Building a Culture of Coaching In Your Sales Organization
Whether you admit it or not, your Sales team forgets your training effort within hours. It's about the science of forgetting. Forgetting happens. But do you know what they do remember? The actions and behaviors that have become habit. They remember what they've unconsciously mastered because that's their zone - good or bad. To do this, your salespeople need a coach - someone who can make the right skills and behaviors second nature. It's time to build a strong culture of coaching excellence.
Building a Culture of Coaching In Your Sales Organization
B U I L D I N G A C U LT U R E O F
IN YOUR SALES ORGANIZATION
THE HIREVUE COACH
Implement Skill Mastery
Why Coaching Matters
Reinforce a Culture of Coaching
THE 3 PHASES
Building a Culture of Coaching
Develop Coaching Plans
ABOUT HIREVUE COACH
TABLE OF CONTENTS
YOUR SALES TEAM FORGETS YOUR TRAINING EFFORT
WITHIN HOURS, NOT WEEKS.
WILL YOU HELP YOUR PEOPLE
FIND THE COACHES THEY
DESERVE, OR ASSUME THEY’LL
GET LUCKY WITH THE
PERFECT SALES MANAGER?
THEY NEED A GREAT
COACH. SOMEONE IN THEIR CORNER
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DO REMEMBER?
TIME TO STOP WASTING YOUR BUDGET
BECAUSE ‘WE FORGOT ALREADY’.
TIME TO BUILD A STRONG CULTURE
OF COACHING E X C E L L E N C E .
IT OR NOT,
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, FORGETTING HAPPENS.
I T ’ S N O T A B O U T H AV I N G T H E A T T E N T I O N
S P A N O F A G O L D F I S H E I T H E R , I T ’ S A B O U T
THE SCIENCE OF FORGETTING.Don’t take it personally - they seriously can’t help it.
THE ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS THAT HAVE BECOME HABIT.
The flow of a pitch that just rolls off their tongues. They remember what they’ve unconsciously
mastered because that’s their zone - good or bad. But...have they mastered the right things?
SOMEONE WHO CAN MAKE THE RIGHT SKILLS AND BEHAVIORS SECOND NATURE.
MASTERING THE RIGHT OR WRONG SKILLS IS THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSISTENT SUCCESS OR FAILURE.
THEY DON’T NEED MORE TRAINING MODULES.
who truly gets them & roots for their success.
IT’S TIME FOR US ALL TO START TAKING CONTROL.
Someone who wants nothing more than to
STEER THAT MASTERY IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
Will you take control of what’s being mastered, or leave it to chance?
THE HIREVUE COACH MANIFESTO
It hurts to say it out loud but the sooner we
accept it, the sooner we can do something
about it. Something that actually works.
What about sales training? It’s necessary,
but 75% of sales training is forgotten
within six days.
Ride-alongs? Absolutely. A great way to
see your people pitching in front of real,
live prospects and give them feedback to
improve on the ride home. Solid plan, if
you don’t mind your salespeople practicing
in front of prospects.
Typically, feedback for sales reps comes
after a misstep. Your salespeople want to
know more than simply what isn’t working.
They want to improve and ultimately master
their skills and techniques.
INTRODUCTION | WHY COACHING MATTERS
of sales training is forgotten
within six days.
of salespeople cannot articulate their
solution’s value proposition.*
Practicing in front of
prospects is costly
when deals don’t close
because reps are not
*source: Gartner in a survey of executive buyers
*source: HireVue Coach Customers
INTRODUCTION | COACHING DRIVES PERFORMANCE
This isn’t to say you aren’t coaching your
team now. Maybe some of your sales
managers understand coaching. However,
there is a signiﬁcant difference between ad
hoc coaching and the empowering mindset
of a coaching culture. Ad hoc coaching
is also very difficult to scale. Likewise, the
feedback your salespeople are getting is
probably focused on hitting numbers, and
rarely focuses on improving their process
and skills to impact future performance.
Despite your commitment to ongoing sales
training, without repetition and practice, not
much of that training gets weaponized.
