5 Digital Re-solutions for Commercial Performance

Antoni Girod

Published : 17 January 2017
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les solutions digitales au service du coaching des commerciaux

 

 

At the start of the year, a time for good resolutions, spending more time coaching salespeople should be high on the list for managers.

Why?

Because good resolutions usually focus on things that we never manage to do throughout the year and the effective and regular coaching of salespeople is very often part of these things.

Indeed, while everyone recognizes the importance and impact of coaching on performance, it is quite rare to meet managers who have all the time necessary to implement it. Do not think of this as wanton criticism. It is just an observation. The reality of schedules, the number of tasks and requests filling the agendas make this essential mission regularly deferred, circumvented, forgotten or botched.

So, in order for 2017 to be truly a year of progress for the coaching of salespeople, we will provide five solutions to prop up your good resolutions in this area. Five avenues to follow to ensure that the effective development of salespeople’s skills can be compatible with an already brimming managerial agenda. Five ideas to get the best possible “effectiveness / invested time” ratio in your interventions. Five ideas making the digital transformation of your business also relevant to the way you teach your trade and advance your salespeople.

 

1.   Mapping and monitoring skills

 

daignostic en ligne des compétences commerciale

To help employees progress and reach new milestones, it is important to be able to precisely define a number of key “moves”. This seems obvious, but in the end, few managers are able to easily, quickly and accurately list the key skills that each member of their team should master.

That is a pity because it is much easier to deliver advice, coach and make progress when managers are able to run a precise diagnosis and describe trade-specific expectations.

In order to save time and precisely identify your co-workers’s areas of improvement according to their achievements and results, it is a good idea to make a definitive inventory of the key skills to be mastered.

Depending on your context, this could involve any number of diagnosis tools, such as a skills grid for instance. But generally speaking, the more accurate these tools and the more you use them, the easier and more efficient the task of the manager will be in the long run.

At Halifax Consulting we regularly develop customized tools that managers can access and use online. This way, managers can regularly choose their coaching priorities based on the results and orientation of their employees as regards each item.

2.   Empowering salespeople 

 

 

Academy

A music lesson will be more effective, more useful and probably more enjoyable if it is based on a sound understanding of music theory. Indeed, if the teacher has to explain the basics every time, progress will be difficult.

It’s exactly the same for a sales manager. If the manager always has to explain the fundamentals of sales techniques before focusing on concrete applications, everyone will end up wasting their time. The manager will turn into a parrot and their coworkers’s knowledge will stagnate.

The key idea is to remind every salesperson that they have a personal role in developing their own skills. Everything cannot come solely from the manager or the trainings dispensed here and there. Business is difficult enough and personal work should not have to beg justification.

This is why we encourage our clients to provide their salespeople and managers with an Online Academy for Commercial Performance. Thanks to this platform, everyone shares an online access to the resources necessary to improve their mastery of sales techniques.

Managers can then build on this basis to work on practical applications with their team without having to spend too much time upgrading business skills per se.

 

3.   Validating knowledge 

 

Online Challenges

CSO insight, a renowned US research institute covering business performance, published a study in 2015 that highlighted the following: 79% of the information from a sales training course dissipates within a few weeks and a third of sellers do not sufficiently master the arguments necessary to convince a client.

The question is: how can you make sure that the key elements of a training are well remembered? If you’re in charge of a lot of sellers, how do you know whether or not pitches are mastered? How can you be sure that the technical subtleties of your offers are well-understood?

In order to answer these questions and help our clients dispense and monitor sales knowledge, we have developed digital reinforcement challenges. This first involves challenging salespeople via regular questions sent on their smartphones and other devices. But the purpose is also to give managers a wide-ranging view of knowledge within their teams. Coaching actions are then much easier to target based on the results displayed on the dashboard.

 

4. Training asynchronously

 

solution digitales pour entraîner les commerciaux

Knowledge is important, but in order to succeed in the commercial field, it is necessary to know how to use it to convince people. That’s the whole point of training: Practicing in order to model and refine your presentations.

Any athlete looking for results spends a lot of time training with their coach. In the sales industry, it is much less common. The moments when the manager and their co-workers really take some time to train together are very rare. Again, it’s all about organization and scheduling.

Rehearsal – our video training platform – allows managers to train their employees consistently and asynchronously. It is a truly magical innovation!

Salespeople can practice when they are available and managers can provide feedback as soon as they are also available.

Go back in time and picture yourself 10 years from now.

Imagine that someone told you: “One day you will be able to train your employees in a very personalized way without even having to move around”; “One day you will be able to give exercises allowing you to check whether or not the ways you present your offer are in line with your expectations”; “One day all your salespeople will be able to benefit from your advice, even those you don’t often get to see face to face due to distance”. If someone had told you all this, you probably wouldn’t have believed them.  Now it is no longer a matter of believing it but of doing it, and Rehearsal allows you to do all this and much more to increase the impact of your coaching.

 

5. Balancing toughness and benevolence

 

exigence et bienveillance au service du coaching des commerciaux

These four solutions for implementing your resolutions will not be effective without the proper mindset.

Methods and tools, however “magical” they may be, are nothing if managers cannot find the right balance between being too tough and too agreeable.

You cannot advance you collaborators under constraint and without a relationship based on trust. All your initiatives will only find a positive echo if your salespeople trust you and detect some benevolence behind your intentions, your actions and the way you use these new solutions.

Well, I wish you an excellent year 2017 and all the best possible energy to stimulate progress and performance within your teams.

Happy new year and good luck with your business!

Antoni Girod

 

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