ACTG Sales Management Blog

Sales & Sales Management Expertise Blog  

Jeni Wehrmeyer

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What is the Impact of Frequent Coaching?

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Jul 21, 2023

Excerpt from Objective Management Group’s recent webinar on The Data Behind Sales Managers of Elite Teams. The second chapter of this guide addresses a fundamental question: how often should sales managers coach their teams? Through a deep analysis of sales evaluations and coaching frequencies, we uncover the impact of consistent coaching on various aspects of sales performance.

OMG clients often ask “I know coaching matters, but how often do I need to coach? And is there such a thing as too much coaching?” From our 30 years of sales evaluations, we know that some managers are extremely consistent coaches. Others tend to be more ad-hoc, letting their salespeople either come to them or addressing issues as they arise. Which style leads to better results?

To answer this, we’ve examined the OMG Sales Evaluations of over 11,000 salespeople and their managers with a specific focus on coaching frequency and how that relates to sales performance.

How much coaching is ideal?

Our data clearly show that any coaching is better than no coaching for salesperson development, and that high-frequency coaching has the biggest impact. Less frequent coaching – quarterly, monthly, or bi-weekly – all tend to yield similar gains over no coaching at all, often falling around a 2-5% improvement in Sales Percentile.

However, the real impact kicks in when coaching occurs weekly or several times per week, perhaps even daily.

  • Salespeople who are coached weekly have +9% higher Sales Percentile than salespeople who are never coached. Sales Percentile increases +17% when the salesperson is coached several times per week.

What sales competencies does consistent coaching improve?

  • Salespeople who are coached several times per week or daily show a +34% gain in Responsibility versus those who do not receive coaching at all, and a +19% gain in Motivation. Notable gains are also seen over those who experience on-demand coaching, +22% and +10% for Responsibility and Motivation, respectively
  • Additionally, Sales Process improves +28% (over no coaching) and +11% (over on-demand). These salespeople are better at time management, achieving consistent results, following key sales steps, setting milestones, and tracking results using a scorecard.

What’s happening here? Managers who regularly coach their salespeople are modeling a clear sense of responsibility and commitment for their team. That approach sets expectations and creates a similar attitude for salespeople in their approach to their position.

What else does frequent coaching impact?

Beyond improvements in the salesperson’s attitude, frequent coaching also creates tangible gains in the salesperson’s Tactical skills. Most notably, salespeople who receive consistent, frequent coaching show +50% greater proficiency in using Sales Technology than those who do not receive any coaching, and +16% greater proficiency compared to those who receive on-demand coaching.

How often are sales managers coaching today?

While the ideal is an active manager-salesperson coaching dynamic, this rarely occurs. Only 10% of salespeople report being coached multiple times per week or more. In fact, a complete lack of coaching is reported almost as often (8% of the time)! Even weekly coaching only occurs 20% of the time. Most managers coach on-demand.

This blog article is based on a three-part blog series on Coaching found on OMG’s Research Blog. Anthony Cole Training Group is a distributor of OMG sales evaluation products.

Find out how your team rates on Coaching HERE!

Read Part 3: Which Manager Qualities Matter Most for Building Elite Sales Teams

 

Topics: Sales Training, banking sales training, sales training tips

The Data Behind Sales Managers of Elite Teams

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Jul 13, 2023

This blog is an excerpt from Objective Management Group’s recent webinar on The Data Behind Sales Managers of Elite Teams. The first chapter of this guide emphasizes the critical role of trust between a manager and their sales team to ensure coachability. We reveal data that demonstrates how salespeople who trust and have a strong relationship with their managers exhibit higher coachability and overall performance.

Want To Make Your Salespeople More Coachable? First Gain Their Trust

Coaching is necessary, but alone it’s not enough. Sales Managers need to make sure their teams are receptive to the coaching that they receive. How can managers do that?

To answer this, we analyzed OMG Sales Evaluations of over 11,000 salespeople and their managers. The data clearly shows that how salespeople view the quality of their relationship with their manager has a profound effect on their performance. The heart of the impact, unsurprisingly, lies in how open they are to the coaching efforts of their manager.

What does it mean to be Coachable? And why does it matter?

OMG’s Coachable finding explains to what degree a sales leader should be able to coach a frontline salesperson. Salespeople who score low on Coachability are less likely to make the changes necessary to improve their performance. And being coachable does lead to better performance – our data shows that the most coachable salespeople have +13% higher OMG Sales Percentile than the least coachable salespeople.

OMG’s Coachable finding explains to what degree a sales leader should be able to coach a frontline salesperson. Salespeople who score low on Coachability are less likely to make the changes necessary to improve their performance. So, how can managers make sure their salespeople are coachable?

