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ATD Blog

The Benefits of Microcoaching for Sales Enablement Leaders

Friday, September 10, 2021
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How many times have you experienced sales leaders point the finger at the enablement team for their lack of success? This discord frequently happens in sales organizations. Don’t let yourself be the scapegoat. You’re doing a fine job. But to become a respected and valued part of the sales team, you may need to make some changes. Specifically, the real problem may be the process your organization uses to develop new reps to their fullest potential.

The Challenge of Sales Training

Without highly trained, skilled, and motivated sales reps, organizations are going nowhere. We have the best of intentions when we develop our training and learning management systems. Then, reality strikes. Sales managers complain that your instructional designs are too theoretical, instead of being applicable in the real world.

If you work in a large organization, HR routinely fills your classroom with young reps who are eager to build their careers. They might not know it yet, but successful selling requires discipline and the right mindset. It’s your job to train these enthusiastic new team members on the basics of selling. And maybe you’re also on deck to teach the new reps about the product they’ll be selling.

Regardless of the process you use, there are shortcomings. Keeping your trainees in a room for daylong sessions over a period of a couple of weeks means that they’ll only retain a small amount of the material you cover. If you extend training over a period of several weeks, they start to lose interest in the material because they are working on the accounts they’ve been assigned. And then there’s the nature of the training itself. One instructor delivers information to the trainees, covering all the topics in the course, whether the new hires need development on a specific skill or not.

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Complement Your LMS With Microcoaching

Once the new sales reps leave the training program, they may struggle with knowledge retention. You teach them plenty of information, but not every rep will benefit from that kind of learning. Many reps need to encounter real-world situations before they access their training, and by then, their memory might be fuzzy.

Microcoaching can help to boost knowledge retention. An automated microcoaching platform is the best tool for complementing what reps take away from your learning management system. It delivers personalized guidance and coaching questions in frequent bursts.

While high-performing sales teams are managed by those who make the time to coach their reps on skills development and motivation, they are often not effective. Their efforts don’t result in measurable performance improvement. Instead, the coaching sessions turn into a pipeline review and an advice-giving session. This process further accelerates knowledge loss because it doesn’t reinforce what you’ve taught the reps.

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Microcoaching can fill the gap resulting from poor sales coaching by managers. It also complements your learning management and the coaching provided by sales managers.

The Benefits of Microcoaching

Without the regular cadence provided by microcoaching, reps begin to feel like they’ll never improve. But when they receive hyper-focused feeds encouraging them to improve specific aspects of their selling process or their personal characteristics, they’ll recall the tactical advice they learned in training and apply it to their current selling situation.

This professional development doesn’t require hands-on work by the manager or additional commitment from the enablement team. But as a training professional, you can improve outcomes and make the process interactive by asking the reps to respond to a poll or question posed in the feed. This interaction will reinforce the message that has been customized for the rep.

We are all being asked to work more efficiently and effectively these days. If the training process at your organization needs a power booster, consider what microcoaching can do for your reps. You can improve the results of your sales enablement process by investing in a proven microcoaching solution such as CoachFeed by SalesFuel to take the reps in your organization to the next level.

About the Author

C. Lee Smith is the CEO and Founder of SalesFuel, a Columbus, Ohio-based firm that was named one of the Top 10 Sales Enablement Vendors in 2020, and Lee was also named by Selling Power as one of just six Leading Sales Consultants for 2020 worldwide.

He is the author of SalesCred, the definitive book on the #1 problem facing sales teams today: their lack of credibility among buyers. He also has written the Amazon international bestseller Hire Smarter, Sell More!, a book that helps readers increase their bottom line by avoiding toxic employees and identifying and hiring sales rainmakers.

His expertise in remote teams, leadership and coaching, and hiring is enhanced in 2020, with him becoming a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst, Certified Professional Axiologist, and Certified Professional Values Analyst.

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