Coaching and growing your team members is critical to success. This can be especially true in sales organizations, where the coaching process between sales managers and individual team members serves to grow them as professionals and motivate them to properly pursue the organization’s overall sales goals.
But sales coaching is a complex topic. Research by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon published in Harvard Business Review, “The Dirty Secret of Effective Sales Coaching,” found that not all sales coaching is effective. Many sales managers focus their coaching efforts on the best performers and the worst performers on their team, but those groups oftentimes see the least impact from coaching. Instead, focusing on coaching the team members in between can produce the greatest change in results.
One great tool to utilize when coaching those sales team members is a “funnel coaching report” that can be prepared using the principles of the Revenue Funnel Science framework. A funnel coaching report is a report that takes the information from the various types of analysis that are included in Revenue Funnel Science and breaks it down in a simple, easy-to-read format that can be used in an individual coaching session. Ideally, you should have coaching reports like this prepared every week for each member of your sales organization, regardless of whether you have five sales team members or 500.
For example, a coaching report may show how a single sales rep compares to the average performance of his or her peers across every stage of the funnel and also against that same rep’s past performance. In each stage, it may show how their net new volume, conversions and velocity are trending and comparing to others. It may also show how their activities correlate to their results, including if they are doing more or fewer activities than their peers for each stage of the funnel, and if the timing of those activities is better or worse as well. For example, do they call new leads from marketing more quickly or less quickly than the rest of the team and does this impact their results with those leads? The coaching report should highlight where the biggest areas are for improvement, so the sales reps and their manager can clearly see where they need to focus attention the most.
A coaching report may also include an individual revenue projection for sales reps so they can see what their numbers say about whether or not they are on track for their goals. If they are not on track, the report can also include a “path to your number” outline that shows them what changes they need to make in order to get back on track. In some organizations, the coaching report may also include a compensation component to tie it back to the team member’s personal compensation goals. For example, if sales reps said their goal was to make $100,000 in commission this year, the report can show how their funnel activities are either on track or need changes in order to help them hit these personal compensation goals. Proper coaching can be critical for a sales organization. Ann-Marie Heidingsfelder, author of “The 20 Minute Sales Coach,” has a quote I like:
“‘Plan your work and work your plan” we used to say in my first Silicon Valley sales job. Identify the steps you need to take to get where you are going. Without a map who knows where you’ll end up! Certainly not where you intended to be.’”
However, I might prefer to amend the quote to say, “Plan your funnel and work your funnel.” By developing coaching reports using Revenue Funnel Science and reviewing them regularly with your team members, you can ensure they know their funnel and are working it properly, leading to success for themselves and for your company overall.
Understand the Framework
Learn how the Revenue Funnel Science framework can help you do more than provide data-driven coaching reports when you download “The Ultimate Guide to Revenue Funnel Science.”