Why Your Team Needs Effective Sales Coaching for Digital Selling Success
Effective sales coaching is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done event. This is especially true when it comes to mastering social selling! Though digital prospecting may seem straightforward, it requires behavior change, reinforcement, and continued training.
If you’re looking to mobilize your sales team as social sellers, a half- or full-day training session simply isn’t enough. In fact, I say you’re better off saving your money!
In my conversation with our CMO Bernie Borges, I explain why you need the right “gear” before looking for potential clients. For many sales teams, this requires a shift in mindset and behavior, which simply can’t be achieved in a day of training. Instead, you need digital sales training over the course of 15 weeks, supplemented with ongoing coaching.
Watch the video or keep reading to learn what the gear is, why simplifying digital selling for your salespeople is crucial, and how to provide effective sales coaching for your team.
The Right Gear + Effective Sales Coaching = Digital Selling Success
Modern buyers are more digitally connected than ever. Consequently, modern sellers need to change how they attract, approach, and engage with buyers. This is why launching a digital sales program needs to create behavioral change.
For instance, while LinkedIn provides the perfect platform for your B2B sellers to connect with prospects, they need to have the right gear before they reach out.
Preparing The Right Gear
Fishing tackle should be at the top of your list when you’re planning a fishing trip. You need rods, reels, bait, lures, a net, and maybe a boat. When it comes to social selling, the list of gear starts with a LinkedIn profile that includes messaging to attract your targeted customers.
Yes, you can tell your salespeople how to rewrite their LinkedIn profiles, but how many will actually go out and do it? We have seen dismal results with this approach. If you can prepare their profiles for them, as we do with our LinkedIn Makeovers, you’ll make it easy for them and boost their confidence because they’ll know that a team of experts wrote the copy. Plus, you’ll know all your sellers have the right messaging. Then, they’ll be ready to connect with buyers.
Using the Right Bait
The next item is bait — content that enables your sales team to reel in the big ones. Vengreso calls this, Content for Sales Enablement. During the buying process, 82 percent of B2B buyers consume five to eight pieces of content from the vendor they choose.
To achieve modern sales success, your sellers need to be sharing content with their audience to develop their thought leadership in the industry. Then, buyers will connect with your reps looking for solutions to their pain points because they’re already a trusted source of information.
How to Cast Your Reel
Finally, once you’ve packed your gear and you’ve hooked your bait, now you have to coach your sellers on how to cast the reel. In terms of digital selling, this means how you plan to deliver the content to your salespeople.
An employee advocacy tool will make it easy for your team to distribute the content. Plus, this also boosts your brand’s reach! Two possible advocacy options are EveryoneSocial or GaggleAMP.
Yet, tools are just tools if your sales reps don’t know how to use them. In order for your sellers to achieve success, you need to provide coaching on how to effectively use them.
Coaching Sellers on Where to Cast Their Line
Even with the right gear, the right bait, and knowing how to cast your reel, successful fishermen also know where to cast their line. And, they don’t learn that through a half-day training!
The same goes for sales reps. To achieve success through your sales team, you must give them more than the right gear, bait, and reel. Even with a new LinkedIn profile, content that targets the specific needs of their buyer, and an employee advocacy program, they still need coaching to be successful.
As a sales leader, you need to learn how to be an effective sales coach. Sellers cannot blindly prospect without knowing how to network and engage with them. Regardless of how well your sales reps perform, they can always improve. You must coach them on specific techniques to turn their weaknesses into strengths.
After all, if Lebron James needs a coach, so do your sellers!Effective Sales Coaching + The Right Gear = #DigitalSelling Success. Find out what the components of an effective #SalesTraining are from #DigitalSales Transformation pioneers, @M_3Jr and @BernieBorges. #SocialSales #SalesTipsClick To Tweet
Why Is Sales Coaching Important?
According to HubSpot research, most salespeople rely on their peers and managers as their most influential source of knowledge. This verifies the need for sales coaching to help your sellers achieve quota, but also for their career growth and development.
The best sales coaches teach their sellers how to effectively use digital selling techniques, such as how to:
- Leverage LinkedIn to network and engage with prospects.
- Socially-surround executive buyers.
- Apply successful social selling techniques at every stage of the sales process.
- Improve conversions through a proven sales cadence methodology.
With this type of continuous support for improvement, salespeople are put in a place where they are more likely to succeed. Now, they have the gear, the bait, the reel, and they know where to cast their line.
How to Provide Effective Sales Coaching
As I mention in the video, sales training is more than just a one-day event. Coaching your team is an on-going process to achieve digital selling success.
The first thing you need to establish is your coaching strategy. Personalize your action plan to meet your team’s current influence on relevant digital channels such as LinkedIn. Once you find your team’s weaknesses, you can recognize how to improve different aspects of your digital selling strategy.
Four Social Selling Questions Sales Coaches Ask Their Team
The questions below are straight to the point, and can easily be answered by having your rep pull up their LinkedIn profile. The four questions to ask sellers to perform digital sales coaching are:
- How many LinkedIn connections do you have at that account?
The number of LinkedIn connections correlate to how broad your sales reps’ networks are at a prospect’s organization. According to LinkedIn, there is an average of 6.8 buyers involved in the decision-making process. If your sales reps only have one or two connections at the company, then they’re missing some of the buyers. You can coach them on how to grow their network and connect with relevant people at the account.
- Who can introduce you to the decision-makers and influencers?
92% of buyers trust brand referrals from people they know. Ask your team if they know someone who can refer them to an influencer or decision-maker. If the answer is no, you need to teach them strategies on how they can find someone who can provide an introduction.
- Have you socially surrounded all 6.8 buyers within your account?
This ties into the first question and helps you determine if you need to coach your reps on how to properly network with the people around the decision-makers. Provide sellers with tips on how to get introductions and referrals from outside and inside the account. Additionally, guide them on how to engage with other members of the organization who may not be directly involved with the buying process.
- What’s the last thing you posted on LinkedIn and why?
This question helps you determine if the content they share on LinkedIn is helpful to the target buyers at a specific account. The answer can help you, as their sales manager, to coach them on curating engagements on their posts, as well as how to share the right content.
Early on in the process of adapting digital selling techniques with your team, don’t be surprised if they answer with below-average responses. From there your sales coaching strategy has a clear goal, which you and your team can now work on together, using these four questions as a guide.There are FOUR #SocialSelling questions sales coaches ask their team for better #sales coaching strategies. Learn more about these questions from #DigitalSales experts @M_3Jr and @BernieBorges. #SalesCoaching #DigitalSellingClick To Tweet
Coach Your Sales Team to Digital Selling Success
Guide your team through ongoing sales coaching to keep them prepared for their next catch. The key to improving your sales team’s performance is effective sales coaching that mentors each team member.
Are you looking for ways to improve your sales techniques? Download our State of Digital Selling LinkedIn report 2019 to discover how to improve your team’s performance.