Salespeople are significantly more Coachable when they trust, respect, and have a relationship with their manager.

Each component of trust, respect, and relationship-building matters. Salespeople who trust their sales manager’s intentions score +26% higher on Coachability compared to salespeople who do not trust their managers. Similarly, salespeople who respect their manager are +20% more Coachable. Salespeople who have a relationship that is strong enough to withstand constructive criticism are also +20% more Coachable.

Trust, respect, and a strong relationship between a salesperson and their manager also improves the salesperson’s Outlook and Responsibility:

  • +19%: Salespeople who have a relationship with their manager score +19% better on Responsibility than salespeople who do not have a relationship with their manager.
  • +13%: Similarly, salespeople who respect their managers score +13% better on Outlook than salespeople who do not respect their managers.

What does this mean in practice? Salespeople who score well on Responsibility are more likely to hold themselves accountable for their results, rather than blame external factors like competition or the economy. Salespeople who score well on Outlook believe that they can be successful in sales. Combined, the two create a virtuous cycle for performance improvement - the salesperson acknowledges that their own shortcomings are impacting their results and believes that they can perform better. This opens the door for a trusted manager to begin a targeted, frequent training plan.

Find out how your team rates on Coaching HERE!

 

Read Part 2: What is the Impact of Frequent Coaching?

Read Part 3: Which Manager Qualities Matter Most for Building Elite Sales Teams

 

Topics: Sales Training, banking sales training, sales training tips

8 Training Tips for Effective Banking Sales Training

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Jun 23, 2023

There is no greater benefit than hearing from a client how they are implementing a sales development program in their bank and their culture. We recently had the benefit of 45 minutes of input from one of our valued banking clients and learned how they are building their team of successful, relationship building bankers.

Certainly, we are helping this leader with our Sales Managed Environment and Effective Selling System sales tactics, but the program is also flourishing due to their strong leadership.

Here are some of their key areas of focus.

  • Sales development is for everyone, even the senior bankers. It might be important to treat them differently, provide options and flexibility but greatness is achieved by always learning so top performers must actively participate in sales training.
  • Why be good, when you can be great? That is an underlying and consistent theme that drives the development efforts and generates engagement of the bankers. Who does not want to be part of a great team?
  • Sales training must be bank-wide, all lines of business are in for a successful bank sales team. The same language must be spoken and an easy-to-follow sales process must be used consistently for bankers to leverage opportunities and bring in partners.
  • Sales development is a capital investment and should be positioned and reported as such. This bank reports quarterly on the number and dollars of deals in the pipeline vs year prior as well as improved “pull through rate” which is number of sales compared to deals entering the pipeline.
  • Use Big Math for coaching. The data does not lie and it takes the personal out of the conversation. Of course, banks must collect the right data in order to do that including outreaches, appointments, opportunities, presentations, approvals and deals closed. This data will tell a seasoned coach in which areas their bankers need to improve.
  • Leverage small group training even though it may be more time intensive or costly, it is worth it. Small group training allows bankers to be more comfortable in front of others in role play. This leader said they practice until the banker no longer feels like “throwing up on their shoes.” That is what gets them to greatness as well as having senior leadership actively present.
  • Clear out the BS in the pipeline with regular 30 and 60 day reviews and personal coaching. Do not let the pipeline carry dead weight. This will help the pipeline be more predictive of future success as well as flush out the potential need for more prospecting activity on the part of the banker.
  • One way to make the pipeline more real is to require Opportunity Memos on those deals that are in middle to end stages of the pipeline. This memo clarifies the prospect qualifies on the many scorecard attributes identified by the bank.

These days, banking is in the news and the positive side of that is many bank clients are reaching out to their banks to ask questions, explore options, get better rates and feel more secure. This may take banking out of its commodity state of years past and allow for bankers to differentiate and engage their clients and prospects in a new way.

Need More  Sales Management Training?

Topics: Sales Training, banking sales training, sales training tips

Why Sales Coaching Matters

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Oct 14, 2022

It is an important distinction in sales – understanding the salesperson who can sell versus the one who will sell. A recent post by Dave Kurlan, on the Difference Between Selling Skills and Effectiveness does a great job of illustrating that difference. Think about your own business and those who consistently produce beyond the expected. There is something more than just their skills that drive their behavior and success. There is the Will to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

Why Sales Coaching Matters

This distinction between the can and will is why sales coaching really matters. Sales training can help develop a new producer so that they understand how to prospect, prepare, qualify and close business. But it is often the Coach who helps that salesperson uncover their will and their desire to sell, who stokes the fires by asking the right questions and helps them establish extraordinary goals. Sales coaching matters because it is personal, based on the salesperson’s situation, drive, hopes and dreams.

