Ian Aubourg of East Greenwich works as the Regional Director of Movement Mortgage, LLC. In the following article, Ian Aubourg explores dynamic strategies, cutting-edge techniques, and inspiring strategies that will revolutionize the way leaders cultivate and empower their sales teams.
Sales coaching is integral to success. Based on current research by the Sales Management Association, salespeople from companies with a strong coaching culture report 15% higher revenue compared to their peers.
Paradoxically, despite the perceived importance of coaching, 76% of sales managers in the study believe too little coaching is provided and only 50% of the companies surveyed actively improve their managers’ ability to coach others.
Ian Aubourg of East Greenwich says, what’s more, there seems to be confusion between sales coaching and performance management. Coaching sessions are too heavily focused on performance to the detriment of other factors that affect a sale, like the person’s beliefs, attitudes, motivations, and values.
Ian Aubourg Explains the Individualized Approach in Sales Coaching
Each salesman has a unique blueprint: an unconscious set of limiting beliefs regarding their capabilities–how much they can sell, the kind of people they can approach, how deserving they are of success, and a host of other beliefs affecting performance.
In an article from Harvard Business Review, Frank Cespedes, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, states that “coaching is about clarifying relevant behaviors and whether the issue is motivation or ability.”
Ian Aubourg of East Greenwich explains what Frank means is determining if someone is “talented but lazy,” or “hardworking but untalented.” Is the issue motivation or ability? Once that’s identified, good coaching will focus on the cause of the issue.
According to Mr. Cespedes, there are 3 common points where a salesperson encounters issues during a sales cycle:
Is the salesperson lagging behind their peers when it comes to the number of contacts? Therefore, developing the ability to filter through opportunities with better customer selection criteria is a good place to start.
Ian Aubourg of East Greenwich asks, does the salesman give up on contacts prematurely at the slightest sign of rejection? If so, either roleplay scenarios where tenacity is imperative, or working on self-esteem to better tolerate rejection.
• Conversion from Contact to Trial
Does the seller struggle to transition prospects to the trial phase of the sales cycle? Then, focusing on building a relationship of trust and credibility during initial contact should help.
Does the salesperson routinely flop when closing the sale, despite the prospect’s earlier interest? Ian Aubourg says that perhaps cultivating personal trust in the product or service, as well as techniques to communicate purchase urgency or value proposition could remedy the issue.
The Value of Peer Coaching
Referring back to the Frank Cespedes article, he mentions that 3 out 5 salespeople prefer their peers over any other source when striving to improve their skills, which is interesting because coaching is often considered a one-on-one affair. A personal coach focuses exclusively on one person, how can working with a group be better?
In a different Harvard Business Review article, Brenda Steinberg and Michael Watkins discuss small-group coaching. In contrast to the individualized approach, peer coaching fosters an environment where eureka moments happen when individuals with different perspectives, but roughly equal in position and power, interact. Some of its benefits are:
• Group Dynamics
Ian Aubourg explains that in small groups, a coach can observe how a person engages with others, which cannot be done in one-on-one coaching.
Aside from the input of the coach, socializing with a diverse group of people has the added benefit of experiencing different perspectives to faster discern any strengths, weaknesses, and unrecognized abilities.
• Critical Feedback
Ian Aubourg of East Greenwich notes that it could be difficult to receive honest feedback, but that social dynamic is absent in a group of peers, thus there’s greater accountability when it comes to performance.
Regardless of whether it’s one-on-one or small-group coaching, the method and techniques used are secondary to figuring out the underlying root of the problem. If a salesperson is unable to develop rapport with prospects in high positions of power, good coaching will work on self-esteem and confidence, not a better sales pitch or fancy presentation.
Ultimately, coaching is meant to revise a person’s inner blueprint and break free from their subconscious limiting beliefs. By providing an environment to reflect and be aware of these self-imposed barriers, a good coach can help a salesperson realize their full potential.
Referring back to the study by the Sales Management Association, companies that provide this kind of quality coaching to their top performers achieve 10% higher sales goals, showing that even the best can still surpass themselves–given the right coaching.