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MICROCOACHING CAN HELP Your sales reps can dramatically improve their performance when they receive microcoaching in between their traditional sales coaching ses- sions. Just like in prospecting, the “superpower” of an AI-driven micro- coaching solution (CoachFeed by SalesFuel, for example) is in discovery. The “needs assessment” part of this sales microcoaching platform is de- signed to reveal each rep’s strengths and weaknesses.


The assessment also goes beyond sales skills. By reporting on a rep’s work style, behavioral tendencies, and soft skills, the assessment gives the managers an in-depth look at the whole person. Managers who have been spending their time “deal coaching’” will realize that approach doesn’t work for every rep. For example, when an assessment


indicates a rep tends to jump into action before thinking about the end result, the manager can foresee the resulting difficulties in a sales situa- tion. This decision making style could lead to a poor outcome when the rep tries to quickly lead a prospect deeper into the sales funnel. Armed with this personalized as- sessment information, managers can engage in coaching that is adaptive to each salesperson. In the case of decision making, managers should ask the rep to think through two steps they should take before reaching out to the prospect. Over time, reps will learn how to change their behavior to effectively close more deals.


TACTICAL ADVICE Another benefit of microcoaching is the concept of feeds. On a regular basis, reps receive a short, hyper- focused email or text message. In a two- to five-minute session, your reps can learn something about them- selves or their sales skills, as well as read or watch content to support the main point. These coaching sessions can take place without manager in- volvement. Even better, great micro- coaching is interactive. The message


is reinforced when the rep responds to a poll or a question or engages in a quick game after reviewing the content. Having the rep respond in this way improves upon one of the big weaknesses in traditional coaching: The manager does too much talking.


PRACTICAL ADVICE Traditional sales coaching doesn’t benefit every rep. We’ve found that, the longer a rep is on the job, the less likely they are to rely on manag- ers for coaching. And, because some sales managers use a one-size-fits- all approach to coaching, only 25% of reps believe this effort improves their win rates. However, microcoach- ing may help these reps. When they receive an email or a text message containing survey data or proof about effective sales tactics, they may pay attention. While they might not want to listen to their managers, they’re likely to reflect on tips from other sales professionals.


FREQUENT ADVICE During a traditional sales coaching session, plenty of information and advice flows from managers to sales reps. How much of that information do reps retain? Not enough. One benefit of microcoaching is cadence. When reps receive a text or email on a regular basis, they can draw on what they’ve learned in previous sessions. The repetition will encour- age them to modify their go-to behaviors.


BENEFITS OF MICROCOACHING The bottom line is that sales mi- crocoaching will help you, the sales manager, develop the middle 60% of your reps. With the help of frequent microcoaching feeds, your reps will learn how to develop their skills and maintain awareness of the mindset needed for selling to the toughest prospects. Are you ready to try sales micro- coaching? 


C. Lee Smith is CEO of SalesFuel.


SELLING TIP


Don’t Be Fooled by Puppets


While closing may be the “sexy” part of a sales scenario, qualifying your prospect is probably the most important. Your odds of getting a prospect to sign on the dotted line are much better if you make sure you’re selling your product or service to a legitimate candidate. Here are some things to keep in mind when qualifying prospects. • Does your prospect need what


you’re selling? While this sounds elementary, many salespeople just assume everyone is a candidate – and that hurts their closing ratios. Identify a need from the get-go. • Does your prospect have a budget for your product or ser- vice? Is your prospect financially stable? We all want all sorts of things; unfortunately, not all of us can afford all the things we want. Establishing financial credibility will save you a lot of grief on the back end.


• Does your prospect have the au-


thority to make a buying decision? It takes some investigative digging on your part to find out who the real de- cision maker is; and, often, you may have to go through layers of people before you get to the final authority. It’s frustrating to make a full-blown presentation to a person only to find out that person is just gathering information to pass along to the one with the purchasing power. • If your prospect needs what


you’re selling, has the money to spend, and has the authority to buy, can you deliver what is needed, when it is needed?


If you do your homework, ask


questions, and listen to the re- sponses, you’ll be able to home in on the person with whom you can do business.


– WILLIAM F. KENDY SELLING POWER JULY/AUGUST 2021 | 43 © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


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