Awesome Virtual Coaching Creates Master Virtual Sellers
COVID has impacted everyone.
Sales organizations have had to adjust how they prospect, sell, and interact with customers and each other.
Companies that have been quick to adapt have been able to mitigate the impact of COVID. Of course, different industries face different realities.
However, there are two fundamental activities that successful sales organizations have been able to continue doing despite COVID. These companies are the ones that are performing better than their competitors. The two critical activities are selling and coaching.
COVID has forced many organizations to start selling virtually. Sales reps have had to adapt (some not so quickly) to using technology to interact with customers. Even though they may have gotten a handle on the technology, communication online is much different than face to face. Many salespeople have found the entire shift very frustrating and are still uncomfortable selling virtually.
Salespeople who had poor selling skills before COVID are now extremely challenged in hitting their quotas. Even some top sellers are struggling to be as effective as they can be.
Virtual selling is more challenging as you lose the value of proximity and the ability to read the buyer’s body language.
How can you help your salespeople excel at virtual selling?
You need to coach them!
Virtual selling is a new skill for many. Like with any newly learned skill, skill mastery happens over time and can be accelerated with coaching. Coaching and training have a fourfold impact on acquiring new skills than training alone.
Sales leaders will tell you that they have spent more time coaching their salespeople over the last 6 months.
In fact, with salespeople facing such uncertainty and sales managers not having to travel, they have increased the time they spend coaching. Coaching can take on many forms such as; coaching deals, coaching KPI’s and coaching sales calls.
The increase in coaching time has focused exclusively on one-on-one. Sales managers have spent more time to check in with their salespeople and coach them through the uncertainty.
However, before COVID, the sales managers would be spending their time riding-along with their sales reps to observe (observational coaching) sales calls, debrief and identify areas for development.
Virtual (observational) coaching is the most powerful form of coaching. It is real-time and allows the sales manager to have visibility to what the rep is saying and doing in front of the customer.
Sales managers who do not observe sales calls (virtual or face to face) are just not doing their job. If your sales reps are resistant, then they are not coachable.
If the customer feels uncomfortable, explain that the sales manager wants to get to know them better, reengage, support their rep, and be part of their job.
The sales manager coach/must observe each of their sales reps sell every month.
Coaching is the #1 sales management activity that drives performance.
Coaching improves sales rep engagement, helps them master their virtual selling skills and helps to close more sales.
COVID is not going away any time soon.
At least not until we have a safe and effective vaccine and a large percentage of the population gets inoculated. We are probably looking until the end of 2021 where we will hopefully be in a position to confidently go back to pre COVID selling.
So, adapting to the virtual world is a necessity for survival.
Both sales leaders and their salespeople need to adapt to leading, coaching and selling in a virtual world.
Salespeople need to be mastering virtual selling and sales managers to be observing and coaching their salespeople to master the art of virtual selling.
If you are struggling with achieving your goals or finding it challenging to engage your sales team, I can help. Click here to schedule a complimentary Sales Leadership Breakthrough virtual coaching session