More Effective Sales Coaching in 2023

By Zilliant

Jan 12, 2023

B2B sales team leadership has never been more challenging. In addition to the shift from in-person to hybrid or virtual selling, the digital commerce boom, and supply chain challenges, B2B sales leaders are facing a talent shortage.

More Effective Sales Coaching in 2023

According to a survey of chief revenue officers conducted by Gartner, 52% of respondents cited a shortage of critical talent being the work trend most likely to have the greatest impact on their organizations. Thirty-three percent cited new service models or go-to-market strategies and another 28% cited increasing digitalization.

Yet with these challenges afoot, an impending recession is likely to result in a mandate for sales teams to grow revenue. For the B2B sales leader, effective coaching will be critical to hitting targets. Below are some pointers to consider:

Avoid the CRM Trap

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems were supposed to solve the strategy-to-execution gap. They landed on the scene with the promise that sales teams would be able to gain a 360-degree view of each customer. While CRM has indeed become a valuable repository of customer data and a high-visibility reporting tool for things like sales pipelines, in most cases it hasn’t lived up to the original promise. While almost every medium-to-large B2B company has implemented some form of CRM, most insights and opportunities that sales ops, marketing or product management are trying to drive are still being delivered to sellers’ inbox via spreadsheet.

While CRM is powerful technology with vast potential, it still needs to be unlocked. Collectively, we have all filled our CRM systems to the brim with data, but the missing link is intelligence: the actionable account-specific insight, surfaced automatically to sales when they need it, tethered to a digital paper trail that closes the loop from insight creation to customer outcomes.

Rather, seek to deliver targeted customer actions that guide sales reps to timely, high-impact opportunities, and boost CRM to its full potential. Data science can serve up bite-sized actions to sales reps, showing them precisely whereopportunities exist to recover and win-back lost sales, grow wallet share, monitor contract compliance, sell excess inventory, know when to recommend a substitute product, and know what products to pitch to new customers.

Wrap Coaching Around Guidance

In terms of the skills gap in B2B sales, the inherent challenge is that a veritable wealth of tribal knowledge around pricing, customers, products and various industry dynamics is leaving the company along with its most valuable players. Finding a simple, intuitive solution to get new reps up to speed to sell effectively and profitably will be a critical factor of success in the coming years.

Rather than waiting for sales reps to come up to speed the “old fashioned way” – over the course of months in the field or sending them cumbersome reports to comb through – point them directly to the actions that will lead to revenue growth today. When data science-driven actions are incorporated into their CRM or otherwise, these actions can be delivered in the form of bite-sized action cards, sorted, scoped and filtered by priority.

By doing so, sales managers can coach to the actions at hand and ensure sales reps – new and experienced – are hyper focused on what will drive revenue. While relationship building will always be central to the B2B sales process, empower your sales team to do more than the “donut drop” and engage with customers in meaningful, account-specific ways.

Be confident that your sales team can make the right calls when revenue is on the line. Consider joining us on Thursday, January 26 at 9 a.m. CST / 4 p.m. CET for an in-depth webinar on leveraging data science to help the sales team know what customers should be buying and in what proportion.

Are you ready to learn how Zilliant can help you overcome your pricing challenges?

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help!