In today’s ever-changing sales environment, professional coaching has risen to become a core need across industries. For organizations, better-coached employees lead to improved performance and productivity that drives a strong ROI.
Meanwhile, workers across all skill levels now expect regular coaching from their employers.
Rapid advancements in technology, market trends, and customer expectations require workers to continuously adapt and enhance their skills. Regular coaching sessions—especially those that integrate advanced AI coaching platforms—provide a structured method for employees to learn new strategies, receive valuable feedback, and refine their techniques.
In an era where personal and professional development is highly valued, employees view regular coaching as an investment in their growth and career progression. They understand that staying competitive and relevant in their roles demands ongoing learning and support, making regular, consistent coaching a fundamental aspect of their professional journey.
However, implementing coaching is not always easy, especially in an environment where supervisory burnout is increasingly common. A more streamlined and automated AI sales coaching solution can make all the difference in supporting a sales team’s needs without overstretching already thin resources. But automation, of course, comes with its own challenges.
Artificial intelligence has developed a not entirely undeserved reputation as a buzzy term that doesn’t always carry its weight. It has undoubtedly enabled better and more efficient processes across the board—but a plethora of platforms loosely throwing around the term has caused its effectiveness to be called into question.
Is it effective? The short answer is, of course, yes—as long as you find the right automated, AI-enabled coaching solution. Dig into the research, and you’ll find how consistent, customized, targeted, and automated training can make all the difference in driving sales performance and exceeding trainee expectations.
The Rise of the AI Coaching Platform
In recent years, AI has made its mark in business. As Salesforce’s most recent “State of Sales” report showed through a few eye-opening statistics, it can also make an impact in sales environments, leading to potential applications in coaching contexts as well:
- 37% of organizations report using AI in sales, compared to just 21% in 2018
- High performers in sales are 2.8 times more likely to use AI in their operations than their lower-achieving counterparts
- Adoption of sales coaching and training platforms increased from 55% to 62% in the past five years
The two trends, of course, are not 100% aligned. Few available coaching platforms leverage AI technologies. Still, the concurrent rise of both systematic coaching options and artificial technologies has naturally led to more attention being paid to the combination of the two.
The Increasing Demand for Sales Coaching
Sales coaching is on the rise for a reason. Research has consistently shown a need for your sales team reps to become better at their craft—according to one survey, 26% of sales reps rated as high performing received weekly coaching, compared to just 20% of sales reps performing below the average. And that’s just one survey. According to another, organizations that offer consistent coaching to their sales teams increase their win rates by an average of more than 27%.
Coaching, of course, has to be appropriate. Inconsistent and irregular sales training, or all-day workshops that cover the basics over and over again through boring slide decks, are simply not enough. It’s why 90% of B2B sales teams consider the materials and coaching they get to be irrelevant, outdated, and difficult to customize.
This is the gap that the right AI coaching platform can fill. The demand for more relevant coaching is obvious: if you can find a solution that offers more consistent, customized, targeted, and immersive training, you already win. When you can do that without the awkward situation of a public meeting, while still providing objective feedback and a relevant path forward, you’ll not only more effectively coach your team but also improve your sales performance in the process.
Solving the Issue of Trainer Fatigue
AI platforms designed for sales coaching also win because they help solve a key issue that has only become more important in recent years: a shortage of qualified coaches and the fatigue of those who have worked more as a result.
According to Microsoft’s most recent Work Trend Index, more than half of all managers across industries feel significant stress and anxiety as a result of their workload. Growing responsibilities, along with anything from tight deadlines to high ROI expectations, have led to leaders growing increasingly weary of additional tasks—including coaching.
High industry turnover, which only leads to the need for more coaching in order to bring more workers up to the required sales level, requires time and patience that modern sales leaders often don’t have.
That’s a key reason why, according to one survey, leaders whose supervisory responsibilities increased in the last 12 months showed a 21% higher rate of anxiety—while their chances of burnout increased by more than 500%. Increased supervisory responsibilities in this survey included the coaching function, which has become increasingly neglected.
The right AI sales coaching helps with this growing issue by providing advanced training without requiring additional time and resources. Rather than putting the onus on sales leaders and supervisors to coach their teams using outdated, ineffective methods, the platform itself can do the coaching, making it easier to scale even while reducing trainer fatigue.
Customized Training as a Core Requirement
Of course, automated training only matters, and only increases sales team performance, when the implementation doesn’t sacrifice quality and relevance at the automation altar. Win rates will not go up if the coaching is convenient but cannot adjust to the needs of each individual member of your team.
This, of course, is where AI separates itself from other automation tools. Properly developed AI systems provide a dynamically custom approach to coaching that can hold, listen to, respond to, and analyze real conversations between each participant and a virtual prospect.
Analysis can include anything from the presence or lack of filler words or the logical flow of the content presented, to trustworthiness scores and credibility. The result is personalized recommendations specifically designed to help team members improve their approach over time.
This is the type of coaching that research has begun to hone in on as especially relevant. According to one study published in the Journal of Marketing, AI is especially powerful when geared toward helping average sales agents improve on specific weaknesses. And, as the Harvard Business Review outlines, it can achieve that relevance specifically by taking on the more personalized approach that had previously been limited to human coaches.
A 24/7 Approach to Sales Coaching
Finally, AI can alleviate coaching concerns through another key component that’s becoming increasingly important: 24/7 availability with custom, quick training and coaching modules that the sales team can easily connect to on their schedule and at their convenience.
This final feature is especially relevant in the context of remote sales, a model that has increased rapidly in recent years. Within that model, getting team members together on campus or even in the same time zone can be both difficult and frustrating. On-demand coaching, available depending not on the coach but entirely on the employee who wants to be coached, offers more flexibility for everyone involved.
This, in many ways, is also the benefit that pulls the rest of the research together. The automated, on-demand model of AI coaching platforms satisfies the increasing demand for coaching in a customized fashion, without risking overwork of the supervisor who would otherwise be responsible. As a result, it may just be the missing key to implementing and optimizing a successful coaching platform.
Leverage AI Coaching to Get Better Sales Results
Without a doubt, technology has improved the ability of businesses to streamline their processes across the board. But coaching remains a challenging subject, in part because it has previously been difficult to build customized and relevant approaches on limited resources and personnel time.
That’s why AI has become such an important part of the equation. The right platform can build a consistent and targeted approach that includes immersive options like realistic, simulated role-playing scenarios, but without taking unreasonable time from coaches or risking public embarrassment and annoyance for those involved in the role-playing. As a result, sales reps can practice exactly what they need to—and receive a customized path to improvement in return—all without having to leave their chair or office space. Of course, you still need to find the right AI coaching platform for your efforts to be successful. Quantified supports all of the functions mentioned above, including offering sales managers the ability to create realistic, immersive coaching environments that your sales team will identify with and grow from. Contact us to learn more about how Quantified can help you boost sales performance across your entire sales team.