What kind of impact
would these metrics
make in your sales
organization next year?
higher win rate*
INTRODUCTION | TRAINING WITHOUT REINFORCEMENT DOESN’T WORK
Immediate 20 min. 1 hr. 9 hrs.
ELAPSED TIME SINCE LEARNING
1 day 2 days 6 days 31 days
The “forgetting curve” tells us that we lose
75% of information learned after just 6 days if
there is no attempt to retain it. Reality check:
By the end of your sales training week, most
of the information is forgotten.
of new information is
forgotten in 6 days
INTRODUCTION | WHY WE NEED COACHING CULTURES
According to the International Coach Federation,
coaching is deﬁned as, An interactive process to help
individuals and organizations develop more rapidly and
produce more satisfying results; improving other’s ability
to set goals, take action, make better decisions and make
full use of their natural strengths.
In short, an interactive process to help people get better
results sooner while improving personal capabilities.
Less than 35% of sales organizations provide a way to practice
Coaching gives salespeople many opportunities to practice so
they can improve their performance and quota attainment. Your
salespeople need coaching to reach their full potential. Coaching can
reduce average ramp time for new reps and get more reps hitting
quota. Training with coaching reinforcement is four times more
effective than training alone.
*source: CSO Insights
4xTraining + Coaching is 4x more
effective than training alone.**
of Sales Reps missed quota
01 02 03
DEVELOP COACHING PLANS
Identify skill gaps and goals for each
IMPLEMENT SKILL MASTERY
Improve and reﬁne skills through a
REINFORCE A CULTURE OF COACHING
Make it part of everything you do.
I absolutely believe that people, unless coached,
never reach their maximum capabilities.”
BOB NARDELLI, CEO HOME DEPOT
BUILDING A CULTURE OF COACHING | THE 3 PHASES
PHASE PHASE PHASE
Identify the skills your team needs,
like objection handling, product and
pricing differentiation, stories about
your offering that focus on customer
pain points, demo skills.
Assess each rep’s performance on
each skill using the Skill Mastery
Pyramid on the next page.
Create a coaching plan for each team
member to close skill gaps found
in Step 2. Each sales rep will have
different skills they need to develop.
Gain commitments from your team
around the frequency of coaching
sessions and regular updates on
progress toward mastery goals.
PHASE 1 | DEVELOP COACHING PLANS
The truth is, most organizations assume sales
managers already know how to effectively coach.
After all, in most companies it’s simply expected
- managers will be the main go-to for guidance
and direction. But that’s not always accurate.
Being a salesperson and being a sales manager
require different skillsets and abilities.
Follow these steps to develop coaching plans for
your salespeople to ensure effective coaching.
Skill becomes second nature. Able to demonstrate how it’s done with little to no thought or preparation
AND in various complex situations with a high degree of accuracy and quality.
Able to adapt skill to various complex situations AND with a high degree of accuracy and quality.
Able to demonstrate how something should be done with a high degree of accuracy
Able to sufficiently demonstrate how something should be done.
Able to give all the right answers to how something should be done.
PHASE 1 | SKILL MASTERY PYRAMID
Coaching plans should move reps from one level to the next with target timelines for each step.
THE MORE YOU
PRACTICE THE RIGHT
MOVES, THE DEEPER
THE MEMORY PATH
THE TRICK IS TO MAKE
THE CORRECT PATHS
AS DEEP AS POSSIBLE
AND THE INCORRECT
PATHS SHALLOW OR
MARK MORGAN FORD, “EARLY TO RISE”
PHASE 2 | IMPLEMENT SKILL MASTERY
You have developed coaching plans for each
team member based on their skill gaps. Now help
them master each skill with a structured process.
By following the process outlined in the Mastery
Cycle (next page) your team members will
develop skill mastery that will eventually evolve
into role mastery.
Establish a regular routine that gives your team
the opportunity to maintain and expand their
expertise across a variety of skills. If routines
are not in place and embedded in what people
do every day, every week, every month, the
practice of coaching will fade, and the skill and
performance gains will fade with it.
Establish a regular
routine that gives
your team the
expertise across a
variety of skills.
