. I’ve done this many times and you’ll see amazing results. And then the third area is measurement. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “What gets measured, gets done.” That’s so true for coaching. If you’re measuring the coaching interactions and how the managers are coaching you’ll have more accountability from the team.

Providing them some sort of a tool to do that is great. You could do coaching, whether it’s in a one-on-one meeting with a kind of checklist or scorecard, whether it’s in the field. Or if it’s to give them more flexibility, you can have reps recording their pitches and other things that you’re working on coaching on and use that video to give feedback and take that as a great opportunity for coaching. So those are all some great key areas that sales enablement can address. I hope you’ll try those and have great success.

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