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What Is a Coach?
Before it is possible to implement any coaching activities, the definition of a coach must be made clear. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of coaching as well as the challenges that coaches face will establish the foundation necessary for the moving forward in the process of becoming a coach for salespeople.
In the business world, a coach is responsible for increasing employee and company success. The goal of coaching is to develop employees at all levels, including productivity, adaptability, satisfaction, and retention. There are professional coaching positions, but any manager can be a coach who develops the best in their employees.
Coaches are not mentors, although they share some of the same roles. Coaches work to help people discover information on their own rather than relying on direct teaching methods. In any coaching relationship, it is necessary to develop trusting relationships based on confidentiality.
Being a good coach demands a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities that a coach must provide. These roles include:
- Challenge assumptions – Ask team members to consider their beliefs.
- Offer encouragement – Celebrate achievements and build confidence in times of struggle.
- Provide education – Help team members find skills, knowledge, and expertise.
- Act as counselor – Develop interpersonal relationships between team members and those outside the team.
These roles that a coach plays requires balance. It is important to avoid focusing so much on one role that you fail to address others.
For more on our Coaching Sales People course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Coaching_Salespeople
We usually end up avoiding the pushy salesperson. The one that follows you around the store, asking a million questions. There are many traits in a sales representative that we all avoid. Being that salesperson that a customer wants to see and to talk to takes a little bit of practice. But with these traits, you will become that salesperson, it will eventually lead to the customer making a purchase, and beginning a positive, long lasting relationship with you.
There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Being pushy and overly aggressive can not only offend but also scare away perspective customers. On the other hand, being assertive, and in tune with the customer’s needs, you can draw in customers.
Before you begin the sale, know the objections/concerns the customer may have and be prepared to respond. Give all of the supporting data when delivering the sales pitch. Always be calm, positive, and honest about the product/service. This will convey the message that you are an authority in the field.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and control one’s emotions, and to recognize and manage others’ emotions. In short, being aware of one’s emotions and being able to control them, along with having empathy for others, are both signs of emotional intelligence. People with high emotional intelligence are usually better team players, better problem solvers, and overall better “people” persons.
Those with high emotional intelligence are very aware of their own emotions. They know their triggers and are capable of controlling their emotions, even in stressful situations. High emotional intelligence also involves a motivation to understand other’s situations and empathize with them. Improving all of these traits is important to developing a high emotional intelligence.
Traits of a high emotional intelligence:
Sales = problem solving. If you want to be valued by your customers, you have to solve their problems. Customers that need solutions to high priority issues are willing to pay for those solutions. But first, you must identify the customer’s problem. What are they missing or needing? Then you must analyze that problem. What causes the problem? What could solve the problem? You then need to formulate several options to remedy the situation for the customer. Which products/services will solve this problem? And lastly, assist the customer in choosing the option that best suits their needs.
The hardest thing to learn as a sales person is to close the deal, make the sale; no matter how you word it, there are many techniques to getting your customer to put their name on the dotted line. After you have presented all of the facts, and the customer wants the product, you may still need to gently push your customer to actually committing to the sale.
One of the techniques used is the assumptive technique. You assume the sale is completed and you say something like, “So you would like your delivery date to be next week?” Another technique is the bonus. Hold back a low cost, high value bonus to purchasing. Use this bonus to sway your customer into the purchase. Another way to close the deal painlessly is to put a deadline on the deal. This works well when offering sale prices. “This sale is about to expire, so I assume you want to take advantage of this pricing now?” would be a good example of this technique.
For more on our Top 10 Sales Secrets course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Top_10_Sales_Secrets
It Starts at the Top
There is a very common saying, ‘Attitude reflects leadership.’ A manager sets the tone for the whole staff. If a manager shows the staff that having the appropriate information is important, it will be more likely to be utilized. You can help your staff be the best contact center possible by creating an open culture, knowing the goals of the company, knowing your employees job duties, and being able to identify additional training opportunities. A manager has to have their eyes peeled at all times for new information needed, and new ways to deliver that information.
