To implement a successful coaching program, there are four things you need to do: to find your sales process, stop using popular, but ineffective coaching techniques, use the GROW model in your one-on-one meetings, which we'll talk about in a second and encourage your reps to coach each other. Let's dig into these, one by one, starting with defining your sales process. Your coaching program will help salespeople execute that process. People generally agree that the highest impact activity management you can have, is coaching. You can't coach unless you have a defined process by which people are executing their day-to-day jobs. If you have a well defined, well documented sales process that you know leads to success, if we do these ten things, it ends in the sale for the company. If we've got someone that seems to have all the pieces and parts, but just we've got a performance issue, we go back and let's say, ''Are you executing the sales process, or are we getting off the trail somewhere along the line here? Are we skipping the demo maybe?" We're doing all the pre-work, we should do a demo next to make sure that the clients all bought in. They may be skipping the demo going right to a proposal or something, so that they're missing a part of the process. Many times, that's correctable. We'll just say, ''Yes, we can change this, and we'll change the outcome.'' There may be people, they're either not able to follow that process, or they're not comfortable in that process, and that's a hard one to overcome. Without having a clearly defined sales process, it will be nearly impossible to create a successful coaching program. Your coaching should focus on helping your reps improve the way they execute your sales process. If you look at a chart of your historical sales data, you'll probably find that a lot of people make it to the first step of your sales process, a slightly lower number of people make it to the second step, and so on, until the final step which the least number of people make it too. That's normal and healthy. But if you look at this data for individual reps, you'll probably find that each rep struggles in a different step of the process. Use that data as the foundation of your coaching efforts. Help reps improve their weak spots, and the data will tell you how well your coaching works. Once you have your sales process defined, you need to stop using the ineffective coaching techniques that so many sales leaders rely on. What then happens is, the sales leader will be doing the coaching, and starts stepping, into this hero mentality, and says, " Here, I got it, watch me, I'll show you how to do this. That person won't have learnt a darn thing because they haven't been given the opportunity to actually do it, through the coaching process. The thing I'd like to talk about with coaching is, I make an analogy to golf. I've tried to learn golf for like 20 years, and I've taken a lot of lessons. One golf pro said to me, ''Mark, take a swing, and I did.'' And he said, ''Okay, what I want you to do is lean back in your stance spot, put more weight on your right foot not your left, think one o'clock not two o'clock on the back swing, and give me more wrist on contact.'' I was like, ''Yes, you're kidding me, where do I start with that? '' Another golf pro said, ''Okay Mark, take a swing,'' and I did, and he watched me. He said, ''Okay, what I want you to do is, try leaning back in your stance more. Take 100 swings.'' So, I did. Twenty minutes he's like, ''How does that feel Mark?'' ''That feels a lot better.'' He was like, ''All right, try putting more weight on your right foot now. How does that feel?'' ''Take 100 swings.'' and I did. You can see what happened there, it's a pretty obvious coaching example. But I personally have promoted 20 salespeople and the manager, all 20 of them took the approach of the first golf pro. They have this new app, cognitive training, they watch and do a sales pitch, and they see 90 things that are broken, and they throw up on them for an hour with feedback. You can just see the sales reps heads spinning like they have no idea what to do. The better more sophisticated coaches can see the naughty things, but just like that second golf pro, see the one or two that are the next best step in development for that rep, and they personalize it. The more you can lean into the metrics to do that, the more you can diagnose where those coaching issues are, and personalize the coaching framework to it. Remember, the goal here isn't just for someone to know what they need to do, they need to be committed to actually doing it. You can't get there just by showing someone what to do, you need to help them find their own way forward. That brings us to the third step of implementing a successful coaching program, which is using the GROW model in your one-on-one coaching sessions. This assumes that you're actually having one-on-one meetings with the reps, which if you aren't doing, you definitely should. To make this work, you have to be having one-on-one meetings with your reps. The retention side is to continually, I think, that the interviewing, but continually, have that conversation going all the time with the team and individuals, and just make sure that you're doing one to ones on a regular basis, and just say, what's been happening in the last whatever the time period is, if it's weekly, monthly, I'll say it's monthly. Last month here, what's the best thing that's happened? What's the worst thing that's happened? Either personally, or business, whatever, and just have that open communication there. I think most people, myself included, I'm energized by people that are interested in me, and interested of my success. I'll go to the ends of the earth for those folks. So, I think, that's kind of human nature. So, if you have that open communication, if you have that type of dialogue with people all the time, and then if something does go awry, you normally find that out pretty quickly, and you're able to make a course correction. If someone maybe has a sick child, so, I just can't do the travel schedule like I've been doing, is there another role for me in the company that would maybe better fit what my personal circumstance is? Things like that. I'm a big fan of doing it at least monthly one-to-ones with everyone that directly reports to me, so that if there's an