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.