Transforming Sales – Commit to Coaching

“Commit to Coaching” is step five in the McKinsey Transformation Model.  Coaching is a critical component to achieving any desired behavior change.  And the Front-Line Sales Manager (FLSM) plays the key role.  The organization needs to arm the FLSM with the necessary tools and ensure she has the skills to successfully coach her team through the transformation process.

Here are a few important elements to consider when building your organization’s coaching capabilities:

  • Create a Standard – The commercial team and the FLSM must know “what good looks like”. The team needs a standard process aligning to the way your buyers buy.  This may take the form of a Customer Journey Map or a documented Buyer-Aligned Sales Process.  Develop whatever approach works for you, but it is key to document the process, determine key interactions between the seller and the buyer, and detail important seller activities and desired behaviors.  The FLSMs will coach skills and opportunities to this standard.
  • Develop a Common Language to Grade Opportunities – When opportunity coaching, FLSMs will struggle to decipher what is really going on with the deal and if the seller is effectively maneuvering through the cycle. It is important to have a common language the sales organization can deploy to help bring clarity to this situation for both the FLSM and seller.  With Solution Selling, we use any easy “Strength of Sale” checklist or PPVVCC:
    • P for Pain – Are we talking about the real issues with our client? Are they sharing the issues?
    • P for Power – Are we at the right level? Do we have a power sponsor? Is that sponsor sharing information only with us?
    • V for Vision – Is our solution different and unique so that we obtain the credit that we’re more proactive, that we’re thinking more broadly than others?
    • V for Value – Are we comfortable that our pricing is justified because of the broader value that we are bringing?
    • C for Collaboration – Do we know what the next steps are? Are we working with the client towards a conclusion of this opportunity?
    • C for Compelling Reason to Act – Do we know that our client has a critical deadline, management direction or other reason to act now?

Our clients typically assign a grade scale to each of the above elements allowing them to quickly and objectively grade the opportunity.  The key is to determine the language that works for you and develop an easy way to apply it to deals that objectively quantifies the situation and takes the guesswork out of coaching.

  • Develop a Coaching Guide – Create a detailed coaching guide to provide FLSMs with a framework for conducting both opportunity and skill coaching sessions. While we don’t want to take FLSM individuality and personalities out of the equation, the organization should have an agreed to structure and framework for conducting these sessions.  Thus, producing consistent results across the enterprise.
  • Conduct FLSM Roleplay Sessions & Coaching Certification – Make sure the FLSMs practice and perfect the opportunity and skill coaching sessions. Conduct several roleplay sessions and consider having the FLSMs certified.
  • Operationalize Coaching – Build a formal coaching cadence into the sales operations. Expect and inspect that the sessions are occurring as planned and the FLSMs are allocating the necessary time.
  • Hold the FLSMs Accountable – Sales leadership needs to develop processes to inspect the coaching sessions to ensure adoption is happening across the organization. Consider building MBOs into the FLSM compensation.

These are just a few items to consider as you “Commit to Coaching”. If you would like more information Contact us here.

For more information on Opportunity coaching see our Opportunity Coaching Service page.

Written By:

Phil Everhardt

Senior Sales Consultant

SPI Sales

Experienced Senior Sales Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the sales enablement, learning services, & performance improvement industries. Strong sales professional skilled in Sales, Professional Services, Software Industry, Management, and Software as a Service (SaaS).

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