Coaching Process


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The first step in the coaching process is contracting. Contracting is setting the expectation between the inside salesperson and the manager. Expectations consist of activity goals and revenue targets. Activity goals consist of tasks an inside salesperson undertakes, including completed calls, proposals made and total talk time. Revenue targets are sales and are, in turn, lagging indicators. Often a sale is the conclusion of a number of activities that take place over a period of time. By comparison, activity goals can be measured daily.

The activity goals and revenue targets are part of your organization’s business model.

Once expectations are set, the manager can watch performance over time, and make decisions on where to invest his or her coaching energy:

A MEETS MEETS Coach to retain, reward performance.
B Does Not Meet MEETS Coach to motivate. Could probably generate more revenue. Are revenue targets set correctly?
C MEETS Does Not Meet Coach to improve skills. Since activity targets are met, success can be improved by better execution. The best use of a coach’s time.
D Does Not Meet Does Not Meet Discipline issue. No chance of success unless the activity targets are met.
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The second step of the coaching process is observation. This step consists of two parts.

First, the coach looks quantitatively at how the activity goals and revenue targets are being met.

Second, the coach listens to calls by shadowing the representative. This allows the coach to qualitatively evaluate the inside sales representative’s communication with customers, the rate they make calls, and their follow-up. The coach should watch the salesperson enter the results of the call into the customer narrative and read the narrative to see how it captures the essence of the call.

As noted in the first step contracting, coaches should invest in those inside sales representatives who are hitting their activity goals but who are not hitting their revenue targets. This offers the best opportunity to increase revenue.

Our consultants can create a customized checklist for the observation phase.


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The third step in the coaching process is action. The coach must decide which improvement actions the inside salesperson should take, based on his or her observations. During the typical observation, the coach may come up with many suggestions. But the key is finding two or three critical actions that will make a difference. Coming up with too many actions at one time tends to freeze the salesperson.

We suggest creating an action plan listing the proposed corrective action, what the result will be if the action is taken, and resources the representative can use to accomplish the objective.

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The fourth step is commitment. All of us know how hard it is to accomplish New Year’s resolutions, and those action steps are to change our own behavior. Think how hard it is to change someone else’s behavior.

If we want to ensure the representative will put forth the effort to change, we need to ask them to make a commitment. Symbolically, we ask them to sign the action plan from the previous step. This should include management’s expectation that the commitment, once made, will be kept.

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The fifth and final step is acHieve. What does the inside sales representative need to help him or her complete the action plan?

We have a series of foundational training online e-learning modules which target specific inside sales techniques, which can be prescribed and take only 20 minutes to complete. Our consultants can help you map these modules to your observations using your customized checklist.

Our studies show that proper coaching can raise revenue performance by over 20%!