Are you comfortable with coaching your sales team virtually?
5 Best Practices for Coaching Virtually:
Prospects are shopping on line and "eliminating" as they go. So every opportunity with a prospect is valuable, whether it's the first virtual appointment or a followup in-person meeting.
As a coach, we need to equip our sales team with tools to convert sales more easily, and sharpened skills are at the top of the list. But how do we keep them inspired AND coach them to keep their skills sharp if we can't be there in person to coach them?
Best Practices to Virtual Coaching:
1. Set the stage with all sales team members that conversion is paramount right now, and your goal is to assist them. In order to do so, you would like to be included in their virtual meetings so you can observe them in action and provide coaching after their meeting.
- Ask them what specific area they would like you to focus your attention on during the call.
- Instead of being introduced as their boss, be introduced as an observer to better understand how the virtual meetings are going, or as a marketing assistant so you can hear "real time" what's happening in the market.
- Set the expectation that you're not intending to interject, just to observe and take notes.
- Initially, you will need to build rapport and establish trust with the prospect, and once you do, most prospects will be totally cool with your presence.
- Most platforms (Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts) will allow multiple attendees.
- If real-time attendance is not possible, then have your sales people record the virtual calls, and then review. (Get the prospect's approval first.)
2. Observe the sales person in action, virtually, and refrain from interjecting or taking over:
- Listen carefully to both the sales person and the prospect.
- Take notes of specific behaviors, specific probes and skills used in their sales process and the customer's responses. Identify elements that were positive and that need development.
- How well did they create empathy, establish trust, uncover needs, satisfy them and close through out the exchange.
- Did they close on the next step?
- Hone in on the top 3 things you think they did exceptionally well.
- Identify 1 behavior that could be improved upon.
3. Debrief the interaction:
- First- Ask the sales person for their reaction to their skill usage.
- What did they do well, what would they have changed?
- If they would have changed something, what and how so?
- Second- offer your reactions. "May I share my reactions?"
- Praise them for what they did well, and why it was so good, accentuating the impact of the behavior. Be specific on what they said and what the behavior was.
- Offer coaching on just one thing they could have done better, and share its potential impact as well.
4. Practice the skills that could have been improved upon.
- Demonstrate what a good job looks like.
- Ask them to verbalize the enhancement and practice it using their own words.
- Can they see the difference, the impact?
- Praise them for effort and progress.
5. Wrap up
- Summarize the learning points.
- Create an action plan.
- Inspire them...praise them for effort, for learning and for willingness to enhance their skills.
- Leave them on a high note.
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For more information or more in-depth guidance on how to coach a virtual sales team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathy is a sales and leadership coach specializing in helping builders and real estate companies develop brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high performance sales culture. Kathy's transformational sales leadership programs help sales leaders learn the systems and strategies to not just survive the demanding role of the sales manager, but to THRIVE.