SalesTech Star

Sales Coaching and How to Get it Right to Close Deals

By Hendrik Isebaert, CEO of Showpad

Closing deals is challenging to say the least, but when given the right formula to do it successfully and easily, then it becomes an art – especially when it’s powered by sales enablement. The key to a well-implemented sales strategy starts at the root: using an insight-driven coaching technique that delivers aligned goals, values, and utility. Anticipating buyers’ needs is essential for a positive sales interaction and when salespeople can do their homework on a buyer, they’ll be able to generate more organizational revenue.

Sales coaching applies the same ideals; when done properly it should drive sellers to a thirst for more knowledge in acquiring new skills, significantly impacting their performance trajectory. In addition, coaching can help execute and close deals with insights-driven coaching, pitch trails and showcasing key best practices in sales that help salespeople to learn about their audience and capture their attention at the right time.

Turning Insight Into Impact

Identifying and correcting skill gaps early enables sales managers to scalably coach their teams with collective knowledge. A tailored coaching plan, where managers access empirical data from their sales team and use it to help guide and strengthen performance, is essential. Once sales managers are privy to each sales person’s respective selling behavior, skills, ambitions, likes, and dislikes, they can better understand ways to keep their focus. The more managers are able to create a relationship with the rep, the more insight-driven coaching they can provide to drive success. Identifying areas of improvement for salespeople is critical in achieving an efficient sales program. And, utilizing objective insights is vital in acquiring the right content for an effective coaching plan, where team members can excel to their fullest potential.

Developing top-end sales skills requires gathering knowledge to diversify the sales strategy. It’s key for each salesperson to acknowledge what their strong suits are and where their instincts can shine, so that they can step in at the right time in the sales cycle. Teaching that – either in one-on-one sessions with salespeople or in small-group settings – helps their sales performance thrive, revealing what aspects they need improvement in and ways to plug any gaps. An effective sales initiative is one where continuous learning is embraced. Turning insight into impact goes a long way in formulating insight-driven coaching skills and improving the overall sales strategy.

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Effective Pitch Exercises

Perfecting the sales technique takes standard practice throughout the years, but leveling it to the point where it is airtight can be done using pitch exercises. A coaching exercise that delves into the basic fundamentals of closing a deal allows sales teams to understand their environment and audience. Anticipating a buyer’s questions and concerns comes with the territory, but delivering quick but thoughtful responses shows proactivity. In pitch practices, different team members can step into the buyer role with varying points of vantage of how one should conduct a sales negotiation.

The buyer and seller relationship become more transparent in a persona-focused pitch. A pitch  trial allows sellers to examine and pivot toward their skill strengths more while remedying any weaknesses. Whether in a simulated training session, the differing perspectives helps the salesperson adequately adjust their sales strategy in a fast-paced manner. Therefore when the actual negotiation takes place, the salesperson is well aware of how the deal can play out and any leeway they have to ensure deal closure. Preparation leads to success. A seller’s instincts kick in faster, turning every conversation into an opportunity and a powerful buyer journey, allowing sales managers to track and review a salesperson’s performance visually.

Sharing Repeatable Best Practices

Enabling salespeople to study pitches from top performers can highlight the best practices they need to adapt. Top performers have the necessary experience and skills to help plan sales negotiations and create repeatable wins. Adapting these practices into a sales playbook that can be referenced as needed leads to better sales enablement. Predicting prospect objections from the buyer is also integral in delivering dynamic and compelling content. In a coaching session where salespeople collaborate, sales teams can study previous case studies and share best practices to showcase a productive and compelling pitch.

The most critical part of closing a deal is understanding the customer. By improving familiarity and building high performers, organizations can attract tangible outcomes. In a coaching environment driven by data and insights, the same methodology will proactively improve sales managers’ abilities to coach salespeople at scale and build trust. Through this process, sales teams develop actionable insights and a successful and sustainable approach to closing deals. As a result, sales teams are equipped to rise to new heights and generate increased revenue for the business.

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