3 Essential Steps to Coach Sales Reps

Effective sales managers need to A.C.T. – Assess, Compare and Train

So you hired a new sales rep. He seems highly qualified: great resume, very personable, relevant work experience, and he nailed the interview. Now months go by and he just isn’t delivering the numbers. What’s going on? Is it time to let him go? Or can he be coached?

Recent research from CSO Insights' sales survey shows that coaching sales reps is the number one key to helping them rev up their sales. So, a greater emphasis on coaching is a necessity that will help your new sales hires become fully productive faster and more efficient.

Once you notice a potential problem with a sales rep, you want to be proactive about it before the problem gets worse. It’s important to coach early and coach often!

How do you go about effectively coaching an underperformer? Here are three fundamental steps managers must take to coach and develop underperforming sales reps:

  1. Assess. Before you begin coaching, you need to know and understand the individual as best as you can. You need to know their specific strengths and weaknesses, skills and attributes, and personality and behavioral traits. Most of this information isn’t found in a single job interview or resume. To fully understand them, you need to assess them! SmartMoves offers the Profiles Sales Assessment that specifically measures how well a person fits sales jobs and includes seven critical sales behaviors: prospecting, call reluctance, closing the sale, self-starting, working with a team, building and maintaining relationships, and compensation preference.
  2. Compare with Top Performers. After the underperformer takes an assessment, then you can compare their results to those of a top performer. In doing this you will be able to see the areas where the individual is struggling. The differences will show where the underperformer needs to improve to succeed.
  3. Train and develop. Once you know the areas the individual is struggling in, you can give them appropriate sales training aimed to improving those traits or behaviors. Let’s say an individual scored lower in the area of assertiveness, then the sales manager can cater training to specifically improve the sales rep’s ability to not take no for an answer.

When sales managers “A.C.T.” they can effectively coach their sales reps to improve their numbers and reach their full potential.