The Quick Guide to Successful Metrics-Based Sales Coaching

May 26, 2015
min read time
Sam Aparicio
Sam Aparicio
Co-founder & CEO, Ring.io
The Quick Guide to Successful Metrics-Based Sales Coaching

A metric-based approach to coaching allows you to consistently identify deficient skills, create custom coaching plans, and track how your reps improve on those skills throughout the coaching process.

Follow these five rules, and you’ll be well on your way to developing a metric-based coaching process that delivers real results.

Narrow Your Focus

Let’s say you’re dealing with a brand new, inexperienced rep, or a veteran who is struggling across the board. In those situations, it’s tempting to try to improve every deficient skill at once. Resist the temptation.

Focusing on too many skills at once dilutes the time spent on each, and will usually just leave your rep overwhelmed.

Instead, focus on improving one skill at a time.

It’s much easier to reach the ultimate goal when you coach your reps piece-by-piece. Turn to your metrics to analyze which skills the rep in question needs to improve, then focus on coaching the skill that will make the biggest impact.

Focusing on one skill at a time also builds confidence in your reps. When they see noticeable improvement on one skill, it makes it easier to tackle the next challenge.

Prioritize and Personalize

Prioritizing skills isn’t just for new reps. Even your successful, experienced reps will have a few skills in need of developing at any given time.

Regardless of who you’re dealing with, it’s important to focus your coaching on improving the skills that will make the biggest difference in the rep’s performance.

Rely on your metrics, but don’t forget to consider the human element. Two reps who need to improve on the same skill won’t necessarily benefit from the same style of coaching. Mix your management skills and metrics to develop a personalized coaching plan fit for each individual.

Ask and Analyze

To coach effectively, you need to understand where your rep is coming from, and how they perceive their own skills. Sit down with your reps, and ask questioned designed to make them analyze their own metrics, trends, and overall performance.

Ask your reps to identify their skill deficiencies. This doesn’t need to be a contentious process. When you have a rep who is willing to give a frank, honest assessment of their own skills, it’s a great sign for that rep’s future improvement.

Track the Full Funnel

Activity metrics rarely paint the whole picture of a rep’s performance, so you’ll need to track more than calls made and conversations to coach your reps effectively.

Tracking the full funnel is the only way to ensure that your coaching is focused correctly. Adapting to the modern sales process requires a diverse set of skills, as the complexity of your funnel no doubt demonstrates.

So track it all, from start to finish. It’ll help improve your coaching, and it’s just good business.

Diagnose, Implement, and Review

Identifying the problem and providing some initial coaching is a great start, as long as the process doesn’t end there.

Coaching is a continual process, and the cycle should never really end. Identify the problem and implement a solution, then give your rep some time to put your solution into action. Use regular reviews to track progress, tweak your teaching plan, and reinforce the gains that your rep has made through the coaching process.

Once your rep’s metrics show the desired improvement, begin the process again by addressing the next skill in need of improvement.

The great thing about metric-based coaching is that you always know where things stand. You have a reliable way to analyze the skill deficiencies of your reps, and track their improvement throughout the coaching process.

Just remember to narrow your focus when choosing which skills to coach, and when to coach them. When a rep fully embraces the constant improvement that comes with metric-based coaching, you know you’ve got a winner.

This is part 3 of our series on Mark Roberge’s new book The Sales Acceleration Formula, check out part two here.


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