The culture of a well-run company I think is you should care for the individuals, you care for your employees, certainly care for your clients, but to your employees, probably even more. Yeah, you treasure those. So, I think step one is for sales leaders to make a commitment that say, "First-line managers, we're going to make a part of their job, coaching. It is part of your job. We're going to hold you accountable to it, and we're going to give you some training, so that you know how to do it effectively." Hey. It's Kyle from HubSpot Academy. If you had to rate the quality of your organization's sales coaching on a scale of 1-10, what number would you give it? Although it seems sad to say, I'm going to recommend that you take whatever number you chose and subtract two. That's probably the score you'd get if you asked your sales reps. We ran, one of the places that I work, we ran a focus group, and we asked the leaders, "Do you coach?" And almost to impress and everyone who said, actually I think everyone who did say, "Oh Yes, I coach all the time," and then we finally read around and we asked the sellers the same question, "How is the coaching going? Are you getting coached?" And almost to a person, they said, "What the heck is coaching? We don't get that here." Okay. So, there's a real disconnect when it comes to coaching. Yikes. It's tough to swallow, but the reality is, there's often a disconnect between how well sales coaches think they coach, and how well coached the sales people actually feel. So, let's back up a little and talk about why this even matters. The purpose of coaching is to help individual salespeople understand what they need to do and to get them to commit to doing it. Coaching is designed to do one of three things: rather A, going to get compliance out of a person. Get one to behave a certain way. Two, you're going to get cooperation out of them, work commitment that [inaudible] with it? Or they're going to, three, what we're really trying to get to is commitment. You're trying to get a person to commit to behaving a certain way. We can't make them do that, they have to do that on their own and that's where coaching comes in. Is making them own what it is that they're actually responsible for. This is the difference between academia and corporate education, okay? Academia takes the information, puts it in front of them and asks them, okay regurgitate it back to me on a test, maybe a little bit of a laboratory or something like that. Corporate education then says, okay, you have the knowledge in your head, let's pull it out and put it to work. That's the differences, we have to take what it is that's in their head and we have to make that work, and so the reason why coaching is so important is because that's how you get a person to instill a new behavior. That's how you get them to actually apply what it is that's in their head or what it is that they've learned. It's important to note that sales coaching is not the same as sales training. When you train your reps, you should be teaching them things like what your sales process is, what sales methodologies you rely on, how to use your CRM system, and so on. The purpose of training is to show your reps what they need to do. The purpose of coaching is to help them improve how they do it. Individual reps might know your sales process and methodology and CRM and still struggle to open a conversation, or to resolve certain concerns, or to finalize a deal. You should coach your reps to help them overcome their specific weaknesses. Now, even though coaching is often the responsibility of a sales manager, coaching is not the same as managing. Coaching is a very different function. There's a lines between management, mentorship and coaching. Okay, so management is, here's the quota, here's the numbers we're doing, here's the requirements of the job, here's the expectations and so on. I want to give you all the tools to do that. I want to certainly encourage you. We want to have a positive work environment, all that kind of stuff. A mentor is probably someone that's outside on the team, that's further along in their career, and they're really just looking out for that individual. I want to see you succeed. I want to impart whatever knowledge I have, maybe ask you questions that others aren't asking you, maybe just helping you along with that, and then sales coaching is I think the third part. Sales coaching is more of a formalized process. Here's what we're doing, this is why we're doing the things we're doing. I'm going to impart this knowledge to you, and we're going to meet in two weeks, we're going to see what you've done against that goal, and so the mentorship's just in it for you. Coaching is in it for your success, but the coaches, you certainly have accountability built in there. The manager certainly is in charge of a team and wants the success of the team and the individuals on the team, the management and coaching sometimes go together although it's like the manager of a team could hire and fire you, and so the coach is there to just try to get you to the next step, get you to improve your process, to get you to be more successful. There's lines between those, but sometimes management and coaching are more closely aligned. This is an important distinction. In most sales organizations, all the motivation the team gets as their manager cracking a whip at the end of the month, pushing everyone to hit their quotas. That approach can work, but coaching provides a more effective and pleasant way to get results from your sales team. The [inaudible] for those that haven't read it yet. As the story goes, there's a farmer who had a goose who was laying one golden egg and he wanted it to lay two, so he's with the goose and one variation of the fable, the goose dies, and that's what will happen a lot of the time in sales organizations. What will happen is the sales organization might be making one golden egg, and they want two golden eggs and so they squeeze, and that's where cracking the whip comes in. That's method one. Does it work? Sure it works, but you can burn through your people because some geese will give you that second egg, but as soon as you let go of that goose, the goose is going to go right back to one-egg. You haven't developed anything, you haven't solved the problem. Some geese when you squeeze them hard enough, they'll die and then they'll leave. So, that's the problem with that methodology. It will get you where you need to be, like I said, but you're going to have this revolving door of people in and out of the organization, and one of the things we have to understand is that culture is to being initiated from the top down, but it grows from the bottom up. So, every time a person leaves, part of your ability to grow that culture leaves. So, having a low turnover is so critical, especially in the sales force for you. Again, if you're trying more of a team sport. If you don't know who it is that's trying to keep playing next to you, it's hard to develop any kind of teamwork. The second way that you can do this is you can have a hire gun mentality. You can take a one-egg goose and replace it with a two-egg goose, and so that's fine. You can grab the two-egg goose out of the market if you can find them, and you can stick those into your sales force, and then they'll start producing for you until such time as somebody else offer them a better package. So, this hired gun mentality, I'm just going to bring somebody in, is fine and dandy except you have to understand, you're dealing with hired guns who actually are coin-operated, and so when that person leaves, I'm not saying yes, but when they leave, out with them also goes your wealth of excellence, but out goes all their context, out goes their entire base because a lot of people will follow the seller not necessarily the company, and so that has its downfall as well. It's also very expensive to try and maintain enough those people. The third methodology is where you feed the geese. You grow that goose from a one-egg goose into a two-egg goose and into a three-egg goose, and you do that by understanding what it takes in order to build the competencies of a person, the competencies of a seller that are going to help them sell better. What that does for you is it develops a stable workforce, it develops a selling culture in the organization, and lets you get away from the whole casting into the forecasting, so that now you can pretty much be sure that this is the path that we're on. Squeezing the goose might get you a few extra eggs this month, but it isn't a good long-term strategy. So, commit yourself to feed your geese. The results you get might surprise you.