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Coaching for Sales Effectiveness & Productivity

Fellow coaches,

Today I had the opportunity to present a proposal covering "Coaching for Sales Effectiveness & Productivity" to our Asia-Pacific-Japan Regional  COO. While I did get conceptual agreement to build a framework for coaching for sales effectiveness & productivity, there were a few questions that I thought I should share with this team for inputs, guidance and expert advice - examples and best practices would be awesome.

The target coaching clients are sales personnel who are the "near achievers" i.e those  in the 51-100% quota achievement block. These "near achievers" report to sales managers, who then report to the country MDs. APJ is comprised of 13 countries or market units.

1. What are the typical metrics that organizations deploying coaching as an performance enhancement instrument use to gauge the effectiveness of coaching in driving Sales Effectiveness & Productivity ?

2. What is the role of the sales manager vis-a-vis the coach during the coaching engagement period ? 

3. What is the coaching / preparation required to effectively co-opt the sales managers into the process so that they support their employees though the process, and continue to provide the post coaching engagement cadence and support.

Thanks in advance for your responses !




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  • Hello Krishnan,

    I trust things are going well. How did your proposal go with Asia-Pacific-Japan Regional COO? Please provide an update, I'd like to hear. Regarding the questions you posted, here are some very quick responses:

    Q1. My observation suggest there is not many "typical metrics" used to gauge the effectiveness of coaching to drive sales effectiveness and productivity. Having said that, working with the sales function, given the nature of the role is one of the more straight forward functions where you can work with the organization to monitor the degree to which sales coaching and productivity at least co-vary (i.e., as one goes up the other might go up as well), assuming the organization has clear sale performance metrics in place - here are some things I've done with organizations: (1) identify core sale effectiveness and productivity metrics used by the sale organization to establish "base-line" data before the intervention; (2) conduct a survey with both sales managers and sales professionals to capture perceptions regarding the use of coaching sales coaching practices already in place, included perceived effectiveness and impact; (3) determine the elements of a sales effectiveness and coaching program - then design and pilot the program (ideally with the ability to compare the "Time 1" and "Time 2" perceptions and performance of managers and their reps in the pilot and those who are not; and (4) implement a multi-level assessment process including: a) Level 1: assess level of satisfaction with training and resulting action plans @ the end of the foundation program (both managers and reps) ; Level 2: measure learning and learning transfer of both managers and reps (via short online knowledge assessments and short surveys) within 3 months post foundation program (compare to relevant areas of "baseline survey/data"); Level 3: Application and Implementation (i.e., measure changes in on-the-job behavior - reps and managers) within 6 months of foundation program; and Level 4: Business Impact (i.e., assess performance data via the performance management process and sales performance reporting systems - generally this is already in place and done on a quarterly basis - again compare to both "base line" data to determine the "delta" and note potential differences, if any, between the pilot group and none-pilot group); and Level 5: ROI (compare cost of training with the benefits of the training published ROI calculation - many exists in the literature - I use Kirkpatrick's formula);

    Q2. What is the role of the sales manager during the coaching period? This is an important question, and part of it has to do with the target of the coaching. I believe in: (a) scaling and (b) performance coaching is the sales manager's job, not that of an external coach. So, given these assumptions, the target of the coaching that I've done in sales organizations ALWAYS starts with the sales managers (who coach their reps as part of their job responsibility), I don't start with the coaching the reps. Given this assumption, I also think it important to provide coaching skills training to sales managers/along with professional coaching for skills transfer and "peer coaching training" to reps to that they: understand their role in the coaching process and can support their peers in enhancing their performance, in addition to the coaching they receive from their manager - this approach contributes to building a coaching culture with in the sales organization - my experience as a sales representative, a field sales manager, and now a consultant providing coaching services to sales organizations, that on-off coaching to reps directly is not sustainability in terms of business impact, is costly and takes TOO long;

    Q3. I think I've already addressed this question in my responses to Q1 and Q2 - yet in short I think as part of the development intervention programs should be developed and tailored to the role, of all key stakeholders in the process, the sale manager, their supports, and sales professionals.

    Krishnan, I'd be interested in hearing your reactions to my input!




    BTW, Happy 2015!

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