Part 2: Coaching Your Team Post-Covid Recovery
Click here to read part 3: Hiring Top Performers Post COVID Recovery
In the pre-COVID days, sales managers would ride along with a sales rep for the day. They would observe calls, ask questions to help the sales rep evaluate what worked well and didn’t work, and have the rep come up with ways they would commit to improving their selling skills.
The most significant impact of COVID on salespeople was the shift from face-to-face to virtual sales calls. From being on the road to working from home. This was a painful transition for many sales reps. As a result, salespeople resisted having their sales manager join them on virtual sales calls. Not wanting to add to their sales rep’s stress, sales managers complied and didn’t coach virtual sales calls.
Virtual calls are here to stay as we transition to a post-COVID hybrid selling model, depending on what your customers want and what management expects. The most likely scenario is that your reps will be doing a combination of face-to-face and virtual selling calls. The ratio may be 50/50 or 90/10; it really doesn’t matter. To improve your sales reps selling skills, you need to be coaching them on both face-to-face and virtual sales calls.
Sales organizations spent the early days of COVID adapting their technology, training reps on virtual selling, and creating digital marketing assets. With two years of experience in virtual selling, sales reps should have become quite proficient. How would you know if you haven’t observed virtual sales calls? If you haven’t coached your sales reps on improving their virtual selling skills, chances are there is significant room for improvement.
Adapting Focused Sales Coaching in Hybrid Sales Model
I have trained and taught hundreds of sales managers on my Focused Sales Coaching methodology. The methodology simply adapts when you are coaching virtual sales calls.
Step 2, is Coaching Focus.
Given that there are different skills required to be effective as a virtual seller, what I am having clients do is have their sales reps commit to 1-2 selling skills and virtual selling skills. In this step, the sales rep commits to improving 2-3 skills that will positively impact their performance.
Doing this makes it clear that you will evaluate and coach them on virtual selling skills; hence, you need to sit it on calls.
For example, here are four important skills in a virtual call:
1. Gaining customers’ attention and keeping them engaged virtually.
2. Asking effective questions to make a thorough discovery.
3. Demonstrating to the customer what’s possible or how to solve a problem.
4. Listening skills
5. Developing relationships with buyers virtually
Virtual selling is here to stay.
Some customers will prefer virtual sales calls, and some reps may use them to supplement their face-to-face calls. Virtual selling is here to stay.
Sales managers that are committed to developing a top sales team, they must spend time coaching on both types of calls. Virtual coaching is a must-do from now on.