Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coaching Best Practices and Tips



You are likely out in the field more often with your salespeople. Here are some coaching best practices and tips to help you make the most of your team calls and use even limited post sales call time as a learning lab through coaching. After each call, along with discussing next steps and strategy, select one area of the call and coach to it.

Preparation: How prepared was the salesperson? How well did he or she prepare you?
- Briefed you for the call.
- Provided a copy of the sales call plan/agenda at least a day before the call to you.
- Requested a copy of sale call plan/agenda at least a day before the call.
- Used Social Media tools to research customers/prospects to help connect?
- Developed rapport topics/questions based on previous call notes and research.
- Included personal information in CRM along with business information?
- Use contacts such as receptionists, assistants, colleagues to gain personal insight to customer.

Opening
- Built rapport.
- Leveraged preparation.
- Recapped agenda and checked if it met client's expectations.
- Transition to Need Dialogue.

Need Dialogue
- Started with broader need questions - Why is customer doing X vs. getting details on X.
- Prefaced questions with reason/benefit to customer to encourage more open responses.
- Listened for and probed vague words, and picked up on words underscored to probe further.
- Took notes of key words, ideas, concerns, and personal data.
- Probed needs fully before asking about competitors, decision process, compelling event, time frame, and budget.


Solution Dialogue
- Customized your capabilities/solution to the customer's needs - addressed customer's priorities.
- Tied solution to the customer's business objectives/demonstrate measurable value.
-Provided success story/example to bring to life.
- Added value through insights/new ideas.
- Positioned alternatives when needed.
- Used customer's language.
- Clearly presented the solution/recommendation.
- Checked for customer feedback.

Objections
- Acknowledged concerns.
- Expressed empathy when customer's feelings were involved.
- Clarified the objective by asking for specifics. Didn't make assumptions.
- Customized capabilities/benefits to resolve the specific objection.
- Checked for agreement or understanding.

Action Close
- Summarized with benefits.
- Asked for action step that is tied to your call objective.
- Made a Second Effort by acknowledging and probing.
- Reinforced rapport to end on a personal note.

Follow-up
- Sent follow-up thank-you/recap e-mail.
- Entered data to CRM.
- Debriefed with team.
- Planned steps to maintain momentum.
- Followed up promptly.

Remember when you coach:


Coaching vs. Telling
- Ask for salesperson's perceptions before you give your feedback.
- Drill down and probe to help salespeople analyze their performance and take responsibility.
- Don't just talk about what to do differently - practice!
- Balance your feedback with strengths and areas for improvement.



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To learn more about Richardson's comprehensive sales training, consulting and sales coaching solutions, please visit us on the web at www.richardson.com

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