Workplace coaching to deliver a lasting change in your sales teams

In this video, Guy Sellwood outlines Prosell's approach to workplace coaching to deliver lasting improvements in sales performance for sales and customer service teams.

Hello my name is Guy Sellwood.  Today I am talking about how you can significantly improve the performance of your sales teams. We have worked with corporate sales teams across many markets and helped deliver tangible performance gains.

50%-200% improvement in sales
How did we do this? By significantly improving the way that first line managers coach their teams. Coaching really works, when delivered well. Over the past decade, we have seen sustained improvements in sales of between 50-200%, when a coaching element is added.

Transformation change
Impressive, you might say. But how does our Procoach method deliver the transformation required by our clients?

Let’s start with the objective. The aim of Procoach is to bring about change not only in performance but, more importantly in the medium term, change in the behaviour and practices that actually drive performance.

The four key stages of Procoach®
Our proven approach comprises of four key stages:

Stage 1: Analysis
During the analysis stage, we start with the metrics, what does the metrics dashboard say is the challenge? In a sales environment it could be average deal value, close rate or product mix. Then we examine the behaviour of the sales group and analyse two things:

In other words, which behaviours will reduce the difference between desired results and the actual results? This “behavioural template” forms the basis for design of a customised programme which frontline managers will participate in. We focus on these people, as they have the greatest influence on the behaviour and performance of frontline staff.

Stage 2: Design
Next, we develop a tailored programme that takes into account the context and environment in which these supervisory staff operate. The programme will be based on the behavioural template, additional research and our many years of experience working with sales teams. If the programme is to be successful, the choice of relevant case studies, role plays and target behaviour is essential.

Stage 3: Implementation
So what does the implementation phase look like? The programme kicks off with a three-day workshop for these supervisors.

Three day workshop
Day one focuses on “What to coach” – in other words, what is the behavioural profile for sales success? We typically find that whilst many managers have been promoted internally and have often been effective agents themselves, they find it difficult to articulate exactly what is was that made them successful.

Whilst they can talk about their attitude, their motivation and their work ethic, they struggle to talk about how they actually spoke to customers in influential ways to solve problems or make sales. Very often they can describe and identify what not to do, whilst their articulation of what agents should do can be imprecise and intangible.

This first day of the workshop helps them visualise what good looks like by closely observing what someone is actually doing when performing well. We assist participants to develop a language, which effectively articulates and describes the desirable behaviours.  At this point, we are essentially removing the need for the metric dashboard – and giving supervisors the ability to quickly differentiate between high and poor performers on behavioural assessment alone.

Days two and three of the workshop then focus on “How to coach”, which explores the skills crucial to helping people move from current behaviour to desired behaviour. We look at the coaching process of bringing about self-discovery, obtaining commitment to change and how to ensure behavioural change is maintained. Techniques such as questioning, drawing out and establishing accountability for behaviour and performance are all developed on the programme.

Now this is where many programmes might end. However with Procoach, this is just the beginning – we return for a total of three follow-up sessions to support our participants.

Follow-up session one
Three weeks after the workshop, we return for a two-hour, one-to-one, follow-up session with every participant. We discuss which of the skills and processes taught are working well and what they are finding more difficult to implement.  We then observe them coaching their team and provide feedback, at the conclusion of the follow-up participants develop an action plan on how they are going to further improve.

Interestingly, at this first follow-up session participants, who might have been on a number of previous training programmes, appreciate that the organisation is committed to helping them change the behaviours of their direct reports and are really investing in the long term development of their staff.

Follow-up session two
Then, a further three weeks later, we come back for a second follow-up session and repeat the process. At this stage we are looking for demonstrable change to have taken place. Once again, we provide personalised feedback and another action plan is developed.

Follow-up session three
After another three weeks we return once more – to observe participants coaching their team, once again in real time with real situations. We assess how they are conducting their coaching using 45 criteria shared with them on the workshop. If they have reached the required standard, they will be qualified and will receive a certificate to recognise their successful performance.

In total, the time frame of this Procoach programme is about three months – which allows new skills to be embedded, consolidated and to ensure a return on investment by impacting on the target metrics.

Stage Four: Evaluation
We track the identified behaviours and key metrics for nine months:-three months before the programme starts, the three months during the programme and then for three months afterwards. This way we can validate that the desired behaviours changed and also evaluate the impact of this behaviourial change.This data is fed-back into the organisation to reinforce the fact that deploying effective performance coaching delivers the cultural and behavioural changes required to bring about tangible improvements in performance.

To date, we have successfully qualified over 10,000 sales and customer services coaches worldwide. If you would like to discuss how we can help you introduce or improve the performance coaching of your sales teams, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

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