Making a Sales Career Coach Work for You
Sales success hinges upon a winning first impression. A sales career coach can help you fine-tune your technique and churn out more business, but where do you begin? A sales coach can provide you with a significant return on investment (ROI) but only if you know what to look for. Hiring a career coach specific to sales can make a noticeable difference in your career.
The Truth About Sales and ROI
American companies spend around $20 billion a year on various kinds of sales training – mostly with uncertain results. A study conducted by the ES Research Group found that the vast majority – about 90% – of companies slumped back to pre-training levels after a 90 to 120 day increase in sales. As a result, businesses are looking for another way to improve their ROI: sales coaching.
Some companies are wary of the subjective nature of coaching in contrast to the seemingly more quantifiable results of traditional training methods. However, research conducted by a Sales Executive Council (SEC) has reassuring news for those considering sales coaching: it does appear to have calculable ROI. A recent study noted that thousands of sales representatives enjoyed sustained performance improvement, while a separate SEC found that coaching improved productivity and sales numbers by an average of 17%.
What’s interesting to note about sales coaching and ROI is that the results can vary widely depending on your coaching demographic, as well as the coach you hire. The SEC study found that A tier (top level) and D tier (bottom level) sales reps did not benefit significantly from sales coaching, while B and C (mid-level reps) found great improvement from their numbers as a result of coaching sessions. How can you apply these findings to your particular practice?
Invest Your Money Wisely
We’ve established that sales coaching can provide a significant ROI. If you’re a smaller company or strapped by budgetary constraints, seek out coaching for your mid-level performing representatives first. This is the demographic primed to benefit the most from coaching. Seek to get your D tier associates up to mid-range performance numbers before investing in sales coaching for them.
Choose Your Coach Carefully
The internet is a wonderful resource, but it’s also a haven for people looking to make a quick dollar. Unfortunately, almost anyone can claim to be a sales career coach, so finding a quality candidate to aid your sales force requires some scrutiny and research on your part. In general, here are some things to look for in a good sales coach:
Experience in sales. This seems like a given, but some coaches claim to be able to coach in any industry, regardless of experience. Be wary of “panacea coaches”: if the promises they make seem too good to be true, they probably are.
Experience in consulting. The coach you hire should also have prior experience in consulting with small businesses, entrepreneurs, or larger companies.
A sales coach plays an integral role in helping your company identify its goals and achieve clarity about your sales process. In order to maximize your ROI, do your research before choosing your partner.