Field coaching is a critical part of sales management, and in these challenging times, bringing more clarity to your team’s field work may be critical as shelter-in-place restrictions start to melt away with warmer temperatures.
Expert sales trainer Barrett Riddleberger offers seven “smart” coaching questions Sales Managers should ask when coaching their reps.
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By Barrett Riddleberger
Coaching sales reps is one of the primary roles of a sales manager. Unfortunately, too many sales managers don’t spend enough time in the field observing sales reps to coach them effectively. Instead, they expect salespeople to meet sales goals with minimal observation, feedback, or coaching.
In order to effectively coach your sales team, you must get out in the field. This allows you to observe the performance of your sales reps in a real world scenario.While you’re observing your sales reps, identify their strengths and developmental areas within the sales process.
Here is a list of seven smart observational questions to ask yourself when coaching your sales rep on a sales call.
How well does my sales rep:
1. build trust with the prospect or customer at the beginning of the appointment?
2. balance the dual functions of talking versus listening?
3. formulate and ask business-focused questions?
4. comprehend the buyer’s needs and priorities?
5. qualify the buyer in order to determine if this is a legitimate opportunity?
6. present your products and services as targeted solutions versus pitching a list of features?
7. clearly ask for the sale? (or does the prospect have to take it from them?)
Use these questions to identify what your sales rep does well and where they need work. This will help you create your development plan. Then get to work on helping them improve their skill in that area.
Again, when coaching sales reps on the phone or in the field, you’ll find that these questions help you clarify your observations. You’ll also find that your list of questions will expand as you identify issues specific to your organization and sales process.
If you find that your sales rep is not meeting your expectations on a sales call, dig deeper. You may find they have a behavioral, motivational or cognitive conflict with the role. Use a sales assessment to help you diagnose any personal skill issues that impede performance.
In the end, observing your sales reps sell enables you to better coach your sales team and improve their skills.
Barrett Riddleberger is the founder and CEO of xPotential Selling, and the author of Blueprint of a Sales Champion: How to Recruit, Refine, and Retain Top Sales Performers.