How to see if your employee coaching is having a positive effect
When leaders deploy sales employee coaching, they can often feel a nervousness or apprehension regarding how to understand if those efforts are making an impact. Questions like: am I doing this right the way? Does my staff feel this benefits and empowers them? and How can I see the effects of coaching? are all common. To ensure that your coaching is actually being effective, there are a few main ways to find out including analysing sales performance metrics, receiving employee feedback, and your own skill development.
Employee coaching effectiveness: analysing metrics
One surefire way to approach evaluation of employee coaching efforts is through pure and simple metrics reporting. When you observe your staff performance on the team and individual level, data should play a role in identifying coaching opportunities in the first place. By seeing where your staff is lacking in their performance, be it in a specific level of the sales funnel, or with timeliness of follow-up, or in closing sales tactics, you can see these weak areas as the areas in which you should be coaching.
After coaching is completed, or even as it's ongoing, you should be tracking the metrics in these areas. Are you seeing an improvement in their conversion rates? Does the data tell you they have less drop-off in the sales stage they have been struggling with? Is the length of time for the entire sales process improving? By tracking measurable data, you can see if your coaching is bringing about real change.
Employee coaching effectiveness: be open to feedback
When it comes to some organisations, bottom-up communication and managerial openness to feedback can often be tricky. Whether we mean to create a closed-off environment or not, often employees can avoid speaking up when they believe their managers are being ineffective. But when it comes to employee coaching, it can be imperative that leaders be receptive to staff letting them know when they feel a particular coaching method isn't working for them.
It's important in this respect to understand that coaching can be a very individual experience. If you have staff who are very visual learners versus staff who are true number crunchers, you may need to adapt how you coach each of these people. But you'll never know if you don't give them an opportunity to tell you!
As you start the coaching process, you should make it clear that your employees are able to speak up if they aren't understanding something, are having difficulty grasping a concept or tactic, or if something just isn't working for them without fear of punishment or repercussions. Continuing coaching when the method isn't right, or the concepts aren't clear is simply a waste of time and resources for all involved. Set aside appropriate times for check-ins, where you ask your staff how they think coaching is going, what they like, what they don't like, and what they think they may be able to benefit from.
Employee coaching effectiveness: leadership skill development
A big mistake in employee coaching would be for leaders to believe that they themselves don't need skill development. Sometimes, coaching is new to everyone in the organisation, managers included, so don't rely on instinct alone.
As a leader, you should be open to your own kinds of skill development and coaching if need be. Perhaps you even know how to do a certain sales tactic, but maybe explaining it or training others on it is something you're not sure how to do. Don't go into coaching blindly - it won't be effective, and your staff may end up feeling less trusting of you.
Ask your employer for resources, access to training courses, online classes, or a leadership coach. There's no shame in admitting that you aren't an expert at coaching, if you're an expert in other ways - we all can't be great at everything. Continued development and focusing on upskill will benefit your entire organisation, and show leadership through doing. The skills you learn can then be passed down through the ranks to your team, and ensure that your coaching will be effective.
Coaching alone isn't enough to make sure your organisation benefits from this development tactic. Follow-up to ensure effectiveness, and you'll find the true positives of what coaching can do for sales teams. When you analyse your data, allow for feedback and idea exchange, and continue to develop skills at all levels of an organisation, you can be more sure that your coaching is having a positive effect.
Want to make sure you're on the right track for your employee coaching? Check out how Goalplan can help you implement the right tools for facilitating training and development with your staff.