I recently had the pleasure of participating in a client’s coaching conference with more than 180 sales leadership executives in attendance. The focus was on creating a winning competitive sales culture through the adoption of regular coaching development.
One of the highlights was a panel discussion with four Revenue Storm Certified client Opportunity Coaches who shared results they had achieved. Each had been through a structured and challenging certification process where they regularly coached sales opportunities with the support of a Revenue Storm Master Coach. The results? Outstanding win rates and case studies to back them up.
Opportunity Coaching occurs when an internal coach is assigned to work with the pursuit team using a disciplined coaching cadence. Typically 90 minutes every three weeks.
I was asked during the conference to outline the reasons why I believe that Opportunity Coaching is one of the most powerful forms of sales coaching. This is what I shared: Opportunity Coaching speaks to the heart of a salesperson as it has the ability to directly impact their three predominant emotional drivers: 1) winning 2) recognition and 3) compensation. The connection to the emotional drivers is important because it encourages them to take risk to execute differently as a result of the coaching.
- It grows the talent of the salespeople through their experiences of being coached. This creates the environment for them to develop as individuals and replicate the new behaviors.
- It drives accountability for the salesperson or sales team to carry through on their agreed actions to advance their sales opportunity. By meeting every three weeks with their coach their actions are reviewed and corrective actions can be adopted.
- It opens up new thinking, creates new points of connection for the sales team, and therefore produces a more competitive action plan. The result is better engagement with the client and significantly increased chances of winning.
There are three elements included in the deployment of an Opportunity Coaching strategy:
- Involve an external coach to bring your leadership to the very largest of deals alongside an internal coach. This enables the growth of the coach and increases the win rate of the largest deals.
- Develop full-time internal coaches. If you can afford to take two or three experienced sales leaders, who have a penchant for coaching, and develop them as full-time certified Opportunity Coaches—it is well worth the investment. They will assist you in the adoption of a coaching cadence across your major sales opportunities.
- Train and support your first line sales leaders to become talented coaches for their teams. This is the final step that ensures your coaching strategy builds a highly competitive sales culture across the organization.
Once leadership defines and drives a coaching strategy, the coaching journey for a sales organization is very exciting. It is just a matter of getting started—right now!
Try implementing an Opportunity Coaching cadence in the simplest form to get started and gain momentum. Announce to your sales team that you are going to start coaching to the Relationship Barometer for all deals above a certain size. Drive it for two months and measure the difference.