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What is Sales Coaching and Why Using Sales Coaching With Real Time Data Matters

Blog - Why Sales Coaching with Real-Time Data Matters

You’re having regular one-to-one coaching sessions with each of your reps. You’re asking the right questions. You’ve identified everyone’s motivation factors. You’ve put incentive programs in place. But some members of your team still aren’t hitting their targets and you want to know why. 🤨

As a coach, your main objective is to help each member of your team achieve their best. But how? We’ve seen firsthand that real-time data is often the difference between average sales coaching and sales coaching programs that drives reps to regularly exceed their targets.

Read on to find out what sales coaching is and how you can use real-time data in your sales coaching to motivate your sales reps and get them performing like never before!

What is sales coaching and how to improve its effectiveness? 

Some of you already know what is sales coaching, but for those of you that are wondering what is sales coaching here is a simple explanation. At its essence, sales coaching is sales managers teaching and coaching reps how to improve their performance. it's generally a one size fits all approach but to reach sales coaching effectiveness, sales managers need to take an individual approach that is based on individual needs. In order to get the most out of your sessions, and your team, it’s imperative to understand each rep’s strengths and weaknesses. The best way to improve any weak spots is through collaborative sales coaching programs where both manager and sales agent agree on an actionable plan to address any challenges. Coaching sessions should be about empowerment, professional development, and continuous improvement.

Why use real-time data in sales coaching?

Research shows that sales reps who receive regular sales coaching routinely exceed their quotas, boost company revenue, and show improved close rates over time. Conversely, the effects of intensive sales training diminish in the months that follow. This is a case of “slow and steady wins the race.” Coaching sales reps at least three hours a month can have profound effects on their performance – if it’s done correctly.

Increase Motivation

When done incorrectly, sales coaching is not only a waste of time – it can negatively affect performance. Your coaching sessions should leave your employees feeling supported, empowered, and excited to try new things. They shouldn’t conjure up feelings of dread or fear of being put in the ‘hot seat.’ When you can provide meaningful advice that’s based on current activities, trends, and outcomes, you’re giving your sales reps actionable insights that they can actually use to improve. Agents find this type of sales coaching far more encouraging than the agony of listening to outdated sales training methods. Ultimately your team will value your sales coaching and will look forward to their sessions. What’s better than a motivated rep, eager to improve and outperform their targets?!

👀 Looking for more ways to motivate disengaged reps? With this blog post, you can find out exactly how to re-engage disengaged employees.👀

The "Show, Don't Tell" Approach

Data-driven sales coaching empowers you to give constructive feedback that builds confidence and ultimately drives revenue. It’s particularly effective because it removes subjectivity and provides irrefutable insights into performance – so people are much less likely to take your critiques personally. When you can point to hard data, it’s easier to persuade your employees to make the changes needed to succeed. Small, well-informed changes over time will eventually result in sales mastery. Sales coaching using real-time data is the ultimate “show, don’t tell” approach. No one wants to be told what to do – so show them instead.

Save Time with Best Practices

An added bonus of taking a data-driven approach to sales coaching is that you’ll get a crystal clear look at your top performers and the behaviors that are driving their success. Use these insights to coach your middle or underperformers. Over time, you can use this information to establish a set of best practices – which can streamline operations and make it easier to onboard new reps. That’s a win-win!

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How can I use real-time data in coaching sales reps?

Identify Problem Areas

When you focus on small wins – like booking a meeting – you’re reinforcing positive behavior that leads to bigger achievements. Real-time data can help you quickly identify why some sales reps are struggling, enabling you to provide data-based feedback and suggestions before a slump turns sour. Real-time data is the key to nipping certain behaviors in the bud so your team remains on track to outperform targets!

Guide the Conversation

Most managers will agree that setting concrete goals is one of the most important components of sales coaching. However, following through is often a different story. KPIs and performance agreements are only useful if you revisit them often – ideally, during every coaching session. It’s a good idea to start each session by looking at key metrics together and building your conversation from there. With real-time performance dashboards, each employee can track their progress – and so can you – without having the feeling that you’re looking over their shoulder.

Clear Roadmap to Success

Data-driven sales coaching allows you to consistently measure each rep’s success toward their goals and show them how their daily behavior is affecting their progress – both positively and negatively. When managers start using real-time data to drive their coaching sessions, they often discover that their reps have been relying heavily on ‘gut feelings’ to assess how they’re doing and how to proceed. With data-driven sales coaching, you can give your sales reps a roadmap for success – just make sure to look at all of the data and pick out the metrics that are most important to each rep’s goals.

🔀 Use our library of KPIs to get inspired and determine which ones align with your team's success!

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Be Careful with Performance Data

Performance data will tell how much value each rep is generating for the company, but it won’t tell you why or how. Pipeline coverage to quota, revenue generated, and churn and renewal rates are important things to keep tabs on, but for data-driven sales coaching, understanding how each rep is performing and why are much more important metrics from a development standpoint. These are things that will keep your coaching sessions focused forward instead of backward.

Real-time data improves sales coaching effectiveness, and it’s important to remember that while it can provide crucial insights into patterns and behaviors, it doesn’t always tell the whole story.

“So, how do I get that in-depth understanding?” Use a combination of performance, volume, and conversion data to effectively guide your approach to sales coaching.

How volume data can help in coaching sales reps

Volume data measures tactical things like the number of calls, appointments, emails, and product demos a sales agent performs. It can also give valuable insights into each rep’s pipeline. By correlating volume metrics, you can begin to see how effectively each rep is working and make tactical suggestions for increasing their benefit-to-effort ratio. This is where you’ll be able to see if someone is spending too much or too little time on the phone, whether their emails are effective, and how well they demo the product. Volume data can also help you identify high-value activities and coach your reps to focus on the activities that generate the most value for the company.

Why is conversion data important?

Conversion data tracks things like sales velocity by time, sales cycle time, appointment hold rate, and advance rate by key activity. This type of data can offer insights into how effective a sales rep is at moving prospects through the funnel. Here, you can identify skills that could be improved to make each rep an even more savvy seller.

Ahead of your coaching sessions, don’t be afraid to compare real-time data of reps who are performing at different levels. By comparing metrics from top-performers with others, you can begin to identify what works and what doesn’t — and use these insights to coach sales best practices.

👉 Here are the top 21 sales KPIs you should be tracking to get the most out of your performance, volume, and conversion data.

Your Approach Matters as Much as the Data

A lot of sales reps feel that real-time data is used to monitor their performance – not to improve it. To remove this stressor, use real-time data in a supportive and constructive way that helps them pinpoint the changes they need to make in their approach. To keep the momentum going, use subsequent coaching sessions to highlight how these changes have had positive impacts on their KPIs. This will help them see the cause-and-effect of how data-driven sales coaching is helping them to improve their performance and make them better sales reps!

The Power of Dashboards

Being able to visually track personal performance can be a strong motivator for sales reps – especially when they can see improvements over time. Visualizing real-time data on dashboards is a great way to keep your reps striving for excellence between coaching sessions. It’s also a fantastic way for you to keep tabs on how your team is doing overall.

Plecto’s data-driven sales coaching software makes it easy to set up real-time performance dashboards in just a few clicks!

Sign up for a FREE 14-day trial and see the benefits of using real-time data for yourself and start outperforming today! 💪🏽


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