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COACHING


Sales Coaching in a Virtual World DANIELLE MCKINLEY


Effective coaching is critical to sales rep performance and organizational success. However, many sales organizations struggle to improve managers’ coaching behaviors. Combine that with more digital customer buying behaviors and the virtual environment many sales reps face today, and it’s no wonder that only 23% of sales reps feel they are as effective selling virtually as they are live onsite with customers.


A recent Gartner survey of 1,122 sales reps shows that 58% report they have dedicated coaching sessions with their sales managers on effec- tive virtual selling. So where is the


disconnect between those coaching sessions and sales reps’ confidence in selling in a virtual environment? Sales reps are not alone with their struggles in today’s virtual environment.


16 | JULY/AUGUST 2021 SELLING POWER © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


Sales managers are faced with a variety of coaching challenges when it comes to keeping their teams sharp and moti- vated in a virtual setting. To start, it is a huge culture change for teams – accus- tomed to the dynamic environment of a sales floor and live meetings – to now be behind a screen all day. This requires sales managers to put greater focus on helping their teams shift their sales ap- proach holistically. The issue that many are struggling


with today is a lack of familiarity and confidence with virtual selling. How can they develop their teams in an environment that is very different from that in which they sold? There might be challenges with technolo- gies, different processes, or a lack of understanding in how digital trans- formations have impacted the buying process of their customers. For many managers, virtual selling is just as new for them as it is for their teams. Similarly, in companies without a


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