People resist change. If you’re on the front line of sales, you’re probably familiar with this.
But think about your own sales team. If you’ve read some of our recent Sales Enablement blog posts, such as how to align with customer service and marketing, you might be ready to implement some big changes in your sales department.
Bust down the door and come in heavy-handed with marching orders and new iron-clad rules, however, and you won’t succeed.
Your sales reps will question you — out loud or to or amongst themselves. They’ll be skeptical. Perhaps they’ll even feel slighted. After all, if you want to change up the sales department, they could take that as an implication that they’re not doing their jobs well enough.
Your first job in Sales Enablement is simple: selling the change. So, we recommend treating your Sales Enablement implementation with a defter hand through sales coaching.
Tips for Successful Sales Coaching
1: Have Coachable Sales Reps
The most important thing in sales coaching is having the right people. If your team just isn’t coachable — if this isn’t a quality you hire for — you’re going to have a hard time breaking them out of their routines.
We’ve written a guide to hiring great sales reps you should check out here. Being coachable, open to new approaches, and focused on self-improvement, is a boon wherever an employee is, but for a key revenue growth driver like sales, it’s a necessity.
2: Define Your Sales Enablement Plan and Lead by Example
Don’t just walk in with a thirty-minute speech. Properly explain the changes you seek to implement, and make sure that not only do you have and present clear goals and responsibilities — but that your sales team understands their role in achieving them.
When people know what’s expected of them, they — surprise surprise — are much better at delivering. If they know they have to have occasional meetings with their counterparts in Marketing, they’ll do much better if you run the first couple and guide the conversation. You set precedents and clear expectations and can note any issues as they happen.
Wherever you have the opportunity and flexibility, collaborate with your sales reps on your new approach. They’ll know things you don’t about their accounts, their processes, and the realities of executing the plan. Incorporate their suggestions and allow joint ownership of success.
3: Know Your Sales Team’s Weaknesses and Strengths
As you embark upon a process of sales and marketing alignment, spend some time to evaluate where you think your team is strong — and where it’s weak. Praise strengths and explain how they’ll make this transition easier but pay more attention to the weaknesses.
Is a rep great at the high-level strategy, but falters on the execution? Show them how the new process can make life easier, how marketing or customer service alignment can inform and assist their work and listen to any problems they may have.
"Keep an eye out for local workshops and other sales events they may benefit from. They’ll appreciate the personal touch"
Remember, your Sales Enablement plan is all about using the power of data to make better decisions in your sales approach. Encourage your team by explaining that this data gathering allows them to experiment. You’re measuring what works, which means it’s okay to try something that doesn’t. A failure is a lesson. Drive home the point that as long as your team is learning, it’s growing.
As you gather your data, identify areas for improvement and work one-on-one with your sales reps to help them develop. Keep an eye out for local workshops and other sales events they may benefit from. They’ll appreciate the personal touch.
Motivation is a big, complicated topic. People are motivated by different things. Obviously, there’s the money, but beyond that one sales rep might care solely about the number of new deals they close, whereas another may derive satisfaction from continuing to serve their existing clients.
Try to play to these variations as they fit into your plan, but don’t lose track of the overall goal: revenue growth. This is the target all team members should unite under, and you may find success at aligning personal motivations with revenue growth by tweaking factors such as compensation, quotas, job descriptions, meeting schedules, tasks, and your Sales Enablement strategy.
5: Ask for Help
Implementing a Sales Enablement strategy is no walk in the park — and nor is coaching a diverse sales team through the transition. There are plenty of pitfalls to avoid, challenges to overcome, and lessons to learn.
You can ease this process by working with a partner ready to guide you through. Flawless Inbound is a revenue growth agency specializing in helping B2B companies achieve marketing, sales, and customer service growth and success. We’ve helped more than 60 B2B organizations across Canada and the US and are always happy to meet for a quick advisory call.