issue, and that permeates throughout the company, if there's an issue that can be documented, it needs to be documented. I had a one-on-one review, we identified this opportunity area, we established some goals and objectives for the next 30 days, we've had another one-on-one, here's where we are in one goals and objectives, things are going well, things are not going well, going upward or going downward. That's clearly documented all the way through for both parties. That way, if you do have to make a personal action, and somebody has to leave, then you've got a complete trail there. Here's what we were doing, here's this job responsibility, here's what was happening, here's what's not happening, here's the result. So, it definitely protects the individual, and I think, protects the manager and the company. These one-on-one meetings are a great place to help reps improve, and that's where the GROW model comes in. What you want to do is, you want to find something that's easy, you want to find something that puts the responsibility, and the elements of changing back on the person being coached, not the coach himself. So, one of the things that I actually had to experience would be GROW coaching. There are a number of people out there, and other companies that actually do GROW coaching, but the nice thing about it is, it is completely socratic. What you're doing is you're asking a person questions, and getting them to think a certain way, and getting them to essentially focus on what it is they need to do, clearing out the clutter, putting different hats on to say, ''This is how this person might do, this is how that person might do it.'' And helping them understand that there is a path for those results. GROW is actually an acronym. It stands for Goal, Reality, Option, and Way Forward. You start with the goal your rep wants to achieve. To do that, you're going to have to spend some one-on-one time with your reps, and dig into one they want to accomplish. So, one way to do that is, on the first day of every month, sit down with your sales people individually, one-on-one, and go through their numbers. Forget about the numbers for a second, ''How did you do last month?'' I know you did 110 percent, but like, ''How do you think you did?'' ''What did you do well, what do you want to work on?'' Now, let's go through the numbers. Here's how many calls you made relative to everyone else, here's how many meetings you sit up relative to everyone else, here's your conversion rate and meetings, relative to everyone else, here's your sales cycle relative to everyone else. You're high or low, why is that? Now, based on this whole discussion, where would you like help this month? I want help developing more urgency with my prospects. Great. How can I help you? Why don't I record two calls, and we can look at it from the lens of urgency. Great. Let's schedule them right now. We're both free on Friday at three and the following Tuesday, at 9 a.m, he's getting the books. Now, I walk out of that first day of the month, or the first day of the quarter, and I've scheduled all my coaching calls and I've had them focused on a very strategically selected set of skill developments. So, that's an example of running this particular coaching model, and that will drive behavior, and drive people toward that successful playbook. Once you've identified the reps' goal, you need to move on to the current reality of where your rep is right now. Once you know where they are, and where they want to go, you can discuss their options for getting there. Let's take this goal, work through the reality of it, which is the app and GROW. So, it doesn't make sense to continue chasing this down. What are the options for you to actually take in order to attack on that change of behaviour, and then, what's the way forward? How are you actually going to get from here to there, and by what time? The final step of GROW, is deciding on a way forward. Now that the rep knows where they are, where they want to go, and how they want to get there, what are they going to do to make it happen? Talk them through that, and focus more on listening than on talking. Ask good questions, and help them figure out their own path forward. That very simple process. It does wonders for people, and reason why, is because, A, they feel empowered, because they are taking control of their own future. B, there is a definite stop. [inaudible] the coaching. Once they've actually achieved something, it's like a gold star. Bam, I paid, I actually did this. The other thing is that once you learn how you coach somebody, you almost start to self-coach. You see here is stop, and you say to yourself, "I'm stuck. Why am I stuck right now?" Okay, let me see if I can look at this from somebody else's viewpoint. If I did this, if I did that, okay, then I could do this, I could do that. So, what it does is, eventually helps a person think through their own problems faster. I've had teams where I've actually done coaching, where they've started to self-coach and had to coach them less and less and less. You coach them at the beginning, of course, because it's new to them and they're trying to learn something new, but eventually, they actually work through their own problems much faster and it becomes almost a catalyst for the sales leader to actually adopt some program like that. Remember GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Way Forward. If you ask questions to your reps to help them identify each of these things, they'll find their own solutions to many of their problems. Your role as coach is to support your reps and hold them accountable. Using the GROW model in your one-on-one meetings is a great place to start, but that shouldn't be the full extent of your coaching program. You should also encourage team members to coach each other, and this can be done in regular team meetings. Here's an option on how to do that. Let's say that you have two salespeople, and this works if you're the only owner and salesperson, or this works if you have ten salespeople. What you want to do is start looking at specific sales opportunities from the lens of this playbook to validate that it is correct. So, a way that I love to do it is to implement a film review. So, this works really well for people who are selling over the phone and have an opportunity to record calls