Traditional Sales Coaching for Improved Performance
According to Gartner, “Sales coaching is a process that provides each sales rep with individualized guidance on multiple facets of B2B selling, including time management, conversations with clients and product presentation.” However, most sales coaching programs for improving performance emphasize more traditional selling abilities or how to put a great pitch together. These generic objectives can include improving wording, processes or just updating knowledge of the product or service each rep is selling.
However, coaching your salespeople with skills related to the conversational side of selling can give your business a distinct competitive advantage. Furthermore, your reps will be able to perform much better individually, improving team performance.
If you are wondering what conversational skills to incorporate and how you can measure them, don’t worry. Artificial intelligence (AI) can play a pivotal role in making this possible, and you will be able to see it for yourself in the following sections of this guide.
Related: Get the Most Out of a Conversation Intelligence Platform for Sales
Refreshing Sales Coaching Programs with Conversational Skills
In any conversation, but especially in a sales pitch, specific skills can make a difference and lead to a successful sale. In a recent LinkedIn study, only 40% of learners responded that their managers challenged them to learn new skills in the past six months, despite 53% believing their managers support their career goals. Are you coaching your reps in these innovative abilities based on accurate, personalized evidence?
If sales coaching for improved performance is one of your concerns, consider refreshing your training program with innovative content and AI-powered, individualized feedback. This will give your reps motivation as well as a healthy sense of accomplishment.
It’s an excellent opportunity to add new conversation-centered skills to coaching which can increase the chances of a true connection between your reps and their prospects. Here are some suggestions:
Prospects evaluate authenticity by whether they perceive a salesperson as genuine or not. Authentic sales reps connect with their clients by talking to them like they would to a friend and show consistency between their beliefs and their actions. Their delivery has natural inflection and emphasis, and they use conversational language.
The ability to demonstrate confidence is what helps prospects connect with a salesperson. Confident reps are more accessible to relate to because they know what they’re talking about while delivering well-researched material. Their style is open and relaxed and enables connection.
Credibility refers to the perception that a person has authority and is a reliable source of information. When sales reps are credible, prospects and clients are much more likely to connect with them. A credible rep combines their own practical knowledge and experience with sources from outside. In addition, they’re comfortable speaking in great detail about the product or service.
Another exciting skill to add to sales coaching for improved performance is engagement. Sales reps who engage people encourage emotional responses and meaningful connections. They’re passionate and motivated, which draws prospects to buy. People will be more likely to remember and act on details when they are fully engaged in a sales pitch.
A rep’s likeability is what makes a client feel comfortable and connected with them. Variables such as friendliness, relatability, and approachability often contribute to making a salesperson likable. Their content is relevant to the prospect and its delivery is confident and relaxed.
Trustworthy salespeople give the genuine impression they align with the best interests of their counterparts. Clients are only going to connect and act if moved by someone they trust. Their transparent content considers prospects’ perspectives, and a credible delivery reflects consistency in body language, voice, and message.
With the best AI platform, you can measure all of these skills effectively and automatically. Find out how to implement them in just three steps in the next section.
3 Steps to Implement Conversational Skills in Sales Coaching for Improved Performance
An effective sales pitch consists of what your reps say, how they say it, and how they present themselves as they communicate. A rep’s likability, trustworthiness, and confidence are important factors to assess because they can make or break a sale. Developing these skills in sales coaching for improved performance will ultimately create close connections with clients, guiding their perception of your rep and whether they decide to buy or not.
Follow these three steps to enrich your sales force coaching experience starting today:
Step 1: Determine the skill set your reps need
Identifying the problem you want to solve is easy to overlook in a rush to attain sales goals. No matter what new systems or innovations you’re interested in implementing to develop your reps, if you don’t know what problem you are trying to solve and what skills they need to reinforce, you will not obtain positive results.
You will only be able to develop effective sales coaching for improved performance at the individual and collective levels when you know what specific soft skills will help your business grow. Choosing from the list provided above can be a part of this first step.
Step 2: Include AI in your assessment strategy
As mentioned above, it is difficult to assess and coach soft skills using traditional approaches since they are too subjective. If you examine a rep’s soft skills using several methods, including questions, presentations, and online training, you can gather reliable information about whether they possess or have improved those skills.
Increasingly, companies are starting to use science and AI-based assessments as part of their evaluation and coaching portfolios. They can evaluate individuals and large groups of people with the help of a modern platform that gives them objective, data-driven assessments, scoring, and feedback that are far more accurate than subjective assessments. The results will help them design personalized coaching and development programs at scale.
As the most important soft skill, communication is taken into account in this technology. Thanks to new developments, machines can now estimate a sales professional’s potential impact on any prospect using natural language processing, voice recognition, and facial analysis. With AI, you can identify a person’s reliability, open-mindedness, and confidence to see if they meet company expectations and discover if their style of communicating indicates they will improve sales metrics in the end.
Step 3: Integrate assessments into development
Those initial assessments are just the beginning. This AI-driven analysis creates the perfect platform for long-term skill development which is essential for both organizational development and sales rep engagement.
In addition to evaluating their reps’ soft skills with these innovative assessment models, sales leaders can also support consistent growth and sales metrics by measuring and improving current sales reps’ skills systematically, precisely, and repeatedly.
An ideal platform will empower sales reps to address their individual strengths and areas for growth in an on-demand, always available online interface. They can assess their performance using features such as video role playing, sales conference call replays, score overview, and personalized development modules, and then retest.
For a long time now, assessing and coaching soft skills has been seen as an almost random process. These critical predictors of sales performance may not be as easy to measure with manual methods. Still, organizations and their leaders can now utilize new technologies to quantify them.
Quantified Communications is bringing AI to sales coaching to improve how reps communicate with clients and grow business. Request a demo, and our experts will walk you through the platform and process so you can see how we can help you develop world-class communicators for your sales organization. Request a demo now.