PHASE 2 | THE MASTERY CYCLE
L E A R N F E E D B A C K
M A S T E R Y
C O A C H P R A C T I C E
Teach team members with a simple
but comprehensive overview of the
fundamental techniques for the targeted
skills. At this stage, the focus should be
on answering the question, “How do I do
that?” before practice or application of
the new skills.
Provide the ability for peers, identiﬁed experts, and
coaches to give immediate feedback on skills,
behaviors and techniques. Ensure feedback is in
response to the demonstration of a speciﬁc skill,
rather than a general evaluation of one’s
performance. And don’t overwhelm with
everything they could work on at once. Focus on
a single, simple action that will have the most
impact on performance.
Coaching is informed by feedback identifying
what speciﬁc actions can be taken to quickly
inﬂuence future performance. It is the art of
balancing insightful questions that promote
self-discovery with direct suggestions that
facilitate adherence to best practices. With a
healthy dose of encouragement reps should
look forward to what they will accomplish as
they continue to grow.
Provide a simple-to-use platform, like video,
to allow team members to demonstrate skills,
behaviors, and techniques. Enable them to
practice using chunked “skill drills” within
speciﬁc, realistic, and common contexts.
Provide reference points or a guide for
desired behaviors to allow self-assessment
and “correction” of their techniques against
demonstrated mastery from an expert.
FAST COMPANY MAGAZINE
PHASE 3 | REINFORCE A CULTURE OF COACHING
A culture is a way of life. Second nature. Habits.
In sales coaching, where your sales reps develop
these habits matters. Building a culture of coaching
isn’t going to happen overnight. There is no single
event or transaction that will ﬂip the switch. It’s a
process of transforming your organization with
successes and setbacks that require commitment
It’s a process of
Hold competitions and reward
those who fully invest in the
purpose of these events -
practice and growth.
Identify appropriate rewards and
recognize teams and individuals
(e.g., President’s Club, gift cards,
congratulations from senior leaders).
Publicly recognize best practice
examples with the whole team.
Partner with your recruiters to
develop an interviewing process
and questions speciﬁcally designed
to uncover those who have a core
philosophy that demonstrates
coachability and a deep hunger
for learning, no matter how many
years of experience they have.
Your culture is largely the sum of your
people - their values, behaviors and
attitudes. Recruit people who share a
passion for learning and growing their own
and others’ careers.
Publicly recognize and reward top
performance, participation and progress.
Recognition can provide a great opportunity
to highlight examples for those searching for
a model to follow, or behaviors to replicate.
Measure the impact practice,
feedback and coaching has on
business performance and identify
direct correlations between
participation of these activities
on KPIs (e.g., quota attainment,
Capture successes and stories
at all levels and broadcast them
publicly to celebrate wins of your
new coaching culture - big
Establish clear responsibility for
the progress and impact of
coaching programs, and provide
insightful recommendations for
Articulating meaningful results will further
embed a culture of coaching into routine
business processes and practices.
PHASE 3 | THREE R’S TO MAKE COACHING A PART OF EVERYTHING YOU DO
CONCLUSION | TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Sometimes the hardest step is the ﬁrst step.
But once you take it, keep going! Learning is
in the doing. Over time, you’ll notice what
works and what doesn’t. Move beyond just
noticing and do. Improve. Reﬁne and
ABOUT | HIREVUE COACH
HireVue Coach is a mobile video platform for sales reps
to practice their pitch and receive ongoing coaching.
Managers watch their team members’ recorded
sessions and provide feedback in the platform, ﬁnally
making coaching scalable across large teams and
helping sales teams achieve their goals.
HireVue’s Team Acceleration software combines digital
video with predictive analytics to help companies build
and coach higher performing teams. HireVue works
with more than 600 of the world’s most successful
companies, including American Express, GE, Nike,
Chipotle, Nordstrom, Red Bull, Under Armour and
Hilton Worldwide--as well as hundreds of successful
small and mid-sized businesses in over 100 countries.
General Manager, HireVue Coach
Director, Coaching & Consulting Services
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