What are your thoughts about Atlantis? Intrigued by the lost continent, I have read a lot about it over the years, including the book, Atlantis Beneath the Ice, which revealed where Atlantis is actually located. Cool! On a recent vacation I managed to read 5 books and 3 of them were from an Atlantis-themed trilogy. This particular series was pure science fiction but there is no fiction whatsoever when we explore the connection between successful book and movie series and effective sales coaching. They share the very same premise and it is actually quite simple to grasp.
There are many book series and movie franchises that go well beyond a 3-volume Trilogy. Does James Bond 007 ring a bell? There have been 26 of those so far!
They key to any successful series is not only the popularity of the first installment, but how badly that first story leaves you wanting more. The first book not not only has to be really good, but you must feel disappointed that it came to an end!
That's the sign of great sales coaching too. Today's coaching session must be so good that the salesperson does not want it to end. Not only that, but the salesperson can't wait to come back for more coaching. Now, be honest with yourself for a moment. Assuming that you regularly and consistently coach all of your salespeople, is your coaching so powerful that your salespeople can't wait for another session with you? It should be.
Sales leaders that coach effectively, impact deals and increase revenue by 28%. What would a 28% increase in sales mean for you?
It makes sense that great coaching has a great impact, but only 8% of all sales leaders are able to coach effecitvely. And only 28% of all sales managers spend 50% or more of their time coaching which tells us two more things:
- 72%, or most sales managers do not spend enough time coaching
- Assuming that the 8% who are effective are equally distributed between the 28% group and the 72% group, only 2.25% of all sales leaders spend enough time and are really good at it.
One might think that the lack of time invested in coaching is the easiest to fix but for sales managers who also maintain territories and accounts, it's not that simple. However, that doesn't mean it can't be done. Hire a salesperson to take those accounts and get busy doing what sales managers are supposed to do! Coach.
As for the nuances of effective coaching, the 10 keys to success are the ability to:
- Develop a coaching culture - without that the coaching won't work.
- Coach your salespeople every day - it's the repetition that makes the difference.
- Debrief as often as you pre-call strategize.
- Identify where in the sales process the opportunity went off the rails
- Identify whether skills, Sales DNA or both that were at fault
- Effectively role play how the call or meeting should have progressed and teach at the same time.
- Effectively role play how an upcoming call or meeting needs to sound
- Reach impactful lessons learned from each coaching session
- Impact deals without being on those calls
- Help your salespeople become stronger and more effective with each passing day
"Without question, the single, most difficult skill for sales leaders to master, is the ability to play the salesperson's role, while selling to a prospect of any title, at any point in the sales process, for any kind of opportunity, with any level of resistance and against any and all competition."
Why is it so difficult? Because your lousy salespeople get into lousy scenarios - ones which you, a good salesperson, consistently managed to avoid because you were, well, good! Your salespeople find themselves in those situations every day, those are the scenarios for which they will play the prospect, and you must demonstrate two things through role play.
- How to avoid those scenarios
- How to turn around those scenarios