How to Use Sales Coaching to Empower Your Team During COVID-19

In almost every sport, the top athlete is guided by their coach through every play. The coach builds them up, gives them tough love, and provides guidance on how to get through difficult situations. While these star athletes have in-depth knowledge of the sport already, their coaches serve as their advocates and mentors to get to victory. 

Similarly, sales coaching can be hugely valuable for your team. Your sales team has years of experience pitching clients and they know your products intimately, but just as consumer preferences change, so do the tactics your team needs to use to make the sale. And it’s your job to keep your team at the top of their game.

In their sales coaching guide, Lessonly explains: “To always be closing, always be coaching. As sales leaders, we have the privilege and responsibility to encourage, empower, and enable our teams with the practice, guidance, feedback, tools—everything—they need to win.”

If there was ever a year to focus on coaching your team, it’s 2020. This year has turned almost every industry on its head and many companies are still figuring out where they fit in the post-pandemic world. 

Empower your team to learn new tools and be more effective by leveraging these opportunities for learning and growth.

Coach Your Team: Understanding Market Trends

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, many companies had to stop operations or severely cut back on staffing and spending. In some cases, like the cruise industry, many companies are still waiting to reopen. According to Just Capital:

37 percent of companies closed or suspended services. 11 percent of companies experienced layoffs. 28 percent of companies had their supply chain impacted. 

These shutdowns have trickle-down effects throughout the economy, as the vendors that support those companies were also let go or restricted. This complicates things for sales teams who saw the doors of many of their leads slam shut. 

Coaching around how to analyze these trends, measure the impact, and shift strategy is key right now. Understanding how their target industries have changed and why makes it easier to develop a new strategy, fine-tune prospecting, and close the sale when someone finally gets on the phone. 

Empower With Coaching: Encourage your teams to stay up on the latest trends and industry updates, and then connect once each month or each week to discuss what they’re seeing and identify new strategies they need to learn or understand. This is a chance to get them involved in the coaching process by empowering them to find the gaps where they need support.

More importantly, it allows you to help them understand the process of analyzing trends and developing new strategies for themselves. 

Coach Your Team: Plan Through Frustration

Everyone on your sales teams needs thick skin in order to stay motivated. However, at a time like this, when they may be getting more no’s than yes’s, it can be hard to push back the rejection and frustration. This is where you use coaching to remind your team that there is always opportunity in a challenge—and the most successful companies find that opportunity and leverage it in any way they can. 

This is one of the greatest benefits of implementing sales coaching on your team. When salespeople lose faith in themselves, you can

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