Coaching 2.0: How to Enable Sales Managers Through Technology
For the modern sales organization, certain technologies are universal in the age of Sales 2.0. We rely on CRMs and continuous learning platforms to increase the efficiency of our sales force and drive organizational outcomes. The recent economic downturn has most sales organizations looking for ways to achieve even greater cost efficiency and support revenue-driving activities.
One high-impact area where leaders are choosing to invest is manager enablement. Emerging sales technologies can optimize opportunity reviews and coaching to increase front-line manager effectiveness. These managers have a unique potential to impact your organization’s success; an investment in their efficacy is an investment in overall sales velocity.
Here are 3 reasons sales leaders are choosing to implement technology in their sales managers' rhythm:
1. It Drives Consistency
Seller inconsistency can be a difficult problem to address. Most sales organizations rely on A players to model high productivity, but bringing other sellers up to their speed can be an ongoing challenge and a huge hindrance to growth. One way to enable greater consistency within your sales team is to equip your managers with tools that help them develop models of success.
By implementing tech that documents and regulates the selling process, you give managers a higher level of insight into why their A players perform well. They’ll have a blueprint to utilize in coaching sessions that identifies specific areas of improvement to address. They’ll also reduce time-to-productivity of new hires, so their ROI is more immediate. When deal data is stored in a unified tool, it becomes a singular source of truth as to which behaviors lead to success for the organization. Not only will this drive consistency between sellers, but also between managers and cross-functional teams.
Consistency in the sales process across your entire sales organization can be a daunting concept, but company-wide processes take effect at the seller level. Using tech to enable consistency in coaching ensures your overall revenue strategy is being executed at the point of sale. That alignment is key to scale growth for your sales organization.
2. It Helps Sales Teams Leverage Data
By now, nearly every sales organization drives major organizational and financial decisions with data. “Soft” operations like skills and coaching, however, may be getting left behind. According to Forrester, most companies only use 12% of the data available to them. Deal management technology can help sales teams extract a higher level of detail in the information they collect throughout the sales conversation and increase the accessibility of this data to support efficiency and collaboration.
Opportunity Manager is a CRM-integrated tool that encourages better data usage by building core methodologies into the sales process. Guided assessments and visual tools highlight missing information to facilitate a more complete picture of the buyer organization. Opportunity Manager has supported cross-functional alignment for organizations like project44, who reduced their average sales cycle by 19% after implementing this tool.
Not only can a data-driven tool like Opportunity Manager drive better outcomes from the sales team, but it unlocks a new level of alignment for cross-functional teams. Data sharing between sales, customer success, implementation and account management teams supports seamless delivery of client outcomes. The ability to easily store and access historical data can significantly increase the probability of success in win rates, deal size and forecast accuracy. That kind of alignment and efficiency can make all the difference in the high-stakes sales environment created by ongoing economic tension.
3. It Enables a Focus on Coaching
In the traditional sales process, deal data lives largely in the seller’s notes and in their head. Valuable meeting time between coaches and reps is then spent communicating and reviewing this data. This process is highly inefficient and presents the chance for missed opportunities and wasted time. Managers also typically take on the role of enforcing new sales methodologies and strategies to ensure that they are being utilized in day-to-day conversations.
Technology can relieve managers of the burden of enforcement and data collection, enabling them to spend more time coaching and moving deals through the pipeline. Reminding, requesting and requiring certain actions that align with your organizational methodologies can all be tasks that fall to technology, significantly reducing the burden of adoption on managers. Rather than spending time gathering and analyzing data, managers can provide more immediate value to sellers. Sellers will in turn see the value of performing the required tasks and following methodologies when they see a more direct effect on their own success.
The goal of technology-enabled coaching is not to automate or replace the manager-seller interaction, but rather systemize it. The relationship between coaches and their sellers is the human element that makes sales magic happen. That human element is the differentiation that your customers are buying, and technology offers the opportunity to enhance and scale that valuable factor.
The ROI of Better Data
Customer conversations are the source of vital information to your sales organization. Equip sellers to execute better discovery and extract better data by aligning on a customer-focused sales message. This guide shares examples of cross-functional ROI seen by real sales leaders who invested in elevating their sales message.