Sales Performance Coaching
Sales Performance Coaching is one of the most important tools available to the modern sales manager. The ability to coach and raise the skill, activities, mindset and performance of a Salesperson and a sales team is a key ingredient to sales growth.
Every top Salesperson and Sales Leader will tell you about a Manager, a Mentor or a Coach that helped them on their journey.
Often the sales training and coaching conversations they themselves had, have been the catalyst for their own success and the skills and behaviours they learned, proved to be the foundation for a lifetime of success in professional selling.
The best sales teams will not only respond to performance coaching, they will expect it in the same way a professional athlete expects to be trained and coached.
This coaching program is perfect for those who have attended any or our sales training courses and would like post course support implementing what they have learned.
Our live weekly sessions and live chat support ensure our coaches are there to answer your questions when you most need it.
This coaching is intense because it is results focussed. There is no magic wand, so please come expecting to work hard and be held accountable.
Sales is a contact sport and everyday Salespeople pick up the phone, or go out into the field and face a barrage of No’s.
Rejection is the norm, it’s a numbers game even for the top performers which ensures a constant level of stress and anxiety. Sometimes this is healthy and sometimes it’s not.
The divorce rate among top Salespeople is often higher than it should be, so success often comes at a cost.
Sales Coaching provides an outlet for that frustration along with practical strategies and techniques to deal with them.
Our Sales Performance coaching is based on our Sales Scorecard system which focusses on the high value sales activities of Finding more sales, Klozing more sales, Growing more sales and developing as a Salesperson.
In coaching, it’s important to use facts and data, and our Sales scorecards are a great way to facilitate a targeted coaching conversation that supports the goals of the Coachee and the business.
Finding More Sales
This area of our coaching supports the Salesperson with the strategies and tactics that the employer and salesperson have chosen to generate new sales leads. We suggest an initial focus on three activities for the first 1-2 months where after we would add any additional activities that the business and salesperson choose.
Klozing More Sales
Once the heavy lifting of generating a sales lead has been done it’s important that the lead converts to a qualified opportunity and is moved through the sales pipeline as quickly as possible. Nothing kills deals like time. In many cases as the deal progresses numbers in the customers decision making unit increases and momentum drops off.
Managing the sales conversation, internal and external expectations and the proposal or bid process can be complex and time-consuming. In the fast pace of a modern sales environment, it’s easy for deals to slip once they get in the pipeline.
Growing More Sales
In most cases, at least 70% of next years sales revenues are coming from this years customers. It’s, therefore, more important than ever to have strategies and plans that lock clients in and lock your competitors out. Cross-selling and Up-selling are good starting points, but the longer you retain your customer, the more their circumstances and needs will change and unless you change you will quickly be swapped out.
Key Account Management is the art of keeping one step ahead of your customers’ needs and positioning your organisation to still be relevant and the partner of choice.
The development quadrant is vital in sales due to the rapid changes in sales technology, but also the changes in the industries they serve which we call Domain Knowledge. Every conversation with a prospect and customer is an opportunity for a value add conversation to position the Sales Rep as a Though Leader and the “Go To” person in their industry.
Salespeople must keep up to date, they must stay relevant and they must add value to every conversation.
In addition to Domain Knowledge, Salespeople need to Train and be coached consistently in order to sharpen their saw and develop themselves. The development quadrant should be aligned with and follow Maslows Heirarchy of Needs and Kolbs Learning Theory.
Sales Coaching Model
Our sales coaching models has been developed internally with a ruthless focus on simplicity. This reflects the needs of the person/teams being coached and the business.
Our Performance Coaching includes a deliberate emphasis on developing and maintaining the Mindset required to be a high performer. In some cases this challenges personal beliefs that may be limiting sales performance
Our High Performance Sales Coaching is centred around four quadrants – Mindset, Sales Craft, Activity & Development. The components inside each quadrant can be customised to match the exact needs of the Salesperson.
Like every human being Salespeople will avoid areas they are most uncomfortable with, however, in reality, these are the areas where the most growth lies.
When used in conjunction with a structured onboarding process the Sales Coaching model provides a framework for tangible growth, both in confidence, personal development and business results.
Our coaching agenda revolves around the core competencies of high performing salespeople.
The topics rotate throughout the months to provide a balance to the programme.
In addition to our performance coaching each attendee receives individual support to close existing deals in their sales pipeline.
Most coaching organisations mandate that coaches may only ask and are not allowed to tell. The thought process behind this is that the answer is more powerful if it is the idea of, and spoken by the Coachee.
This makes perfect sense except for in Sales. In many circumstances, the salespeople we are coaching are working on live, high-value deals and asking the Salesperson to come up with the answer themselves can lose them deals and their organisation a lot of money.
Our Coaching style is to use a question-based approach in the first instance where time permits, but where time is limited and Salespeople need answers, we can quickly switch gears into sales training mode and utilise all our learning content at our disposal.
