Improve sales by transforming your company through a culture of learning
In the final part of this blog series, we're touching on how adopting a culture of learning can transform your sales figures and grow your business.
One of the most effective things you can do as a business leader is ensure 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.
Implement an effective sales coaching programme
Before you can implement a new effective coaching programme, you need to first make sure your 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 likely aware of your sales attrition rate–the gradual drop in numbers as potential prospects progress from visiting your website, engaging with your sales team, and converting into a customer. 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 probably struggle with a different stage of the process. For example, you may have one rep who is exceptional at generating leads but struggles to convert them to meetings. Likewise, you may have another who excels at booking meetings but struggles to convert them to sales.
But whatever stage your sales reps see the most drops means the potential to improve your overall sales conversions. But it does need to be mentioned that you can only take advantage of this information if you're already working with a reliable CRM system capable of producing these reports.
The usual practice within sales is for the most successful salespeople to be promoted into management. Unfortunately, this then also usually means most sales leaders don’t have any previous experience of formal coaching: a problem that can hold back your sales teams performance and have a negative effect on their conversion rates.
But if you want to see consistent, reportable coaching improvements in your sales teams, it might be a good idea to adopt the GROW coaching model:
- 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 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 simplified through monitoring the various daily, weekly, and monthly customised reports produced.
Once sales reps establish both where they currently sit within the team and where they want to be, you can start 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 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 client's 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.