How To Approach Sales Coaching Like a Pro the Right Use of Sales Data


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Using Sales Data to Inspire Commitment

There are many resources for salespeople to get feedback from their managers, but the real question is

1) How do you transform conversations into commitments that inspire performance? 2) How do you capture and make these commitments realities?

Here are the highlights of this article:

1) Why does data driven sales coaching matter? 2) 3 types of sales data you can use 3) Business Intelligence data takes you only 10% of the way 4) Segmentation is crucial for personalized goal setting 5) Use data to plan ahead vs. stack-rank and compare

Why Does a Data Driven Sales Coaching Matter?

Coaching isn’t about who is good and who is bad. It’s not just the stars that need attention, but rather all members of my sales team.

To be a successful coach, you have to think about your coaching model and how it can help the people you’re working with.

Advanced sales coaches believe that the most successful way to get a team on board is by helping them know what they’re in for before offering them a job.

Leadership brings transformation. Transformation for a sales team is ignition. Our job is to help ignite each member of our team.

3 Types of Sales Data That You Can Use

1) Volume Data 2) Conversion Data 3) Performance Data

Jacco Van der Kooij wrote an article about the different types of data, what they are, and how to use them. A summary of each type is listed below.

sales data

Every company has different types of data and they use it in a variety of ways.

When Constructing Pipelines, Disregard Their Technological Intelligence

Data visualization tools are an important part of evaluating organizational and team-level performance. Data visualization is a tool that helps with this process.

But these tools are not very effective for coaching. There has been a major growth of BI solutions in the last 5 years.

However, the percentage of salespeople who reach quota has been decreasing for six years in a row.

The fact is a salesperson needs more than just data to be motivated.

Leaders need to evaluate their employees on a more individualized level. They can’t just look at the averages and trends.

For this reason, let’s take a look at two types of salespeople”those who use business intelligence and those who don’t. “When I first began hiring sales people, I just assumed that base pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough motivation for them.” “With my first employees in the company, I made an assumption about paying them based on their commission structure without testing it to see if they were motivated by more than money alone.”

The data-obsessed coach

Most sales leaders are managers, and they base coaching conversations on reported metrics. They think of their reps as either good or bad if the rep hits quota or doesn’t hit it.

sales data

These managers are very controlling and focus on statistics. They don’t let you do anything new or creative, so the coach’s style is traditional.

While BI data can be helpful, it’s not enough to motivate change. It doesn’t help a leader or salesperson figure out what they should do differently. The only thing left for the manager is to push more buttons.

Managers don’t have to be cold and calculating. They can inspire their team by giving them the right data.

I’ve found that many leaders don’t know how to be data-driven and still inspire commitment.

The segment-savvy coach

Great sales coaches use the distribution curve (introduced in part 1 of this series) to make sure their one-on-one meetings with each rep on their team result in moments of commitment.

sales data

Great coaches don’t fixate on where someone is, but instead work to understand what they want.

A distribution curve allows the leader to see where a rep is and then immediately ask them what their personal goal for themselves would be. Rather than saying “I want to hit my quota,” they can choose which part of the company’s goals that they’re interested in.

In this case, the salesperson might say “I can hit the High Core if I work hard.” When they do this, it creates an opportunity for them to talk about their desired level of performance with you.

If a salesperson believes the leader wants to help them find their way and is actually trying to coach, coaching becomes fuel for transformation.

Segmentation Is Critical for Creating Personalized Goals

Segmentation lets you personalize the data to change performance. Once a standardized distribution is in place for all reps, leaders can use that as an example of how they want their employees to do it.

sales data

I often hear from salespeople that they need more of a base pay and fewer commissions. They feel like the current commission structure is too high risk for them.

If I knew what made me different from the high performers, I’d do what they did.

The segmented distribution curve allows you to see your team’s performance in three different ways, and it can be used as a roadmap for how to improve their performance.

Transforming inert facts into tactical objectives

A salesperson’s definition of success is the first part of a 1:1 conversation. A poor performer may be targeting Core performance, or they might feel like their goals are too high for them at this point in time.

With this understanding, a company can now use data to inspire change in the sales staff.

With this perspective, you can turn data into something more than just numbers.

2) Target Activities become Volume Data

The point is that the data collected from a candidate’s conversion process can be used to identify what skills they have and don’t have. This information then becomes an important part of assessing their qualifications for employment.

Productivity data becomes a way for managers to determine how effective their employees are.

This is different than when your boss tells you to do more work or they’ll give it to someone else.

How tactical objectives establish your relevance as a sales coach

Now, a salesperson can see what skills and activities they need to improve in order to reach their goals. They know why these changes matter so that they can meet those goals.

They can give advice on how to work efficiently, and have a better time-management strategy.

Other reps will need to develop new skills in order to be a good salesperson. Each rep needs their own level of productivity, and they can’t all have the same goals.

Coaching is about improvement

There’s a lot of pressure in sales, and it will either make someone into their best selves or chase them out. Only 19% see themselves staying with the same company after one year.

If every member of a team improves their skills and success, the entire team will succeed. For example, when one salesperson improved his selling technique by 10%, it increased his total revenue significantly.

When this sales leader met with the company president to set her 2018 goal, she was told that while they were happy with how well she did last year, it’s a concern because she only achieved 22% quota attainment.

The goal would be based on the sales that had been earned if they reached 50% quota attainment.

sales data

She helped her team by setting individualized goals to help them move systemically through the distribution curve.

Today, she has a 37% attainment on her yearly goal. She is chasing incremental improvement by making sure that her team reaches their targets based on the target activities and qualifications in order to achieve success.

In just 90 days, she’s tripled the amount of star performers and shrunk the number of poor ones by nearly 13.

sales data

Use Sales Data to Plan Ahead

Reps want to be coached and improve by learning skills.

Focus forward planning matters more than reflection

In a coaching session, it should take up to 10% of the time discussing past performance and 90% on forward-looking strategic discussions.

Paint the target 

After my rep has shared their definition of success, I stop talking and they can continue.

In the third part of this series, we’ll see how to create a plan for your leadership skills.

Don’t be the know it all sales manager

Most salespeople know whether or not they are hitting their goals. Coaching isn’t about stack-ranking and averages; it’s about understanding the individual.

If you can’t help employees see the connection to where they want to be, then it’s your job as a leader. You should focus on connecting instead of correcting them.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.