What’s people’s first reaction when you tell them they’re going on a training course?
Working through real examples is one way. When you use customer opportunities for your sales simulations that your sales people are right in the middle of the relevance becomes much clearer. And another benefit of working with real examples is your sales people are creating solutions that will work for them and their customers too. Taking it to the next stage and combining training with on the job practice and feedback is a powerful way to embed the learning and transform behaviour.
Matthew Syed, author of Bounce; talks about why aspiring sportsmen are so keen to work with top coaches. “It’s not just that they receive expert advice; far more important is they are able to design practice so that feedback is embedded , leading to automatic readjustment, which in turn increases the quality of feedback, generating further improvements and so on. If you can position yourself in this kind of feedback loop improvements will escalate in ways that astonish you.” We often use this type of 121 coaching in customer facing situations; with one company we listened into their sales calls and gave immediate and continuous feedback – they said that it was instrumental in them achieving a 30%+ increase in sales revenues.
Something I hear frequently is that this sort of 121 coaching is too expensive and should be reserved for executives. However, our experience and that of expert sales coaches is that the return on investment for 121 sales coaching can be 10 times that for classroom training and that few companies truly capitalize on effective sales coaching’s potential to increase top-line revenue by up to 20%. As well as giving you the best return on your training investment 121 coaching may be the most cost effective way to get people to do things differently.
The other advantage of this approach is it makes the change dynamic. Firstly, the person who you want to do something differently is the one making the readjustments. This enables them to do things differently today and tomorrow – the “power of practice” is in their hands. Secondly, it’s dynamic because it’s customisable; they can amend it to suit the different customer situations and changing market conditions they meet every day.
If you’d like to explore how sales coaching could help bring you the sales revenue growth you need please call Cathy on 01189 526993 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the latest in our series of articles on practical ways to transform your sales results. You can read the first two articles here and for more fresh thinking and regular updates on sales revenue growth follow us on Twitter @sales4growth