Every sales deal can take you and your reps on a long and windy road. As always, your ability to help your team navigate the twists and turns is often the difference between arriving at the end destination of a closed deal or running out of gas.
Simply put, your coaching and guidance are pivotal to your team’s performance and organization’s revenue. But you face plenty of challenges along the way.
Facing deal roadblocks
As Gartner underscores in the latest edition of The Chief Sales Officer magazine, “The growing complexity of the job has forced [frontline sales] managers to cope by making unintentional trade-offs on where to focus their attention that unknowingly suppress commercial outcomes.” After all, you and your reps face larger, more diverse buying groups, and enjoy less access to prospects as they move through their complex buying process. At the same time, you’re likely managing a larger team while working with more resources across your organization.
Perhaps that’s why less than one-quarter (24.6%) of the organizations in a CSO Insights study claimed sales coaching as an organizational strength.
High-performing sales leaders get involved early
So what sets the highest performing sales leaders apart from the rest of the pack? According to Gartner’s research, understanding and focusing on the right activities and supporting sellers early are both critical to success in today’s complex environment. In addition to spending disproportionate time on near-term deal execution activities, the highest performing sales leaders have shifted their coaching efforts to early-to-middle sales process stages.
As Gartner says, “…today’s high-performing managers have figured out that sellers are more likely to face deal roadblocks throughout the sales process, not just the beginning and endpoints. They find supporting sellers at early and middle stages of a deal to be the most economically beneficial use of their coaching.”
We couldn’t agree more with the value of this approach. The earlier you understand how the sales process is progressing at every step, the better positioned you are to coach your reps to reach their goals and help accelerate deals.
Focusing on what lies ahead
The good news is that you have more data than ever to lend you that understanding. But we know that making use of all that data is often one of the biggest hindrances to effective coaching.
We get it – you rely on your reps to keep the CRM system up to date…an activity that’s low on their priority list. In most cases, you spend inordinate time piecing together scattered information and anecdotes to arrive at a complete picture. It’s time consuming and frustrating. But unless you understand what is happening as prospects are engaged, you’re stuck looking in the rearview mirror at what happened once deals are too far along for you to influence them. Instead, you need to fully grasp what’s happening at each stage of the sales process — especially early and middle — so you can determine where you can best help your reps.
You can now call upon technology that helps you do just that. This technology enables you to extract maximum value from your data by empowering you to uncover insights and act on them. With a clear view into the entire sales process from the start, you can effectively coach your reps throughout. CSO Insights believes that with this type of technology, organizations can better equip their sales leaders to coach: “Such tools, many of which are aided by AI, can help managers more efficiently and effectively guide their sellers.”
To date, your goal of coaching your reps to perform their best has probably felt just out of reach. That’s all in the past with technology that gives you the power to coach with foresight. See how People.ai’s Sales Solution can put you in the driver’s seat, owning the road.
Make data actionable with leading indicators
Once you have the data, the question ultimately becomes what do I do with it. Check out our ebook “The Power of Managing with Leading Indicators” to learn how you can use leading indicators to drive more predictable and accelerated revenue growth.