Sales Coaching (all industries)
Family-owned business experiences growing pains requiring an upgrade of sales skills.
Sales Coaching for Executives
Sales Coaching for President of a newly acquired firm: An executive with financial and general management skills acquired a small, yet profitable specialty manufacturing and service business. His new responsibilities meant that he had to become personally involved for the first time in his career in sales and sales management, notably in two areas. First, he needed to turn around the existing sales force, because the prior president had taken a hands-off approach, which resulted in the sales people becoming too complacent about new business development. Second, he had to become actively involved with their key accounts, in order to minimize any attrition due to the acquisition. Peak Selling provided coaching to the president in both these areas. We developed the president’s selling skills with a personalized Selling Skills Inventory along with coaching on the key topics from our Essential Selling Skills. Subsequently, we followed this with some additional coaching sessions on managing an experienced sales force.
The second stage of our coaching engagement was to provide a customized sales training workshop that included the president and his entire sales team, based primarily on two workshops, Sales Prospecting and Business Development and Time Management for Sales, so that the entire team could become re-energized to put the necessary time into prospecting for new business.
Executive Sales Coaching: A business owner, directly responsible for the inside and outside sales force for his mid-sized manufacturing firm, contacted Peak Selling for sales coaching. We provided coaching to the owner to improve his ability to be a pro-active sales manager, with emphasis on how to set realistic sales targets with each salesperson. We also provided consultation to the owner to analyze their current and prospective markets, and to then identify and target the best sources for new business. Peak Selling was subsequently used to do some skill development training for the sales team, such as how to sell on value and overcome difficult objections.
Coaching for Sales Teams: A national sales manager for a high tech firm had hired some experienced salespeople to add to their existing sales force because the company was in a growth mode. It became apparent to him during joint sales calls that, although his entire team was highly skilled and experienced in the industry, they did not follow a consistent sales process. To validate his observations, he asked us to videotape each sales person making a realistic sales call to the Peak Selling consultant, who acted as the real-life customer. The format and videotaping let us provide 1-on-1 feedback to each sales professional about their individual Sales Presentation Skills, and also to consult with the manager afterwards on the collective "best practices” and areas for improvement of the entire sales team.
Individual Coaching: A sales manager for a specialty products firm had recently been promoted from the sales force. Although he had been quite successful in sales, he was new as a sales manager. Peak Selling worked with him in two ways. First, we used our Coaching Behavior Inventory (see the "Coaching Process” described below) to assess and provide coaching to identify his natural strengths, as well as areas for improvement as a sales manager. Secondly, he shared with us that one of his senior salespeople needed some individual coaching, and he preferred to use us to work with this individual rather than do it himself.
One-on-One Sales Coaching
Sales Coaching for a Teleseller: A family-owned business was in the process of transitioning their business to the second generation of family members, which included transferring sales responsibilities from the founder to one of his sons. This change in sales responsibility coincided with the need to also change the way that their products and services were sold. The founder had originally sold to local clients, and had relied almost exclusively on face-to-face sales calls and cold calling. As the business grew to become more national, it became more necessary to sell over the phone and to use webinars to demonstrate the usage and benefits of their products and services.
The son who was selected as the primary salesperson was chosen because of his product knowledge and computer savvy, which they felt would help him in the webinar portion of the sales cycle. Peak Selling was brought in to work with the new seller to develop his interpersonal and selling skills. In simple terms, he was selling too much based on his technical expertise and was not doing a good job on building rapport, getting the first appointment, or asking for the order. The net result was that he was spending his time doing a lot of webinar presentations but was not closing enough sales. We developed the one on one sales coaching sessions around modules from our Essential Selling Skills, Sales Negotiation Skills, and Selling on Value workshops to broaden his ability to use other selling styles and to win more sales.
Negotiation Coaching: Peak Selling worked with an experienced business owner who was in the middle of a real-life negotiation that unexpectedly had become quite adversarial. Peak Selling assisted the client by coaching in two ways. First, we provided some information and consultation on how to respond effectively to adversarial negotiation tactics. Secondly, we helped him plan thoroughly for the negotiation, with emphasis on acceptable alternatives in the event that the negotiation remained adversarial. A Peak Selling consultant acted as a sounding board to debrief after each of the subsequent negotiation sessions, and helped to make necessary adjustments to the plan going forward.
Coaching and Sales Quotas: A salesperson had missed quota for a few months, and wanted to get back on track as quickly as possible. Peak Selling began by consulting with the salesperson to identify the underlying reasons for missing quota, and to learn as much as possible about the organization's products and services. We also had the salesperson complete a Selling Skills Inventory (see details in box below) to assess the salesperson's natural strengths and areas for improvement. The results of this coaching interview and analysis of the inventory confirmed that the seller was quite skillful, but needed some fine-tuning and focus to win the best new sales opportunities. Sales quotas were met or exceeded for the next several months, starting with the month immediately following the coaching engagement.