Q2 is an important time to take stock on your plan for the year.
With Q1 in the books, there’s a data set you can look at objectively to understand whether or not the adjustments you made going into the new year are working. If not, you need to pivot now, because tweaking in the second half of the year is too late.
We just completed a series of 2019 QBRs with customers who have been using our product, Coach, for about 90 days. We’ve decided to put them out there for you to see.
Over three posts, I’ll share:
- Why customers implement Coach across their sales teams
- Results our (actual) customers see after using Coach for 90 days
- Actions they take as a result of those findings
Let’s look at what drives our customers to Coach in the first place.
Our customers believe …
- A seller’s success is highly correlated with effective coaching from their manager. The research on this is irrefutable. Furthermore, it is the sales manager’s role to be the force multiplier; to develop and train their sellers. How to provide a measurable, scalable way for sales managers to do this is a big sticking place for organizations.
- Progress is based around “intangibles.” Those “intangibles” are behavioral skills that make or break a sale at any point in the sale process. A sales manager can easily look at a rep’s numbers and see whether or not they’ve made it to goal, but it’s much more tricky (much more intangible) to understand the root of success or unsuccess. Percentage-to-goal doesn’t tell the story of a seller’s ability; it only tells you the end.
- Key behaviors drive sales. Evaluating and tracking the presence or absence of those behaviors allows you to measure individual progress over time.
- Removing subjectivity is paramount. Feedback differs from one manager to another. To optimize the sales function, sellers and managers must be on the same page around what behaviors constitute “not so good,” “okay,” and “great.”
Our customers have reached a tipping point. They have found those beliefs you just read about can’t be upheld by the systems they have in place today, and they want to support a culture that drives those beliefs home — not just to their sales managers and sellers, but to the entire organization.
3 Reasons Our Customers Implement Coach
1) To create a coaching culture – 42% of managers don’t have the confidence to coach and develop their sellers. If that’s the case, how can you expect them to build a culture of mentorship and learning with their teams?
2) To install a formal sales management process – At most sales orgs, how a manager spends his or her time is up to them. Coaching and development is ad hoc, and we commonly see a habit of “waiting it out” for low-hanging fruit at the bottom of the funnel. Think of the opportunity lost by not spending enough time at the top of the funnel!
3) To reinforce and coach sales process and methodology – As with any critical investment, you need to see ROI on your sales managers and sellers. If managers set expectations around selling behavior but have no means nor mechanism to hold sellers accountable to them, your ROI suffers.
This also applies to expectations placed on managers. You could say to your managers, “I want you to be joint traveling. The expectation is you are with your reps four times a month.” Are they doing it? You could look at their calendar to find out — not exactly a good use of time, not a very trust-building move, and certainly not scalable.
The question of “did you” is just the first. The next is “to what effect,” and that’s much more difficult to measure.
Q2 Retrospectives are a stressful time for most sales leadership teams because they are plagued by not being able to quantify the intangibles. If progress at the individual seller level comes down to improving upon selling behaviors, those behaviors need to be encouraged. Behaviors that don’t must be coached to improvement.
Coaching, as it turns out, isn’t something that has been historically measurable; at least not in the sales world.
That’s what Coach does. In my next post, I’ll lay out the results our customers saw after using Coach for 90 days.
Want to understand your organization’s readiness for Coaching? Fill out our 8 question Coaching Diagnostic and receive a custom readout of your results.