that can be reviewed later. If you can't do that because you can't record the calls or because you have to do in-person meetings, then you can just do this by recapping what you remember about the meeting. But let's say that we have a film review, and let's say you have two salespeople. Let's bring those two salespeople into a room every night at five O'clock, and, hey, let's include someone from product and let's include someone from marketing, whoever you think is important to understand our buyer, which is a lot of people in the organization probably. So, every night at five O'clock, let's listen to a discovery call and a sales pitch from one of your salespeople or from you as the owner. Let's ask ourselves first off, I'd like to listen to the film for 45 minutes, usually that's how long they are, and then first have the person that recorded it self-assess. How did you do? What did you do well? What do you think you could have done better? Second, I like to have assigned someone in the room to provide positive feedback. Then, I'd go to them and say okay, yes, Sarah, what did you think Mike did well? Then, I'll have someone assigned to negative feedback, to needs for improvement. So Julie, what do you think Mike could have done better? Then, I'll open up, and then whoever is sort of like the codifier in the room, can sort of summarize the findings. So, the whole point of this discussion is to ask ourselves, we built the sales playbook. We build a buyer journey and a sales process. This was a buyer, a potential buyer. Did they match up? Did the needs that that person have match up on our buyer journey? Was our sales playbook on how to deal with this buyer optimal for this individual, and did we execute it well? So, if we did, kudos to us. That's just another data point that we're right. If we didn't, then you have to ask yourself was that because this buyer's like extreme exception case and we should just ignore it or is it because the playbook needs to be iterated. Or is it because we just didn't execute it well? But in either case, we're learning. Some people do those film reviews every week, some people do them every day. I like to do them as often as possible because at this point, you're trying to figure out, you're trying to find like almost product market fit for your sales playbook, and the more often you do these film reviews, the faster you'll learn. So, I like to do them everyday from say 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. So, you can follow that process and that embeds your sales playbook. Film reviews are a great place for reps to coach each other. Another option is having reps inspect each other's deals during pipeline meetings. Just like I would glance at the GPS once I started driving to see if I'm on course or not, I want to glance at my pipeline and I want to ask what we'll call inspection questions. What are the questions that I could ask you that are going to help me figure out? Let me give you an example there. If somebody tells me they have a pipeline, and they have a pipeline with a percentage that's like 90 percent. I'm going to ask them, "What does that mean?" They're going to say, "Well, the contract is due. We put things in 90 percent when the contract is due." I'll say, "That's what I figured, because that's what everybody means by 90% percent." So let me ask you this inspection question. When will you have the signed contract in your hand? That's a really hard question, but it's a 90 percent sale. If I ask you that inspection question, you're going to be uncomfortable for a moment, and you going to answer it. But the salespeople, when the dynamics isn't, sales manager asking salesperson, in front of all team, the inspection question and putting that person on the spot. Instead of that, let's say you're the salesperson and this week you're going to lead the inspection questions, starting with your own pipeline. You are going to apply those questions to your own self and then to everybody else. Next week, the next salesperson is going to do that same thing. We're all going to be experts at posing the inspection question at each other. Why? Because we want to make fun of each other? No, because we want to make sure we're shaking loose from our pipeline, everything that's not a rock solid stone in the path to our goal. We need to build a path to the goal. When salespeople pose inspection questions, and the other salesperson tries to snow the first salesperson, maybe you'll fool the boss, and maybe you'll fool the sales trainer. You're not going to fool each other because the salesperson internal is going to tell you, don't tell me that. I sell too. I sell this product in a similar territory that couldn't possibly be the case, or why don't you try this- and it's not just about going "Gotcha!". So, the inspection question process isn't by going, "Gotcha! You thought you had a 90 percent. Well, you don't, you're happy-" It's about, now that we know where it is and it's not 90 percent, what are we going to do about it? Because some people, sometimes, they will take it out of 90 percent. "Oh no. No, you can't take it out of 90 percent." "Why not? It's not 90 percent." "No, no, no," they act like it's a voodoo system. That if you move something from 90 to some other lesser percentage that the customer somehow knows they're being moved. It's like, "I'm been moved to a new car. I don't even know what that means. But I was 90 percent, now I'm like 20 percent. I was going to buy, now I'm not going to buy." It's like nutty, that wouldn't really happen because if that were the case, I'd just put everybody enclosed and swipe them, call me to tell me that they've just closed. So, being honest with ourselves where things really are, and recognizing that maybe a 90 percent last week was a 90 percent week, but this week it's week older. The fact that they didn't do anything in the week, is now making the sale go better, it's probably making it go worse. Having reps inspect each other's pipelines is another great way to encourage team coaching. So, define your sales process. Then stop using any ineffective coaching techniques you've been relying on. Instead, use the GROW model in your one-on-one meetings and encourage reps to coach each other. If you do these things, you'll build a coaching culture in your team and that will help everyone perform better.