Recently, CompanyCam’s Michael Gogan and Sales Transformation Group’s Ryan Groth sat down to talk all about how they work to develop sales leaders.
Here are some of the key takeaways and tips from the webinar that business owners and managers can put into practice today with their sales team to develop their sales reps into sales leaders.
Want to watch the full webinar? Jump to the bottom of the blog.
Sales training is how you equip your team with the skills they need for their job and set standards for performance. Training is a linear process that you can test against to see how well someone is grasping the concepts.
Your sales training should provide actionable tips for your sales reps to become better at the core duties: prospecting, networking, door knocking, cold calling, and growing profit margins through add-ons and scheduled maintenance work.
Most sales training revolves around a specific methodology, e.g., Challenger Sales Method, SPIN Selling. Groth suggests using a consultative sales process that makes the “sale” all about your prospect, their experience, and the value they’ll receive rather than how good your products or services are.
Sales coaching is based on your sales reps’ real-life activities and performance. Unlike training, coaching is an ongoing process/relationship.
As you coach your reps, you need to hold regular team meetings, one-on-ones with reps, listen to phone calls, and ride along with them out in the field. Seeing their numbers is one thing, but experiencing how they approach prospects and customers adds color.
This will help you to identify the soft spots: They might have the sales process down, but coaching will work on things like tonality, how you present yourself, and how to pick up on different cues from prospects.
With consistent coaching, reps will develop better habits, become dependable revenue generators, and be more fulfilled in their role.
Coaching also helps you understand who the salesperson is and why they’re motivated to do this job — more on that in a couple of lines.
Should You Outsource Training and Coaching?
In Groth’s opinion, you should “…as soon as possible.” You could develop a system yourself, but that takes time. Hiring someone outside your organization to look at your processes and numbers, train your reps on a sales method, and measure and optimize results could pay off in the long run.
Even Sales Transformation Group has a sales trainer and coach for their team. It’s like the contractor who hires another contractor to work on their kitchen because they’re too busy working on other people’s houses.
That outside coach will help you identify people internally who can help lead the charge after their training ends.
Understand Their Motivation
In addition to teaching and mentoring your reps, understanding their motivation is vital — why are they doing this job, and why are they choosing to do it with your business?
According to Groth, each sales rep’s motivation will fall into one of these categories:
Intrinsically motivated. They want to be the best, and they want to be recognized.
Extrinsically motivated. They want to make as much money as possible.
Altruistically motivated. They see their work as a way of helping others, giving back.
Once you understand their motivations, you’ll be able to coach to those appeals and help them become more fulfilled in their work.
Exercise: 7‑Layer Why
Groth suggests sales leaders do the 7‑layer why exercise to determine what motivates each rep. You start with a question like, “Why are you here doing this job?” Once they answer, you ask a why question to that answer.
This continues until you’re down at the emotional anchor that got them out of bed to come to work. Now the leader better understands their rep, and the salesperson might have learned something about themselves.
What Happens if You Don’t Develop Your Team
They’ll leave revenue on the table. If they don’t develop habits and skills that help them identify opportunities for add-ons, referrals, and self-generated leads, you’ll see less money and lower profit margins.
They’ll leave. If sales reps are not improving, developing their skills, advancing at your company, or feeling fulfilled, they’ll leave, or you’ll let them go. After they go, you’ll need to spend time finding replacements or making sales on your own.
Sales representatives will go to a place where they can be successful. The better the reps you train and coach, the better talent you’ll keep and attract.
A well-developed sales team will make revenue more predictable for a company, free up leaders to think about their business’s future and processes, and identify new opportunities instead of chasing down customers and money.
The best way to develop that team is by investing in your training, coaching, and professional development for your team.
It’s a win-win: Employees gain skills, become more productive and satisfied, and can help grow other sales leaders, and your business becomes more profitable and experiences less employee churn.