Achieve frictionless sales by transforming your company through a culture of learning.
The fourth in a four-part blog series explaining how frictionless selling will help grow your business.
But if you just want to know how adopting a culture of learning can transform your sales figures and grow your business, then you’re in the right place.
One of the most effective things you can do as a business leader to encourage frictionless sales is making sure your sales teams are coached on a regular basis. After all, it stands to reason the more knowledgeable and better skilled your sales teams are, the more prospects they can convert into clients.
How to implement an effective coaching programme.
Before you can implement a new effective coaching programme, you need to first make sure your frictionless sales process is clearly defined and measured. If you’re already using the HubSpot platform you probably already have a handle on this. But even if you’re not, you can still implement an effective programme as long as the CRM system you are working with has the capability of tracking sales conversion metrics.
As a business leader, you’re probably already aware of your sales attrition rate - the gradual drop in numbers of potential prospects as they progress through your sales process. Some natural attrition is normal and healthy. After all, it would be strange if every single person visiting your website also found your product or service to be the exact solution to their problem. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.
If you analyse these metrics for individual sales reps, you will undoubtedly find they all likely struggle with a different stage of the process. For example, you may have one rep who’s exceptional at generating leads but struggles to convert them to meetings, but another who instead excels at booking meetings but struggles to convert them to sales. But remember, you can only take advantage of this information and improve your frictionless sales if you're already working with a reliable CRM system capable of producing effective reports, such as HubSpot.
The usual practice in sales is for the most successful salespeople in the company to be promoted into management. Unfortunately, this also usually means most sales leaders then lack experience of formal coaching: a problem that can hold your sales team's performance back and have a negative effect on their conversion rates. But if you want to avoid this trap, and see consistent and tangible improvements in your sales team’s performance, it might be a good idea to adopt the frictionless sales GROW coaching model: Goal, Reality, Options, Way forward.
Start by understanding what each individual member of your sales team wants to achieve. By comparing where they are now to where they want to be, and by allowing each team member to implement their own SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals, you can empower each team member to take control of their own personal growth while simultaneously lifting the ability of the team as a whole.
The reality stage is less about the achievability of goals and more about measuring the reality of where each of your sales team currently sits. For example, if a rep is currently only hitting two sales a month, it probably isn’t a realistic frictionless sales target for them to expect to lift that number into double figures in only a few months. As a business leader, it then becomes part of your coaching remit to manage your reps self-expectation while still encouraging growth. But if you’re using a dependable CRM (such as HubSpot), then measuring this growth should be as simple through monitoring the various daily, weekly and monthly customised reports produced.
Once your rep has established both where they currently sit and where they want to be, you now need to look at how that can happen. For example, if your rep currently delivers two deals a month from ten booked meetings converted from fifty prospected contacts, then you need to decide how and where the rep can and wants to be coached to improve their two deals to four. Do they want to increase their prospect/meeting ratio? Or are they more interested in tightening up their final pitch? After all, there are more ways to increase frictionless sales than simply increasing activity.
And finally, now you’ve established all of the above, you can continue the GROW coaching model by setting down exactly how the rep can achieve their desired goals. For example, if your rep is currently only converting two sales meetings from ten booked meetings as previously discussed, then a reasonable ‘Way forward’ would be for them to revisit objection handling techniques for queries surrounding the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. But remember! Alongside the align phase of the frictionless methodology (making sure your selling process matched the clients buying journey), objection handling should only ever be based on offering advice on how your product or service genuinely solves your client's problem. If the client’s objection is something you simply just genuinely cannot fix, then it’s better to let the client walk away rather than create issues for you later down the line.