Coaching Your Sales Team

Image of Hale Soucie
Hale Soucie

According to a LinkedIn study, sales teams who received 3 hours of coaching per month had a 17% higher closing rate than teams who received only 2 hours.

This is a pretty significant jump in sales and may have you considering outside sales training. The truth is that you don't need to bring in an outside specialist or sales guru to teach your team some magic process.

As the General Manager or Sales Manager for your dealership YOU should not only be training and managing your team, but coaching them as well.

Many people confuse training, managing and coaching or think that they are all the same thing when in reality they are all different and require different techniques and approaches.

How? Let's break it down.

Training is imparting specific skills or knowledge. You train your new sales people to learn your process or to do a specific task they haven’t done before. Managing and coaching are a bit more complicated.

Whenever one of your sales reps brings you a problem or a question with a customer, you have an often difficult decision to make – will you jump in and solve it yourself or will you help your employee discover a solution?

No matter how tempting it would be to choose the managing option and fix the problem yourself, coaching your sales rep to analyze the situation and find alternative solutions to the problem will do more good in the long run.

Think about it, have you ever seen a coach at a sporting event come out on to the field and take the shot, go to bat, or run a sprint for one of their team members? No, because that is not their job, and taking this approach would never allow the players to improve.

With coaching, you will not be able to manage the results, but you will be able to manage the behaviors of your sales reps that lead to the results. This is how, with your help, they will gain the skills and the knowledge of how to make their own decisions in order to become more effective.

At Edifice we like to remind ourselves,

"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."

So how can you measure your sales team's efforts other than simply counting their number of sales?

One of the best tools is your CRM.

When CRM data shows that there has been a change in one of your sales reps’ performance when compared to the previous period, this can serve as a great starting point for your sales coaching session. If the numbers are different you can compare what the sales rep did differently to get different results.

To do that you can analyze these activities of a sales rep:

  1. What kind of activities has the sales rep engaged in the previous period? Was it phone calls or e-mails or other activity, and how many different activities were performed?
  2. How many of these activities ended up with responses?
  3. What is the rate of contact – how many and what types of activities are logged against a lead to qualify it as an opportunity?
  4. After the lead was registered as an opportunity, how many follow-up activities did it take to move the opportunity to the next stage?

By analyzing these key points you can actually see where your sales rep is experiencing problems.

When you see the number of activities he or she has engaged in, you can hypothesize the reason for under-performing. For example, maybe the reason is the lack of activities and your sales rep simply needs to be more persistent into converting leads to opportunities?

If you see, that there are enough activities registered with no result then this might be a sign that the sales rep needs additional training on leading the sales conversations and you might want to participate when he or she is making a phone call or help him write effective sales emails to get them back on track.

If you see that sales rep is successful in turning leads into cars sold, maybe the reason for not hitting the quota is lack of follow-up on the prospects in the later stages.

By taking the time to diagnose problem areas in your sales team's processes you will be able to coach them to be more effective and provide more revenue for your dealership.

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