11 sales coaching tips to help you develop your sales team

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 26 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many companies employ sales coaches to improve the growth and development of the organisation. Sales coaching can help modernise, improve, and transform sales representatives or business activities. Learning sales mentorship tips can help you enhance your leadership skills and improve your team's sales performance. In this article, we review what sales coaching is, explore salary information and discuss 11 coaching tips to help you improve your mentorship capabilities.

What is sales coaching?

We can define sales coaching as managing techniques a sales manager or coach employs to support and build his sales team. They do this to improve the productivity of the entire business operation. Sales coaches help create atmospheres that inspire sales representatives to carry out their duties effectively, motivate each other and ask questions. These coaching methods are practical methods a manager may use when leading their sales team.

Related: How to Coach at Work: Steps and Skills for Success

How much does a sales coach make?

The national average salary for a sales coach is £34,495 per year. Salaries may vary depending on factors such as your location, company, experience and educational background. Besides your primary salary, some additional compensation benefits might include:

  • performance bonuses

  • allowances

  • sales commissions

  • gifts

11 tips for effective sales coaching

You may start your career as a sales manager by learning to use some of these skills:

1. Build a collaborative environment

Working collaboratively with your sales associates is one of the most effective qualities for a sales manager. Try as much as possible to work hand-in-hand with them like you'd have in a system of inclusive leadership, for a better turnout of events and maximal results. Fostering a collaborative environment can help promote positive long-term changes in behaviour. Deliberate together and provide solutions to achieve your set goal.

Related: 9 sales training games to boost your sales techniques

2. Ask before acting

Clarifying questions can aid in understanding the real motive for some of your associates' actions were uncertain about prior. It likewise helps you make informed decisions. For instance, if you observed that one of your sales representatives made mistakes during a business call or couldn't close a business deal, sit them down to debrief them before you reach a conclusion or give a verdict.

This concept also allows you to build a collaborative environment that can increase respect and constructive communication. Applauding their milestones and overlooking mistakes sometimes could positively affect their self-confidence, affecting their performance. Examples of good sales coaching questions to ask include:

  • 'What surprised you about the customer's reaction?'

  • 'What else did he say?'

  • 'What did you notice?'

  • 'So what could have been better?'

  • 'Now, what steps would you take?'

  • 'What could you have done differently?'

  • 'Do you have any questions you want to ask me?'

3. Actively listen

When you ask questions, try to pay rapt attention, because it can improve the effectiveness of the conversation and generate actionable outcomes. Actively listening can help you effectively identify development opportunities. Paraphrasing, asking more questions, summarising their response and emphasising are examples of some things you'd observe good listeners.

Related: What are the most important sales skills?

4. Show your intent

Ensure that sales representatives see your coaching sessions as therapeutic and constructive. Show them you have good intentions by taking steps to improve. This act creates a positive environment where the representatives become confident and motivated to engage in behavioural change.

5. Co-define outcomes and communicate expectations

Sales groups benefit when sales managers and their representatives have a consensus on goals and targets to achieve. This involves consistent communication between the group members to educate them about performance expectations. It also includes identifying the key behaviours and results you need from the representatives during coaching sessions. A convenient way to start the meeting is by jointly examining their behaviours and pinpointing their strengths and weaknesses to identify improvement opportunities. Reviewing their sales calls can also help you identify improvement opportunities and create development plans.

6. Establish clear roles

One sales mentorship method is for the manager to closely watch sales associates while completing their duties. Establish clear roles and models the representatives are to employ before the calls and other sales events to reduce your urge as a coach to take over calls from team members whilst supervising. The sales call roles you can consider are:

  • Modelling call: Modelling calls are methods where you sell and the sales representative observes and learns. This is helpful for new associates who may not have experience or confidence yet.

  • Coaching call: In a coaching call, the sales ambassador handles the call while you observe. It allows you to notice errors better because you are less involved, which is why it's regarded as the most effective sales call.

  • Joint call: In joint calls, the associate and the sales manager co-handle the call. Managers use a joint call when sales representatives want to close a large or complex deal.

7. Encourage self-evaluation

Encourage sales reps to assess their performance and build self-improvement goals around their observations. Some benefits of self-evaluation are:

  • improves performance

  • increases self-awareness

  • fosters strong relationships

8. Develop an action plan

Once you and your sales reps have been able to co-identify issues, the next step is to find solutions. Starting another question session and asking them how they can improve can help them develop an effective action plan. Listen to their suggestions and establish a plan that aims at their improvement. Ensure that these goals are realistic and set a timeframe for them.

9. Focus on one improvement at a time

It can be more effective when you address issues one at a time rather than trying to address multiple issues simultaneously. Focusing on one improvement at a time might get you more devoted and have measurable progress. It's also more satisfying and makes it easier to track the growth of every team member.

10. Enquire about the sales representatives' wellbeing

Mental and physical health are key components of an individual that could positively affect one's productivity when in check. Balanced physical health gives contributes to quick turnover and gives the stamina to work under pressure. Positive mental health may also improve the relational and cognitive skills of sales associates, allowing them to manage individual differences of colleagues and misunderstandings. This can also help them adapt to change. Consider asking your team members individually about their mental health regularly. If anybody confides in you, comfort them and ask if there's any way you can help.

11. Conduct feedback sessions

The quality of giving criticism properly is essential in sales coaching. Instead, make it clear, relevant, constructive, motivating and solution-focused, communicating in a polite tone. Giving feedback is more than a show of authority but is to improve what sales reps do, optimising labour.

Most useful sales coaching skills

The following skills may help you in your sales mentorship career:

Communication skills

Excellent communication skills are essential for mentoring in sales, both for team members and clients. Actively listening is an integral part of communication, as you would listen to clients, to make sure you fully grab and clarify what they need you to do. Communication is important within your sales team too because you'd address problems and check progress.

Related: Why is communication important? (And how to improve it)

Leadership skills

Leadership makes you responsible to and for your representatives, as you ensure the full participation of everyone. As a leader, you may set and achieve goals with your team members. They also help their team members grow by providing each member with the support and tools to become effective team members.

Observation skills

Observation is also a crucial part of sales mentorship. For example, it would help if you observed your clients' words and gestures to understand their needs fully. It requires focus and attention to detail and can help improve the quality of conversation between you and the client. It's also important to watch sales representatives on sales calls and evaluate where they might benefit from improvements. This skill is most times interwoven with:

  • emotional intelligence

  • critical thinking skills

  • communication skills

Related: How to improve soft skills in the workplace

Interpersonal relationship

As a sales manager, you meet and interact with many people every day. Therefore, you may develop good interpersonal relationships with them, including clients and your team. It can help you build a stronger team and close more sales deals.

Related: 8 essential marketing manager skills

Planning skills

Many coaches develop plans to help individuals improve their sales skills. These plans often include specific goals for the individual to accomplish. Coaches use their planning skills to set goals that are the following:

  • time-bound

  • agreed-upon

  • measurable

  • specific

  • realistic

Related:

  • 6 careers in coaching (with skills, salary and duties)


Explore more articles