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  • Writer's pictureMark Childs, SIOR

Sales Coaching in a Hybrid World

By: Jeff Schneider, Sandler Training

Greater and greater digitization of the sales process was always going to happen; the global pandemic simply hastened its arrival. Today’s sales professionals must be prepared to compete in a world where more and more communication with buyers takes place in venues where the salesperson cannot communicate face-to-face or voice-to-voice with the buyer.

This presents special challenges for sales leaders tasked with coaching salespeople competing in this hybrid selling environment.

Today’s sales coaches face five critical challenges in particular:

  • Establishing a sense of trust and comfort with the salesperson. The best way to do this is by creating a coaching contract that both sides can buy into. A sense of trust and comfort is particularly important in situations where a sales professional is personally uncomfortable with some aspect of remote selling.

  • Conducting an inventory of activity, to help salespeople track and evaluate their own behaviors, and to assess which are most effective in a market where hybrid selling has become the norm. This inventory should eventually point toward a behavioral plan that both the sales professional and the coach agree will, when executed, result in the attainment of performance goals.

  • Digging deep into a salesperson’s core competencies to identify important skill gaps. Skill gaps connected to prospecting and business development competencies requiring fluency with digital communication platforms are particularly important to isolate.

  • Implementing individualized coaching to help address the salesperson’s unique challenges. Customization is key here. No two salespeople are identical, and no two selling opportunities present precisely the same challenges when it comes to implementing a hybrid selling approach.

  • Inspiring salespeople to think creatively, challenge the status quo, and reach their full potential.

Coaching is and always will be an integral part of sales management. It helps reps improve their performance by instilling confidence, identifying areas for improvement, and pinpointing what’s working for them – so they can replicate it and maximize it.

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