How To Create A Sales Coaching Plan From Scratch

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In sales, “You get what you coach.” 

The tactics and skills that you teach your team reflect in the future decisions and sales targets achieved by your organization. Hence, ongoing sales coaching and motivation is vital for sales teams to achieve and succeed. 

Companies that have a dynamic sales coaching program tend to average at least 28% higher win rates than others without a program.They also see a 17% hike in annual revenue growth (Source).

So, now that you know you need to get started, how do you go about building a sales coaching plan that works. 

We’ve got you covered, follow these steps to create a coaching plan from scratch, even if you’ve never done it before. 

Here’s what we’ll be covering in this article

  • Starting with product onboarding
  • Sharing past learnings 
  • Outlining KPIs
  • Coaching on common objections
  • Right training for each stage of funnel
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Building your sales training stack
  1. Start with a detailed product onboarding

 “More than a quarter (27%) of companies do not offer a sales onboarding program of any kind.”

Onboarding isn’t just for customers, it’s for your sales team too. Ensure that you have a detailed deck and resource guides that your sales team can refer to so that they understand the ins and outs of the product. Video walkthroughs and customer testimonials are also a great way to ensure your sales team learns more about your product and why the customer buys it. These curated resources need to be regularly updated with content every time there’s a new feature or update.

  1. Share Learnings from the Past

If a certain pitch or approach has worked for you, then ensure that you pass it on to new reps. The learnings can only be carried forward if documented. Make sure that your USPs and the pitches that work best are transcribed and shared with the rest of the team. 

  1. Keep the KPIs clear from day 1

Keep track of conversion metrics on a monthly basis. If you notice the number of meetings is increasing but closure rates are decreasing, you should dig into your reps’ email-to-meeting, meeting-to-demo, and demo-to-close rates. You should be clear where the focus area is for each member of your sales team. If your win rates are more when you have detailed discovery calls then you can reduce the number of meetings needed in a day. If more meetings are leading to closures as it’s a self explanatory product, then focus on the number of meetings. The KPIs you set should be based on learnings from past months data. 

  1. Coach them on Common Objections

A sales objection is an expression from a buyer that a barrier exists between what you’re offering and the need they want to be satisfied. In simple terms, a sales objection is an indication that a buyer isn’t ready to buy from you because of a particular reason. But, don’t be discouraged when a buyer isn’t ready to make a purchase.

The 6 most common types of sales objections are:

  • Lack of need
  • Lack of trust
  • Missing potential
  • Lack of budget
  • Lack of product knowledge
  • Not the right authority

There may be a great number of objections based on the buyer’s current situation, mood, financial situation and a lot more. You can read more about common sales objections and how to handle them here.

  1. Equip with the Right Training for Each Stage
  • Early funnel sales coaching – Discovery

Here the new hires are taught the basics – It’s a delicate process, because the salespeople need to encourage the prospect to articulate their pain points and realize what their needs are, but without answering them or influencing their replies. Not selling in the very first place but recognising whether the prospect has the particular pain points that the solution can cater to.

Coaching sales reps for the early stage of the sales funnel involves practicing asking questions the right way, communicating across with empathy and active listening. Sales employees need to be taught the desired outcomes of a discovery call as this lays the foundations of a long lasting relationship built on trust.  Content used for training can be recorded testimonials of customer case-studies, their situations, their objections and understanding the buyer’s persona.

  • Mid-funnel sales coaching – Persuasion

Sales hires after crossing the discovery stage now need to nurture relationships with qualified prospects. 

Soft skill training is equally important here. Training here should be more on “how to sell” than “what to sell” as the product basics are done with.

Sales coaching for the middle stage of the sales funnel requires knowing how to define the objective of your product, use it to tell a narrative rather than simply run a demo, and still ask targeted questions that help propel the prospect forward to the next stage in the funnel. 

Here, you need to know when and how to pitch your product. You need to prepare the right pitch deck.

Content and recordings or voice-over training videos of good and successful pitches should be shared with the hires. Although no pitch is the same. Yet to grab the context of the conversation with the prospect and take it one more step towards the close is the strategy here.

  • Bottom funnel sales coaching – Negotiation

Negotiation is the art required here.

How to reaffirm your value proposition, and how to present your solution as a complete package so that they are convinced to go for the high value version of your product. The skill here is to stop them from haggling on price and getting them to see long term value. 

Here you can train them on offering bundle setup packages and being clear on what is the lower ceiling that they cannot negotiate beyond. 

  1. Testing and evaluating (Use a Sales readiness platform)

Assessment and evaluation of the new hire’s progress is very crucial. Now that we have taken them through the coaching program, it is very important to evaluate a few questions:

  1. Does the training fulfill your sales objectives?
  2. Can double the number of sales hires be trained at the same time?
  3. Are the sales reps ready for the real world?

Leveraging technology makes the coaching process more efficient. We know that training and recordings and tutorial videos help the newbies to speed up. Apart from these traditional techniques, sales coaching tools rev up processes with personalised feedback and assessment of the rep’s mistakes, strengths and weaknesses. 

An efficient learning management system (LMS) with its sales training content plus sales readiness platform like Dialworks make the fine match of sales tools to get your team up to speed.

A sales readiness platform helps you: 

  1. Assess sales rep on multiple parameters eg. confidence, persuasion, objection handling and speeds up the sales cycle, increases the ratio of wins by giving you an easy way to do targeted training. 
  2. Spend less time on traditional sales coaching methods like peer to peer coaching and past call recordings.
  3. Connect with identical customers to and deliver sales pitches in the real world. Get constant feedback from a focus group of simulated customers identical to your ICP. 
  4. Score and give feedback at scale as simulated customers can score your reps on each of the parameters you’re looking to train for. 

Build Your Stack!

Which sales coaching platform or software you should choose largely depends on your distinct needs and requirements. To understand your needs better and tailor a sales stack for your team, it’s best to learn from an expert who’s helped sales teams structure similar programs to what you’re looking for. 

For more guidance on structuring your Sales Training program, book a free consultation with our Sales Training Expert!

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