International Coaching Week came and went without a lot of fanfare last week. Unfortunately I think that coaching does actually get short changed in many companies. I don’t believe that this is usually a conscious decision in that the manager has decided that coaching is not worthwhile. The problem is that coaching takes time, and time is something that managers have very little of.
I would argue however that coaching and training is even more important in sales than in other jobs, and perhaps even more important in inside sales. It is a job where you put yourself on the line with every call, and that is not an easy thing to do. We talk about someone being a born salesperson, but the best salespeople have a lot of mileage under their belt and have had the opportunity to learn from others. We shouldn’t forget that when we put together a sales team and give them the ultimate responsibility of all – to bring in money.
So what can be done? The right software solution can certainly be a good place to start. When you are coaching and training salespeople you need to give them the tools to standardise best practices. Functionality such as call center scripting software with logical branches gives salespeople the opportunity to work on tried-and-true messages, and the feedback from calling can easily be fed back into improvements to the script for everyone. The ability to intelligently record calls that are attached to the actual contact record can be a crucial component of the coaching process. Not only does it give you an opportunity to evaluate calling skills at times that work for you, it also allows you to easily go over problem areas with employees or share great calls with everyone. Managers rarely have that time and focus available in the heat of the action.
These are just a few system features that can make a real difference in introducing better coaching and training practices in a sales group without causing a lot of additional work for management. Sales software can improve many areas of the sales process but many managers don’t even think about the positive impact it can have on their ability to coach and train employees.