This will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog, but we're big fans of coaching as one of the best ways to impact sales performance. In fact, the coaching optimization features of our platform are a few of the reasons customers choose Qstream in the first place.
We’ve seen first-hand the impact that a great coaching program can have on a sales rep’s skill levels, confidence, and motivation (not to mention business results). So we’re still surprised when we see new data that indicates the majority of companies are still falling short when it comes to a formal sales coaching strategy.
Our latest wake-up call came in the form of three reports based on research conducted by the Sales Management Association (SMA) and CSO Insights, a division of MHI Global. These organizations survey thousands of sales executives annually to benchmark sales effectiveness results and trends, and their most recent findings validate that many companies are missing the mark on sales coaching, depressing sales win rates and revenue growth.
While coaching is widely considered to have the greatest impact on sales effectiveness, formal strategies tend to be poorly executed or non-existent, according to SMA. 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, discusses the challenges that impede 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 6:1 is creating a time availability 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
Given the strong links to coaching and higher-performing organizations, Qstream has been architected to deliver the insights managers require for more focused coaching. The secure platform is easy to deploy at scale and uniquely addresses the cornerstones of effective coaching, including continuous, real-time analysis of individual performance, and coaching insights based on manager-defined filters, such as time period, tenure, territory, product expertise, onboarding class or training history.
Our platform’s analytics instantly sifts and analyzes thousands of data points from your team’s responses to deliver real-time dashboards that let managers quickly and easily see how their sales teams are performing. At the same time, the system pinpoints highly targeted coaching opportunities to help managers take action immediately – not at the end of the quarter when it might be too late.
Qstream’s onboard communication tools make it just as easy for managers to reach out to specific individuals or the entire group directly from the dashboard. By clicking on the individual links provided in each performance category, Qstream launches an email coaching template that can be used to congratulate reps on their success, or address a skill they’re struggling with. The template even includes a set of recommended coaching tips to ensure success.
With Qstream your sales managers not only know who needs coaching, but when to coach, and the specific skills that need to be addressed. No more guessing. Last year, the platform identified more than 200,000 unique coaching actions, increasing the sales coaching effectiveness of front-line managers using Qstream by as much as 55%.
Visit the following links for complimentary copies of Qstream’s sponsored research:
- Sales Management Association, Best Practices for Supporting Sales Coaching
- CSO Insights, Optimizing Sales Management: The Sales Coaching Challenge and Optimizing Sales Management: Increasing Sales Coaching Effectiveness.