Let’s get straight to the point, y’all. Are you happy with your organization’s current coaching efforts? Are they personalized and tailored to each teammate, or is it a one-size-fits-all situation? Are coaching sessions catered to your pipeline and specific deals? Do they tackle skill gaps and help reps become the best sellers out there? Yep, that’s a lot to think about. But, we’re guessing that you probably realize there’s some room for improvement when it comes to delivering coaching that actually moves the needle.
Luckily, we know three coaching experts who are more than happy to share their coaching experiences. Kyle Teague, L&D Program Manager at Olo, Steph Rezendes, Senior Director of L&D at John Hancock, and Jeff Adams, Regional Sales Director at Minitab joined us for a recent webinar that was chock-full of helpful tips and insights. If you didn’t get the chance to join, no worries! We’ve got three takeaways that any sales leader should consider when it comes to scaling personalized coaching. Plus, you can still watch the entire webinar here. Let’s see what the experts had to share!
1. Personalize your onboarding efforts
There are a ton of variables to consider when it comes to designing and delivering your team’s learning experience. And, when it comes to building your organization’s onboarding program, it can be easy to create one path or program for all employees. Everyone who joins the team reads some docs, watches a few videos, and attends some training sessions. And, if they’re lucky, they might receive some specific team training for their role.
But, this type of onboarding program is flat, ineffective, and extremely disengaging. Instead, it’s better to reimagine your onboarding experience so that it’s centered around individual roles and people. This approach will undeniably take some time and intentionality, but the benefits are endless. To get started, consider the core content that every new hire needs to know to be successful. From there, identify necessary skills that are unique for each role and team member. This will make it easier to create customized onboarding paths, roadmaps, and ongoing coaching opportunities for all of your team members.
“When you go to a restaurant, a server or sommelier knows exactly which wine pairs well with what you order. I like to think of that like learning. Onboarding is not one-size-fits-all. Each new hire comes in with different learning needs that we need to factor into their overall learning journey.” — Kyle Teague, Learning + Development Program Manager, Olo
2. Pair skill development with business outcomes
Oftentimes, we’re told that teams need training on x, y, and z. But, that creates a very broad approach to training across an entire team or even organization. This type of approach also comes with the risk of investing time and resources into training people on a topic or skill that doesn’t result in any type of performance improvement.
Instead, it’s better to stop and ask what problem needs to be solved. By taking a step back and evaluating what business outcome or goal needs to be addressed, it’s easier to create and deliver content that’s more personal and relevant. It takes training from simply checking the box to aligning your efforts with key areas of the business. If you’re wondering how to get started, carve out time to uncover areas where learning could be accelerated or improved, and think through what training is needed to enable teams to be their best. This will make it easier to identify areas for precise skill development that will make the biggest impact on your organization.
“It all really starts and comes down to alignment. I would say the secret recipe is to have business and learning alignment at the beginning of your learning strategy. You have to have an understanding, commitment, and a focus on what the team is trying to do and accomplish to help move the business forward.” — Steph Rezendes, Senior Director of Learning & Development, John Hancock
3. Focus on relationships
If your organization is quickly growing and launching new products or expanding services, then you know how important ongoing enablement is for overall success. Reps need to know how to have unique conversations with prospects and customers, listen for the problem they’re trying to solve, and correctly identify the best solution to fit their prospects’ needs. And, personalized sales coaching equips reps with the skills they need to be ready for these types of conversations on a daily basis.
When it comes to creating a continuous, rapid improvement-style of enablement program, it’s important to identify skills that your sales force actually wants to improve and get better at. Then, see how that feedback aligns with your overall sales enablement goals. This will make it easier to deliver training content and build a coaching plan that focuses on the skills that are necessary to help reps succeed in their roles.
“It’s not just about the individual rep, but the coach too. Both need to have a mutual understanding of the skills that need to be improved and why they matter. That’s going to help you gain buy-in and get people to focus on improving those skills.” — Jeff Adams, Regional Sales Director, Minitab
Kyle, Steph, and Jeff showed us that there are a ton of ways for any organization to deliver personalized coaching at scale. If you’re looking for even more ideas around leveling-up your coaching efforts and improving your team’s sales skills, then we’ve got you covered. Join us for Skills Summit 2021—a half-day event that’s dedicated to connection and skill development with the brightest in the biz. Learn more and register here.
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