Sales coaching is simply about helping you get much better sales.
We all know that we don’t perform at our best all of the time. In fact, for many of us, our best is something that we rarely see.
In the field of sport this has been recognised for a very long time, and today you won’t see any top sports man or woman who doesn’t employ a coach. In fact the very top people often employ multiple coaches to help them with different aspects of their performance. I remember an interview with Clive Woodward after the England rugby team won the World Cup in 2003 and he had employed so many people to support the team. There were coaches for the forwards, coaches for the backs, there were coaches for kicking, coaches for the throw ins, there were sport psychology coaches, nutritionists and more. In fact a whole army of people had been built up just to support the team. Now, at the end of the day, it was down to 15 people on the pitch but without that support behind them they would never have brought home the World Cup.
In the world of business we are taking a lot longer to recognise the value of coaching. However I remember seeing an article in the Daily Telegraph as many as eight years ago in which they reported that 39% of FT-SE 100 chief executives had used a coach at some stage in their career. Today the vast majority of public companies use coaches to develop the best and brightest in their organisation and help them turn into the leaders of tomorrow.
In the business world there are a number of different types of coaches. The most common terms used are Business Coach, Executive Coach and then you will find some specialist coaches. So, for example, we are Sales Coaches. The techniques that all coaches use are very similar but some coaches have a different approach to others. An Executive Coach, for example, will focus on helping the client to find the answers to their problems from within themselves. They may well not have much experience of running a large business or indeed of the discipline that their client specialises in but their skill is in helping the client to think about their issues, set their own agenda and plans, and hold them accountable for those plans.
At Precept we practice what we call directed coaching. This is because we focus on coaching people in sales and sales management and we know a great deal about this topic. So our coaching aims to provide a double benefit; we help our clients to understand what best practice looks like in their field and then to apply that best practice to their business and people. We still use the skills of the executive coach to help our clients determine what for them is peak performance and to help them to achieve that performance. So our clients achieve much better results more quickly as a result of getting both guidance and support in achieving their goals.
Coaching can be used for correcting underperformance. Underperforming salespeople can be turned around through coaching - provided they want to - and this type of sales coaching can be very effective in a short space of time as Paul Negus found
"We used Precept to coach one of our sales people recently. 6 months later he is achieving 50% more sales and is much more confident in his interaction with customers, and more proactive in seeking out new ones."
Sales coaching is at its most effective when employed by people who are already high performing but want to be even better. This is because they are building on existing skills and it is much quicker to improve something you’re good at than it is to improve something that you’re not good at. Typically our clients are seeing improvements of between 50% and 100% in turnover during their engagements with us.
Nick Light is typical of this
"During the year that we worked with Phil our Sales revenue increased by 70% and our profit by more."
So, if you think sales coaching might be for you, or for your team, why not have a look at some of our tips and advice articles, and see whether you think we could help you?