This blended approach is important for Sales and ensures the maximum benefit for the Coachee and their employer.
Framing the Coaching Conversation
Our Sales Performance Coaching uses Sales Scorecards for accountability and to kick start and structure our sales coaching.
In terms of the coaching conversations we have, we use the GROW sales coaching framework which provides the track to guide our coaching sessions.
Whilst coaching models and frameworks form an essential part of coaching they serve little purpose without questions that probe and challenge the Coachee.
All our coaching follows the Consultative Sales Methodology, however, this can easily be interchanged with any of the main selling systems such as Miller Heiman, SPIN or Richardsons.
Many people have likened salespeople to sportspeople in terms of performance. Indeed, books on performance covering mental toughness and flow state are the staple diet for cyclists, golfers, rugby, football and top performers in every sport.
The more you read about sport and sales, the more compelling the analogy is. In sports, the difference between winning and losing at the highest level is the mental game.
Sports Psychologists refer to Self Talk – the internal dialogue we have with ourselves which is formed from our beliefs, thoughts, questions and most importantly self-doubt.
In sales, understanding and addressing the self-talk and mindset of salespeople at every level is key to success. Unfortunately, many Salespeople are simply unaware of these potential mental barriers to success and even when explained many are simply dismissive of them.
Often the few Salespeople that do take action on these issues often do so in isolation and even in secret as they fear being ridiculed by their peers.
The facts are there for all to see – there is no athlete, golfer, cyclist, footballer, rugby player or sports star who does not use and or receive coaching for their “mental game”. Author of the Amazon bestseller The Chimp Paradox Steve Peters is a Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in the functioning of the Human Mind.
Peters clients include Team GB cycling, GB Taekwondo, England Rugby, England Football, Liverpool FC and British Swimming and 4 times winners of the Tour de France Sky Cycling Team. In short, for High-Performance Sales Coaching to be effective Coachees must be prepared to address the “Mental” side of their Sales game.
“Tennis is a mental game – everyone is fit, everyone hits great backhands and forehands”
Nature vs Nurture
Are all top performers born or can you be trained, developed and nurtured into being a top performer? This question is constantly posed by sceptics of the mental game. A study of the last 40 years of Wimbledon Men’s Singles Champions shows only Lleyton Hewit, Andre Agassi & Bjorn Borg were under 6ft high. Andre Agassi was the last sub 6ft Men’s winner some 28 years ago in 1992.
There is no doubt that in this case nature has given the taller players an advantage, however, that’s not to say sub 6ft players can’t compete and win, it’s just more difficult for them.
Former Liverpool and Australia football players Craig Johnson claims he had much less skill than those around him in his early years, and he simply practiced harder and for longer, than anyone else in his quest to be an elite football player.
Sales Performance Coaching won’t turn you into the best Sales Person in the world unless that’s your goal. The purpose of performance coaching is to help the Salesperson be the best salesperson they WANT to be. The desire that a well-formed goal creates is what will drive them on and the coaches role is to simply guide and support you on that journey.
In our Executive Sales Coaching programmes, we use the analogy of a staircase in that the coaches role is not to support the Exec to get to the next level because in many cases with a little thought they could do this themselves. The role of the Sales Performance Coach is to transition the Executive up 10 levels.
Sales Performance coaching should be a holistic approach that addresses the four quadrants of sales success – Mindset, Sales Craft, Activity & Development
There are four main parts to the Mindset in sales:
Understanding how your mind works
The mind is a complex organ and most experts would admit we are still discovering and learning more about its functions and it’s operation. We do however know the main parts and what they control or influence. For example, the medulla oblongata controls breathing, blood pressure, heart rhythms and swallowing.
What if anything has this got to do with sales? Well this is what controls our nerves, the nerves we may get before an important presentation or a boardroom meeting.
The more we know the more we can develop coping strategies to deal with potential problems.
Managing your Beliefs & Emotions
All of us at some stage suffer from Self-limiting which often prevent us from even trying something. This comes from our perception of our own identity – who we think we are. The most common self-limiting beliefs in sales are “I am not worthy of…” “I could never…” They would never…”.
Unless challenged and removed these beliefs will become self-fulfilling philosophies and cripple the Salesperson career. These negative beliefs are often in the subconscious part of the mind making them difficult to access and remove.
Fortunately, there is a range of natural and mental tools a coach can use to remove the self-limiting beliefs and replace them with more positive ones.
Natural tools which we believe are the strongest include simple Breathing Exercises, Visualisations, Affirmations and Journaling.
Becoming the Sales Performer You Want to Be
It’s always important to start with the end in mind. As the saying goes if you don’t know where you are going how will you get there? To become a High Sales Performer, it’s essential to set a vision.
The vision is a mental picture of what success looks like for the Salesperson. As an example, this could mean picturing themselves standing on a stage in front of their peers receiving an award for the top salesperson in the organisation.
Unless you can mentally picture success it’s highly unlikely that you will achieve the outcome. Your external world is simply a manifestation of your internal thoughts.
Winners in sport mentally picture themselves not just on the podium but receiving the gold medal and acknowledging the crowd.
Football players mentally picture themselves lifting a trophy or cup. Salespeople who mentally Picture themselves as winners are already ahead of those that don’t.
Most sports athletes train and prepare for annual or even quadrennial events like the Olympics or World Cup and when they don’t win it is a huge failure and disappointment [Note Failure is not a bad thing to be avoided or discussed, it’s simply a learning event and stepping stone on the path to success].
No matter how big the event is, it’s one disappointment. By contrast Salespeople, even the top performers face failure and disappointment every day, sometimes even multiple times in one hour if they are setting appointments by telephone.
This constant rejection over time can take its toll and self-doubt will then appear. Building Resilience is a series of tools and coping strategies that puts failure into context and “parks” it so the Salesperson can move on. One of our coaches Stuart Rowell, an avid golfer, advocates this technique for golfers who have just missed an “easy” put.
Unless the golfer can “park” the miss and move on, then chances are the next shot which will be the drive from the tee will be substandard. Salespeople who mentally carry over lost deals, poor meetings or missed opportunities onto the next call will inevitably struggle to maintain a high level of performance.
An important area for Salespeople is their Mindset or beliefs around the products and services they sell, the company they work for and the industry they serve. Unless these are all congruent with the internal value system of the Salesperson they will internally be wrestling with them on every sale.
For example, many Salespeople are reluctant to hand over customers after the sale as they feel a sense of loyalty to the customer and they may feel that “others” in the company won’t look after the customer as well as they could.
If this happens too often then Salespeople can spend too much time servicing accounts and not enough time opening new accounts.
All our coaching is delivered our Learning Portal inside Microsoft Teams. This enables us to respond quickly when clients have questions outside of our scheduled classes. We are available via email, chat and obviously telephone and our typical response rate is 1 hour.
In addition to our performance coaching we run pipeline coaching parallel to this. Sales Pipeline coaching helps participants convert existing deals they are already working on.
The coaching consists of 3 x 90 minute sessions delivered live on the first three calendar weeks over a period of 2 months.
After booking you are automatically added to the next Months intake which starts on the first Monday of every calendar month.
During the coaching each participant has a access to a dedicated coach via telephone, email and live chat.
Please note: we do not allow more than 3 participants from any one company so the session time is never dominated by one organisation. Should you require more than 4 places we are happy to schedule a separate class at no extra charge.
What level of sales experience does the high performance sales coaching require?
This programme is much more about attitude that aptitude. However, due to the intensity of the coaching we have found this programme is more popular with full time sales reps, sales managers and owners of SMEs.
Because of this we have successfully delivered this course to graduates who are new to sales and experienced sales professionals who are looking to both refresh and top up their sales skill
Does the Coaching work with other selling systems and methodologies?
Yes. If you have already trained your salespeople, our coaching works alongside any of the major selling systems, such as Miller Heiman, Richardson, SPIN or Solution Selling.
How quickly will I see results?
Every business and participant receives different results. As with any programme any results are a direct result of the effort and time you put in. This is not quick fix programme and you should expect to commit to a minimum of 6 months if you are serious about your sales career.
Will the sales coaching cover the sales topics that are important to me?
Yes – all our coaching includes an initial needs analysis where you can specify specific areas that are important to you.
We not only provide coaching on your preferred topics we also have access to our full library of training content.
What industries does the coaching cover?
Our sales coaching is specific to Business to Business selling, not to any specific vertical. We do however have lots of experience in IT, Pharma, Technology, SaaS, Professional Services, Digital Media, Construction, Engineering, Oil & Gas, Banking, Software and Financial Services.
Can I cancel my coaching plan?
Yes, we have no desire to “lock in” clients who are in any way unhappy as it’s impossible to coach someone who doesn’t want to be coached. You can cancel your coaching plan at any time and you will still have access to your coach and all the content up until the date of when the next monthly payment would have been due.
I found the course which I attended that Iain ran to be very informative, insightful and well structured. It covered a huge amount of ground but in very digestible pieces which meant that after two days I felt that I was leaving with a considerably greater understanding of selling psychology and a notebook full of helpful techniques. Would highly recommend his sales training to anyone.
I attended a Klozers Sales Training course on Consultative Selling Skills recently and it was definitely the best training I have ever had – in fact, anyone who knows me has heard me raving about it ever since!
I have been working with Klozers for preparing a sales presentation for Suma Rührtechnik, a manufacturing company in Germany. I was working together with Iain, a very professional and helpful person. He helped me in understanding what customers want, how to sell our products successful and how to understand, analyse and serve the target market. Thanks to Iain, my presentation had been truly a success and I gained confidence in selling and promoting our products. I would work with him again anytime!