Sales coaching is also important to every organization because salespeople reporting to a manager with strong Coaching skills tend to have 26% more closeable late-stage opportunities.

But we also know from the data warehouse of Objective Management Group that less than 10% of sales coaches know the personal goals of their salespeople so while they may be well intended, how can a sales manager coach a salesperson until they know why that salesperson comes to work every day or what compels them to pick up the phone and make that next prospecting call.

Most sales coaches moved up through their company because they were good producers and they because of that, they are adept at translating the how to sell effectively, but may not be as skilled in helping to uncover a salesperson’s will to sell. Sales managers need a coaching system so they know when to coach their salespeople and follow an intentional sales coaching process to make it effective.

Here are 9 Skills in our Sales Coaching Skill Development Plan:

  1. Debriefs effectively after significant calls
  2. Effective on joint calls
  3. Asks quality questions of their salespeople
  4. Understands the impact of a salesperson’s Sales DNA
  5. Can demonstrate an effective sales system
  6. Is effective at getting commitments from salespeople
  7. Consistently coaches skills and behaviors
  8. Understands the impact of a salesperson’s Will to Sell
  9. Effectively onboards new salespeople

Just like salespeople, there are many sales managers who can do the job of coaching – they have the skills, but perhaps are not motivated by achieving success through the development and achievements of others. Those who lead and manage salespeople can lack the will to succeed in sales management. It’s an important distinction for every company to consider as they hire and develop their team.

Find out more about why sales coaching matters: https://blog.anthonycoletraining.com/sales-coaching-skills

 

Do You Need More Leads? –  Free Sales Prospecting eBook Download

why sales coaching matters

 

Topics: effective sales coaching, Sales Coaching, sales coaching cincinnati

How Strong are Your People at Sales Negotiation?

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Sep 01, 2022

Negotiate by definition is to deal or bargain with others in preparation of a contract or business deal.  As a verb, negotiate means to move through in a satisfactory manner. In the world of selling, both of those definitions are relevant and important. Oftentimes, sales negotiation tactics seem to be related to price – giving or getting the best rate or fees for a product or service. Here is what we know to be true about rate or price reduction requests. We call them the 3 Immutable Truths:

  • It does not cost your prospect or client anything to ask for a better deal
  • Your tone and response will set the tone for future negotiations
  • If you don’t move the conversation away from rate towards value, you will always be negotiating rate

To respond effectively to a rate or price requestion, you must be assertive, skilled at asking questions and listening, able to sell your value and a skilled negotiator. Skillful salespeople know how to do all this and bring that additional layer of consultation to bring the negotiation to its best outcome.

We are often asked about training on sales negotiation tactics and while important, the real strength of elite producers is in this area of being inquisitive, curious, caring and consultative. While negotiating is all about landing on an agreed upon “fair deal” for the prospect and service provider, consulting is much more. A consultative seller will come prepared to a meeting fully understanding many of the possible issues a company may have and industry trends and challenges. Elite producers even have their questions laid out, tailored for resonance and possible questions that their prospect may ask of them. These are very basic skills of a consultative seller and can be accomplished with a pre-call plan.

But top bankers, insurance providers and financial service providers come to the table with much more than preparation and sales negotiation tactics. Their questions stem from an inherent desire and need to know more, an open curiosity about the challenges a business owner may have and the yen to know more and to connect solutions with problems, even if it is not their own solution. They are just genuinely interested and surprisingly, they are also humble and not boastful of what they do and offer their clients. Rather, they are confident about themselves and their company and empathetic in their approach. With their skillful question and listening abilities, they are able to help their prospects and clients self discover what needs to happen to solve their business problem.  

A consultative approach often leads to an advisory role and, in most cases, that is what financial service providers are striving to accomplish with their clients. If they can become a trusted advisor, they can really help their clients on a much broader level than a product or service. They will become part of the inner trusted circle for change and growth for that business leader. While sales negotiation tactics are important and lead to a satisfactory arrangement, a truly consultative seller is an essential part of the success of any business and the end goal is overachievement of goals and enhanced profitability.

Referencing the data from the #1 sales assessment in the world, by Objective Management Group, there are some similarities and differences in the specific skills for a negotiator and consultative seller.  Here are the skills that strong negotiators have mastered:

Picture1-1

Now let’s take a look at the skills of the Consultative Seller:

Picture1-2

So, let’s revisit that initial question, how strong are your salespeople at negotiating and consultative selling? Don’t you need to know this? Here’s how to find out now.

Free eBook Download: Find Out if Your  Salespeople Can and Will SELL

Topics: sales negotiation techniques, sales negotiation, sales negotiation tactics


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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

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