Create an Open Culture
When you are a manager, it is important that you create an open culture with your staff. What is an open culture? An open culture means that as a manager, you are creating an environment where employees feel free to share ideas and concerns. This type of environment helps employees feel empowered and important, which helps them want to come to work and do a great job. When an employee starts to feel like they don’t matter to a company, it can bring down not only the whole department but the company itself. Here are some ideas that will help you create an open culture in your company:
- Loose the door – taking out the door or leaving your door open tells your staff that you’re available for them.
- Don’t be secretive – you are not working for the Pentagon, tell the staff what’s up. When you as a manager keep secrets, it has a tendency to make the staff feel paranoid, and/or unimportant.
- Recognize that change is not always black and white – change can be hard on anyone. There will always be the good with the bad. Let your staff tell you their opinions on changes that were made. Be open to their concerns and suggestions
- Have one on one training sessions with your staff members- this helps the staff members get to know management on a more personal level, and makes them more likely to voice concerns or suggestions later on.
The worst thing a manager can do is to not understand the goals of the company. This entails looking at the company as a whole, in a large scope. Try asking yourself, and your supervisor these questions:
- What is the company trying to achieve?
- What are the company’s long-term and short-term goals?
- What does the company need in order to accomplish these goals?
- How can my department help facilitate those goals?
Without knowing where the company itself is wanting to go, you won’t know how to get there. Talk to your own supervisors to understand the goals of the company. Once you understand what the company wants to accomplish, you can set goals for your staff. When setting the goals for your staff, make sure to be very clear about the goal that you want to accomplish, and the steps it will take to accomplish it. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic.
Understand Agents’ Responsibilities
There is nothing worse, from an employee standpoint, than a manager that doesn’t understand the job duties and processes of an employee. If the manager doesn’t understand responsibilities of a contact center employee, how is the employee supposed to understand them? Take the time to talk to your supervisors so that you know what is expected of your employees. If you are a new manager, asked to be trained as if you were one of your employees. This way you can see the processes, and learn how to improve them for your employees and customers. Knowing their processes and what their job responsibilities are also helps you train future employees.
Identify Education Opportunities
There is never a point when an employee has learned too much. Employees who learn are more engaged in their jobs. As a manager it’s your job to make sure that your employees remain engaged, and are effective in their positions. You can see what training or education would be beneficial to the company and employee. Having educational opportunities helps maintain employee engagement, thus retaining more employees. Engaging employees helps them feel important and part of the company, instead of just another lackey. Education opportunities can come in many shapes and sizes.
Here are just a few different educational opportunities your company could provide for your employees:
- College tuition reimbursement
- Cross Training
- One-on-one training
- Seminars & workshops
Having these education opportunities helps the employees feel like the company cares about their personal growth. Happy employees create happy customers.
For more on our Contact Center Training workshop, please visit our website at: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Contact_Center_Training
What is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is a business philosophy that emphasizes the act of the leader, such as a manager or supervisor, focusing on the growth and development of their employees and ensuring their success. In doing so, the leader succeeds when their employees do. In a business team, servant leadership cannot only help employees achieve and grow, but it can also benefit their leaders and the company as a whole.
It is a leader’s responsibility to guide their followers on the right path. But to become a better leader, it’s not enough just to take the wheel and steer – you must also be willing to serve your followers and assist them in their own journey. A servant leader should have a desire to serve their employees, which includes taking the time to identify your employees and how they perform or being beside them as they face challenges. Take the time to assist in their growth and help them work toward achieving their goals. Don’t be afraid to give yourself into their processes and become part of their evolvement.
As a leader, it is a common feeling to absorb the ‘power’ of the position and a have a sense of superiority. A servant leader does not save this power only for themselves because they learn to share it with their team of employees. Employees under a servant leader should feel some of the servant leader’s power and pull, which can make them feel more empowered in their place on the team and in their own abilities. Sharing the power allows employees to feel like their contributions matter and that their input is valued.
