COVID-19 has been a challenging time for salespeople. The social distancing norms have compelled the teams to stay at home and interact with prospects online instead of having a face-to-face conversation. This makes it more difficult for them to close deals. Challenges in closing deals are not exactly new for salespeople. However, given the current situation, it could add a real strain to the spirits of the team.
In times like these, sales coaching comes to rescue.
It helps to boost the team’s morale and keep them engaged.
Unlike sales training programs where the teams are trained on how to sell a product or service, sales coaching takes a more personalized approach towards a holistic development.
Through sales coaching, organizations can identify the gaps in each salesperson and try to provide a custom-made solution to fix it and help them grow. Think of it as a mentor-mentee relation where the end goal is to nurture the person and not necessarily only sell more products.
So, what can companies do to keep the teams motivated and engaged?
Assess the team’s strength and weakness
Every salesperson is different. Some may be extremely confident; some may be anxious while pitching. A one-size-fits-all approach would not work in such cases. The sales coach has to assess each person individually to find their strength and weakness. To remove prejudices or assumptions during an evaluation, coaches can use AI-based tools to measure the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Numly™, for instance, provides a 16-personality factor self-evaluation that measures the strengths and weaknesses of a person’s personality traits. It offers accurate insights that help the coach find areas of improvement for each salesperson and coach them accordingly.
Provide personalized feedback
Based on the assessment, the coach can formulate a detailed and personalized feedback to guide the salesperson effectively. Giving feedback cannot be a one-off activity. It is a continuous process that leads to a journey of holistic development.
Coaches can leverage tools to make this a productive process. For example, Numly offers organizations with custom engagement tools that identify skills gaps in each salesperson and pairs them internally with a coach. The coach helps the salesperson to meet their goals using various methods such as self-scoring, peer-rating, and continuous feedback.
Develop new skills
The modern-day customer is well-informed. A cold call or aggressive sales pitch can no longer persuade them to buy a product. They have to be educated, informed, and provided with relevant content so that they can trust the company.
Salespeople cannot just pick the phone and start pitching. They must develop a different approach to build a long-term relationship with the customer. It has become even more critical now, as COVID-19 has led to an economic meltdown across the globe. Salespeople will have to become more empathetic instead of pushy to gain the prospect’s trust. Such skills cannot be attained overnight. Only a sales coach can help the team to develop new skills, and catch up with customer needs, and their way of engaging with the company. A personalized sales coaching program will eventually help the sales team to do their job better.
Change the behavior
Behavior, like new skills, cannot be improved in a day. It is an ongoing effort, wherein, the sales coach identifies a positive behavior and reinforces it to bring in a change within the person. So, it could be encouraging an introvert to open up and communicate more with the customers or coaching someone to listen more and talk less. A positive change will help the sales team to perform better and deliver better results.
Build a strong relationship
Sales is all about building a strong relationship – not just with the customer, but also with other stakeholders such as the marketing team, the product team, etc. To create a positive and harmonious relationship, the sales team can take guidance from sales coaches. They can learn how to develop a relationship with internal and external stakeholders and use it to build goodwill for the company and themselves. A good sales team knows how to keep everyone happy and achieve their goals.
Sales is less about selling a product, and more about the process of doing it. A successful salesperson possesses the right power skills. They don’t sell; they build relationships.
Power skills are a combination of science and arts. With the right tools and accurate data, companies can help their sales teams to improve these skills and build a roadmap to a successful sales career.