Sales Coaching

While coaching is widely considered to have the greatest impact on sales effectiveness, formal strategies tend to be poorly executed or non-existent in a majority of sales organizations according to Sales Management Association, a global cross-industry association focused on sales leadership and sales operations. The company's recently published research report entitled, Best Practices for Supporting Sales Coaching, revealed that:

  • More than half (55%) of all the firms surveyed have ineffective coaching programs;
  • An overwhelming 77% of firms said they don't provide enough coaching to their salespeople;
  • While "identifying skill deficiencies" was listed among the top three factors respondents felt had the biggest impact on revenue growth, it ranked #12 on a list of thirteen priorities for sales managers; and
  • Implementing an effective coaching program optimized for coaching quality and quantity can help grow revenue up to 16.7% faster.

A separate coaching report by CSO Insights entitled, Optimizing Sales Management, revealed that the average win rate of the more than 600 companies surveyed was just 47.1% in 2015. The two-part report discusses the challenges that impede sales coaching efforts and explores what sales managers can do to improve win rates. Other key points highlighted in the report include: 

  • The average salesperson to sales manager ratio of approximately 6:1 is creating an availability time crunch for front-line managers expected to deliver coaching;
  • On average, managers dedicate 20.8% of their time to coaching and mentoring sales people;
  • Formal coaching processes generate much stronger results (53.6% win rate) in comparison to informal coaching (45.7% win rate) and discretionary coaching (44.7% win rate); and
  • An effective framework for sales coaching includes timeliness, accuracy, relevance, consistency and individualization.