Share the power by:
- Asking employee opinions
- Working together on challenges or projects
- Taking a census, when possible
One of the main principles of servant leadership is the act of putting other’s needs ahead of your own. As a leader, we can sometimes think in the ‘ME’ mentality and want to focus on our own agenda and needs. But in servant leadership, the leader must focus on his team of employees first before focusing on themselves. The leader should focus on what the employee needs or wants, how they can achieve this and how it will make them successful in the long run. A leader should strive to develop relationships and even friendships with their employees and deliver feedback when possible. They must be able to set their own ego aside and realize that without their team of employees, no one can be successful.
Once again, as a leader, we can focus on our own goals, responsibilities and even our own challenges. But as a servant leader, the needs of the employee should come first and the main goal should be to help them succeed and grow in the company. A good leader knows that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so everyone benefits when every employee is encouraged, mentored and motivated. Sometimes this may mean you’ll have to share in successes as well as failures, but every goal set and worked together is another stepping stone for the employee and helps them work toward their ultimate target.
Help employees grow by:
- Encourage goals
- Give feedback when possible
- Listen to their questions and requests
- Offer help but don’t complete things for them
For more on our Servant Leadership course, please visit:
Characteristics of High Performance Teams
There are many different characteristics for high performance teams. We could list different characteristics for days! In this section, we will discuss the four main characteristics of high performance teams. The characteristics are excellent communication, being goal-oriented, flexibility, and being committed.
So, what is communication? Communication means relaying thoughts or ideas to another person. Communication is broken up into three categories: verbal, written, and nonverbal. Every good relationship depends on great communication. Being able to effectively communicate with one another is an important asset on any team. Most problems in a team dynamic are due to poor communication. Most of the time these problems are because of a misunderstanding, where someone didn’t communicate effectively.
Goals are important for everyone, both personally and professionally. Having a goal gives you something to reach for, to improve yourself or your life. A goal is something that a person or persons works to achieve. A goal can be tangible, which is something that they can physically touch, like building a model rocket. You can also have intangible goals, which is something you can’t touch, like learning to speak Chinese. High performance teams are known for being goal-oriented. These teams are laser focused on the task at hand, and work together to achieve their collective goal.
High performance teams are known to be very flexible. They understand the steps they have to take in order to complete their tasks, and will use the most effective route to achieve their goal. This may entail changing the route used to complete the task. Leadership changes often, members of the team will change team leads depending on which member is best qualified. Team member duties can change from project to project.
High performance team members are committed to the team and completing their goals. A committed team member is loyal and dedicated to their team, job, company, and the task at hand. These teams are engaged in their tasks and are committed to obtaining their goals. At the end of the day, they want the best for their company, and team, not unlike a parent wants the best for their child.
For more on High Performance Teams, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/High_Performance_Teams_Remote_Workforce
Communicate to Motivate
Studies show that organizations with open, frequent communication between management and employees tend to foster motivation. Communicate with your sales team often to help keep the motivation flowing. Also encourage your team members to communicate with you. By keeping the lines of communication open, you are better able to head off problems, learn what the team needs, and understand what will motivate both the whole team and individual team members.
Regular Group Meetings
Along with frequent check-ins, regular group meetings are a key channel of communication. While email and phone calls are vital tools in today’s workplace, face-to-face meetings are invaluable for creating a sense of shared goals and connection. Schedule regular meetings with the entire sales team. These might be weekly, monthly, or quarterly depending on the set up of your organization. However often you decide to conduct them, keep to a regular schedule so that there is consistency. Use regular meetings to discuss successes and setbacks, challenges, and needs. Also use them as a time to simply check in with each other, build relationships, and otherwise establish or reinforce shared goals and values. Ensure that meetings are not just management giving orders, but are instead composed of two-way communication with team members.
Regular One on One Meetings
In addition to regular meetings with the entire team, it is key to take the time to meet one on one with individual team members as well. Individual meetings offer you a chance to get to know each team member and what motivates him or her. They are also a place to discuss issues or needs that individual team members might not feel comfortable bringing up in a group setting. Depending on the size of your team and the structure of your organization, the frequency of these meetings will vary. What is important is that they occur on a regular basis and that they serve as a setting for two-way communication between you and individual members of your sales team. Use this time to explore motivations, goals, needs, successes, and challenges with each team member in a setting where he or she has your undivided attention.
Focus on Strengths and Development Areas
A key to using meetings – team and one-on-one – to motivate is focusing on both strengths and development areas. These meetings should neither be wholly about what is going “wrong” nor entirely about praising success. Take the time to recognize the team or individual’s strengths first, reinforcing how valuable they are. Also take time to point out areas where the team or individual can grow and improve, and use part of the meeting time for creating next steps or a development plan. Never call out an individual team member’s development needs in front of the whole team – save that feedback for your individual meeting. Use team meetings to focus on strengths and development needs for the team as a whole, and focus on individual strengths and development needs in the one on one meetings. Also use the team meetings to reinforce shared goals and the mutually interdependent nature of the team.
Ask for Feedback
A major feature of motivational environments is that the communication is two-way. You will provide a great deal of feedback in the regular meetings with your sales team. Be sure to ask them for feedback as well, in both the team meetings and individual meetings. It may be necessary to offer training in how to give useful feedback, if your sales team is not used to be asked to provide feedback to management. Model good feedback behaviors as well, by not personalizing feedback and by focusing on shared values and goals. Encourage your team members to give you regular feedback in between meetings as well. Reinforce that their feedback is how you will know what they need, how they are doing, and how you can support them. Asking for feedback shows team members that you and the organization value them, which can motivate them and lead to increased investment in the work.
For more on this course, please visit:
Successful Webinar Criteria
People are constantly inundated with sales pitches. When it comes to hosting webinars, you must deliver value. The value that you offer needs to resonate with your customers in order for them to choose you. In order to provide value, you need to understand what motivates your customer. For example, people purchase certain items based on quality and others solely based on price, and these choices vary with each individual.
When you are presenting value to your customer, you need to understand your customers’ needs and wants. Then, you will be able to identify exactly how your product or service addresses the needs and wants of your customers. When you have the answers, you must show how your products or services will be able to benefit your customers.
Knowing Your Target Audience
Knowing how to deliver value requires you to understand your target audience. It is impossible to please everyone, which is why you need to know who your customers are (your target audience). This will require you to conduct some research and gather information. Begin by identifying the age, gender, income level, education level, and location of your customers. Once you have this basic information, you must determine how they interact with the world. What do they read? How do they share information? This will allow you to tailor your webinars to your customer as well as advertise in the right locations. Again, this will take a little work on your part, but it is worth the effort.
Grab and Keep Attention
As we have already stated, it is important that you grab the attention of your audience immediately. It is just as important to keep their attention. After a strong opening, you need to keep the momentum going. Many professional presenters follow the 10-minute rule. This rule is based on the understanding that attention begins to drift after 10 minutes. This requires a simple change of course every 10 minutes, such as switching to a demonstration or slide show.
There are other ways to keep the attention of your audience:
- Use slides in moderation: Slides with everything you say is just as boring talking alone.
- Use animation and images: Make sure that are relevant to the webinar.
- Use demonstrations: Again, make them relevant to your topic.
- Limit information: Provide a basic overview, not an in-depth analysis.
Simple find the methods that work best for you, and space them out to keep your audience interested and motivated.
For more information about our Creating a Great Webinar course, please visit:
Performing a Needs Analysis
Clients need many more things than you might be planning to sell them. The more you can do for a client, the more you will be seen as a valuable partner. Here are some suggestions about how it might be possible to meet some other client needs:
- Information. You might be able to act as a consultant to a client, providing information about the latest developments in your field.
- Training. If you provide a product that requires some training, make training part of the package.
- Financing. If your company does not provide financing, put the client in touch with banks that do.
- Community. Communities often grow up around particular products, especially high tech products. Introduce clients to users groups or trade organizations.
- Personnel. You probably know a number of capable people who are thinking about changing jobs. Helping a client find skilled employees can benefit everyone involved. If the people you recommend are hired, they will become some of your strongest advocates.
For more on our Sales Fundamentals training course, please visit: