Coaching salespeople shouldn’t just involve the introduction of tools and techniques – it needs to come with a behavioural shift within the sales environment of your organisation and a focus on self-improvement within your sales teams. Stephen R Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ can perhaps best encapsulate these shifts.
The seven habits are broken into three imperatives: independence (moving away from dependence), interdependence (working with others), and continuous improvement across both spheres. These habits can be used to good effect when it comes to sales training efforts. Independence covers being proactive, visualising an endpoint, and time management. These three habits have a major impact on sales when it comes to lead generation, the sales process, and the timeliness issues that come from chasing new clients as well as retaining old ones. Interdependence habits include thinking about situations from a win-win perspective, listening to others, and combining individual strengths to make proficient teams.
Again, these traits are extremely important not just from the internal perspective of teamwork, but they also have ramifications on how your sales team treats clients. Lastly, it’s about continuous improvement. When it comes to sales coaching, there is no endpoint. Good sales teams are built upon their ability to learn and adapt to new emerging trends and swing factors. This can also have positive effects on the individual lives of your sales team by increasing job satisfaction and retaining the services of good salespeople for longer.
The Power Of Empathy
Advanced sales skills may be perceived as techniques and tools that we use to convince our leads and potential clients into thinking that we’re best for their business. However, these techniques need not be so crafty. Empathy, for example, can play a big part in winning deals. If you take an online Master of Leadership, this is something you will learn more about.
Firstly, it’s okay if the thought of an ’empathetic’ salesman instantly makes you feel uneasy. Sales have long been associated with ruthlessness, so the thought of empathy becoming part of sales training will seem like a bit of an oxymoron. On the contrary, empathy can lead to potential clients picking your organisation over competitors. That’s because empathy allows us to step into someone else’s shoes and see what they see; think what they think; feel what they feel. When you’re trying to connect with a client, can you think of any better approach? It’s about seeing your selling efforts from the customer’s perspective. By doing that, your salespeople can better anticipate any issues or concerns that the client may have. Not only that, but instead of devising endless strategies, they’ll listen to their needs. By doing this, salespeople can better tailor the deal to the client and demonstrate that they are really listening to the client’s concerns. It will also feel less like the sales team is trying to sell something, and more like your business is offering something that benefits their business. Empathy can be learned with the right sales